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pi4meterftw
12-02-2008, 01:55 PM
Hey all.

So Forbiddian and I were playing our "Tournament" format one day (Legacy Round Robin we each brought 3 decks.) We didn't play all 9 matches because one of the "rogue" decks I had brought blew all 3 of his choices out of the water, and we were playing best out of 9. It was a UW fish list, running wayfarers, ninjas, countermagic, draw, etc. It was pretty bad, back then, but with some edits, we arrived at a list that has stood hundreds, if not thousands of games of testing. We're college students and sometimes when I have an hour in between classes or need a study break, he and I just hop on MWS and test this. Before I proceed, here is the list:

1 island
2 plains
3 windswept heath
4 flooded strand
4 tundra
4 wasteland

4 weathered wayfarer
4 meddling mage
3 jotun grunt
4 serra avenger
3 epochrasite

4 brainstorm
4 swords to plowshares
3 ancestral vision
4 Force of will (Often boarded out versus aggro since there are better removal spells that do not waste card advantage.)
3 umezawa's jitte
2 daze
4 aether vial

sideboard:
1 jotun grunt
2 blue elemental blast
2 hydroblast
4 thorn of amethyst
2 aura of silence
2 mind harness
2 oblivion ring

Before I break down what the cards do in the context of the deck, the overwhelming strength of this deck is it's consistency. Notice the deck runs 1 and 2 casting cost, which makes it so that it rarely ever gets mana screwed. Being 2 colored makes avoidance of color screw very easy. Also, brainstorms aether vials, and weathered wayfarer act as fixers, and brainstorm can even fix the offhand mana flood.

Another point in general is that this deck is a bunch of timewalks plus a bunch of ticking clocks. Ancestral vision and epochrasite are both very good suspend spells. Umezawa's jitte takes time to build up. Serra avenger is a 2 drop, but it needs to wait until turn 4. Weathered wayfarer only activates once per turn, so the more turns it's in play, the closer the game is to over. That brings me to the card choices:

Wayfarer is an insane 1 drop. A strength of this deck is that it always gets 1 drops, and all the 1 drops (Ancestral visions, weathered wayfarer, aether vial, and sometimes swords) are insane starts. Wayfarer synergizes with daze quite well, as well as saclands. (Sac, retain priority, activate wayfarer.) and wasteland (same deal). But wastelands are good in another respect. Before they were added, wayfarer was a relatively harmless deck thinner and brainstorm powerer. But now, a deck that plays its second land before we do gets ravaged for both their lands because we EOT fetch a wasteland, our turn fetch a wasteland. Wasteland is a useful target because while wayfarer could grab 2-4 lands if not immediately removed, we only need 2, and our opening hand normally already has 1-2 land, plus maybe a vial. So we want a target that can actually be useful, and most decks require more than 1-2 land to function.

I won't cover the self-explanatory card choices, but epochrasite might have caught a few eyes. First let me say that when I noticed the synergy between it and aether vial (you vial it in as a 4/4) I was quite alarmed by the sheer power it seemed to promise. Well, it wasn't quite that good because it was a two card combo, but it was pretty close. Epochrasite in multiples is good also because they help to ensure that each other come into play. Epochrasite is often times a wall. (This deck often plays as the control deck.) It's easily the weakest card in the deck. We've been looking at options such as knight of meadowgrain, knight of the white orchid, but epochrasite just seems to be the best. If we could run a white tarmogoyf, epochrasite would be the first creature to go.

Lastly, Forbiddian runs a build that differs from mine by -1 FOW +1 daze. I think this weakens the TES matchup, but he thinks that it's worth it for the additional synergy with wayfarer and utility of daze.

In our sideboard, we have chosen 4 BEB effects (with the usual 2/2 split) todeal with goblins and red TES, and thorn of amethyst has been deemed better than ethersworn cannonist.

What follows is our testing results with approximate win percentages and the suggested sideboard plans:
threshold (red): 75%
-4 FOW
-1 daze
+1 grunt
+2 oblivion ring
+2 mind harness
This deck is strictly weaker than the white version against us because swords>lightning bolt, mystic enforcer is useful, and the white version also runs better other removal such as oblivion ring, and it sometimes sports the counterbalance lock. (By the way, counterbalance and chalice of the void look like formidable threats, but in our testing, it's rarely significant due to vial and countermagic.) Against the red build, a meddling mage naming lightning bolt usually means your creatures are here to stay, whereas against white, not only can you not name swords (because you play them) but they have other removal anyway. We win this matchup off of superior creatures (our creatures are better than theirs except goyf, which grunt trumps, and swords as well.) Also, jitte increases this board presence superiority. The card advantage we can reap off of wayfarer and ancestral visions is pretty great.
We have tested this matchup on quite a few occasions, but not as much as against white threshold where we have only about a 60% matchup:
same sideboard plan but -1 more daze, -1 epochrasite +2 aura of silence if they are running the counterbalance lock or threads/oring, and if not, just 1 aura of silence and don't remove the epochrasite.

Against TES, we basically board out everything irrelevant for everything relevant in our sideboard. This matchup is roughly 50%. Meddling mage and FOW maindeck, as well as daze are good, but you don't always outdraw their orim's chants.

Ichorid is approximately 40%. We only played 15 games here and won 6 of them, but we figured that was enough since there's good reason we should be slaughtered by ichorid considering that they make a lot of our cards insignificant. This is the matchup that we write off. The sideboarding plan is the rather self-evident +1 grunt -1 anything useless. Ichorid we could easily pick up by running more hate, like crypts and relic of the progenitus. But we choose to have strong other matches and just to lose ichorid. The 40% figure might be slightly inflated because I felt like I got a little lucky in my portion of the testing with this deck.

We slaughtered Faerie stompy because weathered wayfarer stops them cold, and approximately 40% of the games you already open with weathered wayfarer. The rest of the 60% we still win most of because we play a (roughly speaking) similar strategy as they but we have white and wasteland. Here we board out the force of wills for oblivion ring and aura (They run chalice and equipment, as well as other trinket mage targets.) We won about 75% of these games, and the testing was rather extensive. (I'd say at least 50 games.)

We beat goyf sligh (75%) and any other kind of R/X slighish kind of deck. The reason is, again, that our creatures are superior and mind harness from the sideboard is quite a temposwing also. We board out FOW, 2 epochrasite (or perhaps 2 dazes in some situations) for mind harness and all 4 BEB effects.

Goblins was about 60%. We have some troubles game 1, but game 2 when we board out our useless countermagic for 4 BEB, 2 mind harness, as well as weathered wayfarerx4 for 2 oblivion ring 2 aura of silence (You'll find that Goblins wins if and only if it gets an active vial against this deck.) You'll see that our game gets much better.

Team America: 80% (10-0 matches, which was rather unbelievable, but then we played some other games a random collection of sideboarded and not, and that was more believable.) It's hard for Team America to beat wayfarer. We win if we get wayfarer to stick, but we also win about 60-70% of the games where we don't because we run more creatures and Team America often starts the game at 10 life.

Aggro loam we beat because we run grunts, meddling mage, swords, and wayfarers. Wayfarers are often at roughly parity with their loam engine, but then while they twiddle their thumbs running their loam engine, our Ancestral visions, epochrasites, grunts, and jittes are ticking.

Again, the strength of this deck is that it comes out the gates right away with consistency, but it also has inevitability against basically everything. It's pretty shocking that an aggro control deck has longevity, but in fact, ours does because of wayfarers, ancestral visions, and jittes. Obviously, serra avenger jitte is quite a wrecker.

Lastly I mention that when I say games, we test sideboarded games and preboard games roughly equally.

Fons
12-02-2008, 03:03 PM
what about a black splash for confident?

Media314r8
12-02-2008, 05:33 PM
I fooled around with this on MWS, beating an eva green and thresh deck, both 2-0. The list I tested was:

// Lands
1 [10E] Island (1)
2 [OD] Plains (3)
4 [ON] Flooded Strand
4 [TE] Wasteland
4 [R] Tundra
3 [ON] Windswept Heath

// Creatures
4 [ON] Weathered Wayfarer
4 [PS] Meddling Mage
4 [TSP] Serra Avenger
3 [FUT] Epochrasite
2 [CS] Jotun Grunt

// Spells
4 [MM] Brainstorm
4 [CST] Swords to Plowshares
4 [TSP] Ancestral Vision
4 [AL] Force of Will
3 [NE] Daze
4 [DS] AEther Vial
2 [BOK] Umezawa's Jitte

// Sideboard
SB: 2 [R] Blue Elemental Blast
SB: 2 [IA] Hydroblast
SB: 2 [10E] Aura of Silence
SB: 4 [MR] Chalice of the Void
SB: 1 [DK] Maze of Ith
SB: 4 [ALA] Relic of Progenitus

Visions was MVP, and I cannot imagine this deck running less than 4, as you allways want this turn 1, and it loses power as the turns press on, eventually just being force-fodder. Thus, I cannot see the reasoning behind only running 3. Wayfarer was as insane as I'd imagined, fetching two wastes cut cut eva green off their splash. (though I miss-clicked once and after an upkeep fetch-> wayfarer waste -> resolve ancestral, accidentally clicked a tundra rather than the tutored waste) He also fetched maze against a GUw thresh deck to stop their beats until I could find swords/jitte to handle them. I also think daze should be at LEAST a three-of here, as the tempo loss is irrelevant as we play aether vial and a ton of good one drops. (and buying us time for Ancestral to give us supreme CA is never bad) It also saved my one colored tundra by dazing a sinkhole (though he waited until turn three to play it) by returning my island! Jitte does not need to be a 3-of, as we run 4 BS and 4 AV, and our role is control. Grunt was unimpressive, and I don't think he should ever be a three of. He was big, but the relics from the SB shrink goyf just fine without him, and he usually only beats for 4-8. Epoc was amazing, even without vial, as he gives us slow, but gradual CA if the opponent wastes removal on him, and moreover, he gives us inevitability. (much like jitte, but slower and more so) I think mother may warrant a spot in the deck, but I wouldn't play her as a 2-of in grunt's place, but she does everything we want a creature to do here: stalls into the mid-late game, turns on jitte, and protects our other guys. (like MM from removal) Serra was unreal as always, but even with her an epoc, I'm unsure if vial is necessary in this deck, as we play such a controlling role, and with mana denial, we can afford to lose tempo to early forces since we dominate the mid-late game with AV and waste fetching via wayfarer.

The_Red_Panda
12-02-2008, 05:46 PM
list

16@ 1 mana
18@ 2 mana

How do you deal with a resolved Counterbalance, and doesn't EE@2 kill most if not all your resolved critters? Even with counter magic and vial, as you said, I find it difficult to believe that resolved CB isn't a game loss for you. Same goes for chalice.

juventus
12-02-2008, 06:00 PM
16@ 1 mana
18@ 2 mana

How do you deal with a resolved Counterbalance, and doesn't EE@2 kill most if not all your resolved critters? Even with counter magic and vial, as you said, I find it difficult to believe that resolved CB isn't a game loss for you. Same goes for chalice.

