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mistervader
12-03-2013, 05:21 AM
Hit top 4 in last weekend's Legacy tournament in Manila. Went really well, in my opinion, even if I was blown out by Omnitell in the semi-finals by sheer luck of the draw.

Here's the list I ran:

Land:
3 Volcanic Island
3 Island
3 Misty Rainforest
1 Mountain
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Ancient Tomb
1 City of Traitors

Creatures:
4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Griselbrand


Spells:
4 Sneak Attack
4 Show and Tell
4 Lotus Petal
4 Brainstorm
3 Ponder
1 Repeal
4 Force of Will
1 Misdirection
3 Spell Pierce
2 Sensei's Divining Top
3 Gitaxian Probe

Sideboard: 15

2 Defense Grid
2 Pyroclasm
3 Blood Moon
2 Red Elemental Blast
2 Through the Breach
1 Echoing Truth
1 Swan Song
2 Flusterstorm

I decided to make a hybrid of the Sensei's Diving Top and Gitaxian Probe plans, and for the most part, it wasn't such a bad idea at all.

ROUND 1: vs. Food Chain Griffin (1-0)

Game 1: I win the die roll and open with a solid hand with Sneak Attack at the ready on the 4th turn. I had only Griselbrand, land, Sneak, and a bunch of cantrips. I open with Gitaxian Probe, and see that he has a Show and Tell and Food Chain. I had no idea what he was playing, but made a mental note that playing Show and Tell wasnít a good idea against him. Turn 3, I hit Sneak Attack, Turn 4, I activate for Griselbrand, draw 14, swing, and pass the turn. He has nothing but a Griffin on his turn, and I have a vague idea what his deck is supposed to do by then. I draw, cast a Ponder, find Emrakul, then Sneak him in.

Boarding: -4 Show and Tell, -1 Repeal, -2 Gitaxian Probe, +2 REB, +2 Through The Breach, -1 Repeal, +1 Swan Song. +2 Flusterstorm.

Game 2: He opens with a Ponder, and I open with land, Petal. I Brainstorm at end of turn, and see that Iím holding Emrakul and Griselbrand, Sneak Attack, Swan Song, among other irrelevant cards. At this point, all I needed was mana, and by turn 5, I made my move, had a Swan Song ready for his Force of Will, then proceeded to win from there. All he had on his side was a Food Chain. I still had no idea what the deck was until I did a bit of research on it just now.

ROUND 2: vs. Dredge (2-0)

Game 1: Oh, man. I was woefully unprepared for Dredge, looking at my board. Thankfully, I had land, land, Lotus Petal, Show and Tell, and Griselbrand. The second turn Gris made him scoop. Off to game 2.

Boarding: -3 Gitaxian Probe, -1 Repeal, +1 Echoing Truth, +2 Pyroclasm, +1 Flusterstorm

Game 2: Wasnít so sure if I boarded properly, but I mulled a no-land hand into one with Emrakul, Show and Tell, Ponder, and lands. Turn 3 Emrakul yielded a scoop from him.

ROUND 3: vs. Dragon Stompy (3-0)

Game 1: Gio, my opponent, opens up with a first-turn Blood Moon. I had basic islands in hand, and plopped down a third-turn Emrakul. Off to game 2!

Boarding: -1 Gitaxian Probe, -1 Repeal, +1 Echoing Truth, +1 Swan Song

Game 2: Opened with a nuts hand: Emmy and Grissy, Sol Land, Land, Sneak Attack, FOW and blue card. He mulled to 5, so I felt I had a strong edge. I even drew a land on my first turn. Second turn Sneak, third turn Gris, draw into another land, bring in Emmy, win.

ROUND 4: vs. BUG (3-1)

Game 1: I was being brutalized with discard, but he had only Goyf as board presence. I stabilized by keeping Senseiís Divining Top, floated Show and Tell and Emrakul to victory. Thankfully, he didnít have Liliana to handle that.

Boarding: -3 Probe, -1 Repeal, -1 Ponder, +2 Red Elemental Blast, +3 Blood Moon

Game 2: I had 2 Show and Tell, Misdirection, Force of Will, Petal, and lands. He got off a second-turn Hymn to Tourach, which I tried to send back to him, which he Forced, which I Forced, which he Flusterstormed. After that attrition war, he established control with Tarmogoyf and Liliana.

Game 3: More of the same discard goodness, but this time, Redmond made it worse by having enchantment destruction everytime I managed to cast Sneak Attack. I was always forced to tap out to Sneak, and he always had a charm to deal with it afterwards.

ROUND 5: vs. BUG (4-1)

Game 1: Oh, gosh. Another BUG matchup. This time, though, I had Senseiís Divining Top ready to protect me, and I was able to hold off Jay by getting Emrakul down on turn 2 for the win.

Boarding: -3 Probe, -1 Repeal, -1 Ponder, +2 Red Elemental Blast, +3 Blood Moon

Game 2: I got a turn 2 Show and Tell again, with FOW backup. This time, I plopped down Gris on turn 2, and he plopped down Baleful Strix, which almost threw my plans off-kilter. Thing is, he cast Maelstrom Pulse on Gris, and I drew into Misdirection, targeting Strix. I then swung with Gris, and set up for Sneak and Emrakul on the next turn, which did happen.

ROUND 6: vs. Elves (4-1-1)

We IDíd into the top 8.

QUARTERFINALS: vs. Elves

Game 1: Same guy from Round 6. I mulled to 6 and found this hand: Brainstorm, Lotus Petal x3, Sneak Attack, Sol Land, Gitaxian Probe. I opened with Sneak Attack, then durdled a few turns, hoping for land, which didnít come, so after two turn, I played Probe, then I fired off Brainstorm, and lo and behold, found Gris in the third card. Unfortunately, this means no land, so I held off for two more turns with another Probe in hand. When I got to drawing my second card, I fired off Probe, and lo and behold, a Scalding Tarn! Plopped it down, activated to Sneak Gris in, swung, then drew 7, with FOW and Emrakul safely at the ready. He tried to go off, I countered the Craterhoof Behemoth, then won next turn.

Boarding: -2 Probe, -1 Island, +2 Pyroclasm, +1 Echoing Truth

Game 2: Did something stupid here. Instead of Show and Tell for Emrakul, I used Sneak on him. He recovered, and won this game. I was too afraid of letting him Show and Tell something backbreaking.

Game 3: My mulligan hand was awesome. Two creatures, Petal, fetchland, Ponder, Sneak Attack. I hit Ponder, drew into a Petal and set up a land on top, then played Sneak on my second turn. Third turn, I won.

SEMIFINALS: vs. Omnitell

Game 1: Attrition, here we come! We kept on playing back and forth, and a Probe revealed he would kill me if I tried to Show and Tell anything. I had a Top on my board, but the game went long enough for him to hardcast Omniscience, and I ran out of answers to it by then.

Boarding: -3 Probe, -1 Repeal, -4 Show and Tell, +2 REB, +2 Flusterstorm, +1 Echoing Truth, +1 Swan Song, +2 Through The Breach

Game 2: We went on an epic counter war for my Through The Breach on turn 3, with him fighting off my Double Force hand via Pierce, Flusterstorm, FOW. I topdecked another Through The Breach, and he had another FOW for it. I was spent by then and he ended up playing Intuition for Dream Halls to hardcast it and Enter the Infinite from there. Just bad draws all around, and no amount of tight play could have saved me there.

After playing Omnitell like that, I definitely missed Intuition in my deck, and Iím looking into removing the Probes and replacing them with 2 Intuition, 1 Misdirection. Nobody seems to be trying to Surgical Extraction Sneak and Show anymore, after all.

Ummmyeh13
12-03-2013, 09:00 PM
The reason Show and Tell won't ge banned for now is that Jared (and Huey in the past) is the only one rocking the deck through every tournament he plays it in.

:frown: Guess I just have to win in Vegas with it so everyone learns my name :frown:

JPA
12-03-2013, 09:05 PM
:frown: Guess I just have to win in Vegas with it so everyone learns my name :frown:

Chas Hinkle has also been pretty succesful with the deck btw! :wink:

@ mistervader: Congrats on your finish! Were the BUG-decks you faced Shardless or Tempo? This makes a huge difference, since Shardless is one of the easiest matchups while Team America is pretty tough.
Edit: My bad, Strix and main deck Lili clearly indicate Shardless.

About your semifinals: Why would you go for a T3 TTB against Omnitell? Even though we are the faster combo deck, we really want to play the control role in this matchup. Just wait until you have A LOT of mana to pay for soft-counters and the perfect 8 cards with at least two hard-counters.
Something I learned in many mirror testing sessions is that whoever tries to go off first usually loses. Patience is the key to success.
This doesn't mean that you can win the mirror through skill, it's still quite random and feels stupid. But you can certainly increase your chances by knowing how to approach it.

mistervader
12-03-2013, 10:26 PM
Chas Hinkle has also been pretty succesful with the deck btw! :wink:

@ mistervader: Congrats on your finish! Were the BUG-decks you faced Shardless or Tempo? This makes a huge difference, since Shardless is one of the easiest matchups while Team America is pretty tough.
Edit: My bad, Strix and main deck Lili clearly indicate Shardless.

About your semifinals: Why would you go for a T3 TTB against Omnitell? Even though we are the faster combo deck, we really want to play the control role in this matchup. Just wait until you have A LOT of mana to pay for soft-counters and the perfect 8 cards with at least two hard-counters.
Something I learned in many mirror testing sessions is that whoever tries to go off first usually loses. Patience is the key to success.
This doesn't mean that you can win the mirror through skill, it's still quite random and feels stupid. But you can certainly increase your chances by knowing how to approach it.

You have to understand, I'm the king of the goldfish. ALL my playtesting has been done in a vacuum, so at no point did it occur to me that I should have waited out OmniTell instead of attempting to combo out. LOL.

Lesson learned. Will do better with this next time.

Larzdk
12-04-2013, 05:16 AM
You have to understand, I'm the king of the goldfish. ALL my playtesting has been done in a vacuum, so at no point did it occur to me that I should have waited out OmniTell instead of attempting to combo out. LOL.

Lesson learned. Will do better with this next time.

Yeah, SnS is not a very fun matchup for Omni (I play Omnitell a lot, currently trading my way up to Sneak) - Playing Show is usually very bad for us, as it can result in a free draw-14 on the other side of the table. (Btw - always double-activate the Grisseldraw, since we can Trickbind), and our Dream Halls plan is easily a turn or two too slow with regular draws.

kingtk3
12-04-2013, 07:02 AM
Hi to all,
I don't really play the deck but I happen to have all the cards and a friend of mine would like to bring it to a tournament this weekend, so I got a couple of questions:

what are the arguments for top VS probe? I know that top is better for longer games and to recover from discard, while probe is excellent for speeding up the deck and with the information you get you can often plan ahead your next 2 turns. Do this deck happen to go in mid-late game often?
is playing blood moon main deck an option in a meta full of jund and shardless BUG? If so, what would you take out to accomodate 2-3 moons?

Thank you for the answers!

JPA
12-04-2013, 03:22 PM
Hi to all,
I don't really play the deck but I happen to have all the cards and a friend of mine would like to bring it to a tournament this weekend, so I got a couple of questions:

what are the arguments for top VS probe? I know that top is better for longer games and to recover from discard, while probe is excellent for speeding up the deck and with the information you get you can often plan ahead your next 2 turns. Do this deck happen to go in mid-late game often?
is playing blood moon main deck an option in a meta full of jund and shardless BUG? If so, what would you take out to accomodate 2-3 moons?

Thank you for the answers!

If your meta really is dominated by Jund and Shardless BUG, maindecking 2-3 Blood Moon is a reasonable choice.

And as you described, SDT is pretty good against those discard-heavy strategies, too. Probe supports the game plan we want better, but SDT is nice if things don't work out as planned.

In my opinion, there are 9 flex slots in the main deck:

16 combo pieces (4 emmy, 4 Grisel + 8 Sneak & Show)
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
4 Force of Will
4 Lotus Petal
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Blue Fetches
3 Island
1 Mountain
3 Volcanic Island
5 Sol-Lands (either 3-2 Tomb-City or 4-1)

=51 cards

If you want to play Blood Moon and SDT and expect a BGx dominated metagame, I would fill these slots like that:

3-4 Spell Pierce
2 Sensei's Divining Top
1-2 Misdirection
2 Blood Moon

If you expect a lot of combo, I would recommend the full set of Pierces. If not 3-2 Pierce-Misd.

Hope that helps.

apple713
12-04-2013, 03:29 PM
how do y'all find the MUD matchup?

Theoretically it should be a piece of cake because all you have to do is counter the lodestones / wurmcoils.

I'm having a terrible time against it, partly because of luck, i.e. drawing 14 cards and not hitting a creature / FOW, things like that.

bad luck aside i'm having Karn's being cast, phyrexian revoker on SA, thorns make it harder to cantrip, Spine off S&T sucks too.

JPA
12-04-2013, 04:13 PM
It is a tough matchup, but since it isn't among the popular archetypes, discussing dedicated hate cards like Shattering Spree seems pointless to me. Pox for example is a bad matchup as well, but just as irrelevant.

Water_Wizard
12-04-2013, 07:51 PM
I think the MUD match-up is difficult. If you play against the Koldutha build or Blightsteel build, S&T is effectively shut-off. Most of their threats are creatures, so Spell Pierce and Misdirection are dead. We have to rely on Sneak Attack and TtB and they are taxing our mana with Wasteland and Lodestone. I find this match-up to be difficult because they ramp their mana more quickly than we do and they have big threats too.

The best you can hope for is an early Emrakul to nuke their board or a Blood Moon (which may not hurt them that badly if they play Goblin Welder or already have a Metalworker in play).

Sneak and Show has cantrips, while MUD plays off the top of its deck. You have to slow them down enough to land a threat. I recommend using your Spell Pierces on their Grim Monoliths and Lightning Greaves, as you won't have many other targets (and Chalice of the Void, obviously).

AnziD
12-05-2013, 03:58 PM
If your meta really is dominated by Jund and Shardless BUG, maindecking 2-3 Blood Moon is a reasonable choice.

