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Finn
07-05-2011, 12:54 PM
The Four Horsemen is a deck which is similar in function to Cephalid Breakfast. However its components are not creatures, but artifacts, which is a switch that has some important implications.

It is slower.
It has more defense.
It is harder to disrupt because few decks have artifact hate in their main.
It is harder to disrupt because graveyard hate is largely ineffective.
It is harder to disrupt because it is only two colors.
The entire combo can be refitted with a different combo for game 2.

Sample Deck

1 Dread Return
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Sharuum the Hegemon
1 Blasting Station

4 Basalt Monolith
4 Mesmeric Orb
4 Narcomoeba

4 Cabal Therapy
3 Thoughtseize
4 Force of Will
4 Gitaxian Probe

4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
4 Lim-Dul's Vault

3 Underground Sea
3 Island
1 Swamp
4 Polluted Delta
3 Flooded Strand
3 Scalding Tarn

Sideboard

1 Crippling Fatigue
3 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Show and Tell
3 Echoing Truth
2 Ravenous Trap
2 Spell Pierce


I have given up on the cool anti-ant-graveyard stuff, as simply using the Show and Tell sideboard does a good enough job of creating the same protection.
Explanation:
Opening Hand
There is a lot of cheap search so an opening hand of only one land is probably acceptible as long as you have two search spells also. Pretty much any two, three, or four land hand will be ok. But every hand is improved by some search cards in it. Five lands is ok if one of the other cards is Brainstorm.

In Search Of
Your goal here is to have Basalt Monolith and Mesmeric Orb on the battlefield. The deck has plenty of search to get you there and a bit of defense along the way. You should be able to assemble the pieces by turn 3 on rare occasion, but often by turn 4 or 5. If the opponent has proper defenses, you will probably be delayed a bit while you deal with that. So it is not an especially fast combo by Legacy measurements. However unlike faster combo you have a decent amount of protection to see it through.

You also need Emrakul, Sharuum, Blasting Station, Dread Return, and three Narcomoebas anywhere in the library or graveyard. If some of these are in your hand (up to the number of Cabal Therapy in you library and grave yard) you will be able to discard them after you start going off. You do not need mana or any cards in hand. The combo takes several minutes to actually play out.

The Infinity Mill
Once you have the set up complete you can tap Basalt Monolith to untap itself as often as you like. Each time you do, Mesmeric Orb will put a single card from your library into your grave yard. Whenever you get to Emrakul its reshuffle trigger goes on the stack. If your opponent has any unknown resources (cards in hand, an active Top, etc.), you should just let it resolve immediately. Other than that, you are looking to reveal a Narcomoeba and a Cabal Thetapy. If you reveal Cabal Therapy first, keep going. If a Narcomoeba comes first, its ability goes on the stack. Do not let it resolve yet. Keep activating the Monolith with the Narcomoeba on the stack until you see a Cabal Therapy. When that happens allow the Narcomoeba to enter the Battlefield and, without passing priority, cast Cabal Therapy. The Narcomoeba will be safely back in your graveyard before your opponent can respond. Note that if Emrakul comes up with the Narcomoeba ability on the stack, you can let Emrakul shuffle it back in your library to essentially cancel the trigger. You are probably naming Swords to Plowshares with the first Therapy. If any of your Narcomoebas are exiled you have to go back to the search stage and get the Blasting Station in your hand and hardcast it. Now that you have seen your opponent's hand you can use the second Cabal Therapy in this same way to nab Stifle or Path to Exile. There really aren't any other cards to be concerned with (they should have countered one of your enablers if they had a counter). If the opponent has nothing pertinent from the first Therapy, you can use the others to discard combo pieces from your own hand if you are holding any.

Once these details are in order it is safe to let the three Narcomoebas enter the battlefield. Then you are looking to get Sharuum, Dread Return, and Blasting Station in your grave yard before revealing Emrakul. This may take several times through the deck but it must be exactly this way. Once you get this, Dread Return Sharuum who brings in the the Blasting Station. When Blasting Station enters the battlefield you are in business. Just continue to bring the Narcomoebas onto the battlefield one at a time and sacrifice them to the Station as you do. You will do infinite amounts of artifact damage to any legal target including your opponent.

Some tricks:
If you have any reason to believe that your opponent suspects what your deck does for game two, you can sub out:
4 Mesmeric Orb
4 Basalt Monolith
1 Dread Return
1 Sharuum the Hegemon
1 Blasting Station

for:
1 Crippling Fatigue
3 Emrakul the Aeons Torn
4 Show and Tell
3 Echoing Truth

...giving you a transitional deck into Show and Tell -> Emrakul with plenty of defense.

-The Crippling Fatigue is really only there against decks with Gaddock Teeg. There are other possible targets, but in all of those the opponent should not let you get to the stage where you are able to go off.

-There are about a thousand tiny ways you can outplay your opponent with this deck. Watch what your opponent is doing with the top of his deck. A Mesmeric Orb cast at just the right time can wreck his Ponder or Brainstorm - and that is a game-winning play. Similarly, you can get extra mileage out of your own Brainstorms.

-Be sure to do a lot of sideboard action after every game, even if you know you are going to be siding in nothing. You do not want your opponent to be able to guess which wincon you have.

Finn
07-05-2011, 12:55 PM
Matchups:

The testing is limited so far, but the deck is starting to show up in tournament results. You can extrapolate more from that.

Against anything that has no blue, it is a pretty easy ride. Death and Taxes has Revokers, but nothing else you HAVE to counter. And Zoo can put up fast starts and/or Qasali Pridemage. If it does both it is a better fight, but you are still in decent shape.

Merfolk - pretty hard. They can hit you from so many angles and have speed to back it up. If they have no bounce in the SB, it is easier. Be sure to fetch basics when possible.

U/W Mystic - This seems pretty favorable. Perhaps they don't have enough pertinent hate, but I seem to be getting through often.

U/W Landstill - Favorable. Really only the counterspells and Engineered Explosives concern you.

Show and Tell - If you side in the extra Emrakuls, you don't even need your own Show and Tell. Fun.

tb249606
07-05-2011, 05:29 PM
what are the thougyhts about adding a singleton life from the loam and academy ruins? they can boht be tutored with lim duls vaults, both are recovereable from the bin if they get milled with orbs and if you run intuitions it seems perfect to get the last combo piece ( get the pice you need,lftl,and acaemy ruins). it is a little slow but it guaruntees that you win the long game and helps fight through counter spells. thoughts?

also thoughts on adding fate stichers? im not sold on them but the idea of being able to intuition for three fate stitchers for infinite untaps seems cute. not sure if i wanna include it tho.

dahcmai
07-05-2011, 05:59 PM
The Crippling Fatigue in the sideboard is to remind you of how bad you are shredding your deck protectors. lol I tried out this deck for a bit and holy crap is it time consuming to kill people. Stupid powerful, I will admit, but I couldn't handle having to flip cards and shuffle that damned much. If anyone makes you actually go through the motions, you're going to time.


It is stupid easy to pull off that combo as silly as it looks. It's resilient and easy to assemble. Doesn't even feel like it's 2nd cousin Breakfast combo at all.

I highly recommend trying it out, but proxy it up and see if you can handle all that shuffling first. It was a little much for me.

Much <3 for your deck ideas Finn, keep em coming.

Mon,Goblin Chief
07-05-2011, 07:09 PM
Sweet list, pretty exciting abuse of weird synergies. There's one issue that needs to be taken care of rapidly, though: I seem to remember a thread trying to do something similar using the breakfast combo in which cdr, if I remember correctly, explained that a judge my consider it stalling to reshuffle your own deck over and over (something I didn't agree with but that, if true, could spell doom for this archetype).

Other than that, there is exactly one thing I really dislike about the list: the manabase. You need to get to three mana to do anything relevant, have extremely low color requirements to work with yet still run four Underground Seas exposing yourself to Wasteland unnecessarily. A manabase closer to Ari Lax's ANT manabase with 10+ Fetchlands, five to six basics and only two Seas seems like it would be much stronger (and would probably help to improve the Merfolk matchup all on its lonesome).

I also think cutting a little bit of protection (maybe a TSeize and a Misstep) for two more cantrips might be a good idea, if only to make the deck slightly faster.

/edit: Have you tried running a few Sol-lands to accelerate out the combo-pieces? Turn four seems awfully slow against some decks, especially those running Daze.

ivanpei
07-05-2011, 07:27 PM
Sweet list and great idea. This seems more evil than letting your opponent sit through a high tide combo turn. :) I like that its a slightly slower breakfast but more resilient to common creature removal. I'm not a fan of so many probes though, and I think you need city of traitors and ancient tomb in there some where to speed up the deck. The final part of getting all 3 components into the graveyard without hitting Emmy sounds like it will take some time.

The decks needs the 4th Narco, with just 3 you simply cannot pitch a single narco to force because you need dread return. Running 1 more dead card to + 4 pitchable cards doesn't sound like a bad idea to me. Cheers.

I'm cool with torturing people. Pure evil, I like.

Dark Ritual
07-05-2011, 07:46 PM
On the 'stalling' thing. You could just respond to emrakul's trigger and mill your whole deck then explain to your opponent how you're going to kill them if that's not enough for them then you just perform the combo over a few minutes.

Overall huge fan of the deck though nice work Finn. The name is just adorable too. Maybe we should name it lucky charms like old school combo decks lol name it after breakfast cereals.

Namida
07-05-2011, 07:57 PM
I feel like "Four Horsemen" is a whole lot cooler than Fruit Loops or anything like that.

I also can't imagine that flipping the cards in your deck can construed as stalling when you've explained the combo and made it apparent that you're headed towards a definite outcome,

ivanpei
07-05-2011, 08:11 PM
Hate to spoil the party and stifle innovation but I just thought up a hard question. How does this compare to u/b buried alive necrotic ooze combo? Both are grave based 2 card combos. Both are weak to needle effects (ooze has a leg up because it has built in work around for revoker) and grave hate with show and tell sb plans.

Ooze is not affected by artifact hate like pridemage. Ooze walks all over zoo. Ooze has + 2 more tutors in personal tutor. Ooze is cheaper (buried + reanimate is 4 mana). Most importantly ooze has less dead cards, (just trisk, aquamoeba and devourer). Ooze is very fast and can run 4 dark ritual, 4 lotus petal (lots of space because the combo is so compact) and can afford to board out accel for more protection.

Nonetheless, awesome deck though.

Finn
07-05-2011, 08:50 PM
Always good to get insightful feedback. Here are some answers.

@life from the loam and academy ruins?

Had both of these in the first version. We must think alike. They did not last the first day of testing. You really don't want these cards in your hand and the occasions for which they are necessary are far less common than those they impede by taking up slots.

@three fate stitchers

No creatures for me thank you.

@if I remember correctly...a judge my consider it stalling to reshuffle your own deck over and over

This was among my first concerns with the deck. The advice that I got at the time was that if the deck had a reasonable chance of accomplishing its goal (a nonzero chance is not enough), then you should be OK if you do so rapidly - I mean physically flipping the cards quickly. But it is open to interpretation. I suspect that if this deck ever truly catches on, there will have to be a reckoning on this portion of the rules.

But this presents an interesting slope for the deck with regards to both play and design. I reccommend dropping an extra Emrakul into the deck after sideboarding if you suspect graveyard hate and do not want to go Show and Tell for some reason. That significantly decreases the likelihood that you will get the cards to fall in just the right order on any given iteration. How far is too far for this kind of strategy? It could present a problem eventually. For example, imagine that an opponent uses Nature's Claim to destroy Basalt Monolith after you have begun to combo off. You could conceivably continue to go through the deck until only three copies of Basalt Monolith and Emrakul are in your library, thereby giving you an excellent chance to topdeck exactly what you need. The chances of managing it are infinitessimally small for any given iteration, but it is possible. That would be an illegitimate goal, but doing a little of it is common for me. And simply getting three specific cards into the graveyard before Emrakul is not nearly in that category. However, I have not yet had any issues of any sort concerning this. The deck typically finishes with plenty of time.

I don't know what would happen if an opponent insisted on seeing it through when it is inevitable. But I imagine the staller would be that opponent and not the pilot of this deck.


You need to get to three mana to do anything relevant, have extremely low color requirements to work with yet still run four Underground Seas exposing yourself to Wasteland unnecessarily. A manabase closer to Ari Lax's ANT manabase with 10+ Fetchlands, five to six basics and only two Seas seems like it would be much stronger (and would probably help to improve the Merfolk matchup all on its lonesome).../edit: Have you tried running a few Sol-lands to accelerate out the combo-pieces? Turn four seems awfully slow against some decks, especially those running Daze.Certainly the best manabase is open to discussion, and I consider it to be the most oportant issue facing the deck atm. But your two pieces of advice are at odds. (more basics, Sol lands) In particular, both decrease my chances of getting black. Unless I can play with more than four Polluted Deltas... The manabase I have is far more resilient to Merfolk than, say what Chapin wanted to try. I have not seen what Ari Lax is using, but there is no simple solution here.

@I also think cutting a little bit of protection (maybe a TSeize and a Misstep) for two more cantrips might be a good idea, if only to make the deck slightly faster.

This is a good idea that I am in favor of. Until very recently, I had been using Careful Study in the Mental Misstep spot, but I cut them. I am still unsure. I think the versions with insufficient search are playing fast and loose.

@The decks needs the 4th Narco, with just 3 you simply cannot pitch a single narco to force because you need dread return. Running 1 more dead card to + 4 pitchable cards doesn't sound like a bad idea to me.

This is another very sound argument. It closely relates to the Careful Study position actually, since Narcos are the most common thing I have sitting uselessly in my hand. I have a feeling that I will eventually do this instead of going back to Careful Study. It also opens up options like casting them when the opponent is playing white.

@This seems more evil than letting your opponent sit through a high tide combo turn

It is not as bad as that, actually. This deck can't really fizzle.

EDIT:
@Hate to spoil the party and stifle innovation but I just thought up a hard question. How does this compare to u/b buried alive necrotic ooze combo? Both are grave based 2 card combos. Both are weak to needle effects (ooze has a leg up because it has built in work around for revoker) and grave hate with show and tell sb plans.

I don't know a heckuvalotabout that deck. (I just looked at the list - really cool!) But I do know that this one is not particularly vulnerable to graveyard hate. In fact, it almost completely sidesteps it.

rnightingale
07-06-2011, 01:30 AM
This deck is cool ! :D actually you will won't be having hard time dealing with those GY hates. I have a question though..

What if either Orb or Monolith got "Extirpated" ?
What if Sharuum or Dread Return is in my hand ? (Do i have to dig for Brainstorm?)
What are the bad matchups for this deck?

Thanks Finn

Whippoorwill
07-06-2011, 03:48 AM
I played the deck this past Sunday and it was quite fun. Ended up 2-2, losing to Zenith Zoo (Game 1 he had Pridemage to stop me, Game 2 he resolved Choke the turn before I would have combo'd out.) and UW Landstill (He knew how the deck worked and what to counter - I was 3 mana short from hard casting Emrakul against him though which would have won me that game).

I like the Careful Study suggestion as there were a couple times I had combo pieces in my hand that I didn't want there.

ivanpei
07-06-2011, 04:07 AM
I would rather play see beyond over careful study. At least it isn't card disadvantage and doesn't open you up to graveyard. Being 2cc is pretty heavy though.

@ mightingal, you can use the mill until therapy + narco combo to therapy yourself and send combo components from your hand to your grave. Then find emrakul and shuffle everything back into your library, repeat.

sco0ter
07-06-2011, 04:16 AM
Nice combo indeed, I saw this primer already on mtgsalvation a few months ago.

One question I always asked myself:

Why does this deck mess around with all this shuffling and hoping that the 3 combo pieces (Sharuum, Station, Dread) go into the grave before Emrakul? This seems really annoying, boring and time consuming to me.
Why can't you just swap your library into the graveyard like Cephalid Breakfast does and win with some of the plenty win options (Karmic Guide stuff, Triskelion/Devourer, Bomberman...) ??

Is it the fear, that a Narcomoeba gets destroyed? Is it less safe against GY removal? Or what are your reasons to play it your way?

ivanpei
07-06-2011, 04:36 AM
The answer is protection from removal. In cephalid breakfast you have always 2 combo components + 2/3 narcos. If a narco goes farming, you can always sac your cephalid illusionist or nomad to dread return. You can't do that with orb-monolith. You can run only that many narcos. Also the Emmy loop let's you strip as many cards as you want from the opponent to make sure you combo off. It's a 100% win that way.