I don't have any experience with the deck, but it seems like turn one aether vial negates top/counterbalance, and the deck also has 4 meddling mage and 7 counters to deal with the combo. So yea, chalice or CB/Top could be issues if resolved and there are no answers, but there are many answers in the deck to this, and many decks that don't play either chalice or counterbalance, so I don't think it's a huge problem.

Phantom
12-02-2008, 06:02 PM
Indeed, plus the blue count is really low for Force. I agree that Grunt is iffy here. A deck running Jitte doesn't want creatures that kill themselves. I'd look into Stifle, Trinket Mage (plus EE), and/or maybe bounce (like Remand). I do like the simplicity of the decks focus, but there are some heavily played cards that are going to be huge problems.

raharu
12-02-2008, 06:45 PM
Indeed, plus the blue count is really low for Force. I agree that Grunt is iffy here. A deck running Jitte doesn't want creatures that kill themselves. I'd look into Stifle, Trinket Mage (plus EE), and/or maybe bounce (like Remand). I do like the simplicity of the decks focus, but there are some heavily played cards that are going to be huge problems.
Hoofprints of the Stag?

Forbiddian
12-02-2008, 08:36 PM
Indeed, plus the blue count is really low for Force. I agree that Grunt is iffy here. A deck running Jitte doesn't want creatures that kill themselves. I'd look into Stifle, Trinket Mage (plus EE), and/or maybe bounce (like Remand). I do like the simplicity of the decks focus, but there are some heavily played cards that are going to be huge problems.

@Grunt
Grunt usually doesn't kill itself until at least 3 turns in. When it does, it's often worth it just to get rid of Thresh for the opponent. Sometimes drawing two Grunts sucks a bit, but Grunt is definitely a strong card.

What are the most played/scariest creatures in the format? Tarmogoyf, Dreadnought, Tombstalker Zombie Tokens, Mystic Enforcer, Terravore, Nimble Mongoose, Bob, Piledriver/Ringleader, random 2/2s.

Bob, Piledriver, and Dreadnought don't rely on the Graveyard. Every other card is wrecked by having Grunt out. Note that a fast Tombstalker hurts your Grunt, but it's quite easy to resolve Grunt in time to lock Tombstalker in your opponent's hand.

Even against decks without any creature support at all and no reliance on the graveyard, Grunt goes in for 8-12 damage early-midgame and 12-16 late game. Also, there is nothing in the card pool that could remotely fill the niche of "large beater with graveyard hate" that NoGoyf so desperately needs to fill.

@"there are some heavily played cards that are going to be huge problems"
I guess we don't see eye to eye. The deck runs many ways to get around the standard cards. I'll recap the main solutions:

Basically anything that costs 3 or more is an unreliable answer to this deck (because this deck can lock you down to just 1-2 mana potentially off of Wayfarer). Also, this deck runs a fair amount of countermagic and Mages and Ancestral Vision-driven Card Advantage, so reliance on a single bomb going 2:1 will certainly not get the job done against this deck, especially if Epochrasite just pops back up.

Forbiddian
12-02-2008, 09:16 PM
Visions was MVP, and I cannot imagine this deck running less than 4, as you allways want this turn 1, and it loses power as the turns press on, eventually just being force-fodder. Thus, I cannot see the reasoning behind only running 3. Wayfarer was as insane as I'd imagined, fetching two wastes cut cut eva green off their splash. (though I miss-clicked once and after an upkeep fetch-> wayfarer waste -> resolve ancestral, accidentally clicked a tundra rather than the tutored waste) He also fetched maze against a GUw thresh deck to stop their beats until I could find swords/jitte to handle them. I also think daze should be at LEAST a three-of here, as the tempo loss is irrelevant as we play aether vial and a ton of good one drops. (and buying us time for Ancestral to give us supreme CA is never bad) It also saved my one colored tundra by dazing a sinkhole (though he waited until turn three to play it) by returning my island! Jitte does not need to be a 3-of, as we run 4 BS and 4 AV, and our role is control. Grunt was unimpressive, and I don't think he should ever be a three of. He was big, but the relics from the SB shrink goyf just fine without him, and he usually only beats for 4-8. Epoc was amazing, even without vial, as he gives us slow, but gradual CA if the opponent wastes removal on him, and moreover, he gives us inevitability. (much like jitte, but slower and more so) I think mother may warrant a spot in the deck, but I wouldn't play her as a 2-of in grunt's place, but she does everything we want a creature to do here: stalls into the mid-late game, turns on jitte, and protects our other guys. (like MM from removal) Serra was unreal as always, but even with her an epoc, I'm unsure if vial is necessary in this deck, as we play such a controlling role, and with mana denial, we can afford to lose tempo to early forces since we dominate the mid-late game with AV and waste fetching via wayfarer.

I noticed some very good points. I'll first off point out that you didn't test all the matchups that we did (obviously there's more to the meta than Eva Green and Thresh), so I'll try to indicate why we made some of our choices.

About Grunt: He doesn't have negative synergy with Relic if you don't run Relic. Why would you run Tormod's Crypt and why on Earth do you run Relic over Crypt? If you're worried about Goyf and think that he's dangerous, take another look at Jotun Grunt.

About Jitte: Jitte is the MVP against Goblins. Goblins is a tough matchup, it's very common, and Jitte is pretty much our only out against them (and it's so solid against them). There aren't very many decks where Jitte is not solid. Obviously you don't need three against like Eva Green (especially with the landkill so it's rare to get to the critical 4 land), but if you play the Goblins MU a bunch of times, you'll see it's pretty necessary.

Also as a similar effect, Jitte is absolutely dominant against random-ass aggro which seems to plague the world. There are a lot of Extended/Type 2 decks that are reasonably solid against creature strategies like ours but don't even have a prayer against Jitte. As evidenced by some recent thread somewhere, a lot of decks metagamed themselves to deal with the Tier 1 and Tier 2 opponents so much that their Tier 3 matchups really dipped down. They're still winning matchups, but you want to be able to site down against Boros Deck Wins from Type 2 with a lot of confidence. Keeping the Jitte count high is a big part of why this deck is so solid in all metagames.


Mother of Runes: I tested Mom a bit. I wasn't very impressed. First, she's ANOTHER 1-drop. We have like 15 and they're bumping into each other already (part of the reason I don't run 4 AV although I'd definitely like to, it's one of my problems with the current deck design). Secondly, pretty much each deck only runs one type of removal. Swords, Snuff Out, Bolt are popular. She stops one of those. She has the added benefit of stopping Tarmogoyfs, but only if you leave her untapped.

Here's a riddle: what else could stop Snuff Out or Swords or Bolt or Tarmogoyf only do it better by being bigger and able to attack? Here's a hint: He costs WU, he was a former invitational champion, he's a 2/2.... Of course being worse than Pikula isn't that bad, it's just this:

Turn 1 Mom.
Turn 2 Don't Swing with Mom. Already red flags should be going off that she sucks. Oh yeah, she can't both protect herself from Swords and attack. So she sits there like a 0/1 Pikula with greatly limited abilities. And she'll probably just stay untapped until she walks into Deed half the time anyway.

Everything that I would possible want to cut for her is much better than that. I really can't think of any matchups where I'd realy want her. Even Goblins runs too many copies of Warren Weirding for her to make too much impact.

Media314r8
12-02-2008, 09:29 PM
Swords, Snuff Out, Bolt are popular. She stops one of those. She has the added benefit of stopping Tarmogoyfs, but only if you leave her untapped.

This doesn't really make any sense. Allt he listed cards are colored... and all are instants. Protection not only saves her from lethal damage from a source of the chosen color, but also means she cannot be the target of spells or abilities of the given color: thus snuff out or swords will still fizzle as she would be an illegal target upon resolution. If ghostflame or astroble was played, perhaps you could argue that she cannot give herself pro: arts or pro:colorless. She does generally well stalling the game, and this is what you want. You will eventually land a jitte or avenger, and she can protect whichever of those will win you the game. (while she can't block AND protect herself from swords, ect, my experience over the years with mom is that your opponent generally doesn't attack into her, for fear of jitte+equip next turn and they have no defender, ect. She also blocks lackey, making us have 12 T1 solutions to lackey, which is never bad. She also protects MM, which is my big point, not that she should be run in PLACE of him, but in addition to him. If you can land him and name wierding, you only have to worry about incinerators and your plummeting health total. If she is involved, you only have to worry about one of those situations. (either block and pro-red to knock of a goblin at a time, or hold for possible incinerators until you get jitte online)

I would also really want her in the wildfire+bombs MU. until you get jitte or force active, she can withstand wildfires all day, and if needed, protect MM if he's naming wildfire/ravages of war from the other.

She might not fit the deck, but she's hardly as poor as you claim.

f|i[p]
12-02-2008, 09:53 PM
Looks like a promising deck.

I never liked jotun grunt as a 3 of. Because as 2 of, I clearly remember that I always had problems trying to keep him in play after 2-3 turns.

Have you ever tried mana maze as a sideboard for the combo match up? It can be used at times against control decks as well.


Not to be a dick, but why is this in the established decks forum?

Forbiddian
12-02-2008, 11:40 PM
This doesn't really make any sense. Allt he listed cards are colored... and all are instants. Protection not only saves her from lethal damage from a source of the chosen color, but also means she cannot be the target of spells or abilities of the given color: thus snuff out or swords will still fizzle as she would be an illegal target upon resolution. If ghostflame or astroble was played, perhaps you could argue that she cannot give herself pro: arts or pro:colorless. She does generally well stalling the game, and this is what you want. You will eventually land a jitte or avenger, and she can protect whichever of those will win you the game. (while she can't block AND protect herself from swords, ect, my experience over the years with mom is that your opponent generally doesn't attack into her, for fear of jitte+equip next turn and they have no defender, ect. She also blocks lackey, making us have 12 T1 solutions to lackey, which is never bad. She also protects MM, which is my big point, not that she should be run in PLACE of him, but in addition to him. If you can land him and name wierding, you only have to worry about incinerators and your plummeting health total. If she is involved, you only have to worry about one of those situations. (either block and pro-red to knock of a goblin at a time, or hold for possible incinerators until you get jitte online)

I would also really want her in the wildfire+bombs MU. until you get jitte or force active, she can withstand wildfires all day, and if needed, protect MM if he's naming wildfire/ravages of war from the other.

She might not fit the deck, but she's hardly as poor as you claim.

I think you misinterpreted my statement.

Say your opponent runs Snuff Out. She prevents your opponent from casting Snuff Out. Say your opponent runs Swords. She prevents your opponent from casting Swords (well, he could cast two to get one kill, which seems silly). Since very few decks run two types of targeted removal (I can't think of any), she runs the same role as a Meddling Mage naming the spot removal. I believe I said, "She prevents one of those." I guess I should have said, "She prevents one of those at a time."

But anyway she can't do the things that we want Meddling Mage to do (like naming Ad Nauseum) other than stopping spot removal.

She also has problems with some of the usual anti-creature suspects. Wrath of God (less played now but still possible), Moat, Deed, Dreadnought/Factory. Our general answer to targeted removal is to shrug and lay down another dude (we run lots). Mother of Runes is similar only we have to preemptively lay down another dude, which encourages us to overextend. I shouldn't say "encourages" because that implies that we have the choice NOT to make a play error. With Mother of Runes beating in for 1 at a time, it's pretty hard to formulate any type of scary clock without overextending.