And as you described, SDT is pretty good against those discard-heavy strategies, too. Probe supports the game plan we want better, but SDT is nice if things don't work out as planned.

In my opinion, there are 9 flex slots in the main deck:

16 combo pieces (4 emmy, 4 Grisel + 8 Sneak & Show)
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
4 Force of Will
4 Lotus Petal
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Blue Fetches
3 Island
1 Mountain
3 Volcanic Island
5 Sol-Lands (either 3-2 Tomb-City or 4-1)

=51 cards


What do you guys think the 9 flex slots would look like if the meta was made of fair UBx (Shardless, Deathblade, etc.) decks? Other decks to consider in this meta are things like Delver and Maverick.

I don't feel like the 1 Intuition, 4 Probe, 4 Spell Pierce package is correct for that kind of meta. I don't think Probe does enough versus these matchups, especially considering that the 2nd and 3rd copies are much less useful than the first. That being said, it draws a card, which is nice, but perhaps having more to a card than that is necessary. Some number of Spell Pierce has to stay in (respecting cards like Liliana and such) and Misdirection seems to help against both counterspells and discard. So... my initial guess would be

2 Misdirection
3 Spell Pierce
2 SDT
2 more cards

The SDTs are in there to fight against discard and enable a grindier mid/late game. However, I can't figure out what the two last slots should be. Do the first 7 seem correct? What are ideas for the last 2?

apple713
12-05-2013, 04:03 PM
What do you guys think the 9 flex slots would look like if the meta was made of fair UBx (Shardless, Deathblade, etc.) decks?

Blood moons main. Fair decks have greedy manabases

JPA
12-05-2013, 05:29 PM
What I wrote for GBx applies for UBx as well; both try to attack us with discard and Liliana.

The 4 FoW that Deathblade brings - instead of the additional discard that Jund has - opens up another angle of hate we have to fight through, but since we have a.) our own playset of Force of Wills and b.) Misdirection, which is both great against discard and opposing counterspells, it doesn't make a huge difference.

Thus, Blood Moon and Sensei's Divining Top alongside Misdirection and Spell Pierce are good choices for the flex slots in a UBx/GBx-dominant meta.
However, in a non-local/big-tournament metagame, I would definitely recommend using Jared Boettcher's list as the stock one. It's well tuned against everything.

AnziD
12-05-2013, 09:36 PM
What I wrote for GBx applies for UBx as well; both try to attack us with discard and Liliana.

The 4 FoW that Deathblade brings - instead of the additional discard that Jund has - opens up another angle of hate we have to fight through, but since we have a.) our own playset of Force of Wills and b.) Misdirection, which is both great against discard and opposing counterspells, it doesn't make a huge difference.

Thus, Blood Moon and Sensei's Divining Top alongside Misdirection and Spell Pierce are good choices for the flex slots in a UBx/GBx-dominant meta.
However, in a non-local/big-tournament metagame, I would definitely recommend using Jared Boettcher's list as the stock one. It's well tuned against everything.

What about Jensen's list? How does it compare against Boettcher's?

kingtk3
12-06-2013, 04:47 AM
@JPA: thanks for your answer, it makes sense. I'll let you know how it will serve my friend ;)


how do y'all find the MUD matchup?

Theoretically it should be a piece of cake because all you have to do is counter the lodestones / wurmcoils.

I'm having a terrible time against it, partly because of luck, i.e. drawing 14 cards and not hitting a creature / FOW, things like that.

bad luck aside i'm having Karn's being cast, phyrexian revoker on SA, thorns make it harder to cantrip, Spine off S&T sucks too.


MUD player here, I'll try to give some advices.
First of all you need to know what kind of MUD you are facing: the combo version (with kuldotha and graves) or the stompy one (smaller robots and more disruption).
The first one is the more played I think, but in my experience the second is stronger.

In the kuldotha matchup you are gonna face disruption in the form of chalice of the void and lodestone golem, plus a spine of ish sah as a tutor target (some versions have a couple of trinisphere too). In G2/3 they will side a number of trinisphere and extra spines and maybe an ensnaring bridge as a tutor target.
Their plan is to slow the game with chalice@1 (for the cantrips) enough for their combo to get online, and remember that of you S&T they can drop forgemaster and then tutor spine. There is no hard lock aside the ensnaring bridge, which you should save your bounce for.
Your best strategy is to win via sneak attack before they have an active forgemaster.

The real problem I think it's the stompy matchup: maindeck they have (or I should say "I have" ^_^ ) chalice, trinisphere, golem, phyrexian metamorph (cloning golem), phyrexian revoker (for sneak attack), tangle wire, wasteland, rishadan port, karn liberated.
In the side there are spine of ish sah and/or duplicant.

Their plan is similar to the combo build but is much more effective with all the disruption elements they have; obviously they don't have a combo but will beat you hard with smaller robots that, however, can finish the job pretty quickly. Turn 2 golem, turn 3 metamorph is nothing to sneeze at and it happen more often that you may think.

Your best plan here is to play a fast show and tell because they don't have answers to it maindeck, although they can race you if you play it too late. Don't be overconfident with sneak attack because revoker can take care of it.
Note that the stompy version can, and probably will, avoid to set chalice@1 due to the other disruptive elements, and will often save the chalice for setting them @3 and @4, so beware going in the late game!

In general MUD has consistency problems so it may shit on itself, especially if the builder is too greedy (I worked very hard to smooth the curve and the draws, but it's no simple task).

I've played the stompy version in a fair amount of local and regional tournament I can say I've never lost a match to sneak&show.

I hope this will help you as your suggestions helped me ;)

JPA
12-06-2013, 08:03 AM
What about Jensen's list? How does it compare against Boettcher's?

So, main deck Huey plays:

+1 Misdirection
+1 Volcanic Island
+2 Daze
+2 Preordain

-3 Gitaxian Probe
-2 Intuition
-1 Mountain

Additional counters and "real" cantrips make the deck a little bit slower and more controllish. Generally, you never really want to use Daze reactively, since it sets you back a whole turn. That's why I'm not sure Daze finds its right home in Sneak & Show, even though it gives Huey 8 free counters for the combo turn, which is pretty helpful if you have problems against counter-heavy strategies.

Jared's list is more aggressive because of the Probes, which tell you right away if the coast is clear. Huey would play a Preordain in that place, maybe finding him a missing piece or a counter, but not giving any information whether or not he will actually win if he goes for it.

Intuition and Probe go well together, since you might get Information on which particular combo piece you want. The Probe might show you a Sower of Temptation or that your opponent's only counterspell is Envelop (post-board), so you can easily search up Sneak Attacks with Intuition and win on your next turn (assuming that your opponent doesn't draw a Force of Will in his last drawstep while you have no counter of your own).

We will still board out Intuition against black control decks a fair amount of time (fearing Surgical Extraction), but especially against today's True Blade lists you can keep them in, knowing that Rest in Peace is their current GY-hate of choice.

I like both versions, but started feeling really comfortable playing with Gitaxian Probe lately, because it supports the deck's game plan really well.

Nocley
12-07-2013, 12:08 AM
Right now I'm running Boettcher's list, but I'm just not sold on Intuition. A lot more decks locally are playing extraction as you mentioned, as it's pretty good against most local metas (storm and delver).

Is preordain worth running directly in place? I don't think a second Misdirection is good just because I'm usually low on the double blue cards anyways. I just don't feel right with the preordains replacing the intuitions.

apple713
12-07-2013, 12:41 AM
Right now I'm running Boettcher's list, but I'm just not sold on Intuition. A lot more decks locally are playing extraction as you mentioned, as it's pretty good against most local metas (storm and delver).

Is preordain worth running directly in place? I don't think a second Misdirection is good just because I'm usually low on the double blue cards anyways. I just don't feel right with the preordains replacing the intuitions.

you may consider personal tutor. Yes i know its card disadvantage but most opponents don't have anything against it main deck. With SDT main (at least in my list and I recommend it to everyone) you can draw it immediately after casting it. Post board for me it gets a through the breach too.

JPA
12-07-2013, 03:29 AM
Post board for me it gets a through the breach too.

Judge!


@Nocley: If you don't want to play Intuition, Preordain should be a good choice. Personal Tutor is way too narrow and slow, Preordain can help you find anything you need (creature, enabler, counter).

Secretly.A.Bee
12-07-2013, 03:44 AM
So, this thread's primer seems slightly out of date. I was looking for some matchup analyses but I don't think I found anything relevant or even post-Grizz. I'm mainly interested in the bad matchups. I know that they are few and far between but I'm interested and don't really have a way to find out other than by asking. Thanks in advance. Also, I'm thinking of getting into this Archetype but my heavy concern is that SnT could get banned before I even complete the list, or worse, after. Thanks in advance for your help.

Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk

apple713
12-07-2013, 09:59 AM
So, this thread's primer seems slightly out of date. I was looking for some matchup analyses but I don't think I found anything relevant or even post-Grizz. I'm mainly interested in the bad matchups. I know that they are few and far between but I'm interested and don't really have a way to find out other than by asking. Thanks in advance. Also, I'm thinking of getting into this Archetype but my heavy concern is that SnT could get banned before I even complete the list, or worse, after. Thanks in advance for your help.

Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk

on a previous page i gave a decent SB strategy update. covers most of the decks. I asked people to add to it to make it complete but no one has

JPA
12-07-2013, 12:52 PM
I will start working on updating the primer soon.

JPA
12-08-2013, 08:01 PM
Sneak & Show



http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?multiverseid=5594&type=cardhttp://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?multiverseid=5697&type=cardhttp://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?multiverseid=193452&type=cardhttp://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?multiverseid=239995&type=card


Overview

"Sneak Attack with Show and Tell," or "Sneak & Show," or whatever you want to call it, is a combo-control deck that primarily operates by trying to resolve one of the aforementioned spells as early as possible and cheating the best fatties in the format's history into play: Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and Griselbrand

I consider the deck to be a strong choice because it has the speed to keep up with aggro strategies, the control to hold back other combo strategies, and the ability to consistently shape a hand and ram through one key spell against other control oriented strategies. It's other major advantage is that it's tremendously easy to pilot and, unlike other combo decks, it's much less susceptible to typical forms of combo hate. The simple goal is to resolve a Sneak Attack or a Show and Tell, turn monsters sideways and pray that you've won.


Introduction

Sneak Show is a U/R combo control deck. Its game-plan is to resolve either a Show and Tell or Sneak and attack as soon as possible while protecting this combo with a strong countersuit. With one of these spells it cheats in an unfair creature like Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or Griselbrand that usually ends the game by itself.

The deck exists since mid-2010, when the release of Emrakul, the Aeons Torn made cards like Show and Tell, Eureka and Sneak Attack rise drastically in price.
At GP Columbus, Korey Age piloted a list with 4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and 4 Woodfall Primus to a Top 8 finish which made the deck more popular.

The next half-year Sneak Show was a present contender in the Survival-metagame. At that time, lists with Black and White splashes for Extirpate vs. Survival of the fittest and Enlightened Tutor for consistency were the ones with the greatest success.

When Mental Misstep joined the Legacy metagame in May 2011, Sneak Show's position increased since its cards were unaffected by the little counterspell, while its addition to the deck helped it to fight against popular cards like Thoughtsieze and Stifle which can hinder the strategy.

Two very similar lists played by Rodrigo Togores and Johannes Gutbrod made Top 16 at the Bazaar of Moxen that year. While Mental Misstep continued to alter the format, after Grand Prix Providence, Hive Mind became extremely popular, arguably THE Deck to Beat in Legacy. For the next few months, Sneak Show hid behind the other popular Show and Tell strategy, since the Sneak Show/Hive Mind matchup was 40-60 for Sneaky Tell, mainly because Hive Mind + Pact wins on the spot, while an Emrakul or Progenitus needs 2 attack steps.

With Mental Misstep banned, the format sped up slightly to the advantage of Sneak Show.

While only 1 Hive Mind appeared in the Top 16 of Grand Prix Amsterdam, double the amount of Sneak Show decks did. They were piloted by Dutch natives Jan van der Vegt (15th) and Erwin "Sneak" Sneek (16th) who played the exact same maindeck and had worked on the deck together. Their creature configuration of 4 Emrakul 3 Progenitus was considered standard back then.

Since the misstep banning, Sneak & Show's position in the metagame has continued to improve the more popular decks like Maverick and Stoneblade variants have become, and the less popular Merfolk has become. In early 2012, there was almost always a Sneak Show deck in the Top 16 of the SCG Open or any other big tournament.

With the printing of Griselbrand, Sneak & Show became THE combo deck to beat. Whereas before you could only hope to have a counter in hand for an opponent's answer to one of your fatties, you could now draw into your counters after putting the flying Bargain into play. It also made the Sneak-plan a lot better, since it could be activated cheating Griselbrand into play, drawing enough cards to find another mana source and an Emrakul to end the game on the spot.

The success of the deck spiraled upwards drastically, winning two SCG Opens in 2012 in the hands of Jonathan Hickerson and Richard Centanni, as well as Chris Bergeson taking down the Legacy Champs at GenCon.

In 2013, Sneak & Show won 5 more SCG Opens (Jared Boettcher even stomped the whole SCG Providence Legacy Open without losing a single match), Top 8ed two Legacy GPs (Christopher Brunner in Strasbourg and Jared Boettcher in Washington, D.C.) and placed in numerous Top 8s.

Even pros like Hall of Famer William "Huey" Jensen started playing the deck, appreciating it's raw power.

After Brain Braun-Duin established the Gitaxian Probe version, Sneak & Show saw an incredible hype among pro players at the SCG Invitational Indianapolis, eventually putting four of them into the Top 8 with Brad Nelson taking it down in a finals mirror match against Huey Jensen.


Ways to build the deck

The deck consists of 5 different parts that comprise the maindeck:
1. Enablers

Sneak Attack: One half of the name-sake, no card in the history of magic more effectively cheats creatures into play for such valueÖagain and again.

Show and Tell: The other half of the equation, Show and Tell enables all the broken spells at the cost of 2U. Note that you can use it to put in Sneak Attack, saving one red mana.

