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Di
06-16-2006, 12:25 AM
So i'm bored and felt like finally making a topic for this. For the previous discussion and stuff on the deck:

http://mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3512&page=4


Since the deck is still pretty much the same I'm just going to c/p the list and stuff.

5c Eternal Garden

4 Exploration
3 Crucible of Worlds

3 Crop Rotation
4 Intuition
1 Life from the Loam
1 Nostalgic Dreams
3 Burning Wish

3 Pithing Needle
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Moat
2 Pyroclasm

4 Mox Diamond
1 Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
1 Glacial Chasm
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Nomad Stadium
1 Tranquil Thicket
1 Cephalid Coliseum
1 Barbarian Ring
1 Nantuko Monastery
4 Taiga
3 Tropical Island
3 Savannah
1 Bayou
1 Plateau
4 Windswept Heath
2 Wasteland

Sideboard:
3 Rule of Law
3 Tormod's Crypt
2 Boil
1 Hull Breach
1 Devastating Dreams
1 Sickening Dreams
1 Haunting Echoes
1 Nostalgic Dreams
1 Life from the Loam
1 Cranial Extraction



Exploration: This deck's primary win condition is through Barbarian Ring recursion. Yes, that does seem a bit weak as the main win condition, but this deck is designed for the long game, where by that time, it wouldn't matter if you won with Mountain Goat. Exploration speeds that win up, as well as everything else up. I guess you can say it's the greatest fucking card ever.

Crucible: The deck's primary resource for winning. No, this deck is not designed around LftL, it is designed around abusing Crucible. I'm not sure I'm in any real need for this explanation really. It's importance is just as great as it is in Turboland.

Crop Rotation: A card that everyone and their mother seemed to miss. However, I did not. In a deck that abuses land like this, the drawback is small. And the reward, is instant-speed Glacial Chasm, Nantuko Monastery, Barbarian Ring, Boseiju(for eot), whatever. Also evades Wasteland. You get the point.

Intuition: The engine of the deck. There are so many outs with this card it's difficult to explain them all. It basically depends on the game-state. If you got the Exploration, get Crucibles and prepare to go nuts quick. Wanna run for the long game? Get the LftL engine ready with Coliseum and Thicket. Goblins got you down? Nab a pair of Moats or Pyroclasms and Nostalgic Dreams or something to wipe them anyway, I dunno. You can do infinate dumb things with this in here.

Life from the Loam: The deck's secondary engine. For this reason, I only run a single copy maindeck. With Intuition and Burning Wish, I have as many of these as I want. You guys know the functionings of the card, so I don't see much need for more explaining here either.

Nostalgic Dreams: It's retardedly dumb with LftL, and I kept one maindeck so I can Intuition for it and 2-ofs. Turns out it works really freaking well.

Burning Wish: Deck's backup plan should something bad happen. Something like Pithing Needle on Barbarian Ring. It gets an alternative win condition in Haunting Echoes, which is the sole reason for the slight black splash in the sideboard because it's the strongest wish target in the format. Also happens to have an incredible toolbox with it.

Pithing Needle: I run these maindeck for the sole reason of stopping Wastelands game1. Decks like Goblins can't do much against a Chasm with Needle in play. Also happens to solve infinate other problems against the deck.

Moat: Dumb? Yes. I chose this over WoG because decks can come back after WoG, like Goblins, but they have a lot more trouble dealing with Moat.

Pyroclasm/StP: No brainers. Deals with creatures, wipes Gobbos board. Just good stuff right there.


Manabase:

Mox Diamond: I run a lot of lands. Diamond happens to work quite nicely in here, considering it's backed by both Crucible and LftL. Oh yeah, pitching Riftstone Portal to it is a lot of fun too.

Tabernacle: I'm debating dropping this slot in favor of another mana producing land, but it does a great job against aggro and can slow down Threshold if they're lame and play the early Goose, which is nice when you back it up with Wastelands.

Boseiju: Omg I love this thing. It was a last-minute addition, and it happens to be my 2nd favorite land in the deck. Uncounterable Intuition, LftL, Burning Wish and wish targets, Amazing.

Glacial Chasm: The reason I built this deck was because of my liking of the Crop Rotation -> Chasm combo. Turns out like 70% of decks in this format can't even deal with this. Threshold? Lol, Threshold. You lose.

Riftstone Portal: I run too many lands that don't add mana, or only colorless mana in a deck that requires colors. Portal is a godsend for this deck and gives those crappy colorless lands a chance to do something good, like cast Explorations and Moats. Also, it's cool to not have Boseiju kill me every time I tap it.

Nomad Stadium/Barbarian Ring: Recursive life gain. Recursive damage. K.

Nantuko Monastery: Win condition to accompany Ring. This does it a bit quicker though. Can also hold the fort on D if necessary.

Tranquil Thicket/Cephalid Coliseum: They draw cards. They enjoy LftL. And Crucible. I only run a single Thicket due to space, but it's really all the deck needs, because once it hits Threshold, Coliseum pretty much does enough for the deck.

Wasteland: Derf.

Dual land config: Yea, no basics, Ow. Whatever. This deck can fight Wasteland with its acceleration, and can dodge it with Crop Rotation. The current config works rather nicely considering the deck's needs. I dunno, I've never really had many color problems with the deck. I suppose a 2nd Bayou could be there for Echoes, but by the time Echoes is cast, there will most likely be a Diamond in play, and if not, I can always add B, waste Bayou, and replay it.

Sideboard:

Naturalize: Only a single due to space, but I have Wish for Breach.
Rule of Law: One of the stronger answers for the bad combo matchups.
Tormod's Crypt: Derf.
Boil: Solidarity was the reason I did poorly at the D4D. Boil houses Solidarity. Nothing says Fuck You like an eot uncounterable Boil.
Hull Breach: Yeah.
Haunting Echoes: Yeah. Win condition #2.
Nostalgic Dreams: Yeah.
LftL: Yeah.
Devastating Dreams: It was this or Armageddon, but I liked how this also could wipe the board too.
Sickening Dreams: Wipes the board if necessary, and also can be used as a win condition like the style of old-school Turbonevyn. Fill up the hand with LftL, have Chasm in play, Dreams for 10-15 no big deal.
Tsunami: Yeah, Wishable Boil.

Deck Matchups:

UGw Threshold: Pretty easy matchup. This deck has no way of removing Glacial Chasm from play, so they're helpless to the Chasm defense. If you resolve a Moat, that will keep you good long enough to find Chasm. If you resolve Crop Rotation, that's a Chasm. Mage is annoying until StP or Pyroclasm deal with it, and the counters are also annoying, but Rotating a Boseiju is pretty much gg, because then Burning Wish becomes win the damn game. Needles are annoying though, and then graveyard hate is annoying too from the side so keep in Needles.

UGr Threshold: Basically the same as UGw, but they have a shitton of burn, so if they manage some early beats on you they can kill you with a handful of bolts and gay stuff. Oh well, Moat makes them cry and so does Chasm.

Goblins: Another easy matchup. The builds that don't run Wasteland lose to Chasm. Outside that, there are a ton of outs to stopping them, with Moat, StP, and Pyroclasm. Needles hit Port or the pingers or an early Vial, and Tabernacle slows them down for me to get shit goin. The matchup really isn't too hard to win granted you have a brain.

Solidarity: Bad. G1 you basically lose. G2 you have some answers with Rule of Law and Boil, and if you're lucky a Burning Wish -> Cranial, Echoes, or Tsunami.

Iggy Pop: Bad. G1 you basically lose. G2 you have some answers but it's still a tough fight.

Rifter: Pretty easy. They have nothing but dead cards while you can just go retarded.

Those are basically the only matchups worth mentioning really, but in a nutshell the deck smashes everything but combo. I like the maindeck but am debating on some slots, wanna fit in a little more card draw, and I also want to make the sideboard more flexible too. So yeah, ahead with the comments.

scrumdogg
06-16-2006, 02:15 PM
Sooooo, you lose to an entire third of the archetype pie, you hope to play Goblins without Wastelands, & you lose to half of the versions of the most popular deck in the format......thx for sharing. Why don't you dial back on the smoke, it seems to be affecting your cognitive processes.