Gocho
07-06-2011, 04:47 AM
The reason is that you don't fizzle to creature kill or GY removal. Only to Exile effects and you play 13 spells to fight them.
If your opponent kill a Narcomoeba, you mill, find Emrakul, shuffle and mill again. Your Narcomoeba will appear another time.
In games 2 and 3, you side in another Emrakul and Dread Return. If your opponent break Tormod in response of the first Emrakul trigger, you mill until find the 2nd one and shuffle. If your opponent break Tormod in response of the Dread Return, you mill again until Emrakul, shuffle, lose the DR and go with the 2nd.

Someone had try Wake Trasher in the SB? Is an alternative win condition, with Monolith it could be an 1000/1000 that can block like a champion, doesn't use the grave and can make a single attack for the win.

kiblast
07-06-2011, 05:07 AM
Interesting concept. My only concern is about this part:



Other than that, you are looking to reveal a Narcomoeba and a Cabal Therapy. If you reveal Cabal Therapy first, keep going. If a Narcomoeba comes first, its ability goes on the stack. Do not let it resolve yet. Keep activating the Monolith with the Narcomoeba on the stack until you see a Cabal Therapy. When that happens allow the Narcomoeba to enter the Battlefield and, without passing priority, cast Cabal Therapy. The Narcomoeba will be safely back in your graveyard before your opponent can respond.

If I got the combo and the stack right, you keep revealing till you have a Therapy first and then allow Narcomoeba's trigger(s) to resolve. The point is that opponent can respond to Narcomoeba's trigger by exiling through Extirpate all your Narcomoebas. So, how do you beat Extirpate?
I recognize Extirpate is a sb card only, but I think you'll see yourself not boarding in SnT Emrakul in some Mu's like Landeed because they play 4 Jace TMS and 1-4 Innocent Blood.
Please note I'm unfamiliar with these kind of combo decks so sorry if I said something incorrect.

sco0ter
07-06-2011, 05:24 AM
The answer is protection from removal. In cephalid breakfast you have always 2 combo components + 2/3 narcos. If a narco goes farming, you can always sac your cephalid illusionist or nomad to dread return. You can't do that with orb-monolith. You can run only that many narcos. Also the Emmy loop let's you strip as many cards as you want from the opponent to make sure you combo off. It's a 100% win that way.

Then I'd try to add more disruptive creatures like Meddling Mage (great with Gitaxian Probe) or Grand Abolisher into the MD.

sco0ter
07-06-2011, 05:24 AM
The answer is protection from removal. In cephalid breakfast you have always 2 combo components + 2/3 narcos. If a narco goes farming, you can always sac your cephalid illusionist or nomad to dread return. You can't do that with orb-monolith. You can run only that many narcos. Also the Emmy loop let's you strip as many cards as you want from the opponent to make sure you combo off. It's a 100% win that way.

Then I'd try to add more disruptive creatures like Meddling Mage (great with Gitaxian Probe) or Grand Abolisher into the MD.

AriLax
07-06-2011, 08:25 AM
This doesn't seem like a 4 Sea deck. 2-3 at most. I don't forsee any issues casting your spells off 2 Islands and a Swamp ever, so why expose yourself to drawing Wasteable lands?

Finn
07-06-2011, 11:13 AM
@AriLax, It has nine fetchlands now. If you go to 10 and only three Seas, that is one fewer black source of mana (or blue, you choose). I'm at 16 and 14 now, so this is not a huge deal. In fact, I rather like it even though I would probably go with Bloodstained Mire rather than another Scalding Tarn. But if I go and swap out some more lands for Ancient Tombs, as others have done, it is looking rather shaky.

Gollus
07-06-2011, 07:58 PM
What do you do if your opponent manage to sword a Narcomoeba? In Response to anything so you have only 2 left and can't play Dread Return any more.

Moosedog
07-06-2011, 08:11 PM
What do you do if your opponent manage to sword a Narcomoeba? In Response to anything so you have only 2 left and can't play Dread Return any more.

You dont give them the opportunity. keep cycling through you deck until you hit 1 Narc followed by a cabal therapy. once the therapy hits the grave allow the narc trigger to resolve, then flash the therapy naming swords. repeat this process until they have nothing scary in thier hand.

randomly.anonymous
07-07-2011, 08:14 AM
Why is it called the "four horseman"? I only count 2 (sharuum and emrakul...?)

Edit: what about the addition of goblin welder given that it is already an artifact-based combo? It seems that if this is online you don't need to mill into all three narcomoebas or even dread return (even though you will need it for the blasting stage of the combo). Only downside is having to go into three colours :S

Welder Orbolith
Core (19)
4 Narcomoeba
1 Dread Return
1 Blasting Station
4 Basalt Monolith
4 Mesmeric Orb
3 Goblin Welder
1 Sharuum the Hegemon
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Search (13)
4 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
4 Lim-Dul's Vault
1 Sensei's Divining Top

Protection (12)
4 Force of Will
3 Mental Misstep
2 Thoughtseize
3 Cabal Therapy

Mana (16)
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Polluted Delta
1 Flooded Strand
1 Swamp
3 Island
1 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island

AriLax
07-07-2011, 08:57 AM
@AriLax, It has nine fetchlands now. If you go to 10 and only three Seas, that is one fewer black source of mana (or blue, you choose). I'm at 16 and 14 now, so this is not a huge deal. In fact, I rather like it even though I would probably go with Bloodstained Mire rather than another Scalding Tarn. But if I go and swap out some more lands for Ancient Tombs, as others have done, it is looking rather shaky.

It's not one fewer source though. Your fetches are the same as duals. I have never had a fetch land not get me the color I wanted in a UB combo deck, unless the "color I wanted" was a basic Island/Swamp and the fetchland was the wrong kind to get it.

Once you start playing Ancient Tombs though, you might want to consider if you even care about getting Wasted any more (aka do you plan on using Tomb more than once?).

metalhead
07-07-2011, 10:00 AM
I'm just curious why people are running sharum over sun titan.

Advantages
1.6/6 > 5/5 if you have to resort to racing
2.does not die to artifact removal
3.reusable every turn "can also get back narcos or lands"
4.vigilence> flying if ur racing
5.....gain one more life off of a swords???

Disadvantages
1. WW in castingcost "how often have u actually hard cast sharum?"
2. Dies to doomblade"much less relavent than artifact hate

Conclusion
even though his advantages are only rare occasions, they far outweigh the disadvantages vs sharum

Serbitar
07-07-2011, 11:05 AM
...

Whippoorwill
07-07-2011, 03:14 PM
Not sure if you're serious about Sun Titan based on the examples given.


I'm just curious why people are running sharum over sun titan.

Advantages
1.6/6 > 5/5 if you have to resort to racing
2.does not die to artifact removal
3.reusable every turn "can also get back narcos or lands"
4.vigilence> flying if ur racing
5.....gain one more life off of a swords???

If you have to resort to attacking with either of the creatures, you've probably already lost.

4. Moat > Vigilance


Disadvantages
1. WW in castingcost "how often have u actually hard cast sharum?"
2. Dies to doomblade"much less relavent than artifact hate

1. Its much easier to fetch for a lone Tundra if I need to cast Sharuum than 2 white sources when there's no other white cards.

2. Also dies to Go for the Throat, Snuff Out and a bunch of other stuff.

Sharuum can also be pitched to Force since you can just cast the Blasting Station.

ryO!
07-08-2011, 07:44 AM
some question i ve asked the guy who top 4 with this deck
#about the kills
why not Maga, Traitor to Mortals + The Mimeoplasm + Lord Of Extinction ?
Takes Only 3 slot immune to damage prevention, to removal, to needle & Null rod (yeah well the initial combo no but ... still !) + instant speed kill. (can only fail to stifle on maga cip trigger)

About Narcomoeba i agree with the previous comments it definitely needs 4 of them "just in case".

as for the manabase 2 Usea should be enough.

also as sideboard idea, better than Emy as it s less and less a relevant kill.
4 Hivemind
4 S&T
3 Red Pact
1 Green Pact
1 Black Pact
2 Bleu Pact

One last thing ave you tried Intuition over LDV ?

4eak
07-08-2011, 12:30 PM
Love the deck.

Outside of transformational sideboards, I'm wondering about the value/impact of other sb cards:


Altar of Dementia (an out to several things, including Needle, Runed Halo, etc.)
Ancient Grudge and/or Ray of Revelation (does some fantastic work for you, but you need to adjust the mana-base, which can reasonably be done)
Bridge from Below (solves some problems, often win-more though)
Phantasmagorian for some awkward situations. Frankly, I don't like having to use Therapy on my own hand.

I'm advocating none of them. I'm just brainstorming.

Also, I'm not yet convinced we don't want the 4th Narcomoeba.


peace,
4eak

AriLax
07-08-2011, 01:16 PM
Why is it called the "four horseman"? I only count 2 (sharuum and emrakul...?)

Edit: what about the addition of goblin welder given that it is already an artifact-based combo? It seems that if this is online you don't need to mill into all three narcomoebas or even dread return (even though you will need it for the blasting stage of the combo). Only downside is having to go into three colours :S

Welder Orbolith
Core (19)
4 Narcomoeba
1 Dread Return
1 Blasting Station
4 Basalt Monolith
4 Mesmeric Orb
3 Goblin Welder
1 Sharuum the Hegemon
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Search (13)
4 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
4 Lim-Dul's Vault
1 Sensei's Divining Top

Protection (12)
4 Force of Will
3 Mental Misstep
2 Thoughtseize
3 Cabal Therapy

Mana (16)
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Polluted Delta
1 Flooded Strand
1 Swamp
3 Island
1 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island

Needs more Intuition and artifact lands.

tb249606
07-08-2011, 02:10 PM
i feel like if your adding welders and intuitions and the artifact lands you might as well play painters stone. i have tested intuition and despite how awesome of a card it is it isnt as optimal in this deck as you would think. i ahve been playing four lim duls vault, 4 b storm, 4 poner, 4 probe as my dig and havent had any problems consistently goin off turn 4-5 with alll the protection you would ever need. another thing about adding intuition is you will find yourself wanting to add life from the loam and academy ruins and im sure you will end up at the same conclusion as finn and myself where you find that none of them(including intuition) mare necessary to the performance of the deck. howefver if you insist on playing welder with this combo then you will most def want to play intuition. im just saying that i feel you will find it subpar to how good you expect it to be. just trying to save you some time testing because trust me i have tested it and it just doesnt feel optimal. (it is really fun however to go EOT intuition into three fatestitchers (which i also cut) with an orb on the play to win the game lol)


The Source requires proper grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and sentence structure. You have 8 posts on this site, and they all break the rules. Change your posting habits, please.
-4eak

OurSerratedDust
07-08-2011, 02:18 PM
What do you guys think about 4 Cabal Therapy vs. 4 Thoughtseize? I'm thinking that the fourth cabal therapy probably has more value here. Thoughts?

deadlock
07-08-2011, 06:10 PM
Welder is not as good as in Painter as you need both combo pieces at the same time.

White for Enlighted Tutor looks much more appealing, besides giving you both combo pieces, it enables a silver bullet sideboard with all kinds of possiblities. Similiar to Reanimators sideboard when Mystical was still legal.
White also offers Silence / Chant, which would allow to reduce the Cabal Therapy / Thoughtseize count. Not that I cosider them better or necessary, it simply another option on top of ET. Even STP can be considered in the face of Revoker or other annoying creatures Just saying, ET is still the main selling point.
While it cannot find Show & Tell or Emrakul, it stil can find a singleton Sphinx of the Steelwind or BSC

Finn
07-08-2011, 06:10 PM
It's not one fewer source though. Your fetches are the same as duals. I have never had a fetch land not get me the color I wanted in a UB combo deck, unless the "color I wanted" was a basic Island/Swamp and the fetchland was the wrong kind to get it.

Once you start playing Ancient Tombs though, you might want to consider if you even care about getting Wasted any more (aka do you plan on using Tomb more than once?).

Yes. They are. So I don't know why I should be switching to more fetchlands. One costs me an extra life. One I can leave unused and temporarily safe from Wasteland. That happens from time to time of course, but not in greater frequency than how often I go to exactly zero life. Or at least to a degree that it is worth discussing. Seriously though, is there some other feature that I am not considering?

@Tombs: In its current configuration, this deck occasionally wanders around searching for components over too many turns. If the deck could somehow support four Ancient Tombs and four Dark Rituals or something, I would certainly be looking at Intuition to solve this issue.

tb249606
07-08-2011, 08:34 PM
the problem with runnin four therapy over four thoughtseize is that thoughtseize is guarunteed to let you hit a counter in their hand rather than therapy where you can only name one and hope to hit it. if you run four therapy over four seize you would want to add more creatures to reliably flash it back precombo to help u resolve and adding more creatures is not what we want to do. in regards to enlightened tutor it does seem like it has a place in here at first, but after testing you find it is not near as good as you would expect because unlike limduls vault you cant reliably cast it under a mesmeric orb that is on the field because your target gets milled which means you would have to do it before you resolved your orb which would slow you down or you have to do it in your upkeep which also slows you down. and elightened also gets hit by misstep which we do a fairly good job of avoiding by running vault. vault also allows you to safely dig for a combo piece with an orb already on field and can also randomly win you the game.(by finding a stack that has both pieces, or the piece you need with protection.



You did not heed the warning I gave you above.

The Source requires proper grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and sentence structure. You have 9 posts on this site, and they all break the rules. Change your posting habits, please.

Next time, you will receive an infraction.

-4eak

264505
07-08-2011, 09:41 PM
Running Probe allows you to hit with your Therapies, that an the ability to play Therapy from your graveyard to strip their hand while you are comboing off is very, very relevant.

tb249606
07-09-2011, 12:30 AM
I agree. I am just saying that there will be a lot of times where you will be sitting there without a Probe in hand and having a Therapy without a dude on the board and wishing it was a Thought Seize. I am just saying from my testing experience i have found that the fourth Seize is more relevant most of the time. But feel free to test the other way. Let me know your results. Sometimes my decks just hate me and don't want to give me the cards I need lol. Also sorry about the typing errors and grammar, I have been typing my post recently very quickly due to time restrictions. I'll clean them up in the future.

OurSerratedDust
07-09-2011, 01:15 AM
While Therapy can miss sometimes, I feel like the guesses you make will be fairly intuitive. Against blue you shoot for Force. If they don't have it, you're still in a good spot.

Thoughtseize is better at taking more specific hate though. If you are doing the transformational sideboarding, you might want Therapy over TS. Otherwise, Thoughtseize might be more flexible for your needs. I guess I will mess around with only 3 Cabal Therapy for now and see how it goes.

AriLax
07-09-2011, 03:24 AM
Yes. They are. So I don't know why I should be switching to more fetchlands. One costs me an extra life. One I can leave unused and temporarily safe from Wasteland. That happens from time to time of course, but not in greater frequency than how often I go to exactly zero life. Or at least to a degree that it is worth discussing. Seriously though, is there some other feature that I am not considering?


You aren't considering the fact that a bunch of spells that cost one mana of each color can easily be cast off of basics instead of duals, and that instead of starting from "I have all these duals and may as well add a couple of basics to maybe dodge Wasteland because I wanted fetches for Brainstorm anyways", the base should be "I have all these basics and fetch lands so I never get Wastelanded, and from there I add a couple of duals to fetch only when I need them to make things work out due to not being able to run 10 Polluted Delta".

I can assure you, in a deck aiming to get to 3 mana via lands with a reasonably early kill, getting Stone Rained because the land you drew and need to play is a Underground Sea is much worse and more likely than needing the one life.

Nobu
07-09-2011, 08:47 AM
What would you cut to put the 4th therapy and the 4th narco?

Finn
07-09-2011, 11:14 AM
You aren't considering the fact that a bunch of spells that cost one mana of each color can easily be cast off of basics instead of duals, and that instead of starting from "I have all these duals and may as well add a couple of basics to maybe dodge Wasteland because I wanted fetches for Brainstorm anyways", the base should be "I have all these basics and fetch lands so I never get Wastelanded, and from there I add a couple of duals to fetch only when I need them to make things work out due to not being able to run 10 Polluted Delta".