2. Fatties

Since the printing of Griselbrand, there is no room for discussion about the main deck fatty configuration. 4 Griselbrand/ 4 Emrakul are set.

3. The Search Engine

Brainstorm: In case you haven't heard, this card turns out to be quite strong in strategies with access to Blue mana and fetch lands.

Ponder: Next best after Brainstorm, Ponder is preferable to Preordain in this strategy because it digs a card deeper and the deck craves the pieces of its 2 card combo.

Intuition: Provides versatility within the maindeck and sideboard. Most often it grabs the most effective combo piece or creature for a given situation, though other times it grabs counter-magic or a specific sideboard piece. Intuition gets blown out by Surgical Extraction post-board, so it gets boarded out a lot.

Preordain: Offers more redundancy.

Sensei's Divining Top: Another effective card filtering option, Top is especially effective in the mid-game and against heavy-discard strategies.

Gitaxian Probe: This probably belongs more in the "Protection"-paragraph, but it does some minor cantripping as well. Probe is a nice card to support Sneak & Show's main game plan - resolving a Show and Tell or Sneak Attack as fast as possible. Against Tempo, it shows you how many counters your opponent has that you need to fight through. Against Death and Taxes, you can see what hate you need to play around. In the mirror and against Reanimator you might even catch your opponent at a point where you can just win via Show and Tell into creature.
More experienced Sneak & Show players might be able to read their opponent well enough to know how many counters / hate he has, but fact is that you can't ever be 100 % sure. Gitaxian Probe dispenses with the need to "guess" and makes everything easier by just showing you what's up.
Generally, you want to cast it in the turn you go off. If you don't know what you're playing against, casting it right away is the better choice, since it allows you to make decisions like whether or not playing around cards like Stifle and Wasteland, leaving mana open to cast your Spell Pierce, etc.

4. Protection

To be able to protect the combo against control decks and discard, and to counter opposing cards that would stop the creatures from attacking like Peacekeeper, Moat, Humility, Blazing Archon, and Ensnaring Bridge, as well as taking the control-role against other combo decks, Sneak & Show utilizes a strong counter-suite that consists of:

Force of Will: Nothing to argue about here; we play a blue deck that needs protection so we play a playset of Forces.

Misdirection: Really strong against UBx strategies, since it can act as another Force of Will in a counterwar while being excellent against discard.

Daze: Opinions differ a lot whether or not Daze fits into Sneak & Shows counter-suit. It is another free counterspell to protect your combo, but it does set you back a whole turn if it doesn't result in an immediate win or has to be used defensively. This is especially tough for this deck, because you want to get to 3/4/5 mana as fast as possible.

Spell Pierce: Ultra efficient and versatile. Counters everything that worries the Sneak & Show player, from an opposing Red Elemental Blast, over a Thoughtseize to a Liliana of the Veil.

Flusterstorm: Some prefer Flusterstorm over Spell Pierce because it's more effective against storm strategies and Reanimator. However, the fact that it doesn't hit Planeswalkers and other non-instants/sorceries like Aether Vial can be relevant.

Swan Song: The best counter you can have in the mirror match. Moreover, Swan Song is a Force of Will for U against counter-heavy blue decks, even though the Bird token can increase the clock significantly, especially against Tempo decks.
Other than that, it is similar to Flusterstorm; very strong against other combo decks).

5. Acceleration and lands

Recommended stock mana configuration:

4Scalding Tarn
3 other blue fetchlands
5 sol-lands (3-4 Ancient Tomb and 1-2 City of Traitors)
3 Volcanic Island
3 Island
1 Mountain
4 Lotus Petal

This can be customized to fit one's own playstyle of course, but this is considered the stock manabase. Simian Spirit Guide is another playable accelerant, blanking an opponent's Daze and enabling a surprise Sneak Attack activation on your opponent's turn.

Ultimately, this is what the stock shell currently looks like:

16 combo pieces (4 Emmy, 4 Grisel + 8 Sneak & Show)
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
4 Force of Will
9 Flex-slots (Gitaxian Probe, Spell Pierce, Misdirection, Daze, Swan Song, Flusterstorm, Sensei's Divining Top are possibilities)


6. The Sideboard

There is a huge amount of options in the deck's colors. I will try to list the ones most relevant in the current (December 2013) metagame.

Blood Moon: The best permanent answer to Karakas as well as an almost complete lock-out against many of the format's most popular decks (RUG Delver, UWR Delver, Team America, Shardless BUG, Basicless Deathblade, etc.).

Leyline of Sanctity: A clunky answer to Storm- and discard-strategies. If you don't have it in your opening hand, the already high number of dead cards increases by 3/4. If you have it, it's often very good and can win the game alone by buying a lot of time. However, most Storm players are prepared for it, boarding in some numbers of bounce along Xantid Swarm who doesn't care about Leyline.

Red Elemental Blast / Pyroblast: Very versatile and especially good against Delver decks, where it can act as both a counterspell and a removal for Delver of Secrets to buy some time. Also strong against cantrip-reliant combo-decks and Jace-decks like UWr Miracles and Shardless BUG.

Defense Grid: The best card we have against Tempo(Delver)-decks' huge amount of counters post-board. If you decide to play with Defense Grid, only board it in against Tempo; it's not worth it against decks with less than 8 post-board counters.

Swan Song and Flusterstorm: Both a main deck and sideboard card. See above for explanation.

Through the Breach: Functioning as a one-shot instant Sneak Attack, Through the Breach can work as a supplement providing further redundancy to the creature cheating strategy as well as replacing Show and Tell in the mirror match, against decks that can abuse S&T's symmetry (Reanimator/Belcher) or vs hatebear-decks like Death and Taxes that have a lot of answers to Show and Tell / Sneak Attack.

Pyroclasm: The best answer against Death and Taxes' huge amount of hatebears. Tribal-strategies, especially the nowadays very popular Elves!, also get hit pretty hard by it. Pyroclasm is also very good against UWR Delver, hitting all of their threats and Meddling Mage post-board.

Grafdigger's Cage: Reanimator and Dredge are some of the more difficult matchups. Cage is great against Reanimator and ok against Dredge, while also blanking both Natural Order and Green Sun's Zenith against Elves and Past in Flames vs Storm.

Surgical Extraction: Even better than Cage against Reanimator, since it can't be bounced. Great in the mirror against Intuition and at extracting a countered Sneak Attack.

Echoing Truth and Wipe Away: Bounce against permanent-hate like Ensnaring Bridge, Humility and Pithing Needle. Echoing Truth is also very good against Empty the Warrens decks like TES and Belcher or the Entreat the Angels tokens of UWr Miracles. Wipe Away can bounce a fatty against Reanimator and is generally better against UWr Miracles than Echoing Truth, because it can't be countered. Note that it should also be boarded against Storm; bouncing a land in response to a hellbent Infernal Tutor is really nice.

Progenitus: Even with bounce, Through the Breach and Pyroclasm, there are some post-board games you can't win against Death and Taxes. Show and Tell into Progenitus on the first few turns always beats them. UWr Miracles also has a tough time dealing with the Hydra. Downside is that he's terrible via Sneak Attack.

Jace, the Mind Sculptor: In the matchups you board him in (mirror, slow combo, creaturelight control) you will often be able to win the game with Jace alone. Especially in the mirror, it gives a huge edge and lets you play the control-role really easily.

Vendilion Clique: A very good card against other combo-decks, creating a clock while being disruptive as well. Obviously great in the mirror, but also good against control-decks that board out their spot-removal.

Matchup Analysis and how to play Sneak & Show

The way you want to play the deck differs from matchup to matchup, so the MU-analysis and the how-to fall together.

Even though Legacy is a very diverse format, I won't cover non-Tier strategies, since those are not as relevant. Questions about specific matchups against less popular decks are welcome to be asked in the thread.

The sideboarding advice only includes the cards I listed in the sideboard-section above.

RUG Delver 50:50

One of the classic matchups. Your only goal here is to resolve either Show and Tell or Sneak Attack, because they have no answer to your creatures (except maybe Stifle) and can't race them. The RUG Delver's tools to stop you from doing that are counterspells (Force of Will, Spell Pierce and Daze main deck, with Flusterstorm, Red Blasts and sometimes Envelop in the board) and mana-denial (Stifle and Wasteland).

You can render their mana-denial-plan almost useless by playing around Stifle and fetching basic lands as long as you can.
Pre-board you generally want two extra mana open and one hard-counter to protect your combo before you go off. Post-board you might even want to wait until you have two counters.
That changes if they make the mistake to tap out for a Tarmogoyf or something. Then you can go more aggressively for the combo, as long as you have mana to play around Daze.
Another possibility is that your hand is full of enablers, where you don't have to wait for / cantrip into a counter, but can fire off one after another.

Also note that you can wait to sculpt the "perfect" hand if they don't get down an early threat.

Important: You NEVER want to activate Griselbrand against them - if you don't have to - just because you might find another combo to seal the deal. They can't race a 7/7 flying lifelinker.

Defense Grid is your best card against them. Blood Moon can be devestating if it comes down early, but most of the time they put one threat down early and Blood Moon only negates more threats, Spell Pierce, Daze and Flusterstorm, while Defense Grid stops Force of Will and REB, too.

Cards you want to sideboard against RUG Delver: Blood Moon, Red Elemental Blast, Defense Grid, Swan Song

UWR Delver 50:50

This plays out pretty much like RUG, except that they are less likely to have Stifle in their list. Post-board they have access to hate-bears like Meddling Mage, even Ethersworn Canonist can be very annoying, because you can't counter their counters anymore. Defense Grid and Pyroclasm are very good against them.

Cards you want to sideboard against UWR Delver: Blood Moon, Red Elemental Blast, Defense Grid, Swan Song, Pyroclasm

Esper Blade 60:40

A rather positive matchup, especially pre-board where they have a lot of dead cards. Their advantage is a widespread hate-suit against us, ranging from countermagic in the form of Force of Will and Spell Pierce over discard to permanents like Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Meddling Mage, Vendilion Clique, Karakas and sometimes even Humility. Thus, remember to have mana open to pay for Spell Pierce, don't just cast a blind Show and Tell Emrakul and keep discard-redundant openers.

Without Stoneforge Mystic, even with her, they usually have a very slow clock; take your time to sculpt the right hand to go off.

I don't think Leyline of Sanctity is worth to board in here, but I won't blame you if you decide it is.

Even though they usually play 4 basics, Blood Moon is still pretty good, turning off Karakas, forcing them to fetch basics and sometimes randomly blowing them out if they tapped out for a Stoneforge Mystic after fetching up Tundra and Underground Sea.

Cards you want to sideboard against Esper Blade: Through the Breach, Pyroclasm, Red Elemental Blast, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Blood Moon, Vendilion Clique, Echoing Truth, Wipe Away

Shardless BUG 65:35

One of the easiest matchups. They have no way of interaction in their main deck except 4 Force of Will, 3-6 discard spells, and about 6 planeswalkers (Liliana of the Veil and Jace, the Mind Sculptor). The rest of their deck is pretty much dead, Ancestral Vision can be Misdirected, which is even bigger than a misdirected Hymn!

Since they have a very slow clock, you have enough time to assemble Sneak Attack or Show and Tell Griselbrand; Show and Tell Emrakul is only safe if you have counter-backup for their Liliana/Jace.
If you know that you are up against Shardless BUG, always try to keep hands with cantrips to hedge against their discard.

Post-board they might have additional discard and Golgari Charm for your Sneak Attacks, some even play Sower of Temptation. So you should try to win via Sneak Attack with :r: open or a counter for their Charm.
Your sideboard cards against them are even better than theirs against you. Blood Moon often causes an instant concede if they didn't get their Deathrite Shaman down yet, Leyline of Sanctity does a lot of work against Liliana of the Veil's Sacrifice-ability, Jace's fateseal / ultimate and all of their discard.

Cards you want to sideboard against Shardless BUG: Leyline of Sanctity, Blood Moon, Through the Breach, Red Elemental Blast, Vendilion Clique, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, if you see Pithing Needle in game 2 you should board bounce in game 3.

Jund 65:35

Jund is very similar to Shardless BUG. They don't have Force of Will, but Red Elemental Blast post-board comes pretty close. Jund lists usually play slightly more discard than Shardless BUG, so your cantrips and Misdirections / Leyline of Sanctity post-board are what you should look out for when deciding over mulligans.

Just like Shardless BUG, the best card they have against us is Liliana of the Veil; be wary of and prepared for her!

You don't really want Blood Moon here, they play 2 basics at least and will have the opportunity to fetch them up in response to Moon or draw them naturally.

Leyline usually beats them alone post-board, mulliganing for it is reasonable (if you don't have the perfect cantrip-filled hand).

Cards you want to sideboard against Jund: Leyline of Sanctity, Through the Breach, Echoing Truth, Wipe Away, Vendilion Clique

Death and Taxes 35:65

This is probably the toughest matchup and alongside Reanimator the only negative one of the tier decks. Pre-board they need nothing more than Karakas + Revoker to completely lock us out of the game. Post-board they have additional Revoker-effects in Pithing Needle.

I played against D&T in the magiccardmarket.eu tournament some weeks ago. After losing game 1 to Karakas+Revoker, I opened G2 on the play with a Gitaxian Probe; it showed me:

Karakas
Plains
Oblivion Ring
Mangara of Corondor
Pithing Needle
Phyrexian Revoker
Stoneforge Mystic

My frantic cantripping couldn't find me one of the 2 Progenitus I had boarded in. Most lists would just instant-scoop to a hand like this, which shows how ridiculously bad the matchup is.

Pyroclasm, Through the Breach and Bounce are still good weapons to fight their hate; Progenitus, Massacre Wurm and Sulfur Elemental are more dedicated anti-D&T sideboard options. Blood Moon helps against the Karakas and mana-denial plan with Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Rishadan Port and Wasteland.

Cards you want to sideboard against Death & Taxes : Progenitus, Blood Moon, Echoing Truth, Wipe Away, Through the Breach

Show and Tell mirror 50:50 :wink:

The mirror (or pseudo-mirror against Mono U Omniclash) is really topdeck-dependant and often feels kind of stupid. However, there are some guidelines you can follow to improve your chances.