Di
06-16-2006, 04:31 PM
Sooooo, you lose to an entire third of the archetype pie, you hope to play Goblins without Wastelands, & you lose to half of the versions of the most popular deck in the format......thx for sharing. Why don't you dial back on the smoke, it seems to be affecting your cognitive processes.

No, it seems your old age is affecting your intelligence.

Iggy Pop and Solidarity are poor matchups, yes. However, they are the only poor matchups the deck has. Postboard Solidarity gets a bit better, but still suffers from the fact that all Loam decks shit the bed to Solidarity. Iggy Poop is still bad postboard but if a Rule of Law comes down I think you win.

Also, I don't care whether Goblins plays Wasteland or not. If they don't, then they downright lose. If they do, then it's just something I can needle. This deck is designed to handle shitty creature decks like that. It has more resources than just Glacial Chasm. (See: Pyroclasm, Moat, StP, Burning Wish).

You also can't read for shit, because I didn't say I lose to Threshold. The UGr version only has a better chance of winning due to it's retarded amount of burn. This requires them to have 3-4 thresholded beats in and then have 3-4 burn spells right after. But, you have Glacial Chasm and Nomad's Stadium for that. Oops, they can't do anything for it. Plus, outside Mongoose their creatures are crap against this deck.

Maybe you should head back to the retirement center and stop wasting my damn time with negative criticism.

Cavius The Great
06-16-2006, 05:06 PM
The deck looks solid I love it. A very interesting deck to say the least.

Have you thought of running Recoup incase a sorcery gets dredged into your yard? It seems like it would be a perfect fit in the deck, fully complimenting Burning Wish, Nostalgic Dreams and Pyroclasm.

If you decide to run Recoup I would also suggest running Wrath of God. Unfortunately Replenish is banned and there's no real way of getting a Moat back from your yard. Recoup basically gets back your WoG or lets you use it twice.

Recoup is also neat with Regrowth and you can do some nice tricks with it If you decide to keep Moat.

Recoup+Regrowth=gets you back anything in your yard which is sweet.

That's just a few things to consider, the deck looks awesome.

Whit3 Ghost
06-16-2006, 05:26 PM
In my testing I've found out that more Chasms are a necesity and I'd also try to fit in a Horn of Greed or two, although they do bring up decking problems.

Di
06-16-2006, 05:32 PM
@ Cavius

Recoup was originally a Burning Wish slot, but I also toyed with it in the maindeck too. It's actually really good, but there really aren't enough sorceries in the deck to make it worthwhile. An expensive Pyroclasm is a waste, but Burning Wish is good. Thing is, the deck runs 3 of them + Dreams, so getting at least one in hand hasn't ever been an issue.

@White Ghost

More Chasms are probably necessary, but having more lands that don't add mana is dangerous. Even with Riftstone Portal, it's a risky move. I'd personally up the Crop Rotation count before adding a 2nd Chasm. Regarding Horn of Greed, I want to add it in so bad. It's just dumb in here. Problem is this deck gets down to the last cards all the time just from the dredging and Cephalid Coliseum, so I'm unsure on it. I'm thinking another Coliseum might be necessary however. If not Coliseum, Deep Analysis is an interesting option I've looked at, as is Thirst for Knowledge.

FallenOmnipotent
06-16-2006, 05:38 PM
I probably counted wrong but I think there are 61 cards in your deck.

Also, with all the 1 ofs that you can't care if they go to grave, have you considered gifts? And I know it's a sorcery, but MAYBE Compulsive research?

Edit: Have you considered Gemstone Mine? I goldfished a couple games and the deck is pretty cool. Only problem I'm having with it is Mana base. Maybe Barbarian ring as another win condition?


1 Barbarian Ring -Di

A Banana
06-16-2006, 05:57 PM
Nice Diablos.

I am really liking the mana base - it looks solid with all that CoW and LftL support. I know people will disagree with me, but I think you did a good job there.

I really don't like one Nostalgic Dreams. It seems really pointless even with Intuition since it is very unlickely you get it, and even if you do get the other stuff it still seems dumb to waste a whole slot for a card that is there 90% of the time for Intuition. Why do you run it - oh, and you can wish for it. So it is there 95% of the time for Intuition. Why do you run this card again?

bigredmeanie
06-16-2006, 06:06 PM
Actually I've been playing this deck since it's first appearence in the Exploration thread. It does smash decks that want to win with damage. I even beat 2 land belcher 7 games out of 9. Mostly due to Needle, but you know.

I found the deck to be a little inconsistent at times. For that reason I added Dark Confidant. He is nut's in the deck if he is not answered. Granted he is fragile, but he comes out against decks that run shit tons of removal. Everything else he is golden against.

I did:
-2 Moat
-2 Pyroclasm

+4 Dark Confidant


There was also the matter of the deck being moderately dependent on Intuition and Crucible. I upped both those cards to 4.

-1 Wasteland
-1 Tranquil Thicket

+1 Intuition
+1 Crucible

Since there are now more black cards I changed the mana base to be more black friendly, and I cut the Plateau all together to get the list back to 60 cards.

-1 Taiga
+1 Bayou

Personally I like it a lot more with the changes I've made. I also cut about $100 worth of cards. Sometimes I've missed the Moats but they were the first cards to get cut, and I don't feel like they are necessary for the deck to perform well.

@ Fallen

BRing is already in the list.

Di
06-16-2006, 06:23 PM
I really don't like one Nostalgic Dreams. It seems really pointless even with Intuition since it is very unlickely you get it, and even if you do get the other stuff it still seems dumb to waste a whole slot for a card that is there 90% of the time for Intuition. Why do you run it - oh, and you can wish for it. So it is there 95% of the time for Intuition. Why do you run this card again?

The deck only runs Intuition as a tutor, so therefore it can't always get everything. Nostalgic Dreams acts as not only another Intuition in a way, but as the 4th and 3rd copy of every other card in the deck. Using Intuition in conjunction with it allows me to only grab 2 copies of a card and that, saving the 3rd one in the deck, or if the 3rd went to the graveyard or something. The fact that you dredge away half the deck takes away half of the cards you're going to Intuition for, and when you can Intuition for other copies and dreams, it makes it worth it.

@bigredmeanie

With the huge gap in creature removal in your list, how is your matchup against Goblins? Surely, Confidant dies at first glance against the deck, and you don't have the board sweepers anymore to deal with the horde, putting a lot of reliance of Chasm.

bigredmeanie
06-16-2006, 07:20 PM
@ Diablos

Well, if I can needle Wasteland it hasn't been an issue. Also you say I have a glairing lack of removal when in reality I only removed 2 Clasms. They do very little against Gro and most aggro decks not Goblins or Deadguy, so I felt they could be cut due to their disynergy with Confidant. As stated Confidant would most likely get boarded out against Goblins, GUR Gro, and Rifter.

Bane of the Living
06-16-2006, 08:39 PM
http://mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3409&highlight=exploration+confinement

Your deck is very comparable to Ruel and Nassif's Confinment deck. Stop shit from happening and abuse lands.. I think you both have major strengths and weakness going on. You seem a bit weak against counter magic. Your key spells (Exploration, Crucible) go down and all of a sudden your left with your pants around your ankles. Likewise for Confinement but at least they have they're own counterspells to provide protection. Your list looks like it needs a little refining still. Way too many one of's will just get you into deep shit. I like wish but do you really need Needle along side it? your saying you have a good thresh match but they have counters for your few important spells, no real needle targets, and clasm kills nothing. Keep working on it tho, it looks good. Wish I had some Explorations..

EDIT

@ Diablos
As stated Confidant would most likely get boarded out against Goblins, GUR Gro, and Rifter.

Is it really worth it at that point? I dont think Id want him against White thresh either. They still have stp and you want your Pyroclasms to handle that Meddling Mage.