I can assure you, in a deck aiming to get to 3 mana via lands with a reasonably early kill, getting Stone Rained because the land you drew and need to play is a Underground Sea is much worse and more likely than needing the one life.I think you are referring to not wanting to topdeck an Underground Sea against an opponent with Wasteland. (the comparison was never between one life and one land). That is a matter different than weighing how often a player will get color screwed versus how often he will get mortally delayed by Wasteland. I see your point.

Thanks for the help.

EDIT: I made some minor changes to the list reflecting the banter. The fourth Narco is necessary if you have extra defense at the cost of extra search. It feels like a patch and not a solution though.

Current issues: The deck wants more tutors, less search.

tsabo_tavoc
07-10-2011, 01:35 PM
Hate to spoil the party and stifle innovation but I just thought up a hard question. How does this compare to u/b buried alive necrotic ooze combo? Both are grave based 2 card combos. Both are weak to needle effects (ooze has a leg up because it has built in work around for revoker) and grave hate with show and tell sb plans.

Ooze is not affected by artifact hate like pridemage. Ooze walks all over zoo. Ooze has + 2 more tutors in personal tutor. Ooze is cheaper (buried + reanimate is 4 mana). Most importantly ooze has less dead cards, (just trisk, aquamoeba and devourer). Ooze is very fast and can run 4 dark ritual, 4 lotus petal (lots of space because the combo is so compact) and can afford to board out accel for more protection.

Nonetheless, awesome deck though.

I think the answer is Mental Misstep. After it was spoiled, I stopped working on Buried Ooze.


Current issues: The deck wants more tutors, less search.

Is Transmute Artifact a potential improvement? This is a decklist I plan to test. Obviously, a new board plan is required.

4 Mesmeric Orb
4 Basalt Monolith
4 Narcomoeba
1 Dread Return
1 Sharuum
1 Blasting Station
1 Emrakul

4 Brainstorm
4 Sensei's Divining Top
4 Transmute Artifact

4 Force of Will
3 Mental Misstep
3 Thoughtseize
3 Cabal Therapy

4 Seat of the Synod
4 Polluted Delta
4 Flooded Strand
3 Underground Sea
2 Island
2 Ancient Tomb

4eak
07-10-2011, 07:50 PM
Transmute Artifact looks quite good. I'm not convinced by the Tomb's in this list. I'm wondering if you should be cutting LDV. Is it too much to have both LDV and Transmute?

I'm trying:

// Lands - 19
4 Underground Sea
1 Swamp
2 Island
4 Polluted Delta
2 Flooded Strand
2 Misty Rainforest
4 Seat of the Synod

// Combo - 16
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Blasting Station
1 Sharuum the Hegemon
1 Dread Return
4 Narcomoeba
4 Basalt Monolith
4 Mesmeric Orb

// Card Quality - 15
3 Sensei's Divining Top
4 Transmute Artifact
4 Brainstorm
4 Lim-Dul's Vault

// Hand/Stack Control - 10
2 Thoughtseize
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Force of Will

Cutting LDV for Transmute doesn't seem to add more tutoring power (in fact, I think might even be less powerful). Having both tutors looks nice on paper, especially for a deck which relies so heavily on a two-card combo.

I'm don't mind going to 4 on Therapy because I feel very comfortable naming blind in game 1, and I feel even more comfortable game 2. The reason I'm going to Therapy is largely because it enables me to play faster. Having 4 Narco and 4 Therapy let's me see pairs of them more often before Emrakul flops my graveyard; it saves me time, which I desperately want with this deck. There are times where I have something stuck in my hand, and I need to therapy myself 1-2 times and my opponent 2-3 times before I go off. That takes some a lot of time (perhaps I'm still too slow).

I cut MM, which I think is better as a sideboard card.

Lastly, Pact of Negation looks pretty decent in this deck. It forces through your last combo piece and protects the combo afterwards (in some cases).


peace,
4eak

Finn
07-10-2011, 09:23 PM
4reak, remember that you can use Careful Study instead of that extra Cabal Therapy to far better effect. You usually want to draw exactly on Careful Study per game. I am leaning towards having exactly two in the deck.

Also, seven artifacts as fodder for 4 transmutes (btw, Seat of the Synod getting Basalt Monolith costs 5 mana - it may as well be 50) is not going to work at all. You need about 16 minimum. And Monoliths and Orbs don't count. I would LOVE to get Transmute to work. But I have tried and it has been brutal. Want to know why Transmute Artifact is not a $70 card? Brainstorm. You can't have both running optimally in the same deck with today's cards. So which do you cut? A possible contender to eventually make that happen though: Pentad Prism.

4eak
07-10-2011, 10:44 PM
4reak, remember that you can use Careful Study instead of that extra Cabal Therapy to far better effect. You usually want to draw exactly on Careful Study per game. I am leaning towards having exactly two in the deck.

I think Study is not even close to Therapy. Therapy is way better.


Study is only good in hand (you have to draw it), and Therapy is good anywhere (hand, gy, library).
Until you combo, you do care about card advantage, and Study's card disadvantage is not worth it.
The odds of a 'good' Study (which is having at least 1 combo card in hand) when you only run 1 or 2 Study's is not very good. Therapy is pretty much always going to work.
Hardcast Therapy is a good play, it slows your opponent, clears the way for the combo, and it makes Narcos in hand quite useful. (Other Dredge players, back me up here.)
I'm more likely to flashback my Therapy before comboing, which does buy me time and protection, because I know I won't run out.
I don't know about you, but once my opponent knows what I'm up to, the jig is up, and they have plenty of hate. I'm running into enough cases where I have to clear 2 and sometimes 3 different pieces of hate out of a hand (and, since I do pitch Narco to force, I am worried about StP, etc.). If I have something trapped in hand, having that 4th Therapy is great.
Again, there is a non-trivial amount of time difference between 3 and 4 Therapies while cycling over and over through your deck to find pairs of Narco and Therapy (often, exclusively just a pair, where finding 2 Narco's before finding a Therapy requires you to reset and start all over).
Therapy doesn't pitch to Force though*, but that's fine.


Also, seven artifacts as fodder for 4 transmutes (btw, Seat of the Synod getting Basalt Monolith costs 5 mana - it may as well be 50) is not going to work at all. You need about 16 minimum. And Monoliths and Orbs don't count. I would LOVE to get Transmute to work. But I have tried and it has been brutal. Want to know why Transmute Artifact is not a $70 card? Brainstorm. You can't have both running optimally in the same deck with today's cards. So which do you cut? A possible contender to eventually make that happen though: Pentad Prism

Transmute is not the perfect answer. I agree. I still think LDV is head and shoulders better. And, after testing, I'm retracting my doubt about the Ancient Tomb's. Pentad Prism is interesting. That said, I think Transmute Artifact is still better than you imply.


5 mana is not out of range. With proper use of Therapy, Seize, and Force, I'm living to see 5 lands in plenty of matches -- 3 SDT and 4 Brainstorm also ensure that we see land if and when we want it with consistency.
SDT is the usual choice here. When you Transmute, it is for the 2nd piece, and SDT becomes less valuable in that case. Basalt is 4 and Orb 3 (which is what you had anyways), which is easily in range.
I've found the redundancy nice against control elements. Every Transmute is a threat.
Monoliths and Orbs do count in my experience (I bet this isn't the first 2-artifact combo that either of us have tried with Transmute). When you have two of the same piece, Transmute becomes relevant. Double Monolith is fine, one plays into the next, and you transmute the tapped (doable on 3 land, which you would have to have anyways). Double Orb is fine as well (again, doable on 3 land).
With that in mind, we are running more than 7 artifacts for transmute. It certainly isn't 15 (the number of artifacts in the deck), but it is definitely higher than 7.
Brainstorm often let's you trade your redundant combo pieces for other cards, which is a strike against using combo pieces as transmute fodder. But, Brainstorm isn't directly in conflict with it either. There are times where you'll brainstorm to actually find an artifact for transmute, whether it be a redundant piece or not, you often don't care. Or, you may even Brainstorm into a Transmute, which makes that redundant piece actually useful.
Again, I'm not saying Transmute is the best card here. I simply think it is better than you've implied.

Regardless, you are right that we need to more tutors. Consider:

8 Cantrips
4 Tutor (LDV -- which is decently likely to find 2 combo pieces in high life total, non-multiple of 5 library total situations)
4 Combo piece 1
4 Combo piece 2

This only works when you have a bit more control/disruption than we have available in this deck, and it is more acceptable when you can actually win the game (in a likely manner) without your combo. This doesn't seem good enough for a deck relying so heavily upon getting 2 pieces together.

Until I find something better, I think I'm stuck with Transmute. I'm going to try Enlightened tutor (gonna have to keep SDT's or Probes, dropping Ponders, because instant speed matters when Orb is on the board). Unfortunately, with MM in the format, E-tutor is substantially weaker. This deck becomes more vulnerable to a very prevalent card that we'd otherwise be largely immune to.

Will try:

// Lands - 20
4 Polluted Delta
4 Flooded Strand
4 Tundra
4 Underground Sea
2 Island
1 Plains
1 Swamp

// Combo - 16
1 Sharuum the Hegemon
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Dread Return
1 Blasting Station
4 Narcomoeba
4 Basalt Monolith
4 Mesmeric Orb

// Protection - 8
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Force of Will

// Tutors - 8
4 Enlightened Tutor
4 Lim-Dul's Vault

// Instant Speed Card Quality - 8
4 Brainstorm
4 Gitaxian Probe

More lands is reasonable in a build with neither SDT nor Ponder. Probe is not a good replacement for finding lands. It does work well with Therapy and E-tutor though. Will also try SDT in its place. Will go up to 10 fetches if so. MM does look better when you run your own E-Tutors.


peace,
4eak

Finn
07-11-2011, 12:15 AM
@Brainstorm w/Transmute: These cards can not be used properly together because they make conflicting demands on your lands. No other reason. Your solution was plopping in more lands and including a few artifacts. Now the deck has too many lands for Brainstorm and too few artifacts for Transmute. You could edit those amounts, but going in either direction is in opposition to the other. I would really prefer not to have to get into a debate about how these things work if it can be avoided, as I have already done this testing for myself.

@counting combo pieces towards Transmute fodder: You seem to see what I mean. But I think you are talking about it before you have actually tried it. If that is so, I would love to see what you have to say after trying it.

@E.Tutor: Merfolk will rape you if you try this. Again, this is experience trying to guide you. I have already tried this.

@Therapy versus Careful Study. It is all about card advantage and Careful Study usually gives you more of it. I don't think I can get away with just saying this one without providing some details.

I am sure we both know how Cabal Therapy works and its advantages and disadvantages, so I will skip that. But with Study, with its inherent card disadvantage, it may seem odd that I am claiming that it can do the opposite. Just remember that you want only one per game. If your opening hand is decent except for two dead cards and no Brainstorm, that is a definite mulligan. Not with Careful Study. In games where you can't seem to get anything going, it is usually because you got a few crappy topdecks into things like a Narco and a Sharuum. Your hand does nothing useful. No number of Cabal Therapies can get your hand restarted from that scenario. And I have not found myself running short of Therapies once the combo has begun, so I don't know what that is all about. Never heard anyone say they had that issue before now. Typically, if I am holding two combo pieces and my opponent has anything pertinent, I am never going to get to the combo stage because I have not been drawing search cards or pieces.

Just the same, I am becoming more in favor of the 4 Narco, 4 Therapy plan. I find myself more willing to consider them discard spells for 1u when I know that I can spare one. And that lends credence to the 4 Therapy argument. I feel like I have more total defense when the Narcos double up that way.


4 Mesmeric Orb
4 Basalt Monolith
4 Narcomoeba
1 Sharuum the Hegemon
1 Emrakul the Aeons Torn
1 Dread Return
1 Blasting Station

4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
4 Lim-Dul's Vault
2 Careful Study
2 Gitaxian Probe

3 Thoughtseize
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Force of Will

1 Swamp
3 Island
3 Underground Sea
4 Polluted Delta
3 Scalding Tarn
3 Flooded Strand


BTW, I hate Mental Misstep. I do not want to play it. I do not want to face it. And yes, LDV is really good.

Stone
07-11-2011, 03:26 AM
Just another suggestion...
Has anyone considered Grim Tutors? I know it sits at the top of your curve which isn't ideal and is an expensive card... was thinking:

// Lands - 17
3 Underground Sea
2 Swamp
1 Island
4 Polluted Delta
2 Flooded Strand
2 Misty Rainforest
1 marsh flats
2 ancient tomb

// Combo - 16
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Blasting Station
1 Sharuum the Hegemon
1 Dread Return
4 Narcomoeba
4 Basalt Monolith
4 Mesmeric Orb

// Card Quality - 16
4 Brainstorm
4 Lim-Dul's Vault
3 ponder
3 Gitaxian probe
2 grim tutor

// Hand/Stack Control - 11
4 Thoughtseize
3 Cabal Therapy
4 Force of Will

Main concern seems to be grims are cmc3 and place a swamp lean on the manabase which i'm not sure i've adjusted for adequately (help appreciated). On the plus side allows 1 helm of obediance to be placed in side with 4 leyline of the void for a complact alternate win cond that doesn't necessarily need to drop the primary win cond. Would love extra land/cantrips for consistency tho...

tsabo_tavoc
07-11-2011, 05:13 AM
Just another suggestion...
Has anyone considered Grim Tutors? I know it sits at the top of your curve which isn't ideal and is an expensive card

Welcome to the Source! The best 3cc Tutor is Intuition.

Intuition costs 1 more than Transmute Artifact (when I posted, I somehow thought Transmute required only paying the mana difference between the target and Transmute itself). If we strain the mana base towards 4 Ancient Tomb instead of Artifact lands, Intuition is castable on Turn 2. Besides, Ancient Tomb has much more synergy with the deck than Artifact lands, enabling faster Monolith, Orb, Intuition, Show and Tell, better daze proove, and Sensei's Divining Top.

An Intuition fueled decklist looks like:

16 Combo pieces

4 Brainstorm
4 Top
2 LDV
4 Intuition

4 FOW
3 Thoughtseize
4 Therapy

4 Ancient Tomb
9 U fetch
3 Underground Sea
2 Island
1 Swamp

The more I tested Top, the more I liked it better than Ponder. Having instant speed and repetitive use, it searches Monolith on its own with Orb in play. Should you find too few cards pitchable to FOW (18 in the list above, as single Narcomoeba is pitchable), the number between Top and Ponder can always be tuned.

4eak
07-11-2011, 01:37 PM
@ Finn

In case I wasn't clear before (several phrases point it out, but perhaps I wasn't clear enough), my response was after having done playtesting with the deck (including versions with Transmute), if that matters to you.


I would really prefer not to have to get into a debate about how these things work if it can be avoided, as I have already done this testing for myself.

That is unfortunate. I find my experience conflicts with yours on a number of decks. I won't, of course, casually dismiss your experience without also dismissing my own. I generally place more weight in theorycraft than experience (and, If you want, I can explain that for you).

Be patient with me, and please explain 'why'. You very well may be right, but I would like a better response.

As far as your Brainstorm and Transmute generalization goes, I think you haven't shown much. You make two assumptions:

a) You can't get both Brainstorm and Transmute Artifact running optimally in the same deck.
b) Because of (a), you should cut one or the other.

As to (a), it seems I can make the same point for MOST cards you might pair with Brainstorm. I agree there are dissynergies and deckbuilding problems, just as I could point out with most cards with Brainstorm. This brings us to (b). Even with these costs of dissynergy, the effects still might be worth using. Just because two cards aren't each optimal in the same deck doesn't mean they aren't worth using together. Consider how many decks have played both Grim Lavamancer and Tarmogoyf in the same deck. They don't play optimally together either, but they still might both be worth using for the aims of the overall deck. I'm not convinced the dissynergy is overwhelmingly problematic just yet.

Despite my concerns about tournament data, AFAIK, Transmute Artifact hasn't really seen play in Legacy. Perhaps a good place to gain some some insight into this card would probably be Vintage (http://morphling.de). Yes, I know Vintage is different than Legacy, but I'll go out on a limb and say your generalization might apply to Vintage as well, particularly as these decks are seeking a 2-artifact combo as well. Consider that in the vast majority of tournament placing decks packing Transmute, the deck runs an equal number of Brainstorm.