Your best role here is the hard control-role. Doing nothing proactively for as long as possible should be your goal until you draw the 8th card for your turn. You should only go off when you have at least two hard-counters to protect your combo or when your opponent has resolved a Sneak Attack with no mana open and you will likely die on the following turn.

Gitaxian Probe is obviously really good in the mirror and allows you to leave 1-2 Show and Tell in after boarding. If you are very eager to never lose the mirror, Vendilion Clique, Swan Song Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Through the Breach should all be in your sideboard.

Cards you want to sideboard in the mirror/pseudomirror: Through the Breach, Vendilion Clique, Red Elemental Blast, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Wipe Away, Flusterstorm, Swan Song

Reanimator 40:60

A very tough matchup. Their combo is faster, they have disruption in the form of Thoughtseize, Force of Will and Daze alongside sideboard cards like Pithing Needle, Ashen Rider, Blazing Archon and Swan Song.
We also can't ever cast Show and Tell into creature against them without information from Probe.

Try to keep hands with a lot of countermagic to survive the explosive first turns Reanimator usually has and wait until you have at least one hard-counter until you go off yourself.

Cards you want to sideboard against Reanimator: Grafdigger's Cage, Surgical Extraction, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Vendilion Clique, Wipe Away, Swan Song, Flusterstorm, Red Elemental Blast. Boarding in Leyline of Sanctity is only necessary against the Tin Fins version.

Ad Nauseam Tendrils 55:45

A very even matchup. Pre-board your goal should be to get Griselbrand into play as fast as possible. As long as you are at a healthy life total you can't really lose from there. Show and Tell Emrakul after Turn 2 often just results in dying on your opponent's turn, so you should only go for it if it's the only thing you can do.

Spell Piercing or even using Force of Will on a Ritual can be necessary, so keep an eye on the amount of cards in their hand and think how much mana they could still generate. Letting a Dark Ritual resolve might just blank your Force of Will because of a Duress or Cabal Therapy cast after the resolved Ritual.
They will never go off without at least one form of protective disruption against you, so if they cast a Duress on Turn 2 and start Ritualing on Turn 3 while you drew a Force of Will after their Duress, you can definitely save that counter for their Infernal Tutor.
If they didn't cast a discard spell yet and only have one :b: - producing land in play countering the Ritual they cast with that land is often the right way.
This matchup needs a lot of practice and you definitely need to know how ANT operates.

Post-board the matchup gets a lot better for you if you have Leyline of Sanctity and a lot better for them if they have Xantid Swarm. The insect is the reason that Show and Tell Griselbrand is no definite win anymore, so boarding in Pyroclasm can be a good choice even against the non-Burning-Wish/Empty the Warrens version.
Use Red Elemental Blast to counter their cantrips aggressively.

Cards you want to sideboard against Ad Nauseam Tendrils: Leyline of Sanctity, Flusterstorm, Swan Song, Wipe Away, Vendilion Clique, Surgical Extraction, Grafdigger's Cage, (Pyroclasm)

The same applies for TES, just remember they are a lot faster and you definitely need to board in Pyroclasm and Echoing Truth to deal with Empty the Warrens.

UWr Miracles 55:45

An annoying, but overall positive matchup. They have a lot of hate and games get really grindy once they have their countertop engine online. The big upside however is that they present absolutely no clock, which gives you all the time you need to sculpt the perfect hand. Still, the best-case scenario is an explosive
start with an early Sneak Attack, because later it can get difficult if they have a 3- and a 4-drop on top of their deck alongside Countertop.

Like against the other Karakas / Jace - decks you don't want to blindly go for Show and Tell into Emrakul if you can avoid it.

Bounce-spells are very important against Miracles, in anticipation of Pithing Needle, Ensnaring Bridge, Humility and sometimes even against Counterbalance or Entreat the Angels tokens.

Cards you want to sideboard against UWr Miracles: Through the Breach, Red Elemental Blast, Echoing Truth, Wipe Away, Vendilion Clique, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Progenitus

Elves! 60:40

Elves! is a fine matchup, getting a lot harder post-board where they board in Cabal Therapy and sometimes Pithing Needle, Oblivion Ring or Harmonic Sliver.

Similarly to Storm, they can kill you easily on the back-turn after you put Emrakul into play via Show and Tell. It's less likely though.

Save your Force of Wills for their Glimpse of Nature, Natural Order and Green Sun's Zenith for 9.

Post-board, Grafdigger's Cage and Pyroclasm are really huge against them.

Cards you want to sideboard against Elves!: Grafdigger's Cage, Pyroclasm, Wipe Away, Echoing Truth, Through the Breach and Flusterstorm/Swan Song are fine as well


Note that even the 50:50 or negative matchups can be won easily thanks to the raw power of Sneak & Show. With a little bit of luck and tight play, it destroys everything; most of the times it loses to itself and bad/dead topdecks.



That's how far I got so far, how do you guys like it? I will add things like a sample sideboarding guide and links to articles about the deck in the next days.

AnziD
12-08-2013, 10:22 PM
I was perusing some older lists and saw a few that had Volcanic Fallout. I can understand why its not that great vs DnT, but is Fallout anywhere near useful in the Tempo matchups? I can see it being useful vs UWR and UR but not vs RUG (similar to Pyroclasm)

EDIT: Awesome write-up! When you have time, is it possible to also list out the cards you think could be taken out in each matchup? Since so many of the cards seem like staples, its not always intuitive to understand what can be boarded out.

apple713
12-08-2013, 10:38 PM
@JPA

I have a good start on SB notes at the link below.

http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?18871-DTB-Sneak-Attack&p=765619&viewfull=1#post765619



I was perusing some older lists and saw a few that had Volcanic Fallout. I can understand why its not that great vs DnT, but is Fallout anywhere near useful in the Tempo matchups? I can see it being useful vs UWR and UR but not vs RUG (similar to Pyroclasm)

it's very similar to pyroclasm. For the extra red mana it's uncountable and instant speed but its not really good vs RUG / merfolk cause everything has better than 2 toughness.

I Have come to the conclusion that the deck needs something in its flex spots to combat creatures / increase consistency. I lose to aggro decks much more than i'd like because of bad luck. I know how to brainstorm and get the most out of my fetch lands but sometimes its not enough. It's times like these that I want to run intuition to improve the aggro matchup but it doesn't really do anything against tempo cause 3 mana is a lot vs merfolk / RUG.

Cards I'm considering


meekstone
stasis
personal tutor
intuition
preordain


meekstone stops most goyfs, delver, other miscellaneous 3 power dudes and after 1 lord, most merfolk.
stasis is probably the weakest but it'll maybe buy your 3 turns. preordain is probably better if I just want to see 3 cards.
intuition is weaker after the board but great pre board especially against aggro that can't really do anything against it.
preordain is just another cantrip.

AnziD
12-08-2013, 11:41 PM
@JPA
it's very similar to pyroclasm. For the extra red mana it's uncountable and instant speed but its not really good vs RUG / merfolk cause everything has better than 2 toughness.


But are we even boarding in Pyroclasm vs those decks? In my 75, Pyroclasm is definitely in the top 60 cards post board vs RUG, but it just feels awkward because I know its not the most optimal option. Similarly for Merfolk, there's a very short window to successfully play Pyroclasm and, after that window, the card has significantly less power. That kind of crapshoot/lack of consistency is something I want to avoid in general. What I'm trying to ask is - is being uncounterable worth it in the matchups where the 2 damage shines? What about a mix of Fallout and Pyroclasm?

The main reason I'm so interested in this is due to the recent rise of Meddling Mage as a 4-of in sideboards. I definitely think that this deck (or at least its sideboard) needs to evolve to address this - upping the count on Pyroclasm (minimum 3) seems like a valid option.

somethingdotdotdot
12-08-2013, 11:49 PM
If you're looking for an answer to aggro, maybe something like propaganda. It makes them use their mana on their turn which makes it more likely for you to resolve your combo if they tap out or have your own soft counters.

Togores
12-09-2013, 01:34 AM
Gj updating.

U forgot to mention the boseiju in the side board and also the card that was played last year: overmaster.


For the volcanic fallout thing. I played it before when merfolk, goblins and pacekeeper was more popular 2 years ago or so.

AnziD
12-09-2013, 01:41 AM
Gj updating.

U forgot to mention the boseiju in the side board and also the card that was played last year: overmaster.


For the volcanic fallout thing. I played it before when merfolk, goblins and pacekeeper was more popular 2 years ago or so.

2 years is quite a while, do you remember any details of the cards performance?

Also, I've got some spare time so I made this: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsYtDf5NSr9IdFo3UFBzdjA5UEFDa1Nxa0lzdDAwZ1E#gid=0

It's basically a look at some of the 2013 Top 8 lists from TCGplayer. I have no idea what I'm trying to do with the numbers, so it'd be awesome if anyone here could add to it or determine if there's anything valuable to be discovered. I think looking at historical numbers is a pretty good thing to do as there are probably subtle things we can learn if we do the correct type of analysis. Ideally each list should be tailored to a specific metagame, but, with how diverse Legacy is, there's only so much that can be done to increase the favor of a certain matchup.

EDIT: To clarify, the numbers represent what each player ran in their 9 "flex" slots. This is in reference to the earlier post that said the staple 51 cards were:

4 Emrakul
4 Griselbrand

4 Show and Tell
4 Sneak Attack

4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
4 Force of Will

4 Lotus Petal

4 Scalding Tarn
3 Blue Fetch
3 Ancient Tomb
2 City of Traitors
3 Volcanics
3 Island
1 Mountain

Togores
12-09-2013, 02:01 AM
Also I played 3 in my side when I top 8 at the BoM in 2011.
http://www.thecouncil.es/tcdecks/deck.php?id=6147&iddeck=44559

And the guy who I beat in top 16 played also 3 (He mostly copiedy travel friend list who won a trial the day before).
http://www.thecouncil.es/tcdecks/deck.php?id=6147&iddeck=44564

Boseiju is still being played (at least by me :P)
And the red spell was played last year at the second half of the year but I cant remember big tournaments with it apart from me playing it and it being very discussed here.

JPA
12-09-2013, 05:25 AM
As I wrote in the primer, Pyroclasm is very good against UWR Delver, because it hits Meddling Mage and every threat they deploy. RUG has threshold-Mongeese, post-board still some number of Tarmogoyfs and no Meddling Mages, so Pyroclasm is pretty bad against them.

Volcanic Fallout is a worse Pyroclasm; especially against Tempo "uncounterable" is much worse than 1 less :r:. They won't ever counter your Pyroclasm and if they do, you should be happy that they wasted their counter and your combo is more likely to resolve.

CabalTherapy
12-09-2013, 05:42 AM
As I wrote in the primer, Pyroclasm is very good against UWR Delver, because it hits Meddling Mage and every threat they deploy. RUG has threshold-Mongeese, post-board still some number of Tarmogoyfs and no Meddling Mages, so Pyroclasm is pretty bad against them.

Volcanic Fallout is a worse Pyroclasm; especially against Tempo "uncounterable" is much worse than 1 less :r:. They won't ever counter your Pyroclasm and if they do, you should be happy that they wasted their counter and your combo is more likely to resolve.

As a UWR Delver player I can contribute to this thread that I see the matchup in favour of UWR. Especially UWR's post bard cards are very strong (Mage, Sword, Blasts). During some testing against a Sneak Show player I went 2-3 preboard and 6-1 (or 5-2, I don't remember) postboard.

JPA
12-09-2013, 06:34 AM
As a UWR Delver player I can contribute to this thread that I see the matchup in favour of UWR. Especially UWR's post bard cards are very strong (Mage, Sword, Blasts). During some testing against a Sneak Show player I went 2-3 preboard and 6-1 (or 5-2, I don't remember) postboard.

Of course you can have a positive record in 10 games against it, especially if you split it into post- and pre-board. Play 1000 full matches against a competent pilot and you will get a better testing result closer to 50:50.

@ Rodrigo about Boseiju: For me it's too narrow and in the end not present enough in succesful decklists. It might be good in the mirror and against Miracles, but against Tempo it's just another Wasteland-target and much too slow.

Final Fortune
12-09-2013, 08:45 AM
Seems odd not to mention Gitaxian Probe in the updated primer, a lot of people have put up results with that card.

Larzdk
12-09-2013, 08:49 AM
Seems odd not to mention Gitaxian Probe in the updated primer, a lot of people have put up results with that card.

It's in there:

"
Ultimately, this is what the stock shell currently looks like:

*cut*
9 Flex-slots (Gitaxian Probe, Spell Pierce, Misdirection, Daze, Swan Song, Flusterstorm, Sensei's Divining Top are possibilities)

"

Justin
12-09-2013, 09:29 AM
Seems odd not to mention Gitaxian Probe in the updated primer, a lot of people have put up results with that card.

I was skeptical of Probe at first, but now I think it belongs. It's really nice to know what's in your opponent's hand before you cast Show and Tell. Sometimes you'll get information that will push you towards going the Sneak Attack route, instead. And this can be the difference between winning and losing.

JPA
12-09-2013, 10:03 AM
Seems odd not to mention Gitaxian Probe in the updated primer, a lot of people have put up results with that card.

I forgot it in the deck-building part, just added it.

It is mentioned in the other parts, though.

B.C.
12-09-2013, 11:31 AM
I went 6-2 (19th place) at the SCG Oakland Legacy Open yesterday. Pretty standard list:

3 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Island
2 Volcanic Island
1 Mountain
3 Ancient Tomb
2 City of Traitors
4 Lotus Petal

4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Griselbrand
4 Show and Tell
4 Sneak Attack

4 Brainstorm
4 Preordain
2 Ponder
4 Force of Will
2 Intuition
2 Swan Song
2 Spell Pierce
2 Daze

Sideboard:
3 Grafdigger's Cage
3 Blood Moon
2 Flusterstorm
2 Red Elemental Blast
3 Firespout
2 Echoing Truth

Losses were to UWG Maverick and WG Maverick. UWG Maverick was due to losing an epic counter war over Show and Tell game 2, WG Maverick was due to him being pretty damn lucky game 1 and me making a huge misplay game 2. Overall not bad, though.