Di
06-16-2006, 08:53 PM
I do think its funny you just banned GAT, he gave you the whole Crop Rotation -> Clasm idea. Now beat him with the deck sometime.


....No, he didn't. It's tech I had on my own. I've had Chasm on my radar for a looong ass time because I was trying a UBg turbonevyn style turboland build that ran the Sickening Dreams/Glacial Chasm win condition, and the deck ran Crop Rotation. I don't know where you heard that from.


Your list looks like it needs a little refining still. Way too many one of's will just get you into deep shit. I like wish but do you really need Needle along side it? your saying you have a good thresh match but they have counters for your few important spells, no real needle targets, and clasm kills nothing. Keep working on it tho, it looks good. Wish I had some Explorations..

Exploration and Crucible get countered which sucks, but everything else can be protected under Boseiju. Nothing says fuck you to control like an uncounterable Burning Wish and Haunting Echoes.

Needle is run maindeck because it's primary use is to stop Wasteland. That protects Chasm, and it does that rather well. And it happens to hit every other deck one way or another.

And as for Thresh, yes it is a good matchup for me. Those who've played me with the deck can attest for this. The LftL engine is incredibly difficult for them to deal with, especially since they have no way of removing Glacial Chasm. If either Exploration or Crucible resolves you pretty much have the game, because from then on your land advantage overwhelms them. If Moat resolves, they only have a single out in the deck to win, and said out has 4 copies of StP ready for it.

As for the 1ofs, I really don't see where you're getting at here. I have only 2 of them as non-land cards, and they are both primary Intuition targets. The rest of them are lands, which we have no problems seeing thanks to Crop Rotation, Intution, and dredging half my deck away.


Also you say I have a glairing lack of removal when in reality I only removed 2 Clasms. They do very little against Gro and most aggro decks not Goblins or Deadguy, so I felt they could be cut due to their disynergy with Confidant. As stated Confidant would most likely get boarded out against Goblins, GUR Gro, and Rifter.

For all intents and purposes I was considering Moat to be 'removal' as well. With the lack of both Moat and Clasm, I see decks like Goblins to be capable to killing you faster than you can sustain a defense. Also, what is your sideboard like meanie? If you're boarding out Confidants left and right, I assume you have able to slots to switch. But this makes me wonder how strong your wish board is, and how many slots you have towards the combo matchups.

Whit3 Ghost
06-17-2006, 11:44 AM
@White Ghost

More Chasms are probably necessary, but having more lands that don't add mana is dangerous. Even with Riftstone Portal, it's a risky move. I'd personally up the Crop Rotation count before adding a 2nd Chasm. Regarding Horn of Greed, I want to add it in so bad. It's just dumb in here. Problem is this deck gets down to the last cards all the time just from the dredging and Cephalid Coliseum, so I'm unsure on it. I'm thinking another Coliseum might be necessary however. If not Coliseum, Deep Analysis is an interesting option I've looked at, as is Thirst for Knowledge.

Here's my 3color list, which can support Horn and 3 Chasms. I also went to a Living Wishboard instead of Burning Wish.

//Mana/Lands 30
1 Barbarian Ring
1 Oborro Palace In The Clouds
3 Flooded Strand
3 Glacial Chasm
3 Windsweapt Heath
4 Tundra
4 Tropical Island
4 Savannah
4 Mox Diamond
3 Wasteland

//Spells 31
4 Exploration
4 Crucible
4 Brainstorm
2 Horn of Greed
3 Intuition
3 Living Wish
1 Moat
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Pithing Needle
4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Enlightened Tutor
1 Solitary Confinement

//Sideboard 15
3 Meddling Mage
1 Morphling
1 Azusa Lost But Seeking
1 Barbarian Ring
1 Glacial Chasm
1 Monk Realist
1 Sex Monkey
1 Wasteland
2 Tormod's Crypt
3 Pithing Needle

-Why I like my list
3 Chasm
Mage in the board is sick
Azusa is huge
Mini E Tutor Toolbox
Ability to go turbo Morphling

-Why I Like Di's list
Crop Rotation
Burning Wish
Boseju
Tabernacle
MD Needles

Bane of the Living
06-17-2006, 12:22 PM
Wow I like that list. Thats kinda what I meant by cleaned up but I really like Diablos' use of Crop Rotation as well as Pithing Needles. I think you need at least 1 copy of LftL for back up. Your playing Intuition.

Mage in the board is hot and Living Wish does fit better than Burning.

A Banana
06-17-2006, 01:16 PM
Wow I like that list. Thats kinda what I meant by cleaned up but I really like Diablos' use of Crop Rotation as well as Pithing Needles. I think you need at least 1 copy of LftL for back up. Your playing Intuition.

Mage in the board is hot and Living Wish does fit better than Burning.

I have to disagree, Bane. Diablos's list is supurior to White Ghosts for a number of reasons:

1) The mana base is more solid. Diablos doesn't run as many non-mana producing lands as White Ghost, and in addition White Ghost runs no Riftstone Portal, which I have found to be huge.

2) Have you even tested? 1 Chasm is enough. I can always get one when I want it. Between 3 Crop Rotation, 3 Intuition and 1 Chasm, I am never short on damage prevention.

3) Living Wish is powerful but seems worse than Burning Wish. For instance, Burning Wish really increases the utility this deck can provide, in addition to a Win Condition through Echoes. Living Wish can let you go Turbo Morphlin as a win, but really that is very weak and outdated right now (I.E, Pithing Needle). Even if it wasn't, Meloku seems better to me. Asuza seems like Overkill, though I will admit Mage in the board is pretty sweet. Hull Breach is better than sex monkey, and besides that Eternal Garden doesn't need Living Wish since it can run its land toolbox MD and save the Sideboard for other things. Oh, and This is sooo broken with Boseiju, were thresh counters living wish easy. Plus, you can wish for creature destruction that is better than bone shredder.

4) @ Horn of Greed: This card is so outdated in turboland. So you draw extra cards when you have the lock - it just seems win more, plus it is symmetrical.

I havn't tested White Ghosts list, so I am judging by appearences. Feel free to prove me wrong.

EDIT: The enlightened Tutorbox idea is cool though, since you can so easily switch to Loam/Confinement.

Di
06-17-2006, 07:56 PM
3) Living Wish is powerful but seems worse than Burning Wish.

I can attest to this for fact, because the deck I ran at the D4D was in fact the Living Wish version of the deck. I found it to be terrible with it's lack of utility. Honestly, half of the targets will never be wished for. You like the slot because it's incredibly strong, but you never bother to get it. Here was my Living Wish board:


Sideboard:
SB: 1 Glacial Chasm
SB: 1 Barbarian Ring
SB: 1 Viridian Zealot
SB: 1 Eternal Witness
SB: 1 Azusa, Lost but Seeking
SB: 1 Terravore
SB: 2 Sacred Ground
SB: 2 Tormod's Crypt
SB: 3 Boil
SB: 2 Naturalize

Trust me on this, Burning Wish is a shitton better than Living Wish just giving the options it has.

Whit3 Ghost
06-18-2006, 11:43 AM
I have to disagree, Bane. Diablos's list is supurior to White Ghosts for a number of reasons:

1) The mana base is more solid. Diablos doesn't run as many non-mana producing lands as White Ghost, and in addition White Ghost runs no Riftstone Portal, which I have found to be huge.

I still run 24 and 4 Mox Diamond. I don't think it's that big a deal.


2) Have you even tested? 1 Chasm is enough. I can always get one when I want it. Between 3 Crop Rotation, 3 Intuition and 1 Chasm, I am never short on damage prevention.
Yes, I have. In my brief testing of 5c Garden, you need at least 1 more Chasm, especially with zero draw spells.