If Transmute Artifact ever does see play in Legacy, I wouldn't be shocked to see (in fact, I would be betting on) Brainstorm being played alongside it, simply because Brainstorm is such a powerful card.



@E.Tutor: Merfolk will rape you if you try this.

I had pointed out why I didn't like E-tutor. That actually came directly from my matches with Merfolk and others packing MM while I played E-tutor in other decks.

In my opinion, Merfolk already has a decent matchup against this deck, E-tutor or not. Merfolk does well against most combo decks. Obviously, Merfolk prefers to hit major combo enablers with MM rather than cantrips or discard. Merfolk has replaced Threshold as the gatekeeper of the format, keeping a ton of the format in check. I think this deck is kept in check by Merfolk, E-Tutor or not.

At this point, I'm not sure the Merfolk match is salvageable. Merfolk is the reason I'm forced to question why I should play this deck over Painter-Combo, which I think performs substantially better against Merfolk while still doing well against a good chunk of the format. So, I'm willing to tank this deck against Merfolk a bit further by running E-tutor.

Again, let me emphasize that I believe you are completely correct about needing a tutor. I don't believe this deck is good enough as it stands in the OP. It needs the consistency provided by tutors 5-X.

I'm having to choose between necessary evils here. Transmute is not optimal, but it does work, albeit slower than I'd prefer. E-Tutor isn't optimal either, but it is still worth trying. Intuition deserves a shot as well.



@ Careful Study

Since the debate is no longer about cutting a Therapy for Study, let me focus on Study, because I'm still not convinced it belongs in this deck.

Study, for obvious reasons, belongs in a deck which uses the graveyard. This is not that deck. This deck doesn't use the graveyard in a way that works with Study as part of the combo (the time when Study is worth using). Here is the rule of thumb for you: Careful Study is only worth using if it is acting both as card draw (which you are using it as) and also as a combo enabler (which is a lot more than merely 'digging' for combo pieces or protection).

Consider UG Madness (which has actually foregone the use of Study because it is a sorcery and it was all too often card disadvantage) and Vengevine decks which can effectively get both effects from Study. Madness plays spells cheaper (and doesn't suffer card disadvantage) because they can discard them into play, and binning Vengevines is innately important for recurring them.

Consider Reanimator, which absolutely MUST get cards in the GY to have anything to reanimate. Study pulls double duty! It belongs in that deck. Also, when you are going for the 'emergency Study', where you don't have targets to pitch, the card disadvantage isn't as bad in this deck because it runs on so few resources (unlike this deck), and it is capable of going off the same turn it casts Study (unlike this deck)

Consider Non-LED Dredge, which needs Dredgers and other combo enablers into the GY over and over. That deck doesn't function without ways to discard as a combo enabler, and moreover, it functions awesomely with draw effects.

This deck doesn't use Study like that. It doesn't belong in the deck. Yes, there are cases where you bypass Study's raw card disadvantage by already having been in the position of having virtual card disadvantage with dead cards in your hand. But, that case isn't common enough to use Study.

You only "want one per game" if you want it all, and frankly, most of the time you don't want Study, not even the 'singleton' or the 2 you might run.

Your argument for 'getting rid of dead cards' should apply to more decks than this one, and besides what I listed, pretty much no other deck plays Careful Study. Let cards like Brainstorm, which don't cause card disadvantage, do the work of dealing with dead cards.

If you are going to accept card disadvantage most of the time (that is, when you aren't in the somewhat uncommon case of having a dead card, and thus virtual card disadvantage already), it needs to be a more profound effect than digging for two cards.



peace,
4eak

ThomasDowd
07-12-2011, 02:08 PM
Is there any way you can beat a resolved pithing needle on blasting station?



or in G2 assuming you did not board into SnT emrakul.

OurSerratedDust
07-12-2011, 02:51 PM
Is there any way you can beat a resolved pithing needle on blasting station?



or in G2 assuming you did not board into SnT emrakul.

You can either use LDV to find Echoing Truth or Meltdown, or attack with Sharuum and use Narcomoebas as blockers.

tsabo_tavoc
07-12-2011, 04:24 PM
Is there any way you can beat a resolved pithing needle on blasting station?

or in G2 assuming you did not board into SnT emrakul.

Needle should name Basalt Monolith to freeze the engine. The build does not have any MD outs to it except Blasting Station to kill the Revoker. You get bounces from the SB.

Needle is not a very prevalent hate and I worry more about Artifact destructions (Grip, Qasali, Ancient Grudge). Dedicating 3 SB slots to bounce is a waste IMO and I would test a full transformational SB, something looks like

1 Dread Return
4 Show and Tell
2 Emrakul
2 Terastodon
2 Form of the Dragon
1 Thoughtseize
3 Duress

How do you think about the plan? Does this deck need yard hates?

By the way, I really like the 4 Sollands build (with Top and Intuition) and they should be City of Traitors instead of Ancient Tomb. The Tomb is so painful for the deck.

Finn
07-13-2011, 04:21 PM
@ Finn

In case I wasn't clear before (several phrases point it out, but perhaps I wasn't clear enough), my response was after having done playtesting with the deck (including versions with Transmute), if that matters to you.



That is unfortunate. I find my experience conflicts with yours on a number of decks. I won't, of course, casually dismiss your experience without also dismissing my own. I generally place more weight in theorycraft than experience (and, If you want, I can explain that for you).

Be patient with me, and please explain 'why'. You very well may be right, but I would like a better response.

As far as your Brainstorm and Transmute generalization goes, I think you haven't shown much. You make two assumptions:

a) You can't get both Brainstorm and Transmute Artifact running optimally in the same deck.
b) Because of (a), you should cut one or the other.

As to (a), it seems I can make the same point for MOST cards you might pair with Brainstorm. I agree there are dissynergies and deckbuilding problems, just as I could point out with most cards with Brainstorm. This brings us to (b). Even with these costs of dissynergy, the effects still might be worth using. Just because two cards aren't each optimal in the same deck doesn't mean they aren't worth using together. Consider how many decks have played both Grim Lavamancer and Tarmogoyf in the same deck. They don't play optimally together either, but they still might both be worth using for the aims of the overall deck. I'm not convinced the dissynergy is overwhelmingly problematic just yet.

Despite my concerns about tournament data, AFAIK, Transmute Artifact hasn't really seen play in Legacy. Perhaps a good place to gain some some insight into this card would probably be Vintage (http://morphling.de). Yes, I know Vintage is different than Legacy, but I'll go out on a limb and say your generalization might apply to Vintage as well, particularly as these decks are seeking a 2-artifact combo as well. Consider that in the vast majority of tournament placing decks packing Transmute, the deck runs an equal number of Brainstorm.

If Transmute Artifact ever does see play in Legacy, I wouldn't be shocked to see (in fact, I would be betting on) Brainstorm being played alongside it, simply because Brainstorm is such a powerful card.




I had pointed out why I didn't like E-tutor. That actually came directly from my matches with Merfolk and others packing MM while I played E-tutor in other decks.

In my opinion, Merfolk already has a decent matchup against this deck, E-tutor or not. Merfolk does well against most combo decks. Obviously, Merfolk prefers to hit major combo enablers with MM rather than cantrips or discard. Merfolk has replaced Threshold as the gatekeeper of the format, keeping a ton of the format in check. I think this deck is kept in check by Merfolk, E-Tutor or not.

At this point, I'm not sure the Merfolk match is salvageable. Merfolk is the reason I'm forced to question why I should play this deck over Painter-Combo, which I think performs substantially better against Merfolk while still doing well against a good chunk of the format. So, I'm willing to tank this deck against Merfolk a bit further by running E-tutor.

Again, let me emphasize that I believe you are completely correct about needing a tutor. I don't believe this deck is good enough as it stands in the OP. It needs the consistency provided by tutors 5-X.

I'm having to choose between necessary evils here. Transmute is not optimal, but it does work, albeit slower than I'd prefer. E-Tutor isn't optimal either, but it is still worth trying. Intuition deserves a shot as well.



@ Careful Study

Since the debate is no longer about cutting a Therapy for Study, let me focus on Study, because I'm still not convinced it belongs in this deck.

Study, for obvious reasons, belongs in a deck which uses the graveyard. This is not that deck. This deck doesn't use the graveyard in a way that works with Study as part of the combo (the time when Study is worth using). Here is the rule of thumb for you: Careful Study is only worth using if it is acting both as card draw (which you are using it as) and also as a combo enabler (which is a lot more than merely 'digging' for combo pieces or protection).

Consider UG Madness (which has actually foregone the use of Study because it is a sorcery and it was all too often card disadvantage) and Vengevine decks which can effectively get both effects from Study. Madness plays spells cheaper (and doesn't suffer card disadvantage) because they can discard them into play, and binning Vengevines is innately important for recurring them.

Consider Reanimator, which absolutely MUST get cards in the GY to have anything to reanimate. Study pulls double duty! It belongs in that deck. Also, when you are going for the 'emergency Study', where you don't have targets to pitch, the card disadvantage isn't as bad in this deck because it runs on so few resources (unlike this deck), and it is capable of going off the same turn it casts Study (unlike this deck)

Consider Non-LED Dredge, which needs Dredgers and other combo enablers into the GY over and over. That deck doesn't function without ways to discard as a combo enabler, and moreover, it functions awesomely with draw effects.

This deck doesn't use Study like that. It doesn't belong in the deck. Yes, there are cases where you bypass Study's raw card disadvantage by already having been in the position of having virtual card disadvantage with dead cards in your hand. But, that case isn't common enough to use Study.

You only "want one per game" if you want it all, and frankly, most of the time you don't want Study, not even the 'singleton' or the 2 you might run.

Your argument for 'getting rid of dead cards' should apply to more decks than this one, and besides what I listed, pretty much no other deck plays Careful Study. Let cards like Brainstorm, which don't cause card disadvantage, do the work of dealing with dead cards.

If you are going to accept card disadvantage most of the time (that is, when you aren't in the somewhat uncommon case of having a dead card, and thus virtual card disadvantage already), it needs to be a more profound effect than digging for two cards.



peace,
4eak

I apologize for the delay. Also, I may have to respond to this in parts. No Time to think!!!

@Careful Study: Sure, there is a maximum benefit to the card to be had in graveyard decks like Reanimator, but the deck needs more than just four Brainstorms to replace dead cards with useful ones. Any game in which you died with even a single useless combo piece stuck in your hand (or even just mana flood or something) you could have used a Careful Study. When I play Careful Study in the deck this does not happen. When I cut them it does. The only cards that I know of that can effectively replace those dead cards without taking a hit are Brainstorm and Jace. Winds of Change and Tolarian Winds are worse versions of careful Study and Scroll Rack is super cool, but kinda expensive. The problem with having dead combo pieces in your hand is that (a) they should be actual useful cards and (b) you need them out of your hand to combo out. We already have Cabal Therapy to solve (b), but it does not solve (a). Adding more copies will also not solve (a). I am still behind at least the idea of using 4 Cabal Therapy, but it has nothing to do with solving (b). Brainstorm is currently the only card we have for this, and if it gets Misstepped or you simply don't get it, you are screwed. Add to this the fact that Careful Study cuts your number of mulligans and you really want this card.

As far as I can tell, the only argument that remains is the one that says "I don't get stuck with parts in my hand all that often." I can't argue with that except to say "Not yet, perhaps."

@Enlightened Tutor: The biggest problem with that card with regard to Merfolk is not directly related to Misstep. Well, Misstep too, I but I was specifically talking about the effect it has on your land base. You have to have access to white, black, and blue on the first few turns, so Merfolk is able to really do what it does to your mana and subsequently can make stuff like Daze and Cursecatcher more important. You know what I mean.

@Brainstorm and Transmute together: They don't work because of the cards you are forced to use to make them work properly. Brainstorm does not require a lot, but I would not be comfortable going below about 8 fetchlands unless there were some other free way to change the cards you put back for new ones, like Loam or a shuffler or something. Count in the basics and a few duals and you are at what, 14 or 15 minimum. You have a deck full of search here, so you only need a few more lands. What you would like is 8 artifact lands. You have room for four, but even then you get no sol lands, so you are cutting into the value of Transmute already. Then you also need certain other cards that can fit securely into a deck (say this one, for example). Divining Top is a good choice. But then what? If you just had more artifact lands, you would be fine, but you can't properly do that because Brainstorm needs particular lands to work. Now you need to invent a purpose for the artifacts you are to add. That is where the addition of transmute ends.

Your position on this, as far as I can tell, is that the artifacts in there, plus the ones I just said are enough. If that actually working for you, we have something to pursue. And frankly, that would be the holy grail. But I tried this as well and consistency was a real issue. This is where I stand.

Solar Ice
07-13-2011, 07:58 PM
Needle should name Basalt Monolith to freeze the engine.

Monolith is a mana ability so Needling it won't work. Revoker is pretty good though.

Very interesting deck, btw.

Finn
07-13-2011, 08:00 PM
You needle the untap ability.

Mattie
07-13-2011, 08:10 PM
Finn: I used to play my pet deck Enduring Ideal which also had ~5 dead cards. At that time Mystical Tutor was still legal, so Merchant Scroll was quite good at getting either Brainstorm, Mystical Tutor or Echoing Truth. I also tried See Beyond in that deck, it was quite weak but it may be better than Careful Study in your deck. Have you tested it?

Finn
07-14-2011, 08:01 AM
Thanks, I forgot about See Beyond. Barnello had been trying it out, but eventually abandoned it. Man, why did they make it cost two? It already does less than Brainstorm. I think that if I am going to go that route, I might even try Vendilion Clique, which is actually sounding kind of attractive. The idea that its primary value is to shuffle back dead cards in addition to its other purposes seems really good. Yeah, its expensive, but it does a lot of things for the deck.

-2 Careful Study
+2 Vendilion Clique

seems like a really easy fix. Something to consider.

AriLax
07-14-2011, 09:06 AM
Main deck Vendillion Clique in a combo deck seems nuts. Solid alternate win, most disruption, and card filtering.

Michael Keller
07-14-2011, 09:35 AM
Thanks, I forgot about See Beyond. Barnello had been trying it out, but eventually abandoned it. Man, why did they make it cost two? It already does less than Brainstorm. I think that if I am going to go that route, I might even try Vendilion Clique, which is actually sounding kind of attractive. The idea that its primary value is to shuffle back dead cards in addition to its other purposes seems really good. Yeah, its expensive, but it does a lot of things for the deck.

-2 Careful Study
+2 Vendilion Clique

seems like a really easy fix. Something to consider.

Remember, you're eliminating a spell that costs one Blue mana for another spell that costs two Blue mana (and a moot colorless). That could be an issue if you're opting to run Ancient Tomb, in which case Intuition just seems flat-out better. I'm not sure how good Careful Study would be in the first place here, as you already have a generous portion of draw and filter in Ponder and Brainstorm.

Clique serving as an alternate win condition is cute and all, but Show and Tell into Emrakul seems just as good in the second or third games depending on your strategy and wins games outright. Casting Clique to filter your own hand seems like a last-ditch effort play which, although it serves a positive purpose, doesn't seem optimal given the fabric for which this deck is built upon: an artifact-based combo. Decks usually predicated on running a combo of this sort tend to lean towards colorless acceleration to power it out early, so finding a way to rationalize including Vendilion Clique as a critical filtering and alternate win slot seems plausible here.

If you're going to run a double-Blue spell in a deck using Basalt Monolith, wouldn't Power Artifact and a board abusing an infinite mana strategy be more effective? I'm not suggesting it would by any means, I'm just asserting that adding a card with a similar cost that gives you access to a multitude of surprise win conditions seems like an ideal strategy. It's not like running even a pair is a bad idea given the inclusion of Lim-Dul's Vault and or Intuition (if you opt for a third). It might be a three mana combo, and I'm again not saying it's the best idea, but it would certainly side-step graveyard hate. You're already susceptible to artifact-based hate anyway, so it's not like that matters if you're running counter-magic and discard.

Finn
07-14-2011, 02:50 PM
Hollywood, you have never actually played with or against this deck, have you...

Basalt Monolith is not being used as a mana source except in rare circumstances. The only concern here with regards to color are the Sol lands, which I, for one, am not using ATM.

EDIT:On second thought, I would have sworn he said something about colorless mana. Strange.

Stone
07-15-2011, 04:18 AM
First up would like to thank tsabo and Finn in particular for their patience, assistance and critical reasoning in evaluating some of the many ideas put forward. Please allow me to start a bit of a stream of consciousness about some ideas & questions i've had ticking away in the back of my mind.