Larzdk
12-10-2013, 02:39 AM
May I ask why you chose Firespout? I don't recall many problematic creatures where Pyroclasm/Fallout isn't a better option?

nodahero
12-10-2013, 12:48 PM
Spout can take out threshe'd Mongese and and also 2 Lords in play from Merfolk?

Other then that I got nothing off the top.

B.C.
12-10-2013, 12:56 PM
Yeah, Merfolk Lords was the rationale. It was never an issue either way in this tournament. Either card would have served the same purpose.

apple713
12-10-2013, 01:19 PM
Yeah, Merfolk Lords was the rationale. It was never an issue either way in this tournament. Either card would have served the same purpose.

flier's rant typically that much of a problem except for delver and maybe vendillion. i think the bigger issues are things like goyf because 1 goyf is normally 5-6 dmg

JPA
12-10-2013, 03:22 PM
Sneak & Show



http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?multiverseid=5594&type=cardhttp://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?multiverseid=5697&type=cardhttp://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?multiverseid=193452&type=cardhttp://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?multiverseid=239995&type=card


Overview

"Sneak Attack with Show and Tell," or "Sneak & Show," or whatever you want to call it, is a combo-control deck that primarily operates by trying to resolve one of the aforementioned spells as early as possible and cheating the best fatties in the format's history into play: Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and Griselbrand

I consider the deck to be a strong choice because it has the speed to keep up with aggro strategies, the control to hold back other combo strategies, and the ability to consistently shape a hand and ram through one key spell against other control oriented strategies. It's other major advantage is that it's tremendously easy to pilot and, unlike other combo decks, it's much less susceptible to typical forms of combo hate. The simple goal is to resolve a Sneak Attack or a Show and Tell, turn monsters sideways and pray that you've won.


Introduction

Sneak & Show is a U/R combo control deck. Its game-plan is to resolve either a Show and Tell or Sneak Attack as soon as possible while protecting this combo with a strong countersuit. With one of these spells it cheats in an unfair creature like Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or Griselbrand that usually ends the game by itself.

The deck exists since mid-2010, when the release of Emrakul, the Aeons Torn made cards like Show and Tell, Eureka and Sneak Attack rise drastically in price.
At GP Columbus, Korey Age piloted a list with 4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and 4 Woodfall Primus to a Top 8 finish which made the deck more popular.

The next half-year Sneak Show was a present contender in the Survival-metagame. At that time, lists with Black and White splashes for Extirpate vs. Survival of the fittest and Enlightened Tutor for consistency were the ones with the greatest success.

When Mental Misstep joined the Legacy metagame in May 2011, Sneak Show's position increased since its cards were unaffected by the little counterspell, while its addition to the deck helped it to fight against popular cards like Thoughtsieze and Stifle which can hinder the strategy.

Two very similar lists played by Rodrigo Togores and Johannes Gutbrod made Top 16 at the Bazaar of Moxen that year. While Mental Misstep continued to alter the format, after Grand Prix Providence, Hive Mind became extremely popular, arguably THE Deck to Beat in Legacy. For the next few months, Sneak Show hid behind the other popular Show and Tell strategy, since the Sneak Show/Hive Mind matchup was 40-60 for Sneaky Tell, mainly because Hive Mind + Pact wins on the spot, while an Emrakul or Progenitus needs 2 attack steps.

With Mental Misstep banned, the format sped up slightly to the advantage of Sneak Show.

While only 1 Hive Mind appeared in the Top 16 of Grand Prix Amsterdam, double the amount of Sneak Show decks did. They were piloted by Dutch natives Jan van der Vegt (15th) and Erwin "Sneak" Sneek (16th) who played the exact same maindeck and had worked on the deck together. Their creature configuration of 4 Emrakul 3 Progenitus was considered standard back then.

Since the misstep banning, Sneak & Show's position in the metagame has continued to improve the more popular decks like Maverick and Stoneblade variants have become, and the less popular Merfolk has become. In early 2012, there was almost always a Sneak Show deck in the Top 16 of the SCG Open or any other big tournament.

With the printing of Griselbrand, Sneak & Show became THE combo deck to beat. Whereas before you could only hope to have a counter in hand for an opponent's answer to one of your fatties, you could now draw into your counters after putting the flying Bargain into play. It also made the Sneak-plan a lot better, since it could be activated cheating Griselbrand into play, drawing enough cards to find another mana source and an Emrakul to end the game on the spot.

The success of the deck spiraled upwards drastically, winning two SCG Opens in 2012 in the hands of Jonathan Hickerson and Richard Centanni, as well as Chris Bergeson taking down the Legacy Champs at GenCon.

In 2013, Sneak & Show won five more SCG Opens (Jared Boettcher even stomped the whole SCG Providence Legacy Open without losing a single match), Top 16d (Chas Hinkle) and Top 8d (Jared Boettcher) GP Washington, D.C. as well as Christopher Brunner making Top 8 of of the European GP 2013 in Strasbourg.

Even pros like Hall of Famer William "Huey" Jensen started playing the deck, appreciating it's raw power.

After Brain Braun-Duin established the Gitaxian Probe version, Sneak & Show saw an incredible hype among pro players at the SCG Invitational Indianapolis, eventually putting four of them into the Top 8 with Brad Nelson taking it down in a finals mirror match against Huey Jensen.


Ways to build the deck

The deck consists of 5 different parts that comprise the maindeck:
1. Enablers

Sneak Attack: One half of the name-sake, no card in the history of magic more effectively cheats creatures into play for such valueÖagain and again.

Show and Tell: The other half of the equation, Show and Tell enables all the broken spells at the cost of 2U. Note that you can use it to put in Sneak Attack, saving one red mana.

2. Fatties

Since the printing of Griselbrand, there is no room for discussion about the main deck fatty configuration. 4 Griselbrand/ 4 Emrakul are set.

3. The Search Engine

Brainstorm: In case you haven't heard, this card turns out to be quite strong in strategies with access to Blue mana and fetch lands.

Ponder: Next best after Brainstorm, Ponder is preferable to Preordain in this strategy because it digs a card deeper and the deck craves the pieces of its 2 card combo.

Intuition: Provides versatility within the maindeck and sideboard. Most often it grabs the most effective combo piece or creature for a given situation, though other times it grabs counter-magic or a specific sideboard piece. Intuition gets blown out by Surgical Extraction post-board, so it gets boarded out a lot.

Preordain: Offers more redundancy.

Sensei's Divining Top: Another effective card filtering option, Top is especially effective in the mid-game and against heavy-discard strategies.

Gitaxian Probe: This probably belongs more in the "Protection"-paragraph, but it does some minor cantripping as well. Probe is a nice card to support Sneak & Show's main game plan - resolving a Show and Tell or Sneak Attack as fast as possible. Against Tempo, it shows you how many counters your opponent has that you need to fight through. Against Death and Taxes, you can see what hate you need to play around. In the mirror and against Reanimator you might even catch your opponent at a point where you can just win via Show and Tell into creature.
More experienced Sneak & Show players might be able to read their opponent well enough to know how many counters / hate he has, but fact is that you can't ever be 100 % sure. Gitaxian Probe dispenses with the need to "guess" and makes everything easier by just showing you what's up.
Generally, you want to cast it in the turn you go off. If you don't know what you're playing against, casting it right away is the better choice, since it allows you to make decisions like whether or not playing around cards like Stifle and Wasteland, leaving mana open to cast your Spell Pierce, etc.

4. Protection

To be able to protect the combo against control decks and discard, and to counter opposing cards that would stop the creatures from attacking like Peacekeeper, Moat, Humility, Blazing Archon, and Ensnaring Bridge, as well as taking the control-role against other combo decks, Sneak & Show utilizes a strong counter-suite that consists of:

Force of Will: Nothing to argue about here; we play a blue deck that needs protection so we play a playset of Forces.

Misdirection: Really strong against UBx strategies, since it can act as another Force of Will in a counterwar while being excellent against discard.

Daze: Opinions differ a lot whether or not Daze fits into Sneak & Shows counter-suit. It is another free counterspell to protect your combo, but it does set you back a whole turn if it doesn't result in an immediate win or has to be used defensively. This is especially tough for this deck, because you want to get to 3/4/5 mana as fast as possible.

Spell Pierce: Ultra efficient and versatile. Counters everything that worries the Sneak & Show player, from an opposing Red Elemental Blast, over a Thoughtseize to a Liliana of the Veil.

Flusterstorm: Some prefer Flusterstorm over Spell Pierce because it's more effective against storm strategies and Reanimator. However, the fact that it doesn't hit Planeswalkers and other non-instants/sorceries like Aether Vial can be relevant.

Swan Song: The best counter you can have in the mirror match. Moreover, Swan Song is a Force of Will for U against counter-heavy blue decks, even though the Bird token can increase the clock significantly, especially against Tempo decks.
Other than that, it is similar to Flusterstorm; very strong against other combo decks).

5. Acceleration and lands

Recommended stock mana configuration:

4 Scalding Tarn
3 other blue fetchlands
5 sol-lands (3-4 Ancient Tomb and 1-2 City of Traitors)
3 Volcanic Island
3 Island
1 Mountain
4 Lotus Petal

This can be customized to fit one's own playstyle of course, but this is considered the stock manabase. Simian Spirit Guide is another playable accelerant, blanking an opponent's Daze and enabling a surprise Sneak Attack activation on your opponent's turn.

Main Deck Construction Guideline

Ultimately, this is what the stock shell currently looks like:

16 combo pieces (4 Emmy, 4 Grisel + 8 Sneak & Show)
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
4 Force of Will
9 Flex-slots (Gitaxian Probe, Spell Pierce, Misdirection, Daze, Swan Song, Flusterstorm, Sensei's Divining Top are possibilities)


6. The Sideboard

There is a huge amount of options in the deck's colors. I will try to list the ones most relevant in the current (December 2013) metagame.

Blood Moon: The best permanent answer to Karakas as well as an almost complete lock-out against many of the format's most popular decks (RUG Delver, UWR Delver, Team America, Shardless BUG, Basicless Deathblade, etc.).

Leyline of Sanctity: A clunky answer to Storm- and discard-strategies. If you don't have it in your opening hand, the already high number of dead cards increases by 3/4. If you have it, it's often very good and can win the game alone by buying a lot of time. However, most Storm players are prepared for it, boarding in some numbers of bounce along Xantid Swarm who doesn't care about Leyline.

Red Elemental Blast / Pyroblast: Very versatile and especially good against Delver decks, where it can act as both a counterspell and a removal for Delver of Secrets to buy some time. Also strong against cantrip-reliant combo-decks and Jace-decks like UWr Miracles and Shardless BUG.

Defense Grid: The best card we have against Tempo(Delver)-decks' huge amount of counters post-board. If you decide to play with Defense Grid, only board it in against Tempo; it's not worth it against decks with less than 8 post-board counters.

Swan Song and Flusterstorm: Both a main deck and sideboard card. See above for explanation.

Through the Breach: Functioning as a one-shot instant Sneak Attack, Through the Breach can work as a supplement providing further redundancy to the creature cheating strategy as well as replacing Show and Tell in the mirror match, against decks that can abuse S&T's symmetry (Reanimator/Belcher) or vs hatebear-decks like Death and Taxes that have a lot of answers to Show and Tell / Sneak Attack.

Pyroclasm: The best answer against Death and Taxes' huge amount of hatebears. Tribal-strategies, especially the nowadays very popular Elves!, also get hit pretty hard by it. Pyroclasm is also very good against UWR Delver, hitting all of their threats and Meddling Mage post-board.

Grafdigger's Cage: Reanimator and Dredge are some of the more difficult matchups. Cage is great against Reanimator and ok against Dredge, while also blanking both Natural Order and Green Sun's Zenith against Elves and Past in Flames vs Storm.

Surgical Extraction: Even better than Cage against Reanimator, since it can't be bounced. Great in the mirror against Intuition and at extracting a countered Sneak Attack.

Echoing Truth and Wipe Away: Bounce against permanent-hate like Ensnaring Bridge, Humility and Pithing Needle. Echoing Truth is also very good against Empty the Warrens decks like TES and Belcher or the Entreat the Angels tokens of UWr Miracles. Wipe Away can bounce a fatty against Reanimator and is generally better against UWr Miracles than Echoing Truth, because it can't be countered. Note that it should also be boarded against Storm; bouncing a land in response to a hellbent Infernal Tutor is really nice.

Progenitus: Even with bounce, Through the Breach and Pyroclasm, there are some post-board games you can't win against Death and Taxes. Show and Tell into Progenitus on the first few turns always beats them. UWr Miracles also has a tough time dealing with the Hydra. Downside is that he's terrible via Sneak Attack.

Jace, the Mind Sculptor: In the matchups you board him in (mirror, slow combo, creaturelight control) you will often be able to win the game with Jace alone. Especially in the mirror, it gives a huge edge and lets you play the control-role really easily.

Vendilion Clique: A very good card against other combo-decks, creating a clock while being disruptive as well. Obviously great in the mirror, but also good against control-decks that board out their spot-removal.

Matchup Analysis and how to play Sneak & Show

The way you want to play the deck differs from matchup to matchup, so the MU-analysis and the how-to fall together.

Even though Legacy is a very diverse format, I won't cover non-Tier strategies, since those are not as relevant. Questions about specific matchups against less popular decks are welcome to be asked in the thread.

The sideboarding advice only includes the cards I listed in the sideboard-section above.

RUG Delver 50:50

One of the classic matchups. Your only goal here is to resolve either Show and Tell or Sneak Attack, because they have no answer to your creatures (except maybe Stifle) and can't race them. The RUG Delver's tools to stop you from doing that are counterspells (Force of Will, Spell Pierce and Daze main deck, with Flusterstorm, Red Blasts and sometimes Envelop in the board) and mana-denial (Stifle and Wasteland).

You can render their mana-denial-plan almost useless by playing around Stifle and fetching basic lands as long as you can.
Pre-board you generally want two extra mana open and one hard-counter to protect your combo before you go off. Post-board you might even want to wait until you have two counters.
That changes if they make the mistake to tap out for a Tarmogoyf or something. Then you can go more aggressively for the combo, as long as you have mana to play around Daze.
Another possibility is that your hand is full of enablers, where you don't have to wait for / cantrip into a counter, but can fire off one after another.