3) Living Wish is powerful but seems worse than Burning Wish. For instance, Burning Wish really increases the utility this deck can provide, in addition to a Win Condition through Echoes. Living Wish can let you go Turbo Morphlin as a win, but really that is very weak and outdated right now (I.E, Pithing Needle). Even if it wasn't, Meloku seems better to me. Asuza seems like Overkill, though I will admit Mage in the board is pretty sweet. Hull Breach is better than sex monkey, and besides that Eternal Garden doesn't need Living Wish since it can run its land toolbox MD and save the Sideboard for other things. Oh, and This is sooo broken with Boseiju, were thresh counters living wish easy. Plus, you can wish for creature destruction that is better than bone shredder.
Yeah, I'll probably add Boseiju for utility, probably over the lone Oboro. Azusa is by no means overkill and is probably my #1 Wish target.
Mage is an MVP in the board.



4) @ Horn of Greed: This card is so outdated in turboland. So you draw extra cards when you have the lock - it just seems win more, plus it is symmetrical.
It is by no way symmetrical or win-more. Di's list has the problem of doing nothing when it has the lock out, waiting to draw into business spells. This also helps you accelerate into awesome in the early/mid game


I havn't tested White Ghosts list, so I am judging by appearences. Feel free to prove me wrong.

EDIT: The enlightened Tutorbox idea is cool though, since you can so easily switch to Loam/Confinement.
Well I should have t8ed the Source tourney but my sideboard was horrible.

A Banana
06-18-2006, 12:34 PM
Well on #2 I was reffering to Bane, not you. I agree you need more than 1 chasm, but 3 and one in the board seems overkill.

When the lock is out the point is that Di's list doesn't NEED to do anything. That is what makes horn win more - in addition it helps your opponent draw into answers.

Whit3 Ghost
06-18-2006, 01:40 PM
Well on #2 I was reffering to Bane, not you. I agree you need more than 1 chasm, but 3 and one in the board seems overkill.

When the lock is out the point is that Di's list doesn't NEED to do anything. That is what makes horn win more - in addition it helps your opponent draw into answers.

Trust me, when you have the lock out, the game is far from over. Horn ends games faster and as I said, helps you accelerate into lock pieces.

A Banana
06-18-2006, 01:49 PM
Trust me, when you have the lock out, the game is far from over. Horn ends games faster and as I said, helps you accelerate into lock pieces.

Well for me I've never had a problem once the locks out, but I've only played about 15 games. One was against Enchantress Confinement, so we had to draw because the game would have taken an hour. Even though I would have won.

Di
06-18-2006, 09:34 PM
Yes, I have. In my brief testing of 5c Garden, you need at least 1 more Chasm, especially with zero draw spells.

You aren't putting Life from the Loam into account then. Realize that it will mill a good portion of your deck away, and should it run into Chasm, there it is. You still also have other Intuitions and Crop Rotations as well.


Trust me, when you have the lock out, the game is far from over. Horn ends games faster and as I said, helps you accelerate into lock pieces.


Eh...depends on the matchup. In many cases, having the lock out is game over. This is because many decks can't deal with Chasm, so once it's in play there really aren't many options the opponent has outside of concession. But that aside, I'm obviously aware of the strength Horn brings to the deck. However, you have to take into account Horn can end games with a loss just as easily as it can a win, because you can't stop decking yourself. This is a serious problem considering Chasm constantly has to be replayed. If you run low on cards and have to continue playing lands, it can become a problem.

That being a rather large problem, I'd like towards other draw spells like Thirst for Knowledge and Deep Analysis.

Whit3 Ghost
06-18-2006, 09:42 PM
@Loam- I hate the card. I don't know why. I know it's great in here, I just don't like it.

I cut Loam and Coliseum in my list, so those are two less cards I need to worry about decking myself with.

Di
06-18-2006, 10:17 PM
I cut Loam and Coliseum in my list, so those are two less cards I need to worry about decking myself with.

And in doing so you remove a 2-card drawing engine and replace it with an engine that is > 2 cards. Coliseum is just dumb when you recur it every damn turn :p

Whit3 Ghost
06-19-2006, 10:54 AM
And in doing so you remove a 2-card drawing engine and replace it with an engine that is > 2 cards. Coliseum is just dumb when you recur it every damn turn :p

Again, I'm running Horn and Brainstorm for draw so it hasn't been that big a deal.
BTW, how do you play your version?
I play mine almost like combo, trying to race my opponent into the lock.

bigredmeanie
06-19-2006, 11:05 AM
I have never once milled myself with this deck. Gotten close a few games, but I've always managed to kill my opponent before it happened.

@ WhiteGhost. If you cut LftL you cut you only out to Crucible destruction, and with no way to protect it, that's a huge liability. Also, Lftl Is awesome, like Diablos says, it mills you INTO all your win conditions. It's not a combo deck, it's a control deck.

Di
06-19-2006, 02:06 PM
Yeah, this deck is almost pure control. It has combo-ish elements in it with the cool shit it can pull, but for the most part I play it like a control deck that can do nutty stuff...just like every other good deck I've ever made(See: ATS, Turboland)

A Banana
06-21-2006, 01:27 AM
Really? Against aggro I go strait for the combo with no second thoughts. It's the best way to race them...and damn consistant. I consider this control/combo, sure, with control first and foremost, but I also think it needs to go pure combo some times.

But then again, that might be what you meant, Diablos.

It was.

crazedloon
06-24-2006, 12:36 AM
My only experence with this deck was a few games vs a deck very similar to this one. What that means is take whatever I say with a grain of salt.

Have you ever thought of playing upheaval as a 2 of or whatever and then Seismic Assault. This way you can play more control and go out in one turn with a upheaval floating the mana for the assault and discarding the hand. of land you most likely have. worst case senario you clear the board and can drop a few explorations to build board position faster.

Also for the problems with decking i relize that a full grave is good but an empty library is bad. so have you thought of playing a few Gaea’s Blessing. If drawn they can cycle your lands and the other blessing in the last few cards or can refil the library once you dredge it to the grave. This makes it much safer to play the horn.

Di
06-24-2006, 01:09 AM
Also for the problems with decking i relize that a full grave is good but an empty library is bad. so have you thought of playing a few Gaea’s Blessing. If drawn they can cycle your lands and the other blessing in the last few cards or can refil the library once you dredge it to the grave. This makes it much safer to play the horn.

If you dregde Gaea's Blessing with Life from the Loam, the entire graveyard would go back. That would be very bad, as you'd basically have to start your engine over from scratch.

Caligula Superfly
06-24-2006, 01:33 AM
Unless you decided to keep key lands in play/hand before dredging back? I suppose if you hadn't found them yet...

Di
06-24-2006, 01:55 AM
I'm aware of how to get around that little issue, but the point is you don't know when you're going to hit a Blessing, so it'd be something you'd have to work around during the entire game. Trying to keep the cycle lands or other important lands in your hand after use and whatnot every turn is too much effort to even bother with Blessing. I'd just use Krosan Reclemation if I really had to.

crazedloon
06-24-2006, 03:28 AM
I'm aware of how to get around that little issue, but the point is you don't know when you're going to hit a Blessing, so it'd be something you'd have to work around during the entire game. Trying to keep the cycle lands or other important lands in your hand after use and whatnot every turn is too much effort to even bother with Blessing. I'd just use Krosan Reclemation if I really had to.
understood however with the draw engine provided by the exploration horn of greed synergy you can quickly fill an empty grave via dreding a life from the loam (you dont need to pull anything out of the grave and you should have enough manato use loam) but its much harder to fill an empty library (but what do i know)

what i mean is dont just add the blessing that would be foolish without cards to back up the loss of the grave such as the draw engine provded by the horn.

Maveric78f
06-24-2006, 09:31 AM
I would play collective restraint*4 in that deck. It's so powerful...

Watcher487
06-24-2006, 09:51 AM
understood however with the draw engine provided by the exploration horn of greed synergy you can quickly fill an empty grave via dreding a life from the loam (you dont need to pull anything out of the grave and you should have enough manato use loam) but its much harder to fill an empty library (but what do i know)

what i mean is dont just add the blessing that would be foolish without cards to back up the loss of the grave such as the draw engine provded by the horn.