It seems one of the things that has repeatedly come up is alternate sideboarding strategy.

The primer's sb recommendations seem really solid. There's great info about the extra dread return, emrakul for graveyard hate. Crippling fatigue is mentioned as an answer for teeg and from memory echoing truth was put forward as a catchall for leylines and other permanent hate with one of the decks advantages being that you are able to assemble the combo without worrying about the yard, only then needing an answer (no more mana) to win.

A transformational strategy of show & tell emrakul is available to avoid graveyard hate entirely and swap combos/strategy. This seems really efficient and difficult for opponents to interact with, especially if they're diluting their deck to bring in hate.

For those of us budget conscious or not able to get show and tells what are the other transformation options around and which are the most viable? Also would you just recommend not transforming in which case what is the strategy to avoid the additional hate you were otherwise expecting to dodge in game 2? Just after brainstorming not expecting final answers and again, appreciate that show and tell is the most efficient answer. Also conscious we dont want to turn this into the legacy combos topic.

Ideas already thrown about include:
monolith - wake thrasher (removal the issue though with no creature g1 is possible to run the gambit)
monolith - power artifact, x win cond.

Otherwise I had thought about running some grim tutors main so i can bring in leylines with helm of obedience but this is very mana intensive. Alternately an option could be to splash white and play stoneforger with the possibility of bringing in equipment and even a mortarpod as a sac outlet for academy rector/form of the dragon (if you're running the rector, goblin bombardment version of the combo - which is just worse because you can't hardcast the bombardment??) though this is at the cost of manabase.

Again with the manabase problem, some have suggested running goblin welders which has the benefit of allowing us to use a mesmeric orb/welder team as a draw engine to complete the combo but makes the deck less disrupting without having the same sort of speed that decks like painter have with their lower cost and LEDs (so we become a slower version of their combo).

Any other suggestions??
It seems like show & tell/emrakul is the way to go for those playing the deck in serious tourneys, those of us at weekly fun meets could likely swap in wake thrashers as a poor mans version or just play more anti hate options (anyone got a suggested board for this?)

Thanks in advance, have enjoyed reading about this deck - hoping we dont all end up with RSI from flipping magic cards. ;)

tsabo_tavoc
07-15-2011, 10:42 AM
As an alternative strategy, other Monolith combos still suffer from Artifact hates (Grip, Needle, Null Rod), which are actually more difficult to play around than many yard hates. The same goes for Helm + Leyline.

On the other hand, Show and Tell dodges all hates except counterspell, discard or Extirpate only when S&T has been hit by counterspell or discard. These exceptions work against all kinds of combos and can be addressed by your counterspell or discard (save for Extirpate). By switching to the S&T plan, you keep opponent's relevant cards to a minimum while creating spaces to increase your redundancy of protections which are relevant to all of their hates. If you have gathered the MD, trading 1 Underground Sea for 3 Show and Tell and 1 Watery Grave is an easy move (you get my point here, S&T is not the price barrier and is much better an investment than Grim Tutor; if you have Grim Tutor, trade it away, it has been begging a slot in Dark Ritual decks and is NOT on the reserve list.).

Goblin Welder is a beast in Painted Stone as a foil to counterspell, discard and artifact/creature destruction and making Intuition an Ancestral Tutor. To make it work in this deck, we need to add Artifact lands (welder-Grindstone-out-with-trigger-on-the-stack type of trick does not work here!) and most likely have to cut Black. Based on my recent tests, I love Thoughtseize and Cabal Therapy (considering a 4/3 split instead of 3/4) - They rape Blue!

tb249606
07-15-2011, 11:44 PM
What do you guys feel are the tough match ups for this deck? I haven't had much problems with any deck really. Obviously decks with Quasali Pridemage but any thing other than that?

Michael Keller
07-16-2011, 12:27 AM
Hollywood, you have never actually played with or against this deck, have you...

Basalt Monolith is not being used as a mana source except in rare circumstances. The only concern here with regards to color are the Sol lands, which I, for one, am not using ATM.

EDIT:On second thought, I would have sworn he said something about colorless mana. Strange.

Actually, I've goldfished with the deck quite a number of times and have run it through a gauntlet of skilled pilots predominantly representing Merfolk, Stoneblade, and Storm Combo. I was fortunate enough to have played against someone piloting it also at Open Series Baltimore, so that gave me some 'on-the-job' training as far as sitting across from the deck is concerned in a major event. I am just basing my opinions on what I've been able to assess up until this point and I'm finding that there are several ways the deck can go: the 'Sol-Land' route or a more relaxed U/b(x?) route opening the deck up to even more susceptibility to not just artifact hate, but non-basic hate too.

The Sol-Lands give the deck more speed but a bit more instability. Wasteland does hit these lands too, but I would be more worried about having my colored resources hit with Wastelands or Magus. The combo might be colorless but it doesn't excuse the fact the deck is more mana-hungry than meets the eye.

At least, that's what I've gathered.

bruizar
07-16-2011, 05:21 AM
Can anyone explain to me why this is an established deck? Goblins, Aggro Loam, Spiral Tide, Dead Guy Ale, etc are established decks. What did The Four Horsemen ever accomplish at a tournament?

tsabo_tavoc
07-16-2011, 08:20 AM
Can anyone explain to me why this is an established deck? Goblins, Aggro Loam, Spiral Tide, Dead Guy Ale, etc are established decks. What did The Four Horsemen ever accomplish at a tournament?

Please refer to this report

http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?21322-3rd-at-Knightware-in-LA-with-4-Horsemen-(62-players)

Finn
07-16-2011, 02:23 PM
Established Decks
For "finished" decks: Decks which are optimized and thoroughly tested. A deck is not required to have proven itself in a competitive tournament environment to be included in the Open Forum, but it is recommended. A thorough writeup including card choices, strategy, and matchup descriptions is required.

Also, Hollywood. I thought I had read something silly in your post that apparently was not there. The mistake was mine.

tb249606
07-19-2011, 02:14 PM
I ended up playing this deck at SCG open Cinci this past weekend.
Got paired against Mary Jacobson playing Zoo round one. She opened with a Wooded Foothills and passed. I fetched a Underground Sea and Therapied for Pridemage. She shows me a Pridemage and two Gaddock Teegs :frown: needless to say she got game one. Game two she boarded in a third Teeg and a set of Grudges and just Zooed out on me.
0-1
Round two paired against affinity.
Killed him turn 2 game one. Game two he vialed in a Blighted Agent, yes a Blighted agent and equipped it with a cranial plating and killed me with poison. Game three i start with 2 lands in hand a Ponder and both the Orb and the Monolith. He starts the game with a Leyline in play :frown: and i draw the echoing truth I boarded in a turn late.
0-2
Round three
Get paired against U/W StoneBlade.
Killed him turn 3 game one wiht protection.
Games 2-3 I mulligan and through a series of bad draws die to a Batterskull.
0-3

I don't have time to write a detailed report right now but needless to say i won my next six rounds in a row :cool: and placed 38th overall of the 200+ in attendance. Missed top 32 by breakers. Finished 6-3
Over the next six rounds i did not lose a single game until round nine where i lost game two to StoneBlade.
IN those six rounds i played against another Zoo player, a MUDD player, A Buried Alive Necrotic Ooze player, U/W stoneblade, a Dredge player, and a U/W standstill player. I will post my list and board later after work. I chose not to run the Show and Tell board ( a decision i was very happy with due to the amount of decks running Jace the MS). And a little more detail on the matches. Over all though the deck was insane and I cant wait to pilot it again with some minor board changes. Im thinking of adding Chain of Vapors. But overall the matchups I played all seemed favorable minus the maindeck Teegs. And I tested against Fish alot and it seems pretty tough, but I'll get on here later after work and fill you in on more details.

quantumquasar
07-19-2011, 05:11 PM
Re: Transformational Sideboard

I have (situationally) been trying out a semi-transformational sideboard where I go to 2-3 each of Emrakul, S&T, Monolith, and Orb. This generally happens only in game 3 against a control opponent, where they saw both S&T and the Monolith combo in games 1-2. It can also happen in game 2 against an opponent who knows about the transformational plan.

Then regardless of how (s)he sideboards, we can decide our Plan A after we see our opening 7. This does dilute both combos and give us some dead cards, but Brainstorm and Careful study help here.

I don't think this is viable against aggro or other combo strategies, where we generally need to be as fast and consistent as possible, but against Landstill, Mono-U control, or similar, we will have plenty of time to assemble one combo or the other, as dictated by the flow of the game.

This deck has been incredibly fun to lurk on mtgsalvation and on thesource, and even more fun to play. As people get a better understanding of how it works, tricks like the semi-transform become necessary to keep people guessing.

Finn
07-20-2011, 03:00 PM
Maindeck Teeg is certainly an issue. I have been kicking around the thought of including something to handle it. But considering how few cards we fear from Zoo, it has been simple enough for me to counter or Thoughtseize them. Two is tough, but that has to be as tough as it ever gets. I certainly don't lose to Zoo often even with Teegs in the main.

tb249606
07-20-2011, 03:14 PM
@Finn
I totally agree on the zoo issue. It was never a cause for concern just poor circumstance.

But this deck is insane I plan on piloting in all of the upcoming legacy events I plan on playing in. I'll keep posting my results. My favorite aspect of this deck is that everyone always puts you on reanimator or show and tell when they see the Emrakul and that has turned out to be a huge advantage. THere were at least two times where my opponets let me resolve a monolith when they had the counter because they thought i just milled reanimate targets into my bin and then I comboed out and won. :wink:

Finn
07-21-2011, 11:09 AM
I am interested in ideas on how to improve the Merfolk matchup. I do not think it will ever be a particularly good one, but I think that it can become decent since they really dont have much for a resolved artifact.

Has anyone had success with a novel or undiscussed option? Or can anyone impart some good advice to players of this deck? I have to update the matchups and this one is first.

quantumquasar
07-21-2011, 05:18 PM
RE: improving Merfolk matchup. in no particular order

1) The mana base. Can we live with more (or all?) basics? Getting Wastelanded -- even once -- is basically a death sentence if they have any clock at all. Perhaps keep one USea so you can fetch it in safe matchups, but you never ever need two -- one USea and one other basic land lets you cast anything in the deck. Perhaps replace 2 USea with 1 Island, 1 Swamp??

2) Show+Tell into Blazing Archon? Not sure how to pull this off without destroying the sideboard, but Merfolk have at most 1 out (Sower). Along the same lines, a couple other SnT bullets may be an interesting sideboard idea.

3) Mental Misstep. I know you hate it, but countering a vial or a cursecatcher is really important.

Prkchpsndwiches
07-23-2011, 11:38 AM
Going to assemble the following list based off of what others have posted here. Thanks for the info everyone! Looking forward to playing this list!

Legacy: Four Horsemen

Lands (17)

4 Polluted Delta
4 Underground Sea
3 Ancient Tomb
3 Flood Strand
1 Island
1 Swamp
1 Tundra

Creatures (5)

3 Narcomeba
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Sharuum the Hedgemon


Artifacts (9)

4 Basalt Monolith
4 Mesmeric Orb
1 Blasting Station

Spells (29)

4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
4 Lim-Dul's Vault
4 Ponder
3 Cabal Therapy
3 Gitaxian Probe
3 Mental Misstep
3 Thoughtseize
1 Dread Return

**************************

Sideboard:
3 Show and Tell
2 Echoing Truth
2 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Crippling Fatigue
1 Dread Return
1 Extirpate
1 Llawan, Cephalid Empress
1 Mental Misstep
1 Wipe Away

Prkchpsndwiches
07-31-2011, 12:43 AM
Any chance to start calling this "Finn's Horsemen" since there really aren't four anymore? Plus it gives homage to the creator!

Purgatory
08-07-2011, 05:39 PM
I recently started playing this deck, and I think I need some pointers on how to play it. I play the standard list in OP, more or less, and here's how the testing against my group turned out. It should be noted that my playing group consist of Legacy-only players, and that we all have 10+ years of playing experience. I wouldn't call myself the best in the bunch, but not the worst either, in fact, some of my peers were commenting on how it sucks that I keep winning all my games lately with Team America and UBG Thresh.

I lost all the matches I tested with the deck, but I won a few games, though mostly on siding in Emrakul. I wasn't even able to assemble the combo through all the counterspells and hate. I lost vs. NO RUG and Bant Aggro mostly in the same way - they drew more counterspells than I did, and I couldn't assemble the combo before the Goyfs beat my face in.

I also lost multiple hands vs. White Stax (no, really), because assembling and protecting the combo through 3sphere and Chalice is a pain. Turn 1 Chalice @ 1 resolving is a complete nightmare since it turns off so many search cards and so much of the protection. Also, three of the seven counterspells (Misstep that is) are complete blanks and essentially nothing but FoW food, since he has 0 spells at 1 mana. Also, 4 Orings in his 75 makes the transformational sideboard really iffy.

I also lost a couple of games against Aggro Loam, when two Goyfs and a Knight killed me too quickly (again, Misstep is a complete blank since his only card at 1 is StP), and also once to Knight into Karakas, which I should've realized that he had boarded in or had in the MD. Also, Leyline of the Void sucks.

Did I just pick the wrong deck to play against the group entirely? I realize that there's a learning curve involved, but I just hate sitting around and topdecking into multiple Monoliths/Orbs or combo pieces while the opponent curves out into big green monsters. I tried today to maindeck two Vendilion Cliques to have an alternative way of winning and to chump block (and also to get rid of cards in my hand that I really don't want there) and managed a win against the Bant Aggro deck, finally. I now play 4 Brainstorm, 4 Ponder, 2 LDV, 2 Probe and 2 Clique MD to draw cards.

Any advice, tips and tricks to playing the deck would be sweet. I've played it for many more games on Cockatrice, with a much higher rate of success, but of course most of it can be attributed to the average level of competitiveness online.

Finn
08-08-2011, 05:26 PM
Well, there are certain cards that, game one, really can't be got around unless you wish to include some sort of hate in your 60. Leyline of the Void is at the very pinnacle of that list. Second is Gaddock Teeg or Phyrexian Revoker, both of which can be countered or ripped from his hand.

I have actually faced both Stax and Stax-like decks, and I did pretty well against them. As you probably know, the coin flip for play or draw is about half the game against Stax. If they go first, you simply have to have FoW. But if you go first, you also have your entire discard suite to help you out, and frankly, you may be fine with just a Brainstorm and then stuff that does not cost 1. And Stax is so fragile that I was able to set him back several turns with a Thoughtseize or a Probe into Therapy. I remember facing Chalices @1, but they were only particularly effective game 1 when I had no bounce. Chalice for 1 and 2 is game though if you don't have Orb out yet. Trinisphere is not particularly strong either. Just remember that you have to pay 3 to Dread Return, so wait a turn. Oblivion Ring is good, but no more than Qasali Pridemage.

RUG is not nearly as bad as Merfolk. I like Clique against Natural Order and Show and Tell decks over Preordain or Careful Study for the disruption capability and the fact that it is also a removal spell for an incoming Clique. Remember that Narcomoebas are discard spells up until combo time. Cabal Therapy became a much better spell when I went to four and four.

Bant is a good bit harder. They have far better hate in Pridemage and STP. Neither is an issue on its own, but together with a good clock, I don't do well against that deck.

I can't imagine losing to Aggro Loam unless you punt or something. Dead draws?

sligh16
08-08-2011, 05:50 PM
Just a random question: Why is this deck named The Four Horsemen? I'm just curious about it.

Prkchpsndwiches
08-09-2011, 12:05 PM
Played FH to a 5-2 start in Legacy Champs at Gen Con. Finished 5-4 to go 45th out of 340. I'll put a report up tomorrow.

Finn
08-10-2011, 05:28 PM
Played FH to a 5-2 start in Legacy Champs at Gen Con. Finished 5-4 to go 45th out of 340. I'll put a report up tomorrow.Cool. Tell us about it.