Feel free to test it, it's not like I hate on Mother of Runes, but one of this deck's strengths is that the beaters put your opponent on a clock and Mom doesn't fit that bill. I also wouldn't really have a suggestion on what to cut. Maybe cut a few Grunts or Epochrasites if you wanted to test it. I think that's what I cut when I tried it out.


Can a mod move this to N&D?

I think this can stay in Established for the time being. The deck appears sufficiently tested; the opening post is decent and features "a thorough writeup including card choices, strategy, and matchup descriptions". And we currently don't have a straight U/W Fish thread in Established anyway.

- Nihil Credo

(That said, I am incredibly sceptical of the matchup numbers that have been posted and wish someone double-checked them - trouncing everything but TES and Ichorid, seriously? I like UW Fish, but I'd be extremely surprised if that were the case.)



Cool, I thought with all that red I was gonna get banned for douchebaggery.

pi4meterftw
12-02-2008, 11:43 PM
This is in the established decks forum because it shares some elements with fish, and there is a decks to beat forum for the tier 1 decks you seem to be thinking about. Forbiddian has basically made all the points I wanted to, and I agree with his comment about mother of runes. The reason it can only block or prevent a removal spell is because we presume most opponents will understand the mechanics of the game well enough to remove MOM in response to blocking if she's protecting herself, or whatever else. It is true, though, that she stops both for sorceries. In any case, she's still not very good because when we pay 1 mana for something, we like it to be a game breaker. Wayfarer is a game breaker. AV is a game breaker. Vial is a game breaker. Swords makes us go from losing to not losing anymore against goyf, bob, tombstalker, etc.

Playing Mom is not game over, though she is good. Also, it's because there are so many on-color runner-ups that it doesn't make sense to splash any more colors. One of this deck's main strengths is consistency, even in the face of disruption to colors/mana, like wasteland.

Also, we don't lose to deed because you just don't play 5 permanents. If you're desperate, you can force their hand with 2 bombs, but I usually just wait around with 1 since this deck benefits from waiting anyway. 1 4/4 isn't worth getting hit in the face by too many times. You don't play deed with a wayfarer in play and wait for me to drop more creatures. You kill the wayfarer. Every threat is quite sufficient on its own. Also, if we accidentally play a couple more permanents, the card advantage this deck offers is more than enough to overpower the deed anyway.

BlindMage
12-03-2008, 11:04 AM
;298317']Looks like a promising deck.

I never liked jotun grunt as a 3 of. Because as 2 of, I clearly remember that I always had problems trying to keep him in play after 2-3 turns.



People seem to have an interesting attitude about Jotun Grunt. They acknowledge that he's a giant house against a lot of heavily played and powerful cards, but then say, "Well, he can be tough to keep in play, so that means we should play less of him." This seems backwards to me. If it's a powerful card, but hard to keep in play, I think you should play MORE of it. That way, when you start to feel the squeeze of his CU, you can just not pay it, and drop another one. I played an aggro-control deck at GenCon this year that played 4 grunts as its main 2-drop slot AND played 3 Grim Lavamancer. It was a deck with a lot of spells, but it was uncommon to run into major problems feeding those two. Seriously, I think people get scared off by the CU and don't play enough grunts when just biting it and playing 4 could really improve their Ichord/Dredge matchup, for example.

On a side note, Kitchen Finks is one of the best creatures ever printed, especially for aggro-control. He creates card and/or tempo advantage, and is aggressively costed.

Ceridan
12-03-2008, 11:43 AM
I wanted to make a similar deck with Trinkets, finks and Momentary Blink. Momentary blink also makes you epochrasite a 4/4 if you donīt got any vial in play. There are other good creatures with nice comes into play-effects that could also benefit the deck.

The grunts are house against most legacy decks, people will try to counter it, use their removals etc. Running 3 should never be a problem.

Arsenal
12-03-2008, 12:16 PM
I'm surprised at the matchup numbers, as historically, Fish (all variants, Hanni, etc) have had excellent control and combo matchups (due to it's disruptive nature), but have lacked in the aggro and aggro-control dept. I mean, when I see stuff like, "we beat Gofy Sligh, because our creatures are superior" just raises doubt in my mind; REALLY? You have creatures better than Goyf in your deck?

I don't see how/why this deck would be played over Hanni Fish, and even then, Hanni Fish is rarely played.

Mirrislegend
12-03-2008, 12:23 PM
There are only two items in this deck that are actually innovative. Weathered Wayfarer and Ancestral Visions. We've seen everything else before.

That being said, these two additions has clearly leveraged this build of Fish up and over any past build. But why? They're both sources of card advantage, but that doesn't really explain it sufficiently as past Fish designs have had multiple sources of card advantage. So what is it about these two cards? Or is it one moreso than the other? I think if we can answer those questions, then we can just take these newly rediscovered cards and use them in generally better decks.

EDIT:
Oh, and wtf @ Wayfarer and no utility lands?

Swing4Five
12-03-2008, 12:28 PM
I am definately on the bandwagon of moar Daze & Stifle to increase the deck to insane mana-disruption levels.

edit: and yeah, those matchup numbers seem fairly uncircumspect.

pi4meterftw
12-03-2008, 07:02 PM
None of our creatures are singly better than goyf (Although Grunt trumps goyf, which has a slightly different meaning.) But even if you don't take into account that grunt trumps goyf, one sees that we still have other formibidable creature tricks to which goyf sligh does not have access to (Jitte, sizable flyers, epochrasite, swords.) Also, speaking numerically, decks with burn seem to be able to just finish you off. How often do you burn a player out still holding 10 damage of burn in your hand? As such, being able to counter spells and gain life using jitte, or force them to burn our creatures also helps. Swords is a big deal though.

I tend to believe that my testing versus forbiddian is credible because I know him irl and he is a rather logical person. However, I'd be interested in testing versus more opponents and in the mean time that may shed some light for me or you as far as what the "true" matchups are. Granted we may not be able to play more than 2-4 games in a given session and so that's hardly any information, at least it might reveal if what I'm saying the deck does is really what happens in practice. (It has been in my experience of course or else I wouldn't be posting here.)

Also, I am not claiming to blow everything out of the water. W thresh and Goblins at 60% is hardly a domination, and those are two of the most common decks in the format. Also, I may have forgotten some matchups. For instance, we have not even tested versus Wombat, which looks to be quite horrible for us. It may not be possible to dominate a significant majority of the decks people might play, but if not, we at least choose to lose to the less common decks. Also, be wary of the psychological factors. It seems like 60% as I said is being interpretted as a domination, whereas it seems almost like if I reported a 49% win percentage, one would be tempted to count it as a loss. The only matchups I go into "expecting" to win are those with about 75% or higher. (Like when I go into Goblins, I think of it as a tossup, albeit a slightly weighted tossup.)

puppektion
12-03-2008, 11:10 PM
So... What does this deck do against say... Any chalice stompy (especially Dragon Stompy)? I ask this to most "new" decks I see because it's a valid threat in the current metagame.

Combination of Chalice and Moon effects... seems like a good way to make this deck bend over

Forbiddian
12-03-2008, 11:37 PM
Thanks for the comments, everyone. It's nice to see that people are interested in this deck. I think that some of the numbers are a tiny bit inflated, but I'd be happy to bet even money against any deck listed except Ichorid and TES.

Pretty much whenever people post a new deck and matchup analysis, they're full of shit/didn't test it/made some wild extrapolation based on hope/were just plain wrong. I might be wrong, but the first three are definitely out of the question. We tested these matchups a lot (except Goyf Sligh, which we really should get back to).



To tie up a few loose ends:


Have you ever tried mana maze as a sideboard for the combo match up? It can be used at times against control decks as well.

I really don't see how that'd be superior to Thorn of Amethyst. It pitches to Force of Will, I guess.

On the downside, though, it doesn't stop attempts to destroy it at end of turn. Thorn of Amethyst makes Chain of Vapor cost 1U. More importantly, it makes Wipe Away cost 2UU. Bam. A second Thorn of Amethyst also makes it nearly impossible to win the game whereas a second Mana Maze does little to nothing.

As another downside to Mana Maze, TES players can simply play an artifact in between every cast. Orim's Chant, Dark Ritual, Chrome Mox, Cabal Ritual, Lotus Petal, Ad Nauseum. Resolving your anti-combo hate and watching the combo player barely even jump through any hoops and beat you has to be a real piss off.


On a side note, Kitchen Finks is one of the best creatures ever printed, especially for aggro-control. He creates card and/or tempo advantage, and is aggressively costed.

I like Kitchen Finks a lot. Three reasons why he didn't make it into this deck: The casting cost.

Requiring 3 mana to play out anything is really not what this deck wants to do. It would hurt our ability to keep pressure on while playing Dazes, it would also hurt our ability to Wayfarer. If we want to vial it in, we basically have to waste our Vial. Vial @ 2 lets us play ANYTHING. That's a big advantage, since anything we draw into can potentially be a combat trick to 1:0 on a Nimble Mongoose. Vial @ 3 is like throwing a Vial away.


I am definately on the bandwagon of moar Daze & Stifle to increase the deck to insane mana-disruption levels.

I run 3 daze in my version. I do not like Stifle, because this deck cannot abuse it and it's very anti-synergistic. If the opponent doesn't have fetchlands, Stifle is dead. Secondly, if the opponent just plays them well, Stifle is dead. Lastly, Stifle requires you to stay open, which is the opposite of what the deck wants to do. The deck wants to play out a minimum of land and use Wayfarer or Brainstorm to abuse that.

pi4meterftw
12-04-2008, 12:04 AM
@Mirrislegend: AV is just straight card advantage. I didn't realize epochrasite was a usual choice for fish. But Wayfarer is more than just card advantage. Very few decks play on as few lands as us. Therefore, wayfarer can sometimes end a game. Even if it doesn't, it's still a significant swing if one locks his opponent out of a color or two, or out of nonbasic lands altogether. (So essentially out of lands altogether these days.)

You don't just fetch lands and then try to throw them away brainstorming. You fetch wastelands and get your opponents to stop trying to hit the 3-4 land they want to have in play and just to be "content" with 1-2.

Mirrislegend
12-04-2008, 07:56 AM
If the mana disruption is a significant element, as you're implying, the deck NEEDS to capitalize on it by running Stifle and Daze. It's really just that simple. The question is what to drop for it. Maybe 1-2 Vial, 1-2 Avenger, 1 Epochrasite?

Forbiddian
12-04-2008, 01:51 PM
I run 3 daze in my version. I do not like Stifle, because this deck cannot abuse it and it's very anti-synergistic. If the opponent doesn't have fetchlands, Stifle is dead. Secondly, if the opponent just plays them well, Stifle is dead. Lastly, Stifle requires you to stay open, which is the opposite of what the deck wants to do. The deck wants to play out a minimum of land and use Wayfarer or Brainstorm to abuse that.