This is the problem with Horn. Especially in this deck you are going to draw too much. Now 'IF' the game runs late especially with a horn out, I would run 1 blessing and 1 regrowth in the Sideboard, or probably the better thing might just be to run a Blaze or Demonfire in the board since your running 30-31 mana sources.

Di
06-25-2006, 02:21 AM
Technically now that I think about it, if I wanted to not be able to deck myself, I could use Scroll Rack. That seems to be quite a good choice actually, besides the fact that it can be Needled.

A Banana
06-25-2006, 10:36 AM
Technically now that I think about it, if I wanted to not be able to deck myself, I could use Scroll Rack. That seems to be quite a good choice actually, besides the fact that it can be Needled.

Yeah I played a few games against AS. In all of them, I established the lock very quickly. He had 2 MD Disenchants, but I had a nostalgic dreams and 2 Crucibles in my hand, so I wasnt worried. However, I still lost. Why? Because I had 43 Cards in my deck, and he had 47. Sure, I drew Barbarian Ring. I got to ping him once each turn, and only when I had drawn an additional exploration. Nantuko Monastary, meet Exalted Angel.

Oh, and Armeggadon = Oweee.

Di
06-25-2006, 05:28 PM
Yeah I played a few games against AS. In all of them, I established the lock very quickly. He had 2 MD Disenchants, but I had a nostalgic dreams and 2 Crucibles in my hand, so I wasnt worried. However, I still lost. Why? Because I had 43 Cards in my deck, and he had 47. Sure, I drew Barbarian Ring. I got to ping him once each turn, and only when I had drawn an additional exploration. Nantuko Monastary, meet Exalted Angel.

..Or you know, you could've sent Cephalid Coliseum at him and gotten his library smaller than yours, or Burning Wish -> Haunting Echoes? Honestly, unless you saw neither of those cards, you shouldn't have lost that game.

Also, Armageddon shouldn't be so bad considering how quickly you can recover from it. Between LftL, Exploration, and Crucible, you should be able to gain an advantage over the opponent rather easily. Unless your solely relying on Chasm at that point.

Cavius The Great
06-25-2006, 06:00 PM
Have you considered cards that skip your draw phase? Possessed Portal seems rather sick in the deck.

If decking yourself is really an issue, you can also try running a couple Soldevi Diggers.

Watcher487
06-25-2006, 09:37 PM
Now I have been working of a similar version of the deck since I saw Diablos playing his 3-4 color Turboland build @ GP Philly, the question that I have to ask is has anyone considered a small Enlightened Tutor package? This allows me to run a Humility, a Seal of Cleansing and a Moat MD, while allowing you to tutor for Crucible of Worlds and Pithing Needle.

I also have been running 1 Petrified Field MD and I've been finding that it's an excellent help when you are trying to kill via Life from the Loam/ Barbarian Ring.

Di
06-25-2006, 10:24 PM
I also have been running 1 Petrified Field MD and I've been finding that it's an excellent help when you are trying to kill via Life from the Loam/ Barbarian Ring.


Excellent choice. Glad to see you're using it. I've personally thought about it as well, but haven't ever found the room for it. It's a difficult slot to find considering it only produces colorless mana, but it's probably worth the inclusion. I'm going to tinker with the manabase some to see if I can work this in.

Watcher487
06-25-2006, 11:57 PM
Excellent choice. Glad to see you're using it. I've personally thought about it as well, but haven't ever found the room for it. It's a difficult slot to find considering it only produces colorless mana, but it's probably worth the inclusion. I'm going to tinker with the manabase some to see if I can work this in.

Here's what I'm running right now. Bear in mind it's a work in process here and it's just my ideas for the deck.

1 Barbarian Ring
1 Boseiju
1 Cephalid Coliseum
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Glacial Clasm
1 Nantuko Monastery
1 Nomad Stadium
1 Petrified Field
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Tabernacle
1 Tranquil Thicket
1 Wasteland

2 Bayou
2 Plateau
2 Savannah
2 Taiga
2 Tropical Island

2 Windswept Heath
3 Wooded Foothills

3 Mox Diamond
4 Crop Rotations

2 Pyroclasm
4 Swords to Plowshares

2 Intuition
4 Burning Wish
3 Enlightened Tutor

2 Crucible of Worlds
4 Exploration
1 Life from the Loam

1 Pithing Needle
1 Humility
1 Moat
1 Seal of Cleansing

Now I know I lose more of the search in your deck Diablos but I personally like the Enlightened Tutors better.

Di
06-26-2006, 04:15 AM
I like Enlightened Tutor as well, but in a format that demands answers immediately and not the turn after you draw E Tutor, not to mention the number of decks running Predict, it makes it seem inferior than running a full set of Intuitions.

bigredmeanie
06-26-2006, 10:47 AM
I agree, If an Intuition resolves your opponent just screwed up. The same is not true of E Tutor. Im running 4 Intuition because they are never dead and essentially is a 3 mana Demonic Tutor for 3 cards, in this deck at least.

TheDarkshineKnight
06-26-2006, 05:23 PM
Okay, I'm hopping on to this thread rather late, but Diablos? You totally have to run this at whatever the next big tourny is, because this could seriously impact the Legacy metagame. The format needs a control deck so bad that its not even funny. I wouldn't worry about Solidarity too much since as we all know, only one person in the universe can actually pilot it decently, though I would worry about Iggy Pop. If the deck actually places high, then I think we'll see more people becoming serious about trying to develop control decks.

This is the one problem with deck-builders on The Source: There are a bunch of viable decks on the Source which in theory could impact the metagame, yet no one places high with them. Look at Faerie Stompy; it's an awesome deck that has good matchups against basically everything except Angel Stompy, yet it hasn't done anything to impact the format yet. I hope 5c Eternal Garden doesn't go the way of Faerie Stompy.

Di
06-26-2006, 05:30 PM
Okay, I'm hopping on to this thread rather late, but Diablos? You totally have to run this at whatever the next big tourny is, because this could seriously impact the Legacy metagame. The format needs a control deck so bad that its not even funny. I wouldn't worry about Solidarity too much since as we all know, only one person in the universe can actually pilot it decently, though I would worry about Iggy Pop. If the deck actually places high, then I think we'll see more people becoming serious about trying to develop control decks.


Just thought I'd mention I played a version of this deck at the last Syracuse D4D. I ended up 3-3, with two of those losses to Solidarity. So don't go out and shout about and praise David Gearheart alone, because any Solidarity player is capable of beating a deck designed to mill itself away.

TheDarkshineKnight
06-26-2006, 09:46 PM
I was being sarcastic about the whole Solidarity thing. :)

Oh, and I know you ran this at the Duel for Duals, but as I recall, there was some major differences that made it much more ineffective.

Watcher487
06-29-2006, 01:36 PM
I'm most likely going to be playing my version of this at GenCon. But I need a couple of ideas to shore up the Combo match-ups... especially since I will be going to GenCon with Herbig.

I do have an interesting food for thought on the whole Enlightened tutor thing... In the 2 games I played Goblins I had my soft lock of Clasm, Exploration, Crucible, Humility down on turn 4 both games. I am considering adding 1 Night of Souls' Betrayal over the Moat as an optional way to creature lock-out people other than Clasm/Crucible, and since all 3 kill methods get around that (Monastary, Barbarian Ring and Burning Wish/Echoes)

(Monastary gets around it because of the more recent Humility ruling, the ability of Monastary and Humility are on the same lvl so they are resolved by timestamps and since you SHOULD activate Monastary after you play Humility it becomes a 4/4 first striker but when Night of Souls' Betrayal is in play it's a 3/3 first striker.)

Di
06-29-2006, 04:27 PM
At least cut Ghost Quarter for another Wasteland. The card seriously blows.

As for combo outs, look at my first post with the sideboard. It's updated with my current board, which is atleast decent against combo. It's not perfect, but it's as good as I can currently make it. I might cut Naturalize though for either another Crypt or Boil.