Just a random question: Why is this deck named The Four Horsemen? I'm just curious about it.When I first "discovered" the engine, I was thinking that the deck would be similar to Dredge or Reanimator. It played four copies of Dread Return, all available on the same turn, and attacked with four "horsemen" ftw. As the deck got cleaned up it became increasingly efficient. So it went from 4 to 3 to 2 to 1 Dread Return(s) over a period of weeks, eventually with a huge Predator Dragon doing the smashing. Then I took some good advice to switch to Academy Rector with Goblin Bombardment and finally where it is today. I really should have changed the name, but I think it is too late now.

quantumquasar
08-11-2011, 12:53 AM
I had an interesting situation come up tonight where both my opponent and I had a hard time figuring out our best lines of play. It involves a resolved Pernicious Deed. Situation:

- No creatures in play
- He has no cards in hand, but has Pernicious Deed in play with 3 untapped lands
- I have Monolith in play, 3 untapped lands, and my hand is FoW, FoW, Orb
- Game 1 and I don't have any MD outs to Deed

What are the best lines for each of us? Do I play Orb and hope he pops at the wrong time (is there a wrong time???)? If I play Orb, what is the optimum time for him to pop? Do I hold Orb and hope to win from topdeck?

If I go for it, there's a few times he can pop:
1) In response to me casting Orb. This kills Monolith but lets me keep Orb on table.
2) In response to Monolith untapping itself.
3) In between Narco # 1 and Narco # 2 or between 2 and 3 (not after Narco 3 because I won't let 3 hit play until I have dread return and sharuum in graveyard -- then I can just beat down with Sharuum)
5) In response to Emrakul trigger (killing any Narco in play)

If I don't go for it now, I still need to bait him into popping Deed.

Am I just basically shut down here? I can't figure a way out unless he pops at the wrong time. Time for a jedi mind trick?

cb4
08-11-2011, 01:08 AM
I think I would play the orb.

If he pops in response, then you still have half the combo with counter backup.
If he lets it resolve, then I would wait till next turn to go off with 3 mana open.
If he tries to pop before then, then you go off in response.

oblivion4560
08-11-2011, 05:34 AM
I'd love to play a deck with this combo, but I'm restricted in the Underground Sea department. I have a playset of Tundras, though, so would it be possible to run a U/W version of this deck? Some substitutions would be some hard counters for the absence of Thoughtseize and such, Enlightened Tutor for the Lim-Dul's Vault? Any other ideas?

kingtk3
08-11-2011, 11:27 AM
Hi, I would like to post the same question I've made in the thread of Ben's report (http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?21322-3rd-at-Knightware-in-LA-with-4-Horsemen-(62-players)):

in the scenario Player1 is the opponent and won Game 1.
In Game 2 Player2, the Orb pilot, starts the combo.
Can Player1 ask Player2 to effectively execute the combo until Dread retur, Sharuum and Blasting Station are in the grave before Emrakul?
In the case Player2 manage to satisfy Player1, can the latter ask again to execute the combo in Game 3?

My doubt is about how the opponents could exploit time against this deck, forcing the Horseman pilot to go through all the combo.

In the above scenario, how should a Judge behave? Should respect the request of Player1 in game 2? And in Game 3?

Greetings.

Finn
08-11-2011, 11:37 AM
That's actually a very complicated issue. It deals with a lot of subtleties, and I think any serious pilot of this deck should be familiar with them.

Generally speaking, an opponent *could* demand that you go through the motions to cause you to go to time. He can insist that you pause after each card so that he can consider if he wishes to use a fast effect, etc. But if he is doing this, and you call a judge over, and you make it clear to the judge what you think he is doing, you can make it very hard on him. I bother saying this because you can Therapy away his instants, leaving only stuff like Sensei's Divining Top, Qasali Pridemage (you do not have the game in hand if this is active), and Tormod's Crypt amongst common tools.

It will be up to the judge to determine what he thinks is reasonable, so you have to tell the judge that you do not want the opponent stalling.

kingtk3
08-11-2011, 12:18 PM
I agree with you that if Player1's taking his time to respond to Player2 triggers he could be stalling, but what if Player1 only asks Player2 to go through the combo? And would be reasonable in Game3 to aks the same?

Tempus
08-11-2011, 12:26 PM
If Player 1 really wants to see how you win, even after you show him the mechanic then you have to play it out.
In game 3 this doesn't change and because a judge can't force you to concede, you'll hold off the tournament until you did actually bring him to zero life or you concede.

In both cases it's not reasonable to ask this.

Finn
08-11-2011, 01:13 PM
Tempus, the rules give judges tools to prevent something like that (holding off the tournament indefinitely). A judge can call you for slow play, but again this is a subjective rule.

Just keep in mind that the combo does not take long at all to just go through as long as the opponent is not demanding that you stop after every untap of the Monolilth to consider his options.

Tempus
08-12-2011, 02:19 AM
Tempus, the rules give judges tools to prevent something like that (holding off the tournament indefinitely). A judge can call you for slow play, but again this is a subjective rule.

He can't call you for slow play as long as you're doing something. Which you are. You mill, shuffle, mill, put trigger on the stack, mill more. No judge can, backed up by rules, call you out on slow play or stalling as long as you're advancing the game state. So you can hold off the tournament until you've actually won. (BTW that's why Shahrazad got banned in Vintage)

Finn
08-12-2011, 02:10 PM
I hope that I can adequately put this to rest with some official stuff.
4.3. Tournament Error — Slow Play
Definition
Players who take longer than is reasonably required to complete game actions are engaging in Slow Play. If a judge believes a player is intentionally playing slowly to take advantage of a time limit, the infraction is Cheating — Stalling.

Examples
A. A player repeatedly reviews his opponent’s graveyard without any significant change in game state.
B. A player spends time writing down the contents of an opponent's deck while resolving Thought Hemorrhage.
C. After 3 minutes into a round at a Pro Tour™ Qualifier, a player has not completed his shuffling.
D. A player gets up from his seat to look at standings, or goes to the bathroom without permission of an official.

Philosophy
All players have the responsibility to play quickly enough so that their opponents are not at a significant disadvantage because of the time limit. A player may be playing slowly without realizing it. A comment of “I need you to play faster” is often appropriate and all that is needed. Further slow play should be penalized.

Additional Remedy
An extra turn is awarded for each player, to be applied if the match exceeds the time limit. If multiple players on each side are playing the same game (such as in Two-Headed Giant) only one extra turn is awarded per team. This turn extension occurs before any end-of-match procedure can begin and after any time extensions that may have been issued.

No extra turns are awarded if the match is already in extra turns, though the Warning still applies.

If Slow Play has significantly affected the result of the match, the Head Judge may upgrade the penalty.At Regular REL events, the focus of judges is on correcting errors and teaching proper play rather than punishing poor play. As the Guide doesn't have a specific section regarding slow play, I am told that it falls under General Unwanted Behaviors.

- General Unwanted Behaviours -
There will sometimes be issues that do not have official fixes, but need to be discouraged. These include, but are not limited to;
● Players taking unreasonable amounts of time side-boarding or making play decisions
● Inadequate shuffling after a search
● Asking for, or providing, strategy advice during a tournament match or booster draft
In all of these cases, educate the player on better behaviour – for example, alternate shuffling techniques or the importance of allowing players to make their own decisions. Players continuing to exhibit specific unwanted behaviour after being instructed otherwise should be issued with a Game Loss. Strictly speaking, the deck never puts you in a position of breaking the rules. But judges can make things difficult for you if you are getting unlucky about the sequencing aspect and your opponent is being a dick. I have never experienced this first hand, and I have never heard of it happening, but this is absolutely a gray area, and L1 judges (who may not have exact knowledge of these things) have the power to penalize you in whatever way they see fit.

Larimer
08-14-2011, 01:39 PM
4 Basalt Monolith
4 Mesmeric Orb
4 Preordain
4 Brainstorm
3 Narcomoeba
1 Dread Return
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Cabal Therapy
1 The Mimeoplasm
1 Murderous Redcap
1 Lord of Extinction
4 Ponder
2 Thoughtseize
4 Force of Will
2 Daze

3 Misty Rainforest
3 Underground Sea
4 Polluted Delta
1 Bayou
2 Island
2 Swamp
2 Ancient Tomb


How about a list like that?

quantumquasar
08-15-2011, 11:32 AM
4 Basalt Monolith
4 Mesmeric Orb
4 Preordain
4 Brainstorm
3 Narcomoeba
1 Dread Return
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Cabal Therapy
1 The Mimeoplasm
1 Murderous Redcap
1 Lord of Extinction
4 Ponder
2 Thoughtseize
4 Force of Will
2 Daze

3 Misty Rainforest
3 Underground Sea
4 Polluted Delta
1 Bayou
2 Island
2 Swamp
2 Ancient Tomb


How about a list like that?

Mimeoplasm/Redcap/Extinction technically works as a kill, but it seems strictly [in the most literal sense of the word] worse than Sharuum/Station, as it takes 3 slots rather than 2. That extra slot is a big deal, as the deck is pretty tight to begin with.

The list itself is a bit rough as well:
- its generally agreed that 4 Narcomoeba is the correct number. That way you can pitch one to FoW or run it out as a blocker without worrying about it being exiled.
- Ancient Tomb is unnecessary. You have so much disruption that trying to go off turn 2 is unnecessary, and the damage from Tomb will hurt your game immensely against Zoo and Merfolk.
- Daze seems a bit overzealous. Thoughtseize/Clique/Misstep is better in this spot if you want more disruption. The right call here depends on your local metagame.
- LDV is better than preordain. There are many many times when you are at <5 life, staring down a huge Tarmogoyf or Knight or a couple Nacatls, and you need to win next turn or you die. Preordain just isn't going to get there, but LDV will let you dig through 20 cards to get the out you need. LDV is also great at the end of turn 2 against a control deck to just spend 10-15 life and basically double-vampiric tutor (triple if you get lucky) and win a few turns later.
- 4 probe is unnecessary. I'd go for 2 Probe 2 Clique. Clique is just very good. He applies the beatdown, he blocks, he is Therapy fodder (what a combo!), he is a 5th Narcomoeba if you get two of them exiled, he helps with Show & Tell, he destroys Hive Mind when they play their own SnT, he smooths out your own draws...he even pitches to FoW! He slices, he dices, and he has a lifetime guarantee. Just don't try to run out two at once -- its pretty embarrassing.

quantumquasar
08-15-2011, 12:54 PM
I just had a (maybe) spicy thought re: transformational sideboarding.

Currently, the thought is that your opponent will bring in graveyard hate for game two, so transforming into Show and Tell gives them some dead cards and gives you an unexpected line of play.

What happens if we reverse this order? Maindeck the Show and Tell package, then transform into 4horse for game 2. Here is what I am thinking:

Maindeck
SnT package
4 Show and Tell
2 Form of the Dragon
2 Terastodon
2 Emrakul (to s/b out during transform)
1 Emrakul (to leave in during transform)

Disruption
2 Clique
4 Thoughtseize
4 Duress
4 Therapy
4 FoW

Drawing
2 Probe
4 LDV
4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder

Manabase
17 Lands

Sideboard
4 Narco
4 Monolith
4 Orb
1 Sharuum
1 Dread Return
1 Blasting Station

Game2, take out the 10-card SnT package as well as 5 other cards depending on the matchup (probably Duress or Thoughtseize), and put in the 15-card sideboard.

Does this reversal get us anything? Now that I've typed it out, I am not sure. 4horse->SnT seems like they get more dead-cards game 2. What would folks sideboard in against (what appears to be) a SnT deck? ORing? Spell pierce? REB? These all seem to have a bit of splash damage against 4horse.

Any thoughts on whether the reversal could be made to work or be better?

Larimer
08-15-2011, 09:20 PM
Mimeoplasm/Redcap/Extinction technically works as a kill, but it seems strictly [in the most literal sense of the word] worse than Sharuum/Station, as it takes 3 slots rather than 2. That extra slot is a big deal, as the deck is pretty tight to begin with.

The list itself is a bit rough as well:
- its generally agreed that 4 Narcomoeba is the correct number. That way you can pitch one to FoW or run it out as a blocker without worrying about it being exiled.
- Ancient Tomb is unnecessary. You have so much disruption that trying to go off turn 2 is unnecessary, and the damage from Tomb will hurt your game immensely against Zoo and Merfolk.
- Daze seems a bit overzealous. Thoughtseize/Clique/Misstep is better in this spot if you want more disruption. The right call here depends on your local metagame.
- LDV is better than preordain. There are many many times when you are at <5 life, staring down a huge Tarmogoyf or Knight or a couple Nacatls, and you need to win next turn or you die. Preordain just isn't going to get there, but LDV will let you dig through 20 cards to get the out you need. LDV is also great at the end of turn 2 against a control deck to just spend 10-15 life and basically double-vampiric tutor (triple if you get lucky) and win a few turns later.
- 4 probe is unnecessary. I'd go for 2 Probe 2 Clique. Clique is just very good. He applies the beatdown, he blocks, he is Therapy fodder (what a combo!), he is a 5th Narcomoeba if you get two of them exiled, he helps with Show & Tell, he destroys Hive Mind when they play their own SnT, he smooths out your own draws...he even pitches to FoW! He slices, he dices, and he has a lifetime guarantee. Just don't try to run out two at once -- its pretty embarrassing.

- You forgot that Emrakul is needed for that combo, and that it IS 3 slots, and that combo takes too long to actually kill if your opponent makes you play it out.
- There's a lot of times where you're at 4 or 5 life and you have an LDV in your hand and it doesn't have an immediate effect and you die. I think the 12 cantrips is perfectly find and the only reason I would play LDV over Preordain or Ponder is if I was playing the version with Emrakul, other than that, it usually seems unnecessary to dig that deep and with enough fetches and cantrips it's just better to run cards that have and immediate impact
- Probe definitely has better synergy with Therapy than Clique. I'll try Clique though, but I feel like with 6 Duress effects that it's really not that necessary and I'd rather just know their hand and pick it apart sooner, I'd rather know they have nothing and combo out on turn 3, than Clique on turn 3.
- I like Daze more than MM, what does Mental Misstep hit that we are afraid of other than pierce?
- Ancient tomb was just something I was trying out, it has yet to deal me enough damage to matter.
- I will try to fit a fourth Narcomoeba, probably cutting one of the Probes.

Purgatory
08-17-2011, 07:00 PM
Some rules business arose when I tested the deck today (and finally beat Aggro Loam, along with some other stuff, lol).

Let's say I have the combo assembled, but my opponent has a few unknown cards in hand. I begin to mill for Therapy + Narcomoeba, and I reveal a Narco first, putting the ability on the stack. I flip another Narco before I flip a Therapy, and the second Narco's ability will go on the stack.

Now, do I choose if I want to return it to play as the ability goes on the stack, or do I choose it upon it resolving? Do I have to restart the milling again to find a single Narco before Therapy? Ideally, I just want to put one of the Narcos in play, of course.

whienot
08-18-2011, 02:17 AM
Narcomoeba 1U

Creature - Illusion

Flying

When Narcomoeba is put into your graveyard from your library, you MAY put it onto the battlefield.

1/1

You have a choice with each Narcomoeba trigger. You may choose to only have one enter the battlefield.

Purgatory
08-18-2011, 04:51 PM
You have a choice with each Narcomoeba trigger. You may choose to only have one enter the battlefield.

Indeed, I know the wording of the Narcos, what I was unsure about was when you choose whether or not you want to put it on the battlefield. A post by 4eak earlier in this thread made me think I had to put both of them in play.

HokusSchmokus
08-29-2011, 04:42 AM
I was playing the deck at a Tournament yesterday, finished 5-2 , 15th place. I'll post my list once I am back from work.

DerFern
08-29-2011, 06:19 AM
Now, do I choose if I want to return it to play as the ability goes on the stack, or do I choose it upon it resolving?
its chosen upon resolution. Just like Ichorid only needs to eat a critter when its trigger resolves...

edit:
Looking forward to HokusSchmokus' tournament report. I had the pleasure of being raped by Mesmeric Orb, but I guess hes gonna tell you anyway...

HokusSchmokus
08-31-2011, 07:07 AM
Not really a report as I don't have any notes and I don't remember anything.
The list I played to a 5-2 finish(15th place on breakers) was the following:
4 Polluted Delta
1 Flooded Strand
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Swamp
2 Island
2 Ancient Tomb
4 Underground Sea
1 Tundra

1 Sharuum the Hegemon
3 narcamoeba
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

3 Gitaxian Probe
3 Cabal Therapy
4 Thoughtseize
4 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
4 Lim-Dul's Vault
4 Force of Will
2 Mental Misstep
4 Mesmeric Orb
4 Basalt Monolith
1 Blasting Station
1 Dread Return

SB: 2 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
3 Show and Tell
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2 Mental Misstep
3 Echoing Truth
1 Crippling Fatigue
1 Dread Return
1 Llawan, Cephalid Empress

The list performed quite well, though I am not sold on Jace SB. I never had it when I sided it in. Maybe another Show and Tell and another Emrakul is better, don't know.