If the mana disruption is a significant element, as you're implying, the deck NEEDS to capitalize on it by running Stifle and Daze. It's really just that simple.

Do you tell Epic Painter players that they should run Millstone because decking the opponent is a significant element of their deck?

We don't run Stifle to randomly try to mana screw opponents. We run Wayfarer to prevent them from doing anything, forcing them to use creature removal on Wayfarer, and then we move on to Plan B, which is: "Play Aggro Control against an opponent who used his creature removal taking out our one-drop." We also occasionally get lucky like if they have to dig for creature removal and we can sculpt a winning board position even before each player has a second land on the table.

Fetchland kill is not a strategy that the deck needs to support, and not one that the deck really can support. Wayfarer does that just fine on his own.

pi4meterftw
12-04-2008, 01:59 PM
Also, don't forget that stifling the opponent's land prevents wayfarer activations. Why spend U and a card to nail the land when we can just spend W and no card instead? Daze is good. I prefer 2 just because I like the marginal + to the TES matchup, as well as the fact that I'm not a particular fan of 2 dazes in my hand, since it always feels like there's probably not going to be 2 good opportunities to daze. (Yes, there will be 2 opportunities to daze, but good spells? Probably not, since it has to be that twice, a good spell was the spell that my opponent tapped out for.)

But Forbiddian makes a good point that Force of will is often times a disadvantage, since you have to pitch a blue card, and sometimes it's even uncastable for that same reason. Drawing more than one is never a problem, though, since you just pitch one to the other.

We are, in particular, looking for suggestions on ways to hate ichorid and TES so we can pick up our bad matchups. If you happen to have insight as to how to hate these concurrently with all the stuff we're hating now, tell us!

Ex: If there's a card that is like, as Forbiddian has once suggested:

leyline of the oldschool player:
2WU
you may begin the game with leyline of the oldschool player in play if it is in your opening hand.

No storm spells, cards going to graveyards instead are removed from the game. No taking more than 5 minutes on a given turn. Leyline of the oldschool player cannot be targetted.

Obviously nothing will exist that is such an obvious answer to our question, but if it's possible even to hate ichorid or TES concurrently with anything else, we'd be interested.

Phoenix Ignition
12-04-2008, 03:27 PM
Obviously nothing will exist that is such an obvious answer to our question, but if it's possible even to hate ichorid or TES concurrently with anything else, we'd be interested.


Against TES:
True Believer, Glowrider (too slow), Ethersworn Canonist, Orim's Chant, Abeyance, Children of Korlis (sac after X storm went off), CotV, 3sphere(too slow), Rule of Law (too slow), more daze, stifle (Not good through their chant), Cursecatcher, Counterbalance + top (dunno how good your mana base is for that) Back to Basics (meh).

Against Ichorid:
More Jotun Grunt, Cursecatcher (sac on your own spells when it gets bad), Children of Korlis, Glowrider (marginally), Crypt, leylineotV, Relic, Propaganda, Ghostly Prison, The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale (great with Wayfarer, not so much since they have ~no lands though so you can't fetch it), Moat, Magus of the Tabernacle, Magus of the Moat (lol), echoing truth, Pendrell mists, Wispmare.


Brainstorm of cards that hurt either. Looks like Children of Korlis is actually your best choice to stop either. I like Cursecatcher as well, it's really a pain in the ass for TES to play against. I would also suggest adding in a The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale in your sideboard for the off chance that you can search for it with Wayfarer against the Ichorid.

Swing4Five
12-04-2008, 03:52 PM
I don't understand your anti-stifle comments.

I run 3 daze in my version. I do not like Stifle, because this deck cannot abuse it and it's very anti-synergistic. If the opponent doesn't have fetchlands, Stifle is dead.
The deck has an agressive mana-denial plan, Stifle is a further tool to supplement this. Nine out of ten decks in the metagame run fetchlands in spades; and Stifle does not read "Counter target fetchland activation." Even those that do not run a complement of Fetches usually have plenty of targets.
Off the top of my head: Mono-U Control has Powder Kegs and Shackles at the very least. Chalice Stompy decks have equipment and Chrome Moxen (although this matchup they would be boarded out agianst, unless you have a unreasonable amount of Stompy in your meta this isn't much of a consideration).

Secondly, if the opponent just plays [their fetchlands] well, Stifle is dead.
In "playing their fetchlands well", by which you mean playing their fetchlands around Stifle, the opponent is slowing down their gameplan considerably, which this deck seems quite capable of taking advantage of.

Lastly, Stifle requires you to stay open, which is the opposite of what the deck wants to do. The deck wants to play out a minimum of land and use Wayfarer or Brainstorm to abuse that.
Are you regularly playing brainstorm and activating Wayfarer during your mainphase? These are not sorcery-speed abilities, yes I understand you are going to want to abuse Wayfarer to Wasteland the opponents resources ASAP, but you can do that instead of holding Stifle. Having Stifle in your hand doesn't transform your gameplan the moment you draw it; it supplements your gameplan. Additionally, if you don't have an additional mana up it doesn't matter what that card in your hand is, you wouldn't be playing it anyways.

Forbiddian
12-04-2008, 04:02 PM
Children of Korlis looks really good, actually. Gets in play turn 1 and the effects stack. It's not as much of a lock as like, Thorn of Amethyst, but it's half the price and it contributes to the clock slightly.

Cursecatcher also looks amazing. Against Ichorid, don't sac at your own spells, you sac at their spells. Their only sac outlets are Cabal Therapy and Dread Return. You can always respond to those before they get the tokens (and there's an intervening 'if' clause so if you can remove the bridges before the tokens resolve, they don't get tokens).


Thanks for the suggestions, those are great finds!

Unless I'm missing something, Cursecatcher looks better against Ichorid and Children of Korlis looks better against TES, but I'll have to test both to find the right blend. Either way, Thorn of Amethyst is no longer in my sideboard and both our matchups are stronger for it.

Mirrislegend
12-04-2008, 04:09 PM
I'm gonna have to +1 what Swing4Five just said. He words the arguments for Stifle very well. Forbiddian and pi4meterftw, please please take some time to respond to them thoroughly, as they're very solid points.

frogboy
12-04-2008, 04:16 PM
How do you ever beat white thresh with Counterbalance or any of the Intuition/Counterbalance/Deed decks?

pi4meterftw
12-04-2008, 04:41 PM
I don't understand your anti-stifle comments.

The deck has an agressive mana-denial plan, Stifle is a further tool to supplement this. Nine out of ten decks in the metagame run fetchlands in spades; and Stifle does not read "Counter target fetchland activation." Even those that do not run a complement of Fetches usually have plenty of targets.
Off the top of my head: Mono-U Control has Powder Kegs and Shackles at the very least. Chalice Stompy decks have equipment and Chrome Moxen (although this matchup they would be boarded out agianst, unless you have a unreasonable amount of Stompy in your meta this isn't much of a consideration).

In "playing their fetchlands well", by which you mean playing their fetchlands around Stifle, the opponent is slowing down their gameplan considerably, which this deck seems quite capable of taking advantage of.

Are you regularly playing brainstorm and activating Wayfarer during your mainphase? These are not sorcery-speed abilities, yes I understand you are going to want to abuse Wayfarer to Wasteland the opponents resources ASAP, but you can do that instead of holding Stifle. Having Stifle in your hand doesn't transform your gameplan the moment you draw it; it supplements your gameplan. Additionally, if you don't have an additional mana up it doesn't matter what that card in your hand is, you wouldn't be playing it anyways.

Playing their fetchlands "well" usually does not involve any sort of wholesale manipulation of their game plan. At least when I'm playing against stifle, I have never saw anything like. "Dangit. I wanted to play X. But then I couldn't sac my sac land for fear of stifle. So I didn't play X." I also rarely paid for this mentality.

I addressed your first point about why I am not interested in fetchland stifling anyway. We'd rather just kill their lands with wayfarer since it's also card advantage. And if we can't do it, then we don't care about killing one of their lands. The way wayfarer works is: games I get it, I play mana denial. Games I don't get it, I play aggro versus control, and control versus aggro. But then, as I said, in either case, stifle is all for nought.

Lastly, I, at least, regularly mainphase wayfarer activations. A common situation is one in which you have 1 fewer land than your opponent (especially in the beginning of the game) but then you also want to play a land. I also commonly mainphase brainstorm because I might draw something that is only castable at sorcery speed. In any case, there is nothing to lose since all my countermagic is free. I'll admit that it, at first, seems compelling that our argument of "not having the mana for it" is a little suspect because we, then, could not afford other spells. But that's not the entirety of the argument. The important points are above. But to answer this question, what everything drives at is that we actually don't want to cast stifle anyway. We'd rather have the open option of an extra card. To be precise, suppose we have card X, which we are debating on whether to run stifle or card Y. We'd rather have card Y assuming it's anything remotely useful, since we would never play card X. It might be that our entire hand is < card Y, so if we had it, we would actually play card Y instead of whatever spells we just spent our turn casting. Also, we eventually end up casting almost everything. (obviously, or else we'd have to work on our curve. The exception is when I play against opponents so blind to the power of wayfarer that they actually keep playing land even though they need to stop. Then I keep just drawing a wasteland and a card per turn and they wonder why they get mana screwed. Of course this never happens when forbiddian and I test.)

Lastly, stifling shackles and other repeatable effects is not an excuse for stifle. One ought not merely to name a bunch of things stifle *can* target, but only things where one could conceivably want to stifle. (Actually, something stronger is required. (stronger since most cards people run are good.) This stronger requirement is that the stifle targets have to actually be on the average worth more than the card we're cutting. Let's stick to somewhat vague requirement of "good" for now though.)

It's just like the argument to run swords to plowshares is not to kill eager cadet or scornful egotist, but rather to kill tarmogoyf and the like. Only this time with stifle, there's no analog of tarmogoyf of which I'm aware. (As we stated, we don't agree that fetchlands are this analog.)

Forbiddian
12-04-2008, 05:05 PM
How do you ever beat white thresh with Counterbalance or any of the Intuition/Counterbalance/Deed decks?


Counterbalance Thresh isn't too bad. It's a tough matchup, but I'm not scared of the Counterbalance part of it. Aether Vial plays out about half of our deck just right there. Also, we have a decent number of counters and Meddling Mage has proven pretty effective at stopping the two card combo. One trick is vialing him in or just casting him when the opponent puts their SDT on top of the deck. It's definitely hard AFTER the combo gets up, but assembling a two card combo with no redundancy at the start of the game happens fairly rarely and we have a lot of outs before that happens.

Even after CT hits the table (second game and third game) we have some sideboard removal, although we're often on the back foot if the game comes to that.

White Thresh IS a tough matchup, though. It depends a lot on luck and what the sideboards look like and what they choose to bring in.



Deed out and resolved sucks, and we're generally set back very much by Deed. But assuming that Deed just magically appears in play and wipes the board out isn't looking at the matchup correctly.