EremusDuskwalker
07-03-2006, 05:29 PM
I have been looking at this deck since it was posted on the exploration thread, and I have a question: Enlightened tutor has been mentioned several times with people seeming to like it except for the 'wait a turn' issue. The deck uses Life From the Loam so would it viable to use cycle lands to get at the tutored card? I understand that doubles the cost of getting at the desired card but to bring a Crucible or Moat into play a turn earlier seems like it would be worth it to me. Just a thought.

Di
07-03-2006, 07:00 PM
You have to keep in mind that Enlightened Tutor only searches for enchantments/artifacts. Granted, there are a lot of them to choose from, but it doesn't search for Crop Rotation, Burning Wish, and Pyroclasm. This is important because that loses the ability for tutorable removal, instant Chasm etc, and utility from Wish. Playing the deck over and over again, plus with my own testing with the Enlightened Tutor build, makes me realize that the limited searching of the tutor doesn't cut it in this deck. If you are going to run a build with split Intuition and Enlightened Tutor, I personally believe replacing tutor with card draw (or at least more Intuitions) is the right way to go. As I've repeated a couple times, I'm a large advocate of both Deep Analysis and Thirst for Knowledge. Hell, Compulsive Research even has a go in here.

However, to those who still advocate the Enlightened Tutor versions, I recommend running at least a single maindeck slot geared towards combo hate. This means cut either the 2nd Moat or pick between Humility or Moat for the creature solving slot, and use that other slot for something like Rule of Law. The deck is rough against combo, but if you can have the ability to deal with it game 1 you should use that opportunity.

Also, some people have talked to me about replacing some slots regarding budget restrictions. This is mainly in regards to Moat and Tabernacle. While both of these cards are insanely good, replacing them isn't too hard. Humility is an excellent replacement for Moat(which in fact if I don't run into a 2nd Moat, I'll be using this myself), and Tabernacle is easily switched with an additional Glacial Chasm.

morgan_coke
07-04-2006, 02:37 PM
Neat deck. I was (Slowly) working my way towards something very similar.

My main question is this: If you want Horn of Greed, but can't fit it in due to worries about decking yourself, why not include some of the "Words" enchantments from Onslaught? This, combined with some Gaea's Blessings also seems like it could completely shut down Solidarity's win conditions. (Or not, they'd probably just bounce the Words before Stroking you out, but, you get the idea.)

Also, it seems like you should run a single copy of Ghost Quarter in the board. Many decks in Legacy only run 3-4 basics, and using Quarter against these decks' basics is essentially Strip Mine. It just seems silly not to use one sideboard slot to get a bunch of free wins.

The other thing I was wondering about is have you experimented with a singleton Genesis and Witness in the deck. That way you could Intuition for Witness, Tutor, X. It would also give you an out if you Intuitioned for all three Crucibles and they then destroyed the one you had in play. You could get Genesis out of your hand pretty easily with Cephalid Coliseum.

Di
07-04-2006, 05:53 PM
My main question is this: If you want Horn of Greed, but can't fit it in due to worries about decking yourself, why not include some of the "Words" enchantments from Onslaught? This, combined with some Gaea's Blessings also seems like it could completely shut down Solidarity's win conditions. (Or not, they'd probably just bounce the Words before Stroking you out, but, you get the idea.)

It really isn't an issue because I won't be playing Horn of Greed anytime soon, but I'm not going to lie Words is a cool way to get around that. However, I haven't had much of a problem with decking lately, as the deck is easily capable of decking the opponent instead through Coliseum and uncounterable Haunting Echoes. The only time the deck is really close to decking itself is either an incredibly retarded control-control match, or I've(or anyone playing the deck for that matter) has played very poorly and overextended their dredge use.


Also, it seems like you should run a single copy of Ghost Quarter in the board. Many decks in Legacy only run 3-4 basics, and using Quarter against these decks' basics is essentially Strip Mine. It just seems silly not to use one sideboard slot to get a bunch of free wins.


First off, the card is just trash in this format. The only decks that run very few basics are the decks that this deck already beats. With ease. That's what Wasteland is for. So few basics already means they are dying from Wasteland. Throwing this in the sideboard requires the removal of either a wish target, all of which I don't want to remove, or an anti-combo target, making bad matchups even worse. It really isn't necessary at all.


The other thing I was wondering about is have you experimented with a singleton Genesis and Witness in the deck. That way you could Intuition for Witness, Tutor, X. It would also give you an out if you Intuitioned for all three Crucibles and they then destroyed the one you had in play. You could get Genesis out of your hand pretty easily with Cephalid Coliseum.

A possibility, but that requires slots in the deck to be switched, which is rather tight. The deck really doesn't have much of a problem with recursion though, with a md Nostalgic Dreams and a few Burning Wish to fetch them. I might also be adding a 2nd Dreams or possibly a Regrowth to the maindeck to further attribute to this. Using Witness isn't all that bad, but if it got StP'd I'd be rather pissed.

morgan_coke
07-05-2006, 02:05 AM
Eh, maybe the time for secret Word tek will come. If you've got such a problem with combo, why not run Last Rites in the board? You've got the cards to discard to it, and getting hit with three-four Coercions at once should buy you quite a bit of time against most combo decks.

If you've tested it and found it lacking, then I guess nevermind, but it seems like a card that could really help you out in that matchup.

EremusDuskwalker
07-10-2006, 02:49 PM
I really like the Petrified Field addition but I'm wondering if maybe we're adding too many cards that make good intuition piles but that don't add anything to the deck on their own. Sure you can grab a Field, Wasteland, and Cycle land and your opponent goes Dee-de-de but what happens when you topdeck a Petrified Field because you couldn't pull it out on your last Intuition. I was also wondering if we thought that decreasing the amount of colors in the deck was a good idea, or even an idea worth considering. I know you said you like the multi color setup Diablos, but do you have any experiance building this with less colors? I really think this deck has a lot of potential and their are even different ways to take it. Just looking for some feedback/brainstorming. Thanks

Di
07-10-2006, 05:32 PM
I know you said you like the multi color setup Diablos, but do you have any experiance building this with less colors? I really think this deck has a lot of potential and their are even different ways to take it. Just looking for some feedback/brainstorming. Thanks

The build that I ran at the D4D was 3-colors, with the exception of Barbarian Ring being a "red" card. This was also a Living Wish version of the deck, which despite it's insane targets, sucks. That's because it's uility and tricks are much more situational and less useful than Burning Wish targets. I added Burning Wish to make up for not only the lack of utility slots in the deck but also a tutor slot. It fetches LftL and removal, and then it fetches Haunting Echoes; the single reason I have a black splash in the sideboard. I figured if I had wish I might as well tweak the manabase to run the best target the format has.

But if for some reason you want to see the original 3-color list, I'd be more than happy to show, despite it being inferior.

bigredmeanie
07-10-2006, 07:21 PM
So I like this deck, but unfortunately I haven't been able to beat much combo of any sort with it. Except for Belcher.

It actually has a pretty good matchup against most of the decks in my meta accept for the few that will be playing combo. Mostly Solidarity and now a guy playing Iggy.

How have you guys decided to have a game against those combo decks.

Di
07-10-2006, 09:01 PM
I've had the same problem as well. It's an issue that's really unavoidable, as it comes with the territory of this kind of deck. Unfortunately, I think the only solution is to stack the sideboard with lots of hate for combo. This isn't the greatest it can be I'm sure, but this is what I have for a sideboard as of now:

3 Rule of Law
3 Tormod's Crypt
2 Boil
1 Hull Breach
1 Devastating Dreams
1 Sickening Dreams
1 Haunting Echoes
1 Nostalgic Dreams
1 Life from the Loam
1 Cranial Extraction


I cut the Naturalize for another Crypt and I added Cranial Extraction back to the board. With Extraction back in, Burning Wish is a lot more effective game 1 against Iggy Pop, in the sense that you win if you're lucky enough to pull it off by turn 3-4. A trio of Crypts also help greatly against Iggy Pop then happen to be good against Threshold as well. Rule of Law is still there for obvious reasons, and Boil is another solution for Solidarity.