Mesmeric Orb was MVP all day, screwing peoples Brainstorm and in one case against DerFern with DDFT won the whole game after Doomsday.

Finn
09-01-2011, 10:00 AM
Oh heck! Doomsday killer. Did he see it coming at least?

HokusSchmokus
09-02-2011, 04:47 AM
I believe so, yes^^

kingtk3
09-02-2011, 10:16 AM
Hi to all,
I have a few questions about piloting correctly this deck.

MULLIGAN
How much do you mulligan with this deck? How is an hand composed for being keepable?

For example, I often goldfish hands with one piece of the combo (Orb or Monolith), 1-2 discard (Thouthseize or Cabal Therapy), 2-3 lands, 1-2 card selection (Brainstorm, ponder, impulse or LDV) and 1-2 counters (FoW or MM).

Most of the times my cantrips don't find the other piece of the combo and I'm forced in topdeck mode.

Should I keep hands with both pieces and counters/discards or one piece and at least 3 search effect?



LAYING DOWN THE COMBO
If I have the Orb in hand but not the Monolith, is it right to play the Orb waiting to find the Monolith or should I keep it in hand until I have both?

My concern is that I can mill my Monolith away (it happens), but if I wait to have both in hand I would spend to much time to assemble the combo.

Thank you in advance.

Greetings.

Finn
09-03-2011, 12:23 AM
For example, I often goldfish hands with one piece of the combo (Orb or Monolith), 1-2 discard (Thouthseize or Cabal Therapy), 2-3 lands, 1-2 card selection (Brainstorm, ponder, impulse or LDV) and 1-2 counters (FoW or MM).

Why? Those are perfect hands.

SageShadows
09-03-2011, 12:33 AM
Why? Those are perfect hands.

I think he means he goldfishes, not mulls, those hands, but doesn't get the 2nd part of the combo.

mrjumbo03
09-10-2011, 11:07 AM
1 card win condition with this?

http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=123760&d=1315454614

Finn
09-11-2011, 07:03 AM
Well that is going to take some thinking on. There is a lot to figure. I am having trouble writig the next sentence because there is a significant change in strategy with this guy. The whole Emrakul recusrion thing may not be necessary. You seem to want to go off during your own upkeep. But the guy also seems more vulnerable to removal. I think that if the deck goes that route, it becomes vulnerable to creature hate, making it a slow Breakfast. But I am not sure.

The thing is - he has to be on the battlefield at the time you draw or You lose. If the opponent has Grim Lavamancer, it is enough to prevent the combo.

Roman
09-11-2011, 07:34 AM
I would rather play without Maniac because Emrakul is so much protecting your combo (in response to e.g. Crypt activation) and other shenanigans. With Maniac u a) have to draw him, cast him and keep him alive until your next draw (ok u have BS but...).

Also as stated above he is too vulnerable in a meta that shifts towards red in many decks (Lavamancer, Bolt, Blasts).

Prkchpsndwiches
09-21-2011, 01:19 PM
Countertop may be back with MM out. How do we plan for this?

tsabo_tavoc
09-21-2011, 03:15 PM
This deck's golden days have passed. There are better 2-card combo decks now as 1-mana combo piece is no longer cursed.

Vandalize
09-22-2011, 06:18 PM
At the Murderous Redcap + The Mimeoplasm + Lord of Extinction win condition. Isn't it better to replace Murderous Redcap for Triskelion?

I mean, with Triskelion, you will usually have 40+ 1 damage shooting that can actually target creatures.

If you have a creature that gives a player hexproof, something like Platinum Angel and True Believer, you'll have to use a Cabal Therapy in order to shoot again with Murderous Redcap.

This conditions are pretty much unlikely to happen, but if it doesn't change the kill at all, why not Triskelion?

ComboMan
10-12-2011, 04:07 PM
Hey people, how is the deck going nowadays?

I'm testing this list btw:

4 Orb
4 Monolith

1 Sharuum
1 Alien
1 Station
1 DR
4 Narcomoeba

4 FoW
3 Seizes
3 Pierce
3 Therapy
2 Probe

4 Bstorm
4 Ponder
3 LD's Vault
1 Intuition

2 Ancient Tomb
3 U. Sea
3 Island
1 Swamp
4 Scalding T.
4 Delta

@Finn: Any upgraded techs? Is this deck a good choice for a Blue meta nowadays??

Thx

xD

HokusSchmokus
10-12-2011, 05:16 PM
What exactly is alien?

DarkJester
10-12-2011, 05:30 PM
Emrakul...obviously. The big bad flying spaghetti monster....haaarrrr.....

TheProfessor
10-13-2011, 06:23 AM
Emrakul...obviously. The big bad flying spaghetti monster....haaarrrr.....

First of all I would like to apologize first. This post will have nothing to with this thread. But when I saw this reply. I laughed so hard I cried.

Thank you for making my day. I just wanted to say that.

TheProfessor
10-13-2011, 06:23 AM
Emrakul...obviously. The big bad flying spaghetti monster....haaarrrr.....

First of all I would like to apologize first. This post will have nothing to with this thread. But when I saw this reply. I laughed so hard I cried.

Thank you for making my day. I just wanted to say that.

Finn
10-16-2011, 09:04 PM
@Finn: Any upgraded techs? Is this deck a good choice for a Blue meta nowadays??I am playing this:
1 Dread Return
1 Emrakul the Aeons Torn
1 Sharuum the Hegemon
1 Blasting Station

4 Basalt Monolith
4 Mesmeric Orb
4 Narcomoeba

4 Cabal Therapy
3 Thoughtseize
4 Force of Will
4 Gitaxian Probe

4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
4 Lim-Dul's Vault

3 Underground Sea
3 Island
1 Swamp
4 Polluted Delta
3 Flooded Strand
3 Scalding Tarn



1 Crippling Fatigue
3 Emrakul the Aeons Torn
4 Show and Tell
3 Echoing Truth
2 Ravenous Trap
2 Spell Pierce


The "new" tech is really just knowing how to play the deck better. I have come to love turn 1 Probe, Therapy, turn 2 Narcomoeba, flashback Probe for an extraordinary opening, often getting me three of their best cards. This is more likely with my current build than any I have played in the past. Four Narcomoebas is definitely the way to go. Don't fart around with three primarily because you can play fast and loose with a Crypt on the table, if you need a blocker against Zoo, or by pitching one to Force of Will. With three they are more like cards you never want to draw. With four, they actually have several roles. Also, you need four Therapies if you do not play Careful Study, which I had been using two of for a long time until I started to get full mileage out of my Narcos. I don't know that the current meta is any more blue than it was before, but I am glad to see Misstep gone. We really could not fit them, and now I can play four Probes.

ComboMan
10-18-2011, 10:44 PM
I am playing this:
1 Dread Return
1 Emrakul the Aeons Torn
1 Sharuum the Hegemon
1 Blasting Station

4 Basalt Monolith
4 Mesmeric Orb
4 Narcomoeba

4 Cabal Therapy
3 Thoughtseize
4 Force of Will
4 Gitaxian Probe

4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
4 Lim-Dul's Vault

3 Underground Sea
3 Island
1 Swamp
4 Polluted Delta
3 Flooded Strand
3 Scalding Tarn



1 Crippling Fatigue
3 Emrakul the Aeons Torn
4 Show and Tell
3 Echoing Truth
2 Ravenous Trap
2 Spell Pierce


The "new" tech is really just knowing how to play the deck better. I have come to love turn 1 Probe, Therapy, turn 2 Narcomoeba, flashback Probe for an extraordinary opening, often getting me three of their best cards. This is more likely with my current build than any I have played in the past. Four Narcomoebas is definitely the way to go. Don't fart around with three primarily because you can play fast and loose with a Crypt on the table, if you need a blocker against Zoo, or by pitching one to Force of Will. With three they are more like cards you never want to draw. With four, they actually have several roles. Also, you need four Therapies if you do not play Careful Study, which I had been using two of for a long time until I started to get full mileage out of my Narcos. I don't know that the current meta is any more blue than it was before, but I am glad to see Misstep gone. We really could not fit them, and now I can play four Probes.

Thank you for the feedback!!!

:smile:

FTW
10-28-2011, 01:26 PM
Lab Maniac works if you have an instant speed way to draw during your mainphase. Like a singleton Think Twice.

You need Monolith + Orb + one untapped blue mana source.

STEP 1: Combo off as usual. Control the stack, therapy away their relevant cards, and therapy Lab Maniac or Dread Return out of your hand if you accidentally drew them. Reshuffle with Emrakul as necessary.

STEP 2: The coast should be clear now. You know the opponent's hand and board state and you dodged any GY hate and discarded any creature removal. Now Dread Return Lab Maniac.

STEP 3: Continue to mill into Emrakul. With Emrakul's reshuffle trigger on the stack, mill the rest of your library. You have no cards left. Tap Monolith for mana and spend 2U to flashback a singleton Think Twice. Win the game.

You can win around shroud effects and damage prevention since you never have to target or damage the opponent to win.

Might be worse than the Mimeoplasm kill but IMO it's way better than Blasting Station.

Finn
10-28-2011, 10:39 PM
Well, it takes an extra turn to go off and that is a very big drawback. But it does have the advantage of exchanging a nearly useless card (Blasting Station) for something that cycles (Think Twice). This is, in fact, exactly the build I tested before deciding that I did not like it. Well, I initially said that it was terrible and then actually went about making sure. These were my findings:

Sensei's Divining Top is just about a silver bullet against you. Sense's Divining Top allows the opponent to have a virtual card in their hand. It was a real pain in the butt before I went to four Narcomoebas because they could just keep STP in their top three cards and I almost could not win. That is no longer an issue though. STP is a completely dead card unless the opponent has two of them in the top 4 cards and two Sensei's Divining Tops with at minimum three open mana, two of which being Tundra. It is never going to happen. But with the Maniac build, they are in an even better spot because a resolved STP or Lightning Bolt, or Dismember, etc. actually kills you. They only need to get out a Top (or a Brainstorm if they are really good) and find any removal spell if they know your deck. Then you just about can not win no matter what. That is a very easy foil for any deck to overcome.

Compare that to how often an opponent actually has Leyline of Sanctity and either A) you have decided not to go for the Show and Tell sideboard or B) you somehow forget to side in Echoing Truths after game 1. There really is no comparison here even before you consider that the Maniac kill is a turn slower.

FTW
10-30-2011, 08:30 PM
Well, it takes an extra turn to go off and that is a very big drawback. But it does have the advantage of exchanging a nearly useless card (Blasting Station) for something that cycles (Think Twice). This is, in fact, exactly the build I tested before deciding that I did not like it. Well, I initially said that it was terrible and then actually went about making sure. These were my findings:

Sensei's Divining Top is just about a silver bullet against you. Sense's Divining Top allows the opponent to have a virtual card in their hand. It was a real pain in the butt before I went to four Narcomoebas because they could just keep STP in their top three cards and I almost could not win. That is no longer an issue though. STP is a completely dead card unless the opponent has two of them in the top 4 cards and two Sensei's Divining Tops with at minimum three open mana, two of which being Tundra. It is never going to happen. But with the Maniac build, they are in an even better spot because a resolved STP or Lightning Bolt, or Dismember, etc. actually kills you. They only need to get out a Top (or a Brainstorm if they are really good) and find any removal spell if they know your deck. Then you just about can not win no matter what. That is a very easy foil for any deck to overcome.

Compare that to how often an opponent actually has Leyline of Sanctity and either A) you have decided not to go for the Show and Tell sideboard or B) you somehow forget to side in Echoing Truths after game 1. There really is no comparison here even before you consider that the Maniac kill is a turn slower.

Thanks for the testing results. I hadn't considered that the scenario with SDT hiding a removal spell would happen THAT often. Yes, Maniac loses to removal, but you have 4 Cabal Therapies to strip every removal spell out of their hand. So you're really just worried about Top + the top 3.

To foil you, seems like they would either need to drop SDT early and keep manipulating their deck until they had StP/Bolt/Dismember in the top 3, or they would need Brainstorm + SDT to stack it on top. If SDT is the only real foil, couldn't you just discard/counter it or try to counter the removal spell? Or do you find you don't have enough protection to do that?

Why the extra turn? Because you need the extra blue mana?

Finn
11-07-2011, 07:21 PM
Why the extra turn? Because you need the extra blue mana? Yes. I typically go off with no mana left because I have been manipulating the cards in my hand to have exactly what I need to win.

Or do you find you don't have enough protection to do thatI don't usually have extra cards when I combo out. The design has you forcing discards and perhaps countering a single spell before you go off with just enough cards. Anyway, it is not a matter of not having enough protection. It is a question of "why do I want a deck that requires it when I don't have to?"

Actually the Divining Top scenario does not happen often at all. But it is nearly unavoidable when it does.

NesretepNoj
12-20-2011, 06:08 AM
I guess this deck is dead as of January 1st. New rule:


It is also slow play if a player continues to execute a loop without being able to provide an exact number of iterations and the expected resulting game state.

Source: http://www.wizards.com/ContentResources/Wizards/WPN/Main/Documents/Magic_The_Gathering_Infraction_Procedure_Guide_PDF2.pdf

drew02k
12-21-2011, 03:06 PM
You might be able to get around that rule if you can come up with an average number of turns that it takes and set that as the expected result.

Julian23
12-21-2011, 03:07 PM
You might be able to get around that rule if you can come up with an average number of turns that it takes and set that as the expected result.

You don't. You can't provide the result of x iterations, therefor you can't loop.

Masamune
01-01-2012, 04:37 PM
How about Lat-Nam's Legacy? It allow us to shuffle useless cards in hand at first

Dark Ritual
01-01-2012, 05:24 PM
I'd play see beyond before I played lat-nam's legacy. Lat-nam's legacy is also vulnerable to stifle, making it very bad because they 2 for 1 you.

With the new ruling you just have to switch from the emrakul/narc/blasting station kill to the mimeoplasm/murderous redcap/lord of extinction kill, which is much like cephalid breakfast in that you just mill your whole deck then kill them without having to shuffle.

Lab maniac is awful. I haven't yet seen a deck that can abuse maniac in legacy that has a decent shot against other legacy decks. The reason? He takes infinite setup to win the same turn and passing the turn is something I don't want to do.

Masamune
01-01-2012, 08:43 PM
I really like this deck. I'll test with Stifles, Thirst for Knowledges, Gifts Ungiven and another base-color deck like non-blue version. Actually IMO I don't see the U/B version the best way to run even playing turn 1 Thoughtseizes but Cabaral Terapy still remains even changing entire strategy. I just want to test another cards (maybe only artifacts with Silent Arbiters togheter) :) Thoughts?

Finn
01-01-2012, 09:08 PM
Unless you can find a wincon that does not need a creature to stay alive when you pass priority to let Dread Return resolve, this deck is pretty much now just a slow Cephalid Breakfast.

phazonmutant
01-31-2012, 12:34 PM
A new version of the IPG has been posted (as of Jan 30, 2012). There's been a discussion about the new definition of slow play on the judge mailing list. The [O]fficial word is that since there's no deterministic answer for the number of iterations of milling your library to get the Narcomeba and therapy (or Sharuum, Blasting Station, and Dread Return) before hitting Emrakul, this combo is considered slow play.

I argued hard for this deck, but the powers that be have decided against it.

heyitkc
01-31-2012, 06:29 PM
Would there be anyway to argue for time placement instead, of just a slow play violation like before. Say if you cant give a correct number of times you have to do the loop, you would be giving a set time limit or a set limit on how many times you can try. Most of the time solidarity and high tide take longer (mainly high tide) anyways

As it stands know in the area im from the judges arent saying you cant play this deck anymore, because you've been playing for the past 6 months and its not like the cards are banned. But now because of the rule change you have only a few minutes to combo off (so do it fast) and if you can't, then do something else or get a penalty.

Anusien
01-31-2012, 08:14 PM
Would there be anyway to argue for time placement instead, of just a slow play violation like before.
No.

YamiJoey
07-03-2013, 01:42 AM
Bringing it back.