0) We play out Weathered Wayfarer and prevent you from getting to 3 land. Usually we don't draw him or you have a counter for it or removal, but keep in mind that this is our first line of defense against Deed.
1) It's hard to find (although I generally count on players being able to get the good cards out of their decks, it's worth noting that some games they just won't be able to draw one).
2) It's hard to get BG for Deed, even if they ignore trying to secure UU with basic lands, they still need at least two nonbasics out.
3) They need to be able to get BG without broadcasting Deed because we have potentially Meddling Mage.
4) If we don't overextend, they can usually only get a 2:1, sometimes a 3:1 trade with their Deed. Ancestral Visions does the same for us, effectively countering the Deed. Also, in general, we require way fewer lands than they do, so we usually have more business spells anyway.
5) Speaking of counters, yeah, we run 6. It's not inconceivable that they spend all this time setting up Deed and then we just have the Force of Will and keep playing.
6) It takes a turn to play Deed and a turn to activate. This gives us time to respond with sideboarded answers if it's game 2-3. Or if we get to three land first and get a bit of luck, we can play Aura of Silence and make it extremely difficult for them to play Deed.
7) Now Deed has presumably activated. We now might get back Epochrasite. If not that sucks. Maybe you're low on life and we can drop out another creature.

If you were able to Deed away all our threats and you still have a lot of life remaining and a big hand and lots of land in play and we don't have AV or Epochrasite suspended to try to recover, then NoGoyf seriously failed that game. I can't think of any way we'd let that happen without a fight except for like the Great Flood of 2008.


Yeah, Deed sucks for us, but NoGoyf is not UW Fish. We don't need 4 creatures on the table to set up an efficient clock. We also run more creatures total in the deck, so we recover faster, and again some of our creatures come back.

Lastly Weathered Wayfarer and Ancestral Visions are at least as scary for Deed Control as Deed is for us.

Phoenix Ignition
12-04-2008, 05:12 PM
It's just like the argument to run swords to plowshares is not to kill eager cadet or scornful egotist, but rather to kill tarmogoyf and the like. Only this time with stifle, there's no analog of tarmogoyf of which I'm aware. (As we stated, we don't agree that fetchlands are this analog.)

Don't get me wrong, I love this deck idea and absolutely hate tarmogoyf so am trying to find aggro decks that don't need him and can fight just as well against him, but stifle really does seem like a good card in this deck. The main reason to run it would be your terrible matchup to anything with Deeds + goyf. I can't see how this deck is going to come back from someone middle to late game (so you aren't usually holding removal in the form of swords) popping a deeds and laying down a goyf. None of your creatures can put up a decent fight vs goyf on their own.

You could argue that you'll just name that with Meddling Mage, but most decks with deeds either run StoP + vindicate, or Snuff out, or EE, or other cards that are going to first wreck your mage, and then nuke the board.

I'm also still not sold on your epochrasites. It may be more of just a cool card than a solid contender in here, and I haven't heard a convincing enough argument to validate it's spot in here. You've mentioned it as the worst creature slot in your deck and I'm in complete agreement.

The creature that should take it's place is logically Whipcorder :eek:. Don't drop me a point just yet, you really should try him out before any sort of judgment is made. A 2/2 for 2 makes sure he isn't terrible, while his ability is far better than epochrasite's at being a wall. His control aspect has slipped under the radar as being any sort of decent creature, but I feel he fits the current meta game so perfectly that he should be included.

Most decks only run 8 creatures (goyf, tombstalker), and almost every deck runs a goyf. Your white dudes have to either die to him to charge up your jitte enough to be a threat, or you chump block him and hope they don't get multiples. Whipcorder clears the path for your creatures against this creature low metagame, and ensures you don't have to worry about a goyf.

If you had more slots you could even throw in Ramosian Sergeant for good way to get card advantage. She works nicely with my previously mentioned combo-hoser Children of Korlis. Just disregard this paragraph though, I'm daydreaming of the days where fun decks could win tournaments.

Forbiddian
12-04-2008, 05:58 PM
In "playing their fetchlands well", by which you mean playing their fetchlands around Stifle, the opponent is slowing down their gameplan considerably, which this deck seems quite capable of taking advantage of.

I'll give you an example of what I mean by playing fetchlands well and what I mean by staying open:

You're playing some deck with fetches against an unknown opponent. You're on the play. You play a land and immediately fetchland without passing the turn. Now Stifle does not affect you. I don't see how that slowed you down.

You're playing NoGoyf on the draw. Your opponent messed up. He has a fetchland that he didn't crack. You play out a Tundra and you have Weathered Wayfarer (or any other 1 drop) and Stifle in hand. Do you play the Wayfarer? If you do, you'll definitely miss out on any possible shot of Stifling. Even if your opponent had TWO fetchlands, when he sees that you're playing blue and tapped out, he'll run out his other fetchland and crack them before passing his next turn. Again, he's playing around Stifle, but I don't see how that slowed him down. If you don't play the Wayfarer to stay open for Stifle, well... I think I just proved my point about Stifle. It forces you to make suboptimal plays just to stay open.


What I was talking about with Brainstorm/Wayfarer is this very common situation:

You have two land in play and one in hand. Between those three, you have one fetch. Also in hand is a brainstorm as well as a decent two drop (and the dreaded Stifle). If you play your two drop and pass with the fetchland open (to stay open for Stifle) you run into some problems:

If they don't display a Stifle target and you try to brainstorm endstep, you're stuck with the garbage that you get. Best case scenario: You get a fetchland with your next draw, but you're still stuck with 4 land (which is too many, especially since you're bound to draw step into a few more during the rest of the game). Also there's a tiny chance that you draw two cards that you don't want and a fetch. A better chance is drawing no fetch and two cards you don't want. THAT sucks. Or worse you Storm into two land. jeez. Now you're running two extra dead cards over ideal play.

The other option if you passed your turn with fetch open (and they don't present a Stifle target on their turn) is to pass the endstep without trying to resolve Brainstorm. This is obviously unideal because it slows you down (but I think superior to Brainstorming without a fetch immediately open when I'm staring at a potential mana flood).

What you really want to do is Brainstorm immediately. You see if you get a better play than the two drop you had in mind. Also, if you draw into any extra land, you can shuffle it away and not get stuck with four (or potentially even five). That play is much, much better than staying open for Stifle (so much so that I'm sure my play would be to Brainstorm immediately and then shuffle away my Stifle).

The last alternative is that you leave the fetch open and they present a Stifle target. Again, you stranded your Brainstorm if you fetch and then Stifle. You're hoping to draw into fetchlands but at the same time land is dead weight. You wouldn't have had to bear that crap if you'd just mainphased the Brainstorm. Maybe you lucksack a mana screw on them with your Stifle or you stifle a surprise Deed, but whatever your Stifle did, it'd better make a huge impact because it slowed your brainstorm by a turn and left it stranded to the card gods and the top four cards of your deck.

A similar situation happens on turn 2 when you have hard land + fetch and you want to resolve Brainstorm and a 1-drop.


These are all situations where you have to play around your own deck in order to prevent Stifle from being a dead card (and one situation where you're opponent got a free +1 for not being an idiot and timing his turn properly).

It boils down to this: Unless you Stifle in the first turn or two, you're very unlikely to find a juicy fetchland target that will really set your opponent back. This deck cannot afford to waste its first turn staying open, as it runs like 11 one drops that are time sensitive not counting Brainstorm and Swords (unlike Team America, which has like 0 1-drops and can support Stifle disruption with Sinkholes).

I fail to see when you think you're going to cast Stifle or how this doesn't fuck up our gameplan. We always have a turn 1 drop. We always have a turn 2 drop. Either you postpone those plays indefinitely in order to try your luck at the Stifle game, or you play like normal for the first two turns and then try to Stifle something after your turn 3 (and even then, I listed a very common situation where Stifle is terrible on turn 3, pretty much that situation comes up every time you have a Brainstorm).

And we haven't even started to talk about what you'd cut for Stifle and how much more useful those would be. Someone suggested Vial, Epochrasite, Serra Avenger. Yeah. Clearly our primary threats are much less helpful to the deck than occasionally nabbing a poorly played third turn fetchland.


I don't get what there is to talk about Stifle, but I guess people really want to see ALL the analysis since it's great in Team America or Dreadstill. We don't run Sinkhole, we don't run Dreadnought, and we have 19 spells that cost 1 mana that we'd rather play than Stifle.

SHeli
12-04-2008, 06:03 PM
You could always play Stifle and Whipcorder: http://magiccards.info/di/en/141.html

The Guildmage also acts as landdestruction for fetches to prevent them from getting the few wasteland-proof lands they have.
Additionally he can tap more then one creature once you get to (sometimes it does happen) 6 mana.

Dunno how good he/she is, but looks like it might be considered to run.

frogboy
12-04-2008, 06:53 PM
0) We play out Weathered Wayfarer and prevent you from getting to 3 land. Usually we don't draw him or you have a counter for it or removal, but keep in mind that this is our first line of defense against Deed.

Isn't this strategy basically incapable of beating, say, a fetchland? Your clock is fairly anemic and you don't have any burn so your Dazes get blanked pretty quickly and at that point virtually every spell in the Deed deck is insane and your relevant cards are Force, Jitte, and random small animals.

Valtrix
12-04-2008, 08:39 PM
So, why exactly aren't you running 4 dazes? Isn't that the best way to capitalize on your mana disruption? I mean, when you're disrupting their mana, it makes daze so much better and functional. But not only that, it lets you return a land to your hand, which lets you abuse wayfarer even more.

But still...I don't see why preventing an opponent from getting to three mana is really super relevant in the format. Maybe two, but they have to get to that anyway. It just seems like a weak denial plan to me, compared to moon effects that just shut land down, or Team America that goes all out and wants to keep the opponent off 1 land.

pi4meterftw
12-07-2008, 11:52 AM
We discovered burrenton forge tender. Seems to be better than BEB effects since it still functions as hate versus red, and it can still trade for a burn spell, but on top of all this, it is able to hate ichorid. We tested another 10 sideboarded games and I won 5 of them on nogoyf. (We alternated who played first, which actually really matters.)

However, since our chances of winning game 1 are rather poor, we calculated that we now have about a 44% chance of winning the match versus ichorid. That's not stellar, but it's good to know that we're not walking into the tournament ready to scoop a match just because of an unlucky pairing.

Phoenix Ignition
12-07-2008, 12:26 PM
We discovered burrenton forge tender. Seems to be better than BEB effects since it still functions as hate versus red, and it can still trade for a burn spell, but on top of all this, it is able to hate ichorid. We tested another 10 sideboarded games and I won 5 of them on nogoyf. (We alternated who played first, which actually really matters.)

However, since our chances of winning game 1 are rather poor, we calculated that we now have about a 44% chance of winning the match versus ichorid. That's not stellar, but it's good to know that we're not walking into the tournament ready to scoop a match just because of an unlucky pairing.

But now you still have a worse MU vs TES and ANT. I really don't get why you like Burrenton over Curse Catcher or Children of Korlis. Both of these would help a lot in any combo MU, and did you really want to replace your BEB with it? BEB will take out goblins and burning wish while Forge-tender sucks at pretty much everything. I would not agree with your current change.

And to answer my previous comment, have you tried Azorius Guildmage or Whipcorder in the Epoch slot. Epoch just isn't good enough and if you wanted a wall either of these two provide a much better one.