I'm still not completely satisfied with this board though, and I've been also looking for answers with Meddling Mage, Pyrostatic Pillar, Abeyance, etc, but it's difficult to figure out the configuration. This is something that has to be solved soon though, as I plan on playing in the Kaddy D4D II and I expect a good handful of combo decks to be present.

Poron
07-10-2006, 09:05 PM
I didn't understand very well what's the lock of this deck? how does it win? with nantuko? ok, but it's very slow. Barbaring Ring? even worse..

Usually these decks play Solitary Conf. and some cycle lands to keep locked..
but imho it's anyway an easy matchup.. it's open to all kind of hate: grave hate, non-basic land hate, the normal counterspells, etc. etc.

PunkRocker1134
07-10-2006, 09:21 PM
Why not run boiling Sea as a wish target instead of boil. This way you can also use it pre-board and it doesn't take up as much sideboard space.

Di
07-10-2006, 10:29 PM
Why not run boiling Sea as a wish target instead of boil. This way you can also use it pre-board and it doesn't take up as much sideboard space.

Tsunami was originally run in the board, but I cut it back for Cranial Extraction. Issue is that the island killer slot was for Solidarity, but when by the time I'd cast Tsunami, they'd kill me in response. Boil is there to cast on Solidarity's endstep and stuff like that.




I didn't understand very well what's the lock of this deck? how does it win? with nantuko? ok, but it's very slow. Barbaring Ring? even worse..

Usually these decks play Solitary Conf. and some cycle lands to keep locked..
but imho it's anyway an easy matchup.. it's open to all kind of hate: grave hate, non-basic land hate, the normal counterspells, etc. etc.

I really don't know what to say to you, other than your name is almost identical to a word I'm thinking of. Sorry, but if you don't understand the concept of the deck(which I entirely explained in the first post), then read it. It's not too hard to figure out.

EremusDuskwalker
07-10-2006, 11:07 PM
@ Poron: You pretty much named the win conditions, but there is also Haunting Echoes, which has always come in as a surprise (to my opponent) win whenever I resolve it. If you don't like the conditions already in the MD you could attempt adding Psychatog; but I think this adds more problems than it solves.

@ Diablos: I personally would love to see the previous list you played, even though you are convinced it is inferior. Or at least the mana base. The version I play uses more one-of's that are still usefull in the 'yard and I'm always looking to see how tight I can get the list without ruining what you've already put together.

morgan_coke
07-11-2006, 05:44 AM
This might sound counterintuitive at first, but having a lot of experience in playing decks with bad combo matchups (slide) I've realized that the best way to disrupt a combo deck long enough for you to win is to just win faster. In the case of your deck I wonder if you've thought about a somewhat transitional sideboard, with say, four Phyrexian Negators (Diamond and Exploration should let these hit on t2 fairly reliably) and some other form of disruption, say Sphere of Resistance, Last Rites, Glowrider or Rule of Law. This would put your opponent on enough of a clock that the temporary disruption from Rule, or Abeyance, or whatever, would give you enough time to win. The matchups would still be unfavorable, but probably a lot better than they are now.

Lego
07-11-2006, 01:20 PM
The matchups would still be unfavorable, but probably a lot better than they are now.

The question then becomes: is it worth it to devote so much of your sideboard to a bad matchup when it's not even going to become positive? You can devote ten board cards to hating combo, but if you're still not overwhelmingly favored post board, it's not going to help you win many more matches. Remember, no matter what you do game two, you still lose game one.

Watcher487
07-11-2006, 03:34 PM
Here let me drop a couple of Ideas I've been running in my main/side board lately. (This is for the Enlightened Tutor version I had posted on Page 3)

Smokestack (This could be a more interesting MD choice especially post lock)
Choke/Root Maze (Your basic High Tide lock)
Trinisphere
Kudzu (This is something I have been kicking around for the past month)
Sacred Ground (w/ Angel Stompy and some Thresh decks running Armegeddon this should at least have a shot in the side.)

@about the 'color' problem:
I really haven't had that much of a problem with getting hosed to begin with. Dropping either Crucible or Life from the Loam along with Exploration is usually game over for most 'Mana Denial' strategies. Tag this along with the fact that you no only run alot of low end CC stuff and almost all of my colored spells are all splashable (exceptions being both Moat and Humility). Now sure you have Haunting Echoes out of the board, but if your not casting it the turn you get it, you went for it too early.

Di
07-11-2006, 05:11 PM
This might sound counterintuitive at first, but having a lot of experience in playing decks with bad combo matchups (slide) I've realized that the best way to disrupt a combo deck long enough for you to win is to just win faster. In the case of your deck I wonder if you've thought about a somewhat transitional sideboard, with say, four Phyrexian Negators (Diamond and Exploration should let these hit on t2 fairly reliably) and some other form of disruption, say Sphere of Resistance, Last Rites, Glowrider or Rule of Law. This would put your opponent on enough of a clock that the temporary disruption from Rule, or Abeyance, or whatever, would give you enough time to win. The matchups would still be unfavorable, but probably a lot better than they are now.

Hm, I do like Phyrexian Negator. If I were to run creatures in the sideboard though, they would be Meddling Mages. I think they do a better job at handling the combo matchups because they stop the opponent from comboing in the first place. Negator puts them on a four turn clock, which is plenty of time for the good combo decks to find stuff, but Meddling Mage also gives you time to find more of your own answers like Rule of law and the like.


The question then becomes: is it worth it to devote so much of your sideboard to a bad matchup when it's not even going to become positive? You can devote ten board cards to hating combo, but if you're still not overwhelmingly favored post board, it's not going to help you win many more matches. Remember, no matter what you do game two, you still lose game one.

Considering the deck's only real bad matchups are those combo decks, I'd say yes. The maindeck is rather sound at defeating basically any deck thrown at it sans the combo decks, so that's where the sideboard comes in to overload on combo.


Smokestack (This could be a more interesting MD choice especially post lock)
Choke/Root Maze (Your basic High Tide lock)
Trinisphere
Kudzu (This is something I have been kicking around for the past month)
Sacred Ground (w/ Angel Stompy and some Thresh decks running Armegeddon this should at least have a shot in the side.)


Interesting. I tested Smokestack a bit in Turboland a while back with decent results, but it's really weak without stuff to back it up. Even so, it's still a good choice if you can get it out quick enough. Choke/Root Maze combo is only really good if you can get them both in the opening hand. Otherwise, it's pretty meh. Trinisphere I really like. It does a great job in handing all combo it's asses. It costs 3 though, which is a bit slow. I think it'd be wiser if the Sphere of Resistance route was taken. Sacred Ground was also in my sideboard for a long ass time. Actually, it was the first card I ever added to the original sideboard. However, I later cut it in favor of combo hate because of the lack of land destruction. Personally, I don't think Armageddon is that big of a deal in a deck running Crucible/Exploration and LftL, but it can be nasty if you're at a point when the deck is solely relying on Glacial Chasm.


Still regarding the sideboard, I think it's at the point where wish targets are going to have to be cut to strengthen the combo matchups. From my current board my wish targets are:

Hull Breach
Life from the Loam
Sickening Dreams
Devastating Dreams
Nostalgic Dreams
Cranial Extraction
Haunting Echoes

All of them really have a strong purpose in the board, so it's difficult to determine what I want to cut.

-Echoes is under no condition being removed, as it is the strongest target in this format and also a great win condition.
-Hull Breach is my single out towards enchantment/artifact removal.
-LftL is half of the decks' engine, and turns Burning Wish into an engine itself.
-Cranial Extraction was added to fight against combo. Gives my game 1 a chance against combo decks.
-Nostalgic Dreams is a means to getting back shit that was dredged/countered. It's pretty damn good.
-Sickening Dreams is a better replacement than Pyroclasm because it hits players, and also acts as a win condition.
-Devastating Dreams is armageddon and goblins sweeper. Also happens to be really good against crap like Train Wreck, which is also a rough matchup.