(LEG) Cthulhu

Combo: 15
1 Laboratory Maniac
1 Think Twice
1 Dread Return
4 Narcomeba
4 Mesmeric Orb
4 Basalt Monolith

Dig: 16
4 Brainstorm
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Ponder
4 Lim-Dl's Vault

Protection: 13
3 Cabal Therapy
4 Thoughtseize
4 Force of Will
2 Misdirection

Lands: 16
2 Ancient Tomb
4 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Misty Rainforest
2 Underground Sea
2 Island
1 Swamp

My fairly limited testing has given me generally good results, though I'm looking into cutting a Therapy for another Tomb.

With Lab Maniac as your main win condition, Misdirection is necessary. The only cards you really lose to are Gaddock Teeg with a Cavern, Extirpate, and Slaughter Games. Everything else has a plan that doesn't involve Thoughtseize. Misdirection is definitely the best card in the deck. Turning Thoughtseizes around and moving Abrupt Decay and Surgical Extractions away from your win cons is huge, right down to when I Misdirected a Life from the Loam away from a Wasteland so I could go off the following turn.

The Emrakul plan obviously has to be cut to accommodate the infinite loop rules, so I've basically just replaced Blasting Station, Sharum, and Emrakul, then tweaked the rest of it.

JanoschEausH
07-03-2013, 04:25 AM
So you simply lose against a resolved Deathrite Shaman?

Finn
07-03-2013, 10:35 AM
I'm suspicious. I don't mean I'm suspicious of you, YamiJoey, although Misdirection almost never works against Life from the Loam (too many targets). No. I mean, the deck. It's strength was in its ability to dodge hate by shuffling its graveyard back into its library in response to it. Add in the new requirement to have mana for Think Twice from the graveyard the turn you go off and you have a far weaker combo. Oh yeah, and DRS too. That was not around two years ago.

YamiJoey
07-03-2013, 11:56 AM
The Misdirecting the Loam was just a fun quip. If I didn't kill him the following turn he just dredges it back and does it again, so it's not a play I'm going to make unless I know I can win. The additional mana for Thik Twice has been a small issue, forcing me to have to wait. I've been very interested in playing Dark Ritual and Lotus to give us the extra boost, considering you only actually need to generate U, as you have 3 from the Monolith.

A T1 Shaman is a problem. I'm slowly coming to learn that this deck has more and more weaknesses, which I am attempting to fix one at a time until the deck is workable again. The fact of the matter is, we are no longer allowed to use Emrakul in this deck, so we have to find other ways of winning. The way it is going though, it kind of looks like it's more convoluted than something like Storm or Omnishow, and even with the rather large protection package, you're still struggling against certain cards. I am currently trying to find a combo deck that I can call home in Legacy, and experimenting with this and Doomsday at the moment.

Is 2 Artifacts that cost a total of 5 just to get you to where you need to be too much when you could just play 0-cost rocks and some Rogues? I'm not entirely sure, but I want to find out. The deck feels generally resilient against a lot of other decks, though. It has a tonne of hate in the main for partial mirrors too, which is partly what brought me here. (Apart from the whole "Lab Maniac" thing.) Shaman can be beaten, I'll just have to figure out the best way to do that.

phazonmutant
07-03-2013, 01:12 PM
The Misdirecting the Loam was just a fun quip. If I didn't kill him the following turn he just dredges it back and does it again, so it's not a play I'm going to make unless I know I can win. The additional mana for Thik Twice has been a small issue, forcing me to have to wait. I've been very interested in playing Dark Ritual and Lotus to give us the extra boost, considering you only actually need to generate U, as you have 3 from the Monolith.

A T1 Shaman is a problem. I'm slowly coming to learn that this deck has more and more weaknesses, which I am attempting to fix one at a time until the deck is workable again. The fact of the matter is, we are no longer allowed to use Emrakul in this deck, so we have to find other ways of winning. The way it is going though, it kind of looks like it's more convoluted than something like Storm or Omnishow, and even with the rather large protection package, you're still struggling against certain cards. I am currently trying to find a combo deck that I can call home in Legacy, and experimenting with this and Doomsday at the moment.

Is 2 Artifacts that cost a total of 5 just to get you to where you need to be too much when you could just play 0-cost rocks and some Rogues? I'm not entirely sure, but I want to find out. The deck feels generally resilient against a lot of other decks, though. It has a tonne of hate in the main for partial mirrors too, which is partly what brought me here. (Apart from the whole "Lab Maniac" thing.) Shaman can be beaten, I'll just have to figure out the best way to do that.

This deck started as a way to build Cephalid Breakfast to dodge StP and Mental Misstep - the combo pieces cost more, but the deck was more resilient. So...your version does neither and just is a more expensive Breakfast. What's the point?

FTW
07-03-2013, 01:15 PM
Think Twice costs mana.... In the 3 replaced slots you could run:


1 Lab Maniac
1 Angel of Glory's Rise
1 Azami, Lady of Scrolls


This is resilient to spot removal on Maniac, since you can just tap a second Wizard in response to draw again. It also takes up 0 mana post-Dread Return instead of 2U. This is also probably better than the Mimeoplasm plan since a lot of people are SBing Leyline these days.

But yeah, you probably want to SB into Pithing Needle on DRS.

Finn
07-03-2013, 01:21 PM
Wow, you have a surprisingly good attitude about it all. You make me want to toss my hat in the ring once again. I want to plop down some thoughts to help you along then.

1. The deck always needs a reason to exist. I say this because Cephalid Breakfast is very similar in function and has some advantages. Amongst the advantages T4H had in the past was that creature removal was dead against it. That is gone in your version here.

2. This deck really wants to be a single color deck for access to better mana acceleration. If you can possibly find a way to make that happen (I never could) you will be in much better shape.

3. I never fully explored the benefits of Lion's Eye Diamond. If you ditch Force of Will and Misdirection you may be able to make it work with Infernal Tutor instead of Lim-Dul's Vault or something. Not sure. You may actually be able to make it work as fast combo that way. But Cabal Therapy is great for defense with LED as in Dredge.

YamiJoey
07-03-2013, 07:35 PM
I am not familiar with the origins of this deck, so I was not aware of the whole 'It's this deck but it does it differently'. I would definitely have to look into Ceph Break to see exactly what you're talking about, but as far as I can tell it is the same thing, only with variations on how you get to the 'no cards left' situation. The ability to get better against removal by running no Artifacts is something I was not aware of, and something I never considered. The Azani variant may be an answer to that. For the Azami thing I would cut a Think Twice and Cabal Therapy for the Angel and Wizard. Additional Therapies are much less relevant, as I'm mostly looking to just Flash them back. With the Angel combo you can get two Therapies flashed back, so cutting a 'Seize or something in its place may be worthwhile, as you may be wanting to use one from your hand pre-combo to ditch a Maniac or something, though I have basically just been using Brainstorms for that.

The sideboard at the moment is an Echoing Truth an 14 cards to become a Show and Tell variant, simply netted straight from the old deck. (The ones that actually ran Emrakul sonit made sense.) It's by no means what I expected it to look like. I would also like to find more answers for Chalice on 1. It's either have the conbo, or Vault for it once it's resolved, and then have something like a Redirect or Force, as you can't Threapy.

There is an option for cutting 'Seize and Vault for Preordanes and something else. Seeing as we're cutting protection, and ability to cast Therapy from our hand, we'd need something really good. There's possibly the Blue Faithless Looting, ehich doesn't seem bad in any capacity, especially seeing as Brainstorm can often be awkward on T1, or in multiples.

The option of becoming an LED deck is interesting, and I assume would come with Dark Rituals and such, attempting to play a Storm-esque turn out. Once we use Therapies etc. to dismantle their hate, we shouldn't need a hand. I am very much in favour of this route, but it would require a big rework as far as I'm aware, attempting to fit in 6 mana rocks over the FoW/MD's would be fine, but then you need Rits and Tutors, which is around 6 more cards, and I'd like to use 4 LED and 4 Petal, so that's 8 slots we're not entirely sure about. You mention cutting Vault, and whilst I'm not a fan of that it could well happen, but that's still 4 cards.

I'm unable to get too deep into this right now, but I'll be back tomorrow to evaluate my ramblings and see what made any sense and come up with some stock lists I can fish with to see if it really does make it faster. I expect to need Cabal Ritual.

FTW
07-04-2013, 01:32 AM
There are different variations of Cephalid Breakfast, but the main pieces basically all cost 1-2 mana


//Cephalid:
Cephalid Illusionist

//His Breakfast:
Nomads en-Kor
Lightning Greaves
Shuto


4 Horseman pieces cost 2 and 3. So it is slower to assemble to do essentially the same thing (dump your library in your GY). Why would you do a strictly slower combo to achieve the exact same end goal?

1) 4 Horseman pieces are non-creature artifacts so they completely dodge removal while Cephalid pieces are easy to kill and require protection. However, this was in the days before Abrupt Decay and Stoneblade/Maverick, when most decks didn't have maindeck artifact destruction. Changes to the format make this old advantage moot. Abrupt Decay is a card. Blah blah blah.

2) 4 Horseman pieces do not cost 1 mana. They cannot be countered by Mental Misstep or Chalice @ 1, which were both big things for a while.

3) Because your engine is creatureless, you can run a creatureless win condition (Blasting Station + effective use of priority) to completely blank creature removal all game.

4) Orb/Monolith allows you to mill 1 card at a time, while Illusionist mills you in 3s. And mana abilities can't be responded to. What this means is you have a hell of a lot more stack control. While Cephalid Breakfast can only hope to mill itself into oblivion and then reanimate something cool, 4 Horseman has complete control of the stack at all times thanks to 1-at-a-time milling and the 1-of Emrakul.

-Someone tries to Surgically Extract Narcomoeba in response to its' return trigger? In response, mill yourself into Emrakul and reshuffle.

-Worried about StP exiling Narcomoeba from the battlefield before you get 3 out for Dread Return? First you just mill until one comes out. With its trigger on the stack, mill until you get at least 1 Cabal Therapy in the yard. Let the Narcomoeba hit the field. Without passing priority Cabal Therapy them and see their hand. Rinse and repeat until they have no hand/you use all Therapies. Assuming they had 3 or fewer answers in hand, they outright lose. They never get priority to interact with Narcomoeba on the field. If they try to interact with something in your GY before you Therapy them, just mill into Emrakul and reshuffle!

-Emrakul means infinite Narcomoeba sacrifices. This lets you deal unlimited colorless damage to any number of targets.

Basically once you assemble Orb + Monolith, opponents cannot really interact with you outside of Krosan Grip or Extirpate. The combo chain is ridiculously long and painful to play out, but you have complete control. That's the main edge this deck has over other self-milling combos.

Unfortunately, this very stack-controlling engine was deemed "Slow Play" since you can always accidentally mill into Emrakul before the card you want (randomness) and hence you cannot provide a deterministic number of iterations for the combo... you can provide a probablistic expectation, but the outcome will always be random. Any other attempt to build this deck without the Emrakul loses the beauty of that stack control that made the deck unique and resilient. At that point, you become a questionably slower Cephalid Breakfast and need to consider why Orb/Monolith should be assembled instead of Cephalid dudes.

Orb/Monolith at least used to be harder to remove, but now MD Abrupt Decay means your combo pieces are easier to take out.

Advantages Orb/Monolith still has:
-the pieces are castable off Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors and do not cost 1cc, which means you can run Chalice of the Void. Chalice is prety amazing in the current format, protects you from Thoughtseize and Spell Pierce and other combo disruption....

-the pieces are colorless, not creatures of different colors, which means less strain on the manabase and you can run whichever color you think can best protect the combo. maybe that will be a blue shell with draw spells and Force of Will. maybe that will be a discard shell with Thoughtseizes and Duress. Maybe it will be a Moon Stompy shell with sol lands and Chalices and 8 Blood Moons. There are plenty of disruptive angles this deck could take.

But it's important to remember when designing it that there needs to be something about the deck construction that makes Orb/Monolith superior to another self-milling engine.

YamiJoey
07-04-2013, 08:00 AM
I may have to look into a Cephalid Breakfast variant for what I'm trying to achieve here, but some of the points you make are incredibly interesting. Perhaps we could use some kind of Chalice/Diamond-based disruption shell, similar to the Loam decks and such, whether we use Loam or not. I do like the idea of loaming into the combo, and possibly just using it as both an end game and an engine to fuel our disruption. Just milling until you hit a Wasteland and Loam in your upkeep seems like it could work?

I like Mesmeric Orb with this strategy, as it just digs, but is Basalt Monolith even a good card? It feels like its inclusion would be purely there for the combo, which doesn't feel terrible, but I'm unsure if its worth it. The idea of playing Academy Ruins with them seems strong, as you could cast Intuitions to find a piece, a Ruins, and a Loam, and slowly build up your combo, whilst locking the game down with various other tried and tested strategies. By the time you go off they have nothing threatening in hand. On the flip side you still have to run all of your other combo pieces, diluting your deck further, and the Loam X decks seem to have a better end game in the 1-card combo of Devastating Dreams.

Moving away from the Loam variant, we can look into other options. Making a Chalice for 1 gives us excellent game against combo and certain tribal decks like Goblins, but isn't spectacular against things like non-Blue Stoneblade, and even the Blue Control decks could care less about Brainstorm when they can just land a Jace. Our options against this kind of strategy would include either Blue, attempting to counter their plays, or Black, using Hymns and Liliana to strip their hand. I'm not hugely familiar with disruption strategies we have access to in Legacy, but I like the idea of comboing out as an end game.

Considering our deck is "(5) Mill your deck find a way to kill your opponent", maybe some inspiration could be taken from Metalworker/MUD decks, and play a faster tutor-based deck, possibly using Kuldotha Forgemaster and the Goblin. (R 1/1, R,T, Sacrifice an Artifact: Return an Artifact) This opens up Mox Opal, and possibly use of Artifact Lands as a method of speeding through the deck to find what we need, and the Orb makes our Goblin that much better. This sounds like the kind of thing that would be better looked into in those threads, but it may simply the way I end up taking this new form of the deck.

I hate to see a good combo like this go to waste, and I may hand on to it for longer than may be useful, but if there is a better way to deck yourself, there's a better way. I may head over into the Ceph Break thread and see what I can come up with there, but I'll continue working and trsting and see what I come up with using this deck.

beardstorm
07-17-2018, 12:59 PM
* necromantic powers intensifies *

Someone made a post on Reddit yesterday revealing how the combo can now (with a few tweaks) be Legacy legal!

Basically you swap the previous combo of Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and Blasting Station for a few copies of Dread, the new card Desecrated Tomb and an Anger.
This goes around the previous rules issue since you are able to continue milling in response to the shuffle triggers, so the only cards left in your library are the looping creatures. From that point on the combo is determinate and perfectly legal.

It does face a few other challenges, most notably the recent banning of Probe, but Deathrite being gone also presents another window of opportunity, and I think it will be quite fun to explore what the deck can do given these new options.

What are your thoughts?

Link to the original post:
https://www.reddit.com/r/magicTCG/comments/8zh5mt/four_horseman_is_now_a_legal_deckwith_some_changes/

pandaman
07-25-2018, 11:22 PM
I replied to this effect to the Reddit post when I saw it. I think this a really fun combo: I mean, who doesn't like infinite hasty bats?

It seems, though, that you could use the Angel of Glory's Rise+Laboratory Maniac+Lady of Scrolls combo in this shell instead of the new Sharuum+Desecrated Tomb+Anger+Dread+Dread/Guile. What are your thoughts comparing the two? LabMan seems good because it costs one slot in your deck (possibly two if you run the second Dread or a Guile) , improves your manabase consistency and resilience by keeping you out of a third colour, Red (and potentially a fourth colour, if you want to mess with Memory's Journey), and wins without needing to use the attack step. Hasty Bats seems good because it isn't soft to spot removal (if they have two removal spells when you're trying to with with LabMan you'll need to counter one, start the win attempt with a sorcery speed draw spell like Ponder, or have an instant speed draw spell like Brainstorm in hand) and you can play Pyroblast for better protection and game against U decks because you're in R and you might as well. There are definitely pros and cons for each I can see, but I could be missing some.

Based on the above, on balance, if I was going to a competitive tournament, I would play LabMan instead of The Bats so I could have a two-colour manabase and more extra slots for protection or manipulation. I would play the hell out of The Bats at my local, though!