Forbiddian
12-07-2008, 01:43 PM
But now you still have a worse MU vs TES and ANT. I really don't get why you like Burrenton over Curse Catcher or Children of Korlis. Both of these would help a lot in any combo MU, and did you really want to replace your BEB with it? BEB will take out goblins and burning wish while Forge-tender sucks at pretty much everything. I would not agree with your current change.

Children of Korlis (I was mistaken in thinking it'd be great earlier) does about a fat zero against combo. I playtested multiple goldfish orders and it only marginally increased the fizzle rate. If TES resolves Ad Nauseum and then Tendrils of Agony, they can almost always continue playing and resolve either IGG, another AdN, or another Tendrils of Agony. Also, they can Chain of Vapor or suicide banish the CoK after AdN but before Tendrils. They see like half their deck after AdN and usually dig a solution.

The situation that it stops are ones where the combo player gets a bad AdNauseum, and the ones where the combo player tries to go for a non AdN kill (like with Hurkyl's midgame).

Children of Korlis does not even stop the turn 1 win. Especially when I draw and resolve hate cards, I don't like them using their plan A and winning. COK is out.

That leaves Burrenton Forge-Tender and Cursecatcher. To solve that problem, you have to look at what we're taking out:

4x Blast
2x Mind Harness
2x Aura of Silence
2x Oblivion Ring
4x Thorn of Amethyst
1x Jotun Grunt

Ok, so, I think just cutting four blasts for Cursecatcher would weaken the Goblin MU significantly. Cutting Thorn for Cursecatcher is ridiculous, because Cursecatcher is shitty next to Thorn and that would weaken our TES matchup a lot. It's like a sinkhole for 1, which is decent, but nowhere near the serious lock element that Thorn is.

Cutting anything else weakens fringe matchups that would not benefit from Cursecatcher.

Burrenton Forge-Tender, on the other hand, is solid against Goblins as an answer to turn 1 lackey and it trades with Piledriver (as well as often walling out smaller critters). It also is a target for Umezawa's Jitte, unlike BEB. These situations are common enough to the point that I actually think BFT is BETTER than Blue Elemental Blast. I hope you understand that the sacrifice ability is rarely used. He's mainly a 1/1 Pro Red with a sometimes useful ability. He's like a Mother of Runes (which is just garbage, but at least one person kept thinking she'd be good) that has no summoning sickness. I don't understand why you think BEB would be so much better against Goblins.

The TES matchup is slightly weakened, but Blue Elemental Blast was rarely part of the main strategy. Often we'd tap out because it's better to drop threats on the board and put TES on an actual clock than hope this is the turn that they cast a red spell. Against the other forms of Ad Nauseum Tendrils (FT, AdN), Blue Elemental Blast is basically dead and doesn't get boarded in.

The matchups that I'm actually worried about with the shift away from BEBs are Dragonstompy and Aggroloam. Depending on your meta it might be better to keep BEBs in, and Ichorid is still a losing matchup with BFT, just it's at least possible to win. I think it went from like about 10% to 30%, maybe even 40%.

Ichorid sees less play after TES, but it's still a common enough matchup that the 20% increase in win ratio is pretty significant. Dragonstompy and Aggroloam are together as common as TES, but I don't think the trade between BEBs and BFTs will hurt the matchup 20%. Although getting Anarchied really sucks ass.



And to answer my previous comment, have you tried Azorius Guildmage or Whipcorder in the Epoch slot. Epoch just isn't good enough and if you wanted a wall either of these two provide a much better one.

AG, which I tested, although not in the Epochrasite slot, is horrible all the time. Apart from gimmicky tricks like vialing in to counter a Deed activation, it's really weak. It will never individually form a clock worth speaking of, so even if it trades 3 land for their Tarmogoyf, we're left in a bad situation where they can easily dig out more Goyfs. 2/2 is the anemic clock everyone's complaining about. 4/4 will kill someone with tempo. Oh, and Epochrasite sorta-counters Deed, so it seems silly to run such a gimmick card for a situation where Epoch isn't that bad.

This deck really doesn't have that much trouble with Goyfs or single-creature strategies anyway -- Swords, Jitte, and Jotun Grunt are typically enough.

Phoenix Ignition
12-07-2008, 02:56 PM
Children of Korlis (I was mistaken in thinking it'd be great earlier) does about a fat zero against combo. I playtested multiple goldfish orders and it only marginally increased the fizzle rate. If TES resolves Ad Nauseum and then Tendrils of Agony, they can almost always continue playing and resolve either IGG, another AdN, or another Tendrils of Agony. Also, they can Chain of Vapor or suicide banish the CoK after AdN but before Tendrils. They see like half their deck after AdN and usually dig a solution.

The situation that it stops are ones where the combo player gets a bad AdNauseum, and the ones where the combo player tries to go for a non AdN kill (like with Hurkyl's midgame).

I'm actually surprised that you're having such a hard time with TES to begin with. You run daze, force, and wastelands, which all screw the crap out of TES. Adding in Cursecatcher, while seemingly bad on paper, has playtested very well for me. Usually 2 well timed dazes are enough to stop the TES player from going off, and thus wastes their set up spells and storm count if they played their 0 cost artifacts. It is not easy for a TES player to play around a lot of annoyances and still go off, so if you are holding any sort of daze/counter in your had you probably should be able to stop them with a Cursecatcher on the board. I can see how CoK would crap out against AdN, but Cursecatcher completely stops them from getting it out.



That leaves Burrenton Forge-Tender and Cursecatcher. To solve that problem, you have to look at what we're taking out:

4x Blast
2x Mind Harness
2x Aura of Silence
2x Oblivion Ring
4x Thorn of Amethyst
1x Jotun Grunt

Ok, so, I think just cutting four blasts for Cursecatcher would weaken the Goblin MU significantly. Cutting Thorn for Cursecatcher is ridiculous, because Cursecatcher is shitty next to Thorn and that would weaken our TES matchup a lot. It's like a sinkhole for 1, which is decent, but nowhere near the serious lock element that Thorn is.

Cutting anything else weakens fringe matchups that would not benefit from Cursecatcher.


I'm going to first argue that cutting Thorn for Cursecatcher is not shitty against TES. Maybe it was just my playtesting (which was over 10 games when I played Triton's Minions against TES... a similar deck in terms of control), but in a deck with wastelands vs TES, daze and Cursecatcher are going to be nuts. Your initial mana denial from wasteland is going to hurt them enough that the daze/CC are going to stall them much longer than they can handle. A 1 turn clock is good against them because going off with AdN starting at 10 life is usually not game over for you as long as you've been doing your job controlling their mana. Thorn is just overkill when you get it, but turn 2 is much worse than turn 1 since TES averages turn 2-3. It's also much more easily destroyed (multiples don't even help you) by shattering spree, which they all run. Many of the new TES don't run Grapeshot in the sideboard, but having a 1/1 swinging at them will damage them enough that AdN will go on to suck.



Burrenton Forge-Tender, on the other hand, is solid against Goblins as an answer to turn 1 lackey and it trades with Piledriver (as well as often walling out smaller critters). It also is a target for Umezawa's Jitte, unlike BEB. These situations are common enough to the point that I actually think BFT is BETTER than Blue Elemental Blast. I hope you understand that the sacrifice ability is rarely used. He's mainly a 1/1 Pro Red with a sometimes useful ability. He's like a Mother of Runes (which is just garbage, but at least one person kept thinking she'd be good) that has no summoning sickness. I don't understand why you think BEB would be so much better against Goblins.

Any 1/1 creature is generally solid against a turn 1 lackey, but if you're talking about BFT vs BEB then either would work. 1/1 pro red is so much worse than BEB against gobbos that it shouldn't even be a contest. We all know that a wall vs gobbos doesn't beat them. It's obviously way better to counter their Ringleader, Warchief, Kikki Jikki, Siege Gang, and Matron rather than chump block it. And if you top deck the BEB it auto kills their warchief, which slows them down way more than them having to get around a 1/1. But goblins aren't your top competition with this deck, so it isn't as big of a point as how good BEB is against dragon stompy and aggro loam. Obviously you'd rather run BEB against them.



The TES matchup is slightly weakened, but Blue Elemental Blast was rarely part of the main strategy. Often we'd tap out because it's better to drop threats on the board and put TES on an actual clock than hope this is the turn that they cast a red spell. Against the other forms of Ad Nauseum Tendrils (FT, AdN), Blue Elemental Blast is basically dead and doesn't get boarded in.

I don't think tapping out is necessary against combo. You need to stop them from going off, not out-tempo them with creatures. You'll always lose that battle. I don't think that "tapping out" is a strategy that this deck has to follow against everything you come up against, especially if you want to BS for the FoW to beat them. If you kept your BEB for one of their accels or a burning wish, then you probably have a much greater chance of winning than if you played a Jitte or something. Remember that AdN does require a lot of starting life or it starts to suck. Even at 10 it's just barely enough to win usually.

I'm not saying this in a mean way at all, but you should really try playing TES against a deck like this if you haven't. Finding mana starters is hard as hell in TES if you keep getting wastelanded. TES usually needs a black and a red mana to go off, and if you can stop either of these then it is usually going to be game.




AG, which I tested, although not in the Epochrasite slot, is horrible all the time. Apart from gimmicky tricks like vialing in to counter a Deed activation, it's really weak. It will never individually form a clock worth speaking of, so even if it trades 3 land for their Tarmogoyf, we're left in a bad situation where they can easily dig out more Goyfs. 2/2 is the anemic clock everyone's complaining about. 4/4 will kill someone with tempo. Oh, and Epochrasite sorta-counters Deed, so it seems silly to run such a gimmick card for a situation where Epoch isn't that bad.

This deck really doesn't have that much trouble with Goyfs or single-creature strategies anyway -- Swords, Jitte, and Jotun Grunt are typically enough.

Yeah, epoch is okay but I'm sure we can find a better creature out there. I wouldn't say that it counters deed either, just because it takes so long to recur and generally the deed player is going to Volrath's Stronghold their recurring creature faster than you are.

Forbiddian
12-07-2008, 04:14 PM
Thanks for all your input, Phoenix Ignition. I know you spend lots of time typing up those posts and your critical analysis is fun to debate against.

If you have any free time like later or after this week, if you'd like to play either against this deck or with this deck against Jeff or me on Magic Workstation, I think it would help you understand how the deck works so that you can better channel your analysis or at least understand where we're coming from.

This deck is very much different from UW Fish, and it's unbelievably different from Triton's Minions after Morningtide.

Mirrislegend
12-08-2008, 10:21 AM
Just a random idea here. Ever consider going from equal parts aggro control to more aggro than control? Drop the dazes and wastelands, add in Factories and the last AV and Jitte. Ta-daa, insta-aggro, with a built in long game and some protection!

Phoenix Ignition
12-08-2008, 10:40 PM
Just playtested this on MWS and I'm actually a little disappointed. Epoch is definitely not the best it could be in here, and Chalice did get off on me 3 times at 1, before I had a vial out (usually on their first turn) and without me having force. One time I did have a FoW but no blue cards to back it up. Which got me to thinking that Epoch in my hand should damn well better be blue or it isn't worth playing him (residual anger from the stupid chalice he played).