Also note that you can wait to sculpt the "perfect" hand if they don't get down an early threat.

Important: You NEVER want to activate Griselbrand against them - if you don't have to - just because you might find another combo to seal the deal. They can't race a 7/7 flying lifelinker.

Defense Grid is your best card against them. Blood Moon can be devestating if it comes down early, but most of the time they put one threat down early and Blood Moon only negates more threats, Spell Pierce, Daze and Flusterstorm, while Defense Grid stops Force of Will and REB, too.

Cards you want to sideboard against RUG Delver: Blood Moon, Red Elemental Blast, Defense Grid, Swan Song

UWR Delver 50:50

This plays out pretty much like RUG, except that they are less likely to have Stifle in their list. Post-board they have access to hate-bears like Meddling Mage, even Ethersworn Canonist can be very annoying, because you can't counter their counters anymore. Defense Grid and Pyroclasm are very good against them.

Cards you want to sideboard against UWR Delver: Blood Moon, Red Elemental Blast, Defense Grid, Swan Song, Pyroclasm

Esper Blade 60:40

A rather positive matchup, especially pre-board where they have a lot of dead cards. Their advantage is a widespread hate-suit against us, ranging from countermagic in the form of Force of Will and Spell Pierce over discard to permanents like Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Meddling Mage, Vendilion Clique, Karakas and sometimes even Humility. Thus, remember to have mana open to pay for Spell Pierce, don't just cast a blind Show and Tell Emrakul and keep discard-redundant openers.

Without Stoneforge Mystic, even with her, they usually have a very slow clock; take your time to sculpt the right hand to go off.

I don't think Leyline of Sanctity is worth to board in here, but I won't blame you if you decide it is.

Even though they usually play 4 basics, Blood Moon is still pretty good, turning off Karakas, forcing them to fetch basics and sometimes randomly blowing them out if they tapped out for a Stoneforge Mystic after fetching up Tundra and Underground Sea.

Cards you want to sideboard against Esper Blade: Through the Breach, Pyroclasm, Red Elemental Blast, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Blood Moon, Vendilion Clique, Echoing Truth, Wipe Away

Shardless BUG 65:35

One of the easiest matchups. They have no way of interaction in their main deck except 4 Force of Will, 3-6 discard spells, and about 6 planeswalkers (Liliana of the Veil and Jace, the Mind Sculptor). The rest of their deck is pretty much dead, Ancestral Vision can be Misdirected, which is even bigger than a misdirected Hymn!

Since they have a very slow clock, you have enough time to assemble Sneak Attack or Show and Tell Griselbrand; Show and Tell Emrakul is only safe if you have counter-backup for their Liliana/Jace.
If you know that you are up against Shardless BUG, always try to keep hands with cantrips to hedge against their discard.

Post-board they might have additional discard and Golgari Charm for your Sneak Attacks, some even play Sower of Temptation. So you should try to win via Sneak Attack with :r: open or a counter for their Charm.
Your sideboard cards against them are even better than theirs against you. Blood Moon often causes an instant concede if they didn't get their Deathrite Shaman down yet, Leyline of Sanctity does a lot of work against Liliana of the Veil's Sacrifice-ability, Jace's fateseal / ultimate and all of their discard.

Cards you want to sideboard against Shardless BUG: Leyline of Sanctity, Blood Moon, Through the Breach, Red Elemental Blast, Vendilion Clique, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, if you see Pithing Needle in game 2 you should board bounce in game 3.

Jund 65:35

Jund is very similar to Shardless BUG. They don't have Force of Will, but Red Elemental Blast post-board comes pretty close. Jund lists usually play slightly more discard than Shardless BUG, so your cantrips and Misdirections / Leyline of Sanctity post-board are what you should look out for when deciding over mulligans.

Just like Shardless BUG, the best card they have against us is Liliana of the Veil; be wary of and prepared for her!

You don't really want Blood Moon here, they play 2 basics at least and will have the opportunity to fetch them up in response to Moon or draw them naturally.

Leyline usually beats them alone post-board, mulliganing for it is reasonable (if you don't have the perfect cantrip-filled hand).

Cards you want to sideboard against Jund: Leyline of Sanctity, Through the Breach, Echoing Truth, Wipe Away, Vendilion Clique

Death and Taxes 35:65

This is probably the toughest matchup and alongside Reanimator the only negative one of the tier decks. Pre-board they need nothing more than Karakas + Revoker to completely lock us out of the game. Post-board they have additional Revoker-effects in Pithing Needle.

I played against D&T in the magiccardmarket.eu tournament some weeks ago. After losing game 1 to Karakas+Revoker, I opened G2 on the play with a Gitaxian Probe; it showed me:

Karakas
Plains
Oblivion Ring
Mangara of Corondor
Pithing Needle
Phyrexian Revoker
Stoneforge Mystic

My frantic cantripping couldn't find me one of the 2 Progenitus I had boarded in. Most lists would just instant-scoop to a hand like this, which shows how ridiculously bad the matchup is.

Pyroclasm, Through the Breach and Bounce are still good weapons to fight their hate; Progenitus, Massacre Wurm and Sulfur Elemental are more dedicated anti-D&T sideboard options. Blood Moon helps against the Karakas and mana-denial plan with Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Rishadan Port and Wasteland.

Cards you want to sideboard against Death & Taxes : Progenitus, Blood Moon, Echoing Truth, Wipe Away, Through the Breach

Show and Tell mirror 50:50 :wink:

The mirror (or pseudo-mirror against Mono U Omniclash) is really topdeck-dependant and often feels kind of stupid. However, there are some guidelines you can follow to improve your chances.

Your best role here is the hard control-role. Doing nothing proactively for as long as possible should be your goal until you draw the 8th card for your turn. You should only go off when you have at least two hard-counters to protect your combo or when your opponent has resolved a Sneak Attack with no mana open and you will likely die on the following turn.

Gitaxian Probe is obviously really good in the mirror and allows you to leave 1-2 Show and Tell in after boarding. If you are very eager to never lose the mirror, Vendilion Clique, Swan Song Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Through the Breach should all be in your sideboard.

Cards you want to sideboard in the mirror/pseudomirror: Through the Breach, Vendilion Clique, Red Elemental Blast, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Wipe Away, Flusterstorm, Swan Song

Reanimator 40:60

A very tough matchup. Their combo is faster, they have disruption in the form of Thoughtseize, Force of Will and Daze alongside sideboard cards like Pithing Needle, Ashen Rider, Blazing Archon and Swan Song.
We also can't ever cast Show and Tell into creature against them without information from Probe.

Try to keep hands with a lot of countermagic to survive the explosive first turns Reanimator usually has and wait until you have at least one hard-counter until you go off yourself.

Cards you want to sideboard against Reanimator: Grafdigger's Cage, Surgical Extraction, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Vendilion Clique, Wipe Away, Swan Song, Flusterstorm, Red Elemental Blast. Boarding in Leyline of Sanctity is only necessary against the Tin Fins version.

Ad Nauseam Tendrils 55:45

A very even matchup. Pre-board your goal should be to get Griselbrand into play as fast as possible. As long as you are at a healthy life total you can't really lose from there. Show and Tell Emrakul after Turn 2 often just results in dying on your opponent's turn, so you should only go for it if it's the only thing you can do.

Spell Piercing or even using Force of Will on a Ritual can be necessary, so keep an eye on the amount of cards in their hand and think how much mana they could still generate. Letting a Dark Ritual resolve might just blank your Force of Will because of a Duress or Cabal Therapy cast after the resolved Ritual.
They will never go off without at least one form of protective disruption against you, so if they cast a Duress on Turn 2 and start Ritualing on Turn 3 while you drew a Force of Will after their Duress, you can definitely save that counter for their Infernal Tutor.
If they didn't cast a discard spell yet and only have one :b: - producing land in play countering the Ritual they cast with that land is often the right way.
This matchup needs a lot of practice and you definitely need to know how ANT operates.

Post-board the matchup gets a lot better for you if you have Leyline of Sanctity and a lot better for them if they have Xantid Swarm. The insect is the reason that Show and Tell Griselbrand is no definite win anymore, so boarding in Pyroclasm can be a good choice even against the non-Burning-Wish/Empty the Warrens version.
Use Red Elemental Blast to counter their cantrips aggressively.

Cards you want to sideboard against Ad Nauseam Tendrils: Leyline of Sanctity, Flusterstorm, Swan Song, Wipe Away, Vendilion Clique, Surgical Extraction, Grafdigger's Cage, (Pyroclasm)

The same applies for TES, just remember they are a lot faster and you definitely need to board in Pyroclasm and Echoing Truth to deal with Empty the Warrens.

UWr Miracles 55:45

An annoying, but overall positive matchup. They have a lot of hate and games get really grindy once they have their countertop engine online. The big upside however is that they present absolutely no clock, which gives you all the time you need to sculpt the perfect hand. Still, the best-case scenario is an explosive
start with an early Sneak Attack, because later it can get difficult if they have a 3- and a 4-drop on top of their deck alongside Countertop.

Like against the other Karakas / Jace - decks you don't want to blindly go for Show and Tell into Emrakul if you can avoid it.

Bounce-spells are very important against Miracles, in anticipation of Pithing Needle, Ensnaring Bridge, Humility and sometimes even against Counterbalance or Entreat the Angels tokens.

Cards you want to sideboard against UWr Miracles: Through the Breach, Red Elemental Blast, Echoing Truth, Wipe Away, Vendilion Clique, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Progenitus

Elves! 60:40

Elves! is a fine matchup, getting a lot harder post-board where they board in Cabal Therapy and sometimes Pithing Needle, Oblivion Ring or Harmonic Sliver.

Similarly to Storm, they can kill you easily on the back-turn after you put Emrakul into play via Show and Tell. It's less likely though.

Save your Force of Wills for their Glimpse of Nature, Natural Order and Green Sun's Zenith for 9.

Post-board, Grafdigger's Cage and Pyroclasm are really huge against them.

Cards you want to sideboard against Elves!: Grafdigger's Cage, Pyroclasm, Wipe Away, Echoing Truth, Through the Breach and Flusterstorm/Swan Song are fine as well


Note that even the 50:50 or negative matchups can be won easily thanks to the raw power of Sneak & Show. With a little bit of luck and tight play, it destroys everything; most of the times it loses to itself and bad/dead topdecks.

Stock Decklists

If you need a list for some initial testing before you make tweaks of your own, I recommend Jared Boettcher's as the more explosive Probe-version and Huey Jensen's as the more counter-heavy Daze-version:

Sneak & Show by Jared Boettcher
2nd at GP Washington, D.C.
1st at SCG Legacy Open Providence

Maindeck:

Artifacts
4 Lotus Petal

Enchantments
4 Sneak Attack

Instants
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
2 Intuition
1 Misdirection
3 Spell Pierce

Legendary Creatures
4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Griselbrand

Sorceries
3 Gitaxian Probe
4 Ponder
4 Show and Tell

Basic Lands
3 Island
1 Mountain

Lands
3 Ancient Tomb
2 City of Traitors
3 Misty Rainforest
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Volcanic Island

Sideboard:
2 Grafdigger's Cage
1 Sulfur Elemental
2 Blood Moon
2 Divert
1 Flusterstorm
1 Red Elemental Blast
2 Swan Song
2 Through the Breach
2 Pyroclasm


Sneak & Show by William "Huey" Jensen
2nd at SCG Legacy Open L.A.

Maindeck:

Artifacts
4 Lotus Petal

Enchantments
4 Sneak Attack

Instants
4 Brainstorm
2 Daze
4 Force of Will
2 Misdirection
3 Spell Pierce

Legendary Creatures
4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Griselbrand

Sorceries
4 Ponder
2 Preordain
4 Show and Tell

Basic Lands
3 Island

Lands
3 Ancient Tomb
2 City of Traitors
3 Misty Rainforest
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Volcanic Island

Sideboard:
3 Blood Moon
3 Leyline of Sanctity
2 Echoing Truth
1 Red Elemental Blast
2 Through the Breach
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2 Pyroclasm


Sample Sideboarding Guide

As it is with probably every deck, there is no 100 % correct way to board with Sneak & Show. It's especially important that you construct your sideboard in a way that it is not clustered against a certain archetype, since you can seldom afford to board out too many cards without making your main game plan worse.

However, here are some guidelines, using a random sample list I did some testing with:

4 Griselbrand
4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Lotus Petal
4 Brainstorm
3 Gitaxian Probe
4 Ponder
4 Show and Tell
4 Sneak Attack
4 Force of Will
3 Ancient Tomb
2 City of Traitors
3 Island
1 Mountain
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Volcanic Island
3 Spell Pierce
3 Misty Rainforest
2 Misdirection
1 Intuition

SB: 1 Red Elemental Blast
SB: 2 Grafdigger's Cage
SB: 3 Progenitus
SB: 2 Defense Grid
SB: 2 Pyroclasm
SB: 2 Vendilion Clique
SB: 1 Wipe Away
SB: 2 Blood Moon

I am playing Vendilion Clique instead of Through the Breach because TTB and Progenitus would both be boarded against Death and Taxes and UWr Miracles, but have a TERRIBLE interaction.

RUG Delver:

-3 Gitaxian Probe
-1 Intuition
-1 Spell Pierce

+2 Defense Grid
+2 Blood Moon
+1 Red Elemental Blast

Even though Gitaxian Probe does a nice job showing you how many counters you have to fight through, your high impact sideboard-cards in Defense Grid and Blood Moon make (almost) all of his counters obsolete, anyway.

UWR Delver:

-3 Gitaxian Probe
-1 Intuition
-3 Spell Pierce

+2 Defense Grid
+2 Blood Moon
+1 Red Elemental Blast
+2 Pyroclasm

Since most lists don't play Stifle, you don't need Spell Pierce as much as against RUG.

Esper Blade:

-1 Intuition
-2 Gitaxian Probe
-2 Force of Will

+1 Red Elemental Blast
+2 Vendilion Clique
+2 Blood Moon

If you know or see game 2 that they have something like Humility, you definitely want Wipe Away as well.