So after losing to back to basics + 2 propaganda (got him to 2 before getting morphlinged), I also think you should take out a fetch for one more island. I actually got my one basic island Annex'd in one game... who would have thought.

So lack of blue cards, lack of punch late game, and lack of basics were my main critiques about this deck. But oh my god Wayfarer is broken, I just really wished I could find a land in there that he could turn the game around with though. Tabernacle probably isn't the best option, but what about something like Maze of Ith. I'd like a functional land like barbarian ring, but that's probably not happening with white blue. I just got tired of having such card advantage and no way to use it. I wish there was some card like seismic assault that I could have pumped those into, because after that chalice for one I had virtually no removal effects and not enough control to make my Jitte resolve.

I ended up replacing Epoch with Cursecatcher, and I like this change because daze effects are great in this deck.

One drastic change that I would enjoy seeing is making it more like D&T, with Karakas and Isamaru, and hopefully other combat tricks. At least there would be an interesting land to search for, and if you threw in mangara there would be some type of removal other than StoP. I don't think putting Mangara in will kill vial since he's so damn good with vial, and spreading this deck's mana curve out a little more would not be a bad thing. Chalice just completely rocked me.

Nessaja
12-09-2008, 02:43 PM
Wayfarer should make its way into Death&Taxes in general, it's perfect for that deck.

The two decks definitly seem to have a lot in common for general playstyle.. Blue gives counterspells and CA, I like the deck but I would go more in the direction of D&T as well.

Genericcactus
12-09-2008, 04:20 PM
What about Knight of Meadowgrain or Samurai of the Pale Curtain in the Epochrasite spot? Samurai helps against ichy and is a solid beater, and Knight eats goblins and lifelink is pretty sweet. Or even Deft Dualist? Can't be targeted, eats goblins, and can be pitched to Force.

Phoenix Ignition
12-09-2008, 06:09 PM
What about Knight of Meadowgrain or Samurai of the Pale Curtain in the Epochrasite spot? Samurai helps against ichy and is a solid beater, and Knight eats goblins and lifelink is pretty sweet. Or even Deft Dualist? Can't be targeted, eats goblins, and can be pitched to Force.

This deck already has about as many 2/2's for 2 as it can handle. I think it also really wants more blue cards, but deft duelist just sucks in every deck ever so that's not the route I would take. I also think it needs to spread out the mana curve more since, as I mentioned chalice @ 1 is lose if you have no vial already out. I really think mangara + karakas would help the deck out, as the synergy with wayfarer is amazing.

And I forgot to mention, in most games vs control I've managed to drain my entire deck of lands with wayfarer, and having an o-ring in there or something for the chance occurrence that you need to remove something from the table is probably quite worth it.

pi4meterftw
12-09-2008, 06:33 PM
See the sideboard for orings, auras, which are answers to chalice. I have a tough time believing that chalice resolved twice in a match where you had no FOW or enchantment removal game 2, and they played it game 1 both games. Cause anything short of that is not a problem.

Forbiddian
12-09-2008, 08:32 PM
Epoch is definitely not the best it could be in here, and Chalice did get off on me 3 times at 1, before I had a vial out (usually on their first turn) and without me having force. One time I did have a FoW but no blue cards to back it up. Which got me to thinking that Epoch in my hand should damn well better be blue or it isn't worth playing him (residual anger from the stupid chalice he played).

So after losing to back to basics + 2 propaganda (got him to 2 before getting morphlinged), I also think you should take out a fetch for one more island. I actually got my one basic island Annex'd in one game... who would have thought.

So lack of blue cards, lack of punch late game, and lack of basics were my main critiques about this deck.

Thanks for testing the deck. I thought your input would be more useful after testing. Send me an AIM tell and I'll give you some pointers against specific matches.

In the meantime, what deck were you playing against? MUC with Turn 1 Chalice @ 1?


Chalice is not scary. Like I said earlier, we're similar to Thresh in that Turn 1 Chalice @ 1 on the play sucks, but unlike Thresh, Turn 1 Chalice @ 1 from the draw (or Turn 2 Chalice @ 1) is such a nonfactor. Vial is just a hardcounter, and if we get Wayfarer down, that's all we wanted anyway. Keep in mind that AV resolves through Chalice.

Also, how were you boarding? We have numerous answers to Enchantment/Artifacts and Swords should come out against blue, leaving us with like Aether Vial, Wayfarer, and Brainstorm as the only Chalice targets. And each basically counters Chalice if they get out the door first. So we have like 24 answers if we're on the play and 12 targets.

I guess you got exceedingly unlucky. Mono Blue Control isn't a great matchup because of their immunity to Wayfarer lock, but it sucks that you lost to the total nonfactor cards that they normally board out, like Back to Basics and Chalice. Hope you understand that testing is really useful for getting a feeling of a deck, but that it takes a number of games before you can actually make value judgments. Many games, and even in some matchups, cards just bad, but it requires an alternative card that is superior in more situations before we'll actually decide to cut a card.

Thanks for your help in evaluating Epochrasite, but due to the fact that it's totally awesome and has been in dozens of matchups and hundreds of games, it's not getting the axe for Cursecatcher, which is generally terrible (too many 1-drops already, it's horrible if we have daze since we have to trade 2:1 to get a card, it's a total blank against Goblins, trash against Thresh, etc.).

Phoenix Ignition
12-09-2008, 10:32 PM
See the sideboard for orings, auras, which are answers to chalice. I have a tough time believing that chalice resolved twice in a match where you had no FOW or enchantment removal game 2, and they played it game 1 both games. Cause anything short of that is not a problem.

Was using your original post's sideboard:


sideboard:
1 jotun grunt
2 blue elemental blast
2 hydroblast
4 thorn of amethyst
2 aura of silence
2 mind harness

Aura of silence was the only thing that I got to board in, and the 2 of them did not show up before he killed me.

Feel free to update your original post to the new corrections, no one is going to look through pages of stuff to find a card or 2 change to the sideboard.

pi4meterftw
12-09-2008, 10:38 PM
My sideboard was originally 13 cards, not correctly typed into the original post. But how is it that you didn't notice this and brought a 13 card sideboard (illegally) into a game?

The two missing cards are oblivion rings.

Chalice of the void is not a problem. I would not get behind this deck if there was a 1 card combo that killed it on turn 1.

Phoenix Ignition
12-09-2008, 11:28 PM
My sideboard was originally 13 cards, not correctly typed into the original post. But how is it that you didn't notice this and brought a 13 card sideboard (illegally) into a game?

The two missing cards are oblivion rings.

Chalice of the void is not a problem. I would not get behind this deck if there was a 1 card combo that killed it on turn 1.

Good question. I threw in some Relic of Progenitus because I figured you'd have goyf problems. I didn't run into a goyf, but obviously you have artifact problems so I should probably put in some onion rings.

_erbs_
12-10-2008, 02:31 AM
Why is Knight of the White Orchid not part of deck ?

Phoenix Ignition
12-10-2008, 04:13 PM
Did some playtesting last night with Forbiddian. This deck really doesn't have much room for changing spots in and out. I'd like to urge people to playtest this before they suggest things (especially if you don't even say what to take out). Because trust me, no one wants to hear a Forbiddian rant on the subject:wink: .


Anyway, to get to the deck, the creatures are where he wants them and do what he wants them to do. I can't think of any 1-of lands that will actually improve any of this deck's MUs any. The hardest decks for this one to beat are pretty much any mono-colored deck that doesn't rely on staying on color to win. Usually the 4 turn wastelock was good enough to slow me down enough for him to win with the creatures, or at least get the jitte going which is quite hard to stop. What this deck needs are specific sideboard card suggestions that are backed up with logic on how to beat blue or white mono-colored control (including MUC, geddon stacks, Quinn, probably more), Faerie stompy, and possibly help against combo while we're at it.

Now that I've got what I think is good out, I'm going to just critique it a bit because I don't like how some interactions work. Keep in mind I have no actual suggestions on cards that would fix these, I'm just throwing them out there to see if anyone has a good idea (swing and miss so far with the suggestions on this deck though). First of all the blue card count seems low for FoW. Most of the blue cards in here that you would pitch to FoW aren't worth the card disadvantage. It seems to me like they're in here for just a little "haha combo, I still have a chance" action. Daze in 2s is also not a great way to have a consistent deck, just more of a way to try to make someone play a bit slower once they see a daze. The point can be made that daze sucks later on, but with more of them the FoW lack of pitchable blue cards problem would be fixed.

Secondly I really think it needs some sort of other removal card in here than StoP. I've been screwed quite a few times against a few decks that run a random artifact or enchantment main deck that completely shuts me down. I'm biased because I played a way higher percentage of these control decks online, but that has just helped me to see the problem.

I know the creators hate the idea, but I'm going to try out some karakas and mangara and maybe isamaru action in here, since I would really like to abuse vial and/or wayfarer more. I'll post results later.

pi4meterftw
12-11-2008, 01:54 PM
FOW tends to usually either be the best card in the deck or the worst. But it's the best against quite a few things:

Any storm combo (TES, fetchland tendrils, goblin charbelcher, solidarity, and other random stuff.)

Any deck that is based around a few cards (Survival of the fittest, decks that run intuition effects like ITF, life from the loam (Sure they can recur a bunch of lands but they need a seismic assault or devastating dreams, or at least a big fatty which we can also swords to matter at all), etc. etc.)

Also, faerie stompy. Chalice when we're on the play is nothing, but chalice on the draw can suck if we get unlucky and draw a hand of all 1 castings. (We only run 16, and we have to draw 3-4 for it to be truly devastating whereas the expected amount in our hand is 1-2, and chalice against that doesn't matter.)

Also, obviously anything that runs dreadnought it's nice to have FOW against.

In short, I could make a blanket statement and say any deck that has a combo in it that consists of or are based around a few cards is crippled by FOW. Having said that, I always board it out vs. straight aggro.

An alternative I've considered that Forbiddian would probably ridicule me for is a black alternative instead of blue. One would lose brainstorm, which was the primary reason continuing with blue, but cabal therapy would have some extra synergy with our grunts and epochrasites, and disruption would be 1 for 1 as opposed to 2 for 1 and a conditional 1 for 1. The mage slot would have to be the slightly worse WB 2/2 that steals a card from the opponent's hand temporarily, and ancestral visions would turn into dark confidant.

Also, we would get a huge boost against ichorid, and a mild boost against anything we were running FOW against. We'd get engineered plague also, as well as tombstalker.

I am going to try to make a list and see how it turns out, but I still note that brainstorm is a huge loss. We win significantly many games just because we don't mulligan when our opponents do. Between vial as a color stabilizer and "mana source," wayfarer to dig out extra lands if we need it, wasteland to trade down our lands if we don't need them, and on top of it all brainstorm as a fixer, we rarely mulligan. Once, Forbiddian noted a period during which we had played roughly 100 games and I had mulliganned once. That's probably not representative of the true statistic, but it's certainly not going to be far from that.

I mean changing to black would make this deck pretty different. The underlying combos would still be the same but I could see myself playing the deck a lot more aggressively. One might suggest we run black AND blue but that's a bad idea because as it stands, both decks are packed full. There's no reason to introduce nonbasics and inconsistency just so I can mix and match.

EDIT: Here is the list, it looks promising.
// Deck file for Magic Workstation (http://www.magicworkstation.com)

// Lands
4 [ON] Flooded Strand
4 [U] Scrubland
2 [4E] Plains (1)
1 [7E] Swamp (3)
4 [TE] Wasteland
3 [ON] Polluted Delta

// Creatures
2 [FUT] Epochrasite
4 [ON] Weathered Wayfarer
3 [CS] Jotun Grunt
4 [ALA] Tidehollow Sculler
4 [CHP] Serra Avenger
4 [RAV] Dark Confidant

// Spells
3 [LRW] Thoughtseize
3 [AP] Vindicate
4 [OV] Swords to Plowshares
3 [BOK] Umezawa's Jitte
4 [DS] AEther Vial
4 [FNM] Cabal Therapy

// Sideboard
SB: 1 [AP] Vindicate
SB: 2 [PLC] Extirpate
SB: 3 [FNM] Engineered Plague
SB: 4 [ARE] Duress
SB: 4 [LRW] Burrenton Forge-Tender
SB: 1 [CS] Jotun Grunt

I'm only going to explain the changes since the explanations of the base ideas are already in the main post. The changes are basically ancestral visions--> dark confidant countermagic->hand disruption. Notice that instead of waiting around now this deck is supposed to be slightly more proactive. We still benefit from "timewalks" because we still run epochrasite, wayfarer, and vial, so stalling the opponent out still shines. The maindeck hasn't changed all that much except the above, and two noticeable things: now we have a little bit of chalice vulnerability since I increased the 1 casting cost count by 3. Also, we now have a way to remove chalice, and things like shackles quite consistently g1. As mentioned above, brainstorm is lacking, and the other thing that may have caught eyes is no tombstalker. While in theory, taking a life loss of 8 is unlikely and won't result in game over, that's not the reason I haven't included it in my initial list. Well it's not all the reason. It just doesn't seem very good when it requires BB (If I don't run it, I can run my deck off B, and 1/3 of my lands don't produce black so this factor may be significant.) Also, it's about as late as serra avenger but the only thing is you can't play with multiples. For the same reason it's late, it's also antisynergetic with grunt. However, I do not claim this list is tested at all and tombstalker is definitely on the waitlist.

The sideboard is where some interesting things happen.

the old 1x grunt is still there, and 4 thorns were replaced by the more versatile 4 duress, to be tested. the forgetenders survived, and the old disenchant effects were cut in favor of the 4th vindicate. The big changes are the anticipated better matchup versus ichorid because of E plague and extirpate, which also doubles as hate vs. combo given all the hand disruption I run. (Another reason I chose to run duress over thorn.) Additionally, there is the obvious anticipated superior matchup against goblins. I am considering, just to solidify the matchup against one of the most common decks out there, -1 extirpate +1 engineering plague. As a side note, competing for the graveyard hate slots (now that I play black) were leyline of the void, yixlid jailer, withered wretch. First off, one could argue the two creatures could be run maindeck over the grunt, and thus allow me, for instance, to run tombstalker somewhat more efficiently. Well, tarmogoyf is a common card, so this rules out yixlid jailer, and the deck needs mana, ruling out the wretch. (Running this many 3 mana spells does look a little scary, but I was occasionally able to hard cast the replaced FOWs before, so it shouldn't be too bad, and that was when I was able to brainstorm away extra land... 5 is certainly extra.)

However, in the sideboard, extirpate has beaten the alternatives because leyline does nothing but hate graveyard, whereas extirpate is not removable by chain of vapor, and it also hates other decks. The two creatures were deemed inferior because extirpate costs 1 and I already have 2 mana hate. I need to be able to get in the way of ichorid if they start going crazy with a breakthrough LED draw, or an average draw if they're on the play.

Phoenix Ignition
12-11-2008, 05:11 PM
I like the new version a lot better on paper. Taking out the 6 counterspells for 7 hand hate and 4 creature hand hate is almost definitely going to improve your first game against combo. I'm wondering why you wouldn't just run orim's chant over duress in the sideboard though, since all AdN combos use brainstorm in response to your thoughtseize/cabal therapy. If you backed it up with chant you might have a better time against them than just running dense hand hate since them having LED on the field is a great way for them to top deck a win.

I'll try to test this version later this week, but I like the removal of FoW and daze since this deck could not really support FoW, and 2 daze just seems too inconsistant.

Vindicate is the exact effect I was looking for as well, but I'm still going to mess around with mangara a bit before giving up on him.

pi4meterftw
12-11-2008, 05:18 PM
It looks good on paper but it's actually pretty clunky. I think the blue build is better.

Forbiddian
12-11-2008, 06:03 PM
Lol.


An alternative I've considered that Forbiddian would probably ridicule me for is a black alternative instead of blue.

Lunch was pretty fun today, although I didn't even consider that we'd lose Brainstorm (and that's like a biggie, it's almost an Ancestral Recall when we have Wayfarer going, and it fixes colors, gets rid of dead cards and stops mana floods).

Basically everything in the deck costs more (AV --> Bob, Daze/Force --> Thoughtseize and Cabal Therapy, something I dunno what --> Vindicate) and we move reactive counters that require opponent investment (that buys us time) into proactive removal that instead costs us time.

E.g. opponent playing first, plays fetchland, gets a tropical, says go.

We have Vial and Thoughtseize and 2-drops. We cast Thoughtseize. Our opponent shows us two goyfs (any two two-drops, but I used Goyf to simplify), so we pick one.

Next turn opponent drops a Goyf. We don't even have Vial on the board.

Compared to:

Turn 1 Land
Turn 1 Vial
Turn 2 Goyf --> Dazed.
Turn 2 replay land.
Turn 3 Other Goyf
Turn 3 --> Able to vial in 2 drops to eat 3/4 Goyf. Yummy.

The daze not only traded with Goyf like Thoughtseize, but bought us (relatively) two turns to charge Vial. Also, Wayfarer is much shittier without Storm and Daze.

I don't get it, the deck lost pretty much all its synergies and then you took out Pikulas and made crappy Pikula.

pi4meterftw
12-11-2008, 10:13 PM
I agree with the above. I really wish there were better FOWs though. But then I also don't want to throw away that many matchups where they just lose if they try X and you show FOW. (Any combo, any deck based around a card, see previous post.)

DukeDemonKn1ght
12-11-2008, 10:48 PM
I really wish there were better FOWs though.

What are you, high on crack? If they print a counterspell that's strictly better than Force of Will or Mana Drain, so help me, I'll quit playing Magic. There's not going to be a better FoW dude, I'd bet on it.

pi4meterftw
12-12-2008, 01:07 AM
FOW's pretty weak sometimes in this deck, but duh they won't print a better FOW. They're too busy printing
UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU10
instant
counter target spell unless it's controller pays 1. You lose the game.

pi4meterftw
12-19-2008, 01:08 PM
I was quite suprised to find that our idea got adopted into deckcheck
http://www.deckcheck.net/deck.php?id=22035
and also into the D&T builds partially.

Speaking of D&T, the question has been posed: What makes this deck better than D&T at least in some ways? There had better be more than nothing, for if "nothing" is the answer, then D&T is a strict improvement on our deck and nobody should ever, ever play nogoyf.

Well, Matt (Forbiddian) brought up the most obvious point. Now D&T is including wayfarer, so at least a priori, the argument shouldn't be that we have that advantage. However, really we do because D&T functions on 3-4, probably 4 if they want to be using karakas too. (Yes they have vial, but if one was guaranteed to also draw vial, then epochrasite would be an autoinclude in both decks instead of still a question mark.)

However, I'd like to point out another thing. D&T and us have some cards in common, but we get blue, at the cost of virtually no consistency. This means we can actually run the manipulation that D&T players lack. (See the D&T thread to see that this is something D&T players actually notice is missing, and have, in the past, tried to fix.) We get daze. Actually, even if they had a white daze, they'd have trouble using it as well as us because they need 4 lands.

Okay, well then why isn't our deck a strict improvement on their deck? Well they are supposed to have an awesome ichorid matchup (See their thread) and we only have ~40%, which is <awesome. They are supposed to stomp all over goblins, but we only have ~50%, which is not stomping on Goblins. For instance, however, we don't autolose to TES (And solidarity), as they claim to do. I did not do thorough research for this last claim, but I feel like their dependence on more mana might lead them to lose a few more games than we do to decks that specialize in mana denial like team america. We run thorn in the sideboard for combo, which is unchantable. Well, you could argue they could run thorn too, and they could but they would lack the ability to protect it from th countermagic of solidarity or the chain of vapor of TES. (If they try to wipe it away, that's going to take almost forever, and you should be able to do something quite amazing by then like dropping another thorn, a meddling mage or two, an aura of silence, or at least brainstorm and draw into two counters.)

Anyway, I actually am mainly bringing this topic back for more sideboard and land ideas. I think the 1x island maindeck is a liability because I'm always unhappy to see it in the opening hand. If the hand is like island+X colorless sources like vial, wasteland, then I'd rather it be a plains or a dual land. If it's island plains, I'd rather have a dual land. But it's also convenient to be able to have nonwastelandable blue, at least in theory. (In practice, though, it might not be that necessary)

Also, I don't know if Forbiddian would agree with this, but I'm definitely thinking BEB/hydroblast are superior to forge tender because I am thinking about switching all the mind harnesses to oblivion rings to deal with creatures and vials better, and stopping the goblin aether vial with BEB and daze backup seems like it should be good. Also, peripherally speaking, BEB and hydroblast should put the help for TES, making unnecessary the kind of plays like meddling mage naming burning wish, and stopping their rite of flames. I mean it's not just peripheral for that matchup, it's probably quite significant, but if that were the only difference, we might still run forgetender. Forgetender is better against ichorid, but seemingly worse against everything else. We thought it might be better for goblins cause it can carry a jitte, but it actually it sucks to let ringleader resolve.

two more points:
I'm a fairly openminded guy. I tried out the mangara and karakas. (Cutting epochrasite x2 maindeck and switching a plains for a karakas.) Here are my observations: It turns wombat from nearly unwinnable game 1 to essentially unlosable, because before we were getting beaten by moat, whereas now we care very little about it. However, it screws with our consistency and speed. Perhaps further testing is warranted.

Does anybody have sideboard suggestions?

Forbiddian
12-20-2008, 07:53 PM
I don't think that Death and Taxes is playing Weathered Wayfarer. I suggested it, but it had been discussed and rejected apparently earlier.

It's harder to abuse in D&T since they require more land to play out creatures (even sitting at 1 land, we're always 1 land away from being able to cast anything in the deck, whereas they can't react as quickly to the opponent playing out more land), we have Daze, and we have Brainstorm (shuffle away the land we tutored up). These three factors make Wayfarer tons better in our deck.


Without running Wayfarer, there really isn't a 1:1 comparison between NoGoyf and D&T as the cards and playstyles are wildly different.

Prices are similar, though.