Shardless BUG

-4 Force of Will
-1 Gitaxian Probe

+1 Red Elemental Blast
+2 Vendilion Clique
+2 Blood Moon

You don't really want Force of Will against their discard-heavy game plan. Spell Pierce, Misdirection and REB is still enough to fight their 4 own Force of Will. They never play Surgical Extraction, so you can leave Intuition in for additional consistency against their discard.

Jund

-2 Force of Will
-2 Gitaxian Probe
-1 Intuition

+2 Through the Breach
+1 Wipe Away
+2 Pyroclasm

You want to leave in some number of Force of Wills against their 4 Liliana of the Veil, which they often power out on Turn 2. Dark Confidant getting double the amount of discard and REBs can become a problem, so Pyroclasm is a fine answer to that.

Death and Taxes:

-2 Misdirection
-3 Spell Pierce
-1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
-1 Griselbrand
-1 Force of Will

+3 Progenitus
+1 Wipe Away
+2 Pyroclasm
+2 Blood Moon

Show and Tell Progenitus is the main plan here. If you don't find it you still have a lot of answers to their hate to win via your classic creatures.

Show and Tell mirror:

-1 Mountain
-1 Lotus Petal
-2 Misdirection

+1 Red Elemental Blast
+2 Vendilion Clique
+1 Wipe Away

You don't need explosivity here, so boarding out mana sources is fine. Misdirection only counters their counters, so I don't like it that much here.

Reanimator:

-1 Gitaxian Probe
-2 Misdirection
-2 Show and Tell
-1 Mountain

+2 Grafdigger's Cage
+1 Wipe Away
+2 Vendilion Clique
+1 Red Elemental Blast

You can basically board out the Mountain in every combo-matchup.

Ad Nauseam Tendrils:

-2 Misdirection
-3 Gitaxian Probe
-1 Mountain

+1 Wipe Away
+1 Grafdigger's Cage
+2 Vendilion Clique
+1 Red Elemental Blast
+1 Pyroclasm

As I wrote in the matchups-section, Xantid Swarm is a huge problem for us, so you definitely want to board at least 1 Pyroclasm.

UWr Miracles:

-2 Misdirection
-1 Intuition
-1 Griselbrand
-1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
-2 Lotus Petal

+1 Wipe Away
+1 Red Elemental Blast
+3 Progenitus
+2 Vendilion Clique

Note that there are some more counter-heavy versions with Flusterstorm/Swan Song in the sideboard. Against those, you can consider cutting 2 Gitaxian Probe for 2 Defense Grid.

Elves!:

-3 Gitaxian Probe
-2 Misdirection

+2 Grafdigger's Cage
+2 Pyroclasm
+1 Wipe Away

Further reading

http://www.starcitygames.com/article/26948_Sneak-Show-Me-The-Way.html
http://www.starcitygames.com/article/26905_Nothin-Beat-Surprise.html
http://www.starcitygames.com/article/27385_Leaving-A-Legacy-Show-Tell-At-GPDC.html

Would you guys accept this as the new primer or is there anything else I should add / elaborate on?

apple713
12-10-2013, 04:03 PM
5. Acceleration and lands

Recommended stock mana configuration:

4 Scalding Tarn
3 other blue fetchlands
5 sol-lands (3-4 Ancient Tomb and 1-2 City of Traitors)
3 Volcanic Island
3 Island
1 Mountain
4 Lotus Petal

This can be customized to fit one's own playstyle of course, but this is considered the stock manabase. Simian Spirit Guide is another playable accelerant, blanking an opponent's Daze and enabling a surprise Sneak Attack activation on your opponent's turn.

Ultimately, this is what the stock shell currently looks like:

16 combo pieces (4 Emmy, 4 Grisel + 8 Sneak & Show)
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
4 Force of Will
9 Flex-slots (Gitaxian Probe, Spell Pierce, Misdirection, Daze, Swan Song, Flusterstorm, Sensei's Divining Top are possibilities)



I would rename the above section to something like " Manabase and Fixed deck slots" . Manabase and acceleration only covers half of what you discuss in that section.

Also, I would add a very brief section titled

7. Problem cards

with a list of cards that give the deck problems.

karakas
venser, shaper savant
pithing needle
ensnaring bridge
spine of ish sah
humility




This is great and maybe time permitting the other established decks could be added to "Matchup Analysis and how to play Sneak & Show". There are tons of them I realize but maybe focus on the more dominant ones like Rock, MUD, The rouge Hermit, Belcher, Merfolk and other very likely decks to run into in a well established meta. Over time they could all be added.


Finally with those additions I feel like this format/layout should be the basis for ALL of the decks that have a primer. This kind of layout makes it very easy to understand everything relevant about the deck without sifting through 100 pages of tournament reports and speculative comments. It makes it very easy to identify relevant information because anything widely accepted by the community would be added to the primer, everything else would be speculative.

I'm not sure if this can be added to the first page but it would be great to have this resource easily found there. There could be a timestamp of when it was last updated so that people coming here for the first time would know it was an up to date primer.

JPA
12-10-2013, 05:47 PM
Yes, the second part of the section you quoted was supposed to be wrap-up of the main-deck section. Thanks for letting me know.

@ Problem cards: I don't really see the use there. All the relevant hate-cards are mentioned in the matchup-section. As soon as I add other matchups like MUD I might mention fringe hate-cards like Spine of Ish Sah.

I don't think JustPAT4 is still active here. If everyone is happy with the primer as a start, I might open a new thread for the deck.

apple713
12-10-2013, 05:55 PM
Yes, the second part of the section you quoted was supposed to be wrap-up of the main-deck section. Thanks for letting me know.

@ Problem cards: I don't really see the use there. All the relevant hate-cards are mentioned in the matchup-section. As soon as I add other matchups like MUD I might mention fringe hate-cards like Spine of Ish Sah.

It would be just a list of what's been mentioned already mainly for easy reading and visibility. Its a quick read of cards to look out for. I know my wife and other beginners would probably be able to make good use of a list like this. Also it's something I wish I had for all all of the decks in the DTB section because when I brew i want to know what the weaknesses of decks are to exploit common cards.

Water_Wizard
12-10-2013, 08:59 PM
Yes, the second part of the section you quoted was supposed to be wrap-up of the main-deck section. Thanks for letting me know.

@ Problem cards: I don't really see the use there. All the relevant hate-cards are mentioned in the matchup-section. As soon as I add other matchups like MUD I might mention fringe hate-cards like Spine of Ish Sah.

I don't think JustPAT4 is still active here. If everyone is happy with the primer as a start, I might open a new thread for the deck.

One of the mods should be able to insert it and/or transfer control over the opening post.

Technicolor Mage
12-11-2013, 04:05 AM
As a new legacy convert I appreciate the time and effort it takes to do one of these. Plus for me the info is invaluable.

It's funny, I have been into the game since M12 and have a decent collection and know a lot of the cards, but knowing how to play against them is a whole different story.

It appears the hardest thing for new players is knowing what deck your opponent is on. I haven't really seen much on why Gitaxian Probe isn't an auto include in the core cards, making the core 54/55 instead of 61. All it does is cantrip and give you info. Even if you top deck it when you need an answer you have at least one more card coming. Seems win win to me.

Is there a reason why people don't like the card?

Larzdk
12-11-2013, 04:31 AM
Is there a reason why people don't like the card?

Some people view it as a "filler" spell which doesn't directly help your plan. The flex-slots are the most valuable area in the decklist when it comes to metagaming, and that's why people scorn it.

Technicolor Mage
12-11-2013, 05:07 AM
Some people view it as a "filler" spell which doesn't directly help your plan. The flex-slots are the most valuable area in the decklist when it comes to metagaming, and that's why people scorn it.


I totally appreciate that answer and can see the logic. I would think up to the minute info regardless of what you are playing against would still be beneficial in almost any situation. The fact that it replaces itself just means you are getting deeper into your deck, thus blindly furthering your own game plan (which isn't as ideal as setting it up properly).

I don't know, it's hard not to like the card.

Larzdk
12-11-2013, 05:18 AM
I totally appreciate that answer and can see the logic. I would think up to the minute info regardless of what you are playing against would still be beneficial in almost any situation. The fact that it replaces itself just means you are getting deeper into your deck, thus blindly furthering your own game plan (which isn't as ideal as setting it up properly).

I don't know, it's hard not to like the card.

Yup, and I totally agree. I skip out on Probe when I play Omnitell, but I don't think I ever want to leave it out in SneakShow. Some people just prefer to run more counters or additional Intuitions/Misdirs instead, I guess.

Technicolor Mage
12-11-2013, 05:24 AM
Another question for the guys who play this deck. If you are in a very open meta where no one archetype dominates and all the top decks are represented equally, how do you run your side board. I currently run an almost identical list to Boettcher GP win in Providence.

Anyone with any tips, or am I just going to have to slog through it and make some tough decisions?

koba
12-11-2013, 06:05 AM
Thank you for the primer. Very well made.

A few constructive words: I almost never take out force of will. Against something like BUG or esper, I usually take out petals instead. How do others feel about taking out fows in those matchups (or almost any matchup for that matter)?

I also really dislike the three progenitus on side. They are no part of any stock list I know of and it feels like a pet card of yours. I would replace them with another bounce spell, pyroblast and pyroclasm, although two ttb are an option as well.

I would also take out two show and tells in the mirror, even if you play with probe and have no ttb. I would also mention in the mirror matchup that show and telling into sneak attack into emrakul can be an awesome play, even if you have no information about their hand.

JPA
12-11-2013, 06:09 AM
Thank you for the primer. Very well made.

A few constructive words: I almost never take out force of will. Against something like BUG or esper, I usually take out petals instead. How do others feel about taking out fows in those matchups (or almost any matchup for that matter)?

I also really dislike the three progenitus on side. They are no part of any stock list I know of and it feels like a pet card of yours. I would replace them with another bounce spell, pyroblast and pyroclasm, although two ttb are an option as well.

I would also take out two show and tells in the mirror, even if you play with probe and have no ttb. I would also mention in the mirror matchup that show and telling into sneak attack into emrakul can be an awesome play, even if you have no information about their hand.

The sideboarding guide is my take on it, it is by no means set in stone. Was just meant to be a guideline, there are many different right ways to board with the deck, depending on your sideboard.

Water_Wizard
12-12-2013, 02:00 AM
Thank you for the primer. Very well made.

A few constructive words: I almost never take out force of will. Against something like BUG or esper, I usually take out petals instead. How do others feel about taking out fows in those matchups (or almost any matchup for that matter)?

I also really dislike the three progenitus on side. They are no part of any stock list I know of and it feels like a pet card of yours. I would replace them with another bounce spell, pyroblast and pyroclasm, although two ttb are an option as well.

I would also take out two show and tells in the mirror, even if you play with probe and have no ttb. I would also mention in the mirror matchup that show and telling into sneak attack into emrakul can be an awesome play, even if you have no information about their hand.

I almost never take out FOW, either. I've heard that you should take them out against RUG in favor of 1cc counterspells (Blasts, Spell Pierce, Swan Song, Flusterstorm), but I don't know how I feel about that.

Usually, Probes and Intuitions get cut. Then I move on to Petals and possibly Misdirection (I cut Misdirection first if I am playing against a deck like Death and Taxes (a deck without discard and without counterspells)). Against BUG, I keep FOW in, because it stops Hymn (I would rather pick my 2 than lose 2 at random) and Liliana.

I like the sideboarding guide. I run my sideboard a little bit differently, so all the switches don't apply to me. I learned a few new things (like removing Mountain vs. combo decks - makes perfect sense).

AnziD
12-12-2013, 03:07 AM
RE: Gitaxian Probe

Perhaps its just the anecdotal evidence of my play experience, but the card has never shined. I don't think its necessarily bad, but the exact information you get isn't always as helpful as it sounds. There are times when you peek into your opponents hand and see that you can't win a counter war, so you don't play out your hand. But is that silent victory actually a victory? I mean, its not as if your opponents hand is going to get worse as you try to draw your outs, and its not as if casting Gitaxian Probe will pull you back into the game. Eventually you'll take a bunch of damage and then go off out of desperation, but the opponents counters won't have gone anywhere. In this scenario (which is a large part of why people opt to play the card), Probe is just low impact. It pushes you to rely on the top of your deck rather than giving you control over what you draw, which cards like Preordain achieve. There are also other times when you peek into your opponents hand and see that they have a permanent you might not want them to sneak into play. I guess its helpful in this situation, but I feel like a proper understanding of the meta and a proper understanding of what cards are played in each deck should be more than enough to predict what decks its safe to cast S&T against. I read Huey's article on Sneak and Show and something very important I gathered was that a good pilot of this deck must be able to discern what the opponent is playing within the first or second turn (so as to sculpt a better game plan, identify if casting S&T or Sneak Attack is better, etc). I feel like this genre of playstyle, where you use established knowledge of decks and the metagame to calculate the game, is far more valuable across 12 rounds than using Probe to play around the opponent's hand perfectly. Why? Because its our burden as competitive players to assume worst-case scenarios. The fact that Probe reveals a hand you can't beat shouldn't be a counterargument - you should already be playing to beat that stacked hand. The fact that Probe reveals a hand you can beat shouldn't be a counterargument either - you should be making reads from the moment your opponent sits down on the other side of the table to the point that when you're opponent can't fight back, you'll know. The latter claim is actually very difficult to get a good grasp of. I'm definitely not capable of it. But playing Probe doesn't exactly teach me how to get better, does it? I know I harped on this a bit earlier, but if we assume that we're doing things optimally and making reads to the best of our ability, Probe just reads "Pay 2 life: Draw a card". That's low impact and not where we want to be with this deck. I'd much rather have a card that gives me more vision to sculpt future turns or is a business spell like Misdirection, Daze, etc.

Technicolor Mage, if I may suggest as an exercise: Try playing a few games without Gitaxian Probe. You've identified that you have trouble figuring out what decks certain people are playing, and I understand that its hard (I myself am relatively new to Legacy and I slip in judgment all the time). To get better at this, instead of playing Probe, write down all the turn 1 plays you run into through your games and try to think (post-game) what possible decks would make that turn 1 play. Hopefully that kind of introspection will help you develop what I think is a huge skill in Legacy - being able to pinpoint what your opponent is playing as early as turn 1.

JPA
12-12-2013, 11:23 AM
Please continue discussion in the new thread with updated primer: http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?27217-Sneak-and-Show

@ AnziD and Technicolor Mage: I will add a brief "how to identify you are playing against x" for every matchup in the matchup-section.

Water_Wizard
12-12-2013, 11:39 AM
Please continue discussion in the new thread with updated primer: http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?27217-Sneak-and-Show

@ AnziD and Technicolor Mage: I will add a brief "how to identify you are playing against x" for every matchup in the matchup-section.

Did you PM a mod about inserting/exchanging the OP? No need to start a new thread and lose 103 pages of information.

JPA
12-12-2013, 11:45 AM
I can't call for a mod everytime I want to edit something in the original primer. It's much easier this way, a link to this thread is in there.

KristinXX
12-12-2013, 12:01 PM
I can't call for a mod everytime I want to edit something in the original primer. It's much easier this way, a link to this thread is in there.

True but you can't just repost a thread like this.

Please contact Zilla or other mods, as I'm sure they can find a suitable solution.

apple713
12-12-2013, 12:09 PM
I can't call for a mod everytime I want to edit something in the original primer. It's much easier this way, a link to this thread is in there.

I have PM'd Zilla for other possible solutions. He may contact you directly however or update it himself.

danyul
12-12-2013, 12:12 PM
Typically you write a new primer, make a new thread, then PM a mod linking them to the old primer and the new one you wrote. Then they will move your new primer to the appropriate thread and move the old thread into some sad, lonely graveyard forum. You will link to the old thread in the new primer thread, just so people know where to look for old discussions. And you basically just start over with a new thread.

JPA
12-12-2013, 12:15 PM
Well, that's what I did.

danyul
12-12-2013, 12:17 PM
No need for the sad face. You already wrote a new primer. Just PM a mod and ask them to move stuff around. They will take care of it. You did all the work already. This is a good thing!

edit in response to edit:
Okay then. You are all set! Grats on the new primer! I was mostly clarifying the process for people who may have thought you did something wrong.

JPA
12-12-2013, 12:32 PM
I asked Nihil Credo, because he does the DTB-stuff. Now that Apple asked Zilla I fear there might be some confusion.

apple713
12-12-2013, 12:37 PM
I asked Nihil Credo, because he does the DTB-stuff. Now that Apple asked Zilla I fear there might be some confusion.

I'm sure they will read our post and discuss amongst themselves. I linked zilla to our conversation.

EDIT*** Zilla responded and Nihl Creedo should take care of it when he can

Technicolor Mage
12-12-2013, 09:31 PM
RE: Gitaxian Probe

Perhaps its just the anecdotal evidence of my play experience, but the card has never shined. I don't think its necessarily bad, but the exact information you get isn't always as helpful as it sounds. There are times when you peek into your opponents hand and see that you can't win a counter war, so you don't play out your hand. But is that silent victory actually a victory? I mean, its not as if your opponents hand is going to get worse as you try to draw your outs, and its not as if casting Gitaxian Probe will pull you back into the game. Eventually you'll take a bunch of damage and then go off out of desperation, but the opponents counters won't have gone anywhere. In this scenario (which is a large part of why people opt to play the card), Probe is just low impact. It pushes you to rely on the top of your deck rather than giving you control over what you draw, which cards like Preordain achieve. There are also other times when you peek into your opponents hand and see that they have a permanent you might not want them to sneak into play. I guess its helpful in this situation, but I feel like a proper understanding of the meta and a proper understanding of what cards are played in each deck should be more than enough to predict what decks its safe to cast S&T against. I read Huey's article on Sneak and Show and something very important I gathered was that a good pilot of this deck must be able to discern what the opponent is playing within the first or second turn (so as to sculpt a better game plan, identify if casting S&T or Sneak Attack is better, etc). I feel like this genre of playstyle, where you use established knowledge of decks and the metagame to calculate the game, is far more valuable across 12 rounds than using Probe to play around the opponent's hand perfectly. Why? Because its our burden as competitive players to assume worst-case scenarios. The fact that Probe reveals a hand you can't beat shouldn't be a counterargument - you should already be playing to beat that stacked hand. The fact that Probe reveals a hand you can beat shouldn't be a counterargument either - you should be making reads from the moment your opponent sits down on the other side of the table to the point that when you're opponent can't fight back, you'll know. The latter claim is actually very difficult to get a good grasp of. I'm definitely not capable of it. But playing Probe doesn't exactly teach me how to get better, does it? I know I harped on this a bit earlier, but if we assume that we're doing things optimally and making reads to the best of our ability, Probe just reads "Pay 2 life: Draw a card". That's low impact and not where we want to be with this deck. I'd much rather have a card that gives me more vision to sculpt future turns or is a business spell like Misdirection, Daze, etc.

Technicolor Mage, if I may suggest as an exercise: Try playing a few games without Gitaxian Probe. You've identified that you have trouble figuring out what decks certain people are playing, and I understand that its hard (I myself am relatively new to Legacy and I slip in judgment all the time). To get better at this, instead of playing Probe, write down all the turn 1 plays you run into through your games and try to think (post-game) what possible decks would make that turn 1 play. Hopefully that kind of introspection will help you develop what I think is a huge skill in Legacy - being able to pinpoint what your opponent is playing as early as turn 1.

I appreciate the pointers and the depth of this explanation. Helpful yet again!


Please continue discussion in the new thread with updated primer: http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?27217-Sneak-and-Show

@ AnziD and Technicolor Mage: I will add a brief "how to identify you are playing against x" for every matchup in the matchup-section.

Looking forward to it!

apple713
12-12-2013, 10:46 PM
@AnziD

I'm really glad you wrote all that because now I don't have to. You have captured perfectly what I feel about gitaxian probe. Simply put, Gitaxian probe often reveals information that has very low impact on the game and "pay 2 life: draw a card" is not very good.

@ Technicolor Mage

Please do that exercise that anziD recommended. Identifying decks on the first turn or 2 is critical. The easiest Identifier as to what deck is sitting across from you is typically its land base. Many decks keep a fetch land in play until their second turn and its difficult until they actually use them. However many turn 1 plays reveal what your opponent is playing, or at least the type of deck they are playing.

few examples

Land: rishadan port <---- if this is the first land its usually D&T unless lands / goblins kept a bad hand, or goblins drops a vial.
Deck: Goblins / death and taxes / 43 lands
Type - Aggro - just win fast

Land: mutavault
Deck: merfolk / Slivers
Type - Tempo - watch out for counters

Land: Karakas / plains
Deck: death and taxes
type: Anti Sneak attack - get lucky :P

Land: taiga
Deck: Jund / 43 lands / zoo <--- if you see this in your meta it expect to win :P
Type aggro / control - expect to win


Land: Bayou
Deck: BUG / Jund / Nic Fit / loam Pox
Type: Aggro / control - expect discard


Land: tropical island
Deck: RUG / Bant <---- you play against this just about the same as you play against RUG so it doesn't really matter
Type: Tempo (watch for counter spells)


Land: Ancient tomb / city of traitors
Deck: Dragon stumpy / Imperial Painter / MUD / Stax / Sneak Attack <------ should refrain from playing either of those turn 1 unless you are casting show and tell / sneak attack
Type: Control - Chalice of void on 1, watch out for phyrexian revoker.

Land: Volcanic island
Deck: RUG / Sneak Attack

Land: Underground Sea
Deck: Reanimator / BUG / Team America / Esper / ANT (5 Good decks use it, probably why its it most expensive)
Type: Tricky one - but expect minor disruption like daze / spell pierce / discard

Land: Scrubland
Deck: Esper / Rock
Type: Aggro - expect swords to plowshares

Land: Savannah
Deck: Maverick
Type: Aggro - expect swords to plowshares

Land: Tundra
Deck: Miracles / Esper
Type: Control / aggro - expect swords to plowshares / watch out for karakas / play around counters

Land: Plateau
Deck: ???
Type: Rouge

Land: Gemstone Mine / Cephalid Colosseum / City of Brass
Deck: Dredge / Hypergenesis / TES
Type: Combo / expect discard

Land: island
Deck: High tide / omnitell / Merfolk
Type: combo / control - expect counters

Spell: Aether vial
Deck: Goblins / Death and Taxes / Merfolk / Slivers

Spell: Sensei's divining top
Deck: Miracles / Nic Fit / Combo decks

Spell: Preordain
Deck: High tide / omnitell / ANT (maybe)




Obviously this isn't everything but its a good start. As more cards are revealed you will be able to more easily determine what deck you are playing against.

trollking21
12-13-2013, 02:11 AM
RE: Gitaxian Probe

Perhaps its just the anecdotal evidence of my play experience, but the card has never shined. I don't think its necessarily bad, but the exact information you get isn't always as helpful as it sounds. There are times when you peek into your opponents hand and see that you can't win a counter war, so you don't play out your hand. But is that silent victory actually a victory? I mean, its not as if your opponents hand is going to get worse as you try to draw your outs, and its not as if casting Gitaxian Probe will pull you back into the game. Eventually you'll take a bunch of damage and then go off out of desperation, but the opponents counters won't have gone anywhere. In this scenario (which is a large part of why people opt to play the card), Probe is just low impact. It pushes you to rely on the top of your deck rather than giving you control over what you draw, which cards like Preordain achieve. There are also other times when you peek into your opponents hand and see that they have a permanent you might not want them to sneak into play. I guess its helpful in this situation, but I feel like a proper understanding of the meta and a proper understanding of what cards are played in each deck should be more than enough to predict what decks its safe to cast S&T against. I read Huey's article on Sneak and Show and something very important I gathered was that a good pilot of this deck must be able to discern what the opponent is playing within the first or second turn (so as to sculpt a better game plan, identify if casting S&T or Sneak Attack is better, etc). I feel like this genre of playstyle, where you use established knowledge of decks and the metagame to calculate the game, is far more valuable across 12 rounds than using Probe to play around the opponent's hand perfectly. Why? Because its our burden as competitive players to assume worst-case scenarios. The fact that Probe reveals a hand you can't beat shouldn't be a counterargument - you should already be playing to beat that stacked hand. The fact that Probe reveals a hand you can beat shouldn't be a counterargument either - you should be making reads from the moment your opponent sits down on the other side of the table to the point that when you're opponent can't fight back, you'll know. The latter claim is actually very difficult to get a good grasp of. I'm definitely not capable of it. But playing Probe doesn't exactly teach me how to get better, does it? I know I harped on this a bit earlier, but if we assume that we're doing things optimally and making reads to the best of our ability, Probe just reads "Pay 2 life: Draw a card". That's low impact and not where we want to be with this deck. I'd much rather have a card that gives me more vision to sculpt future turns or is a business spell like Misdirection, Daze, etc.


Having played storm for the most part fairly recently my favorite card has been gitaxian probe in that deck. While it is better in that deck then in this one, the purpose remains the same it tells you what hate to play around.
For example if your opponent boarded in meddling mage, and was already playing force of will you need to know if you're trying to land show and tell vbefore meddling mage, or if you need to win the counter war. This functions the same if you're trying to beat discard and counters or any combination of hate. Also letting you know you can go if is a real thing, i would rather windmill slam turn 1 emrakul knowing it is clear then wait till turn three to find my force.

Technicolor Mage
12-13-2013, 07:32 PM
@ Apple - Thanks for those tips, will print that out. I also printed out your sideboard stuff a few pages back - so you know at least 1 person appreciated your thoughts.:tongue:

As to the Probe debate:
Probes slots would likely just be filled with more counter magic if it weren't played. I see pros/cons no matter how you do it.

More than anything, I just need to play the deck day in day out, whether that is paper or cockatrice in order to get the experience of Legacy under my belt

At any rate, the dialogue here is good and the answers to my noob questions are much appreciated:smile:

For the Invitational this weekend, I hope SnS places well

apple713
12-13-2013, 08:00 PM
@ Apple - Thanks for those tips, will print that out. I also printed out your sideboard stuff a few pages back - so you know at least 1 person appreciated your thoughts.:tongue:

As to the Probe debate:
Probes slots would likely just be filled with more counter magic if it weren't played. I see pros/cons no matter how you do it.

More than anything, I just need to play the deck day in day out, whether that is paper or cockatrice in order to get the experience of Legacy under my belt

At any rate, the dialogue here is good and the answers to my noob questions are much appreciated:smile:

For the Invitational this weekend, I hope SnS places well

Thanks for the kind words. Its nice to know im not wasting my time talking to myself on here.

nodahero
12-14-2013, 01:48 AM
I think alot of people appreciate the work that is put into each and every thread. I really do love this deck, but as of late my meta has become so hostile against it that even the one frequent easy wins are near non-existent even over a month. I am still putting up a positive record but the draw of this deck is weaning with all the hate that seems to slowly be creeping its way into EVERY deck I face is making me want to switch my angle and run with something that receives less incidental hate.

apple713
12-14-2013, 02:01 AM
I think alot of people appreciate the work that is put into each and every thread. I really do love this deck, but as of late my meta has become so hostile against it that even the one frequent easy wins are near non-existent even over a month. I am still putting up a positive record but the draw of this deck is weaning with all the hate that seems to slowly be creeping its way into EVERY deck I face is making me want to switch my angle and run with something that receives less incidental hate.

Im noticing the same thing. I will probably break from it for a bit and play dark depths. The list in currently using plays the same cantrip/counterspell package as this deck and shares some fetches.

Technicolor Mage
12-14-2013, 06:24 AM
Apple:

Can you post your decklist?

I will probably rotate between SnS and u/W/R Delver

apple713
12-14-2013, 09:16 AM
Apple:

Can you post your decklist?

I will probably rotate between SnS and u/W/R Delver

My list for what? Dark Depths or sneak and show?

Nihil Credo
12-14-2013, 04:23 PM
New thread: http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?27217-DTB-Sneak-and-Show