From that list, the only cards possibly worth removing are the dreams. If I had to remove them, I'd cut Sickening Dreams and possibly Nostalgic Dreams. DD would stay because it's too big of a house against decks like Goblins, and can really hinder a control deck's gameplan. Nostalgic Dreams isn't something I'd really want to cut, but if I did, I'd slide another into the maindeck. But if I free up those two slots, and tinker with the rest of the combo slots, I could easily come up with something a bit better. For example(note this is just off the top of my head, but see where I'm going with it):

3 Rule of Law
3 Meddling Mage
2 Tormod's Crypt
2 Boil
1 Hull Breach
1 Haunting Echoes
1 Devastating Dreams
1 Life from the Loam
1 Cranial Extraction

Doing something like this is probably a step closer towards beating combo. Thoughts?

morgan_coke
07-11-2006, 08:16 PM
I agree about removing Sickening Dreams completely, I don't think it does anything you couldn't do already and is really more of a techy "I have wishboard" card. For the rest of the slots I'd say something more along the lines of:

4x Phyrexian Negator/Tempting Wurm (solidarity and iggy pop don't really have much in the way of permanents outside of land, and getting all thier land out at once sets them up for a catastrophic Devastating Dreams)

1x Gaea's Blessing (stops Brain Freeze, makes them go for the Stroke Win.)

4x Sphere of Resistance/Glowrider/Trinisphere(or mage), or Chalice, at 1 it doesn't touch you and hurts them badly, and it comes down turn one leading into t2 negator.

1x Hull Breach, Cranial Extraction (still not sure this shouldn't be Last Rites), Haunting Echoes, Devastating Dreams, Life from the Loam, Nostalgic Dreams.

It reduces your graveyard hate solely to Echoes, but it's a board designed to stop IGG and Solidarity while putting them on a clock. I like the damage plan over the mage plan because in my experience, slowing down/disrupting a combo deck is no where near as efficient at stopping them from going off as killing them is. Combo decks are designed to win through hate. If Mage is much more than a speedbumb to your combo deck, than it doesn't deserve to beat anything. Deadguy loses to Solidarity because despite all it's disruption, it doesn't have much of a clock. One Negator provides that clock for you. Combo doesn't want to be interactive unless it's just bouncing some random speedbump, cards like Negator force them to be interactive, which forces them to play your game, instead of the other way around.

Watcher487
07-12-2006, 11:47 AM
It reduces your graveyard hate solely to Echoes, but it's a board designed to stop IGG and Solidarity while putting them on a clock. I like the damage plan over the mage plan because in my experience, slowing down/disrupting a combo deck is no where near as efficient at stopping them from going off as killing them is. Combo decks are designed to win through hate. If Mage is much more than a speedbumb to your combo deck, than it doesn't deserve to beat anything. Deadguy loses to Solidarity because despite all it's disruption, it doesn't have much of a clock. One Negator provides that clock for you. Combo doesn't want to be interactive unless it's just bouncing some random speedbump, cards like Negator force them to be interactive, which forces them to play your game, instead of the other way around.

See this is the big problem here. You can't have everything all at the same time. Negator is not the answer this deck is looking for. Just like you said Deadguy loses because it doesn't have a clock. But it does have disruption.

The 2 ways to win vs. Solidarity
#1 is to have a clock and disruption. Even playing Negator T1 doesn't get you the win unless you can back it up with some sort of disruption.
#2 is to just make too many speed bumps. IE if you have Meddling Mages on both Cunning Wish and Brain Freeze or T2-3 Smokestack or Boil in response to the first Reset/Turnabout.

You have to remember you are the control deck in this situation and if have had expirence in the match-up you can tell what is usually going on and what needs to happen.

Di
07-12-2006, 01:35 PM
#2 is to just make too many speed bumps. IE if you have Meddling Mages on both Cunning Wish and Brain Freeze or T2-3 Smokestack or Boil in response to the first Reset/Turnabout.

This is what I'm trying to go for. The example sideboard I made above can put in up to 10 cards against Solidarity if you include the Crypts, all of which are speed bumps. I'm aware they can easily get around a Meddling Mage, but if you combine that with Rule of Law and Boil, it makes it a bit tougher of a match. Same with Iggy Pop. You can bring in all 10 of those cards(Well, Boil is still weak, but better than other stuff in the maindeck.) Mage combined with the other hate can easily sway the favor of the matchup.

TheDarkshineKnight
08-06-2006, 07:35 PM
Bumping what could possibly be the best deck in the format.

Watcher487
08-06-2006, 08:47 PM
Bumping what could possibly be the best deck in the format.
I wouldn't directly say that yet. The deck still has a horrid combo match-up game 1 (usually 5% win). And between myself and Diablos the debate still rages over how much white you actually go in the deck to begin with (let alone the fact that he doesn't like my Enlightened Tutor set up)

The deck is probably the best form of board control in the meta now. But, (and this is a big but) it's still in development. It has the potential to make a big fuss, but with the resurgance of Solidarity recently, I'm a little on the fearful side to play it.

Di
08-06-2006, 09:05 PM
The deck is probably the best form of board control in the meta now. But, (and this is a big but) it's still in development. It has the potential to make a big fuss, but with the resurgance of Solidarity recently, I'm a little on the fearful side to play it.

I'm a bit fearful myself, but if there was a big tournament tomorrow, I'd pilot this deck again. Solidarity can be dealt with if you have a proper sideboard plan. The maindeck is very good though(at least mine was for the tournament), and I felt rather comfortable with it.

Here was my list for Kadilak's D4D II:

4 Exploration
4 Crucible of Worlds

3 Crop Rotation
4 Intuition
1 Life from the Loam
2 Nostalgic Dreams
3 Burning Wish
2 Undead Gladiator

4 Innocent Blood
3 Chainer's Edict
2 Pyroclasm

4 Mox Diamond
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
2 Glacial Chasm
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Nomad Stadium
1 Tranquil Thicket
1 Cephalid Coliseum
1 Barbarian Ring
3 Taiga
3 Tropical Island
3 Bayou
1 Savannah
4 Wooded Foothills
2 Wasteland

Sideboard:
3 Pithing Needle
1 In the Eye of Chaos
2 Boil
2 Arcane Laboratory
1 Hull Breach
1 Devastating Dreams
1 Haunting Echoes
1 Life from the Loam
1 Chainer's Edict
1 Nostalgic Dreams
1 Tsunami

I switched off from white to black because Nimble Mongoose was giving me problems. After the tournament, I was very happy with the removal configuaration. It worked out quite nicely. I added the 4th Crucible because I'm convinced this deck wants to resolve this in order to win, and given the lack of manipulation, drawing them is important. Undead Gladiator was great all day, giving me an engine when I needed it.

I'm pretty sure my maindeck is very solid in it's current state, as I really didn't have any problems during a game 1. The sideboard wasn't the best, but it held up pretty well for the day(with the only exception being it wasn't great for Iggy Pop, which I of course had to play the only one there in the deciding round of the tournament :p ) Oddly enough, I never once wished for Haunting Echoes. I killed everyone through Barbarian Ring recursion.

Also, what was brought to my attention during the tourny was the anti-Solidarity tech of Brain Freeze in the sideboard. These can easily be cast mid-combo in response to a draw spell to fuck up the opponent. The configuration at the tournament was 4 Freeze and 3 Blessing, which seems like it could be some good for this deck fighting that matchup. 7 slots is a lot though, so it'd be rather hard to squeeze in.

Whit3 Ghost
08-06-2006, 09:24 PM
Your welcome for the tech:cool:. Btw, You already have 6 slots for solidarity. I'd cut either Dreams or an Edict

Atwa
08-07-2006, 02:48 PM
I was expecting this deck to roll over to any combo, but when I started to test it, it wasn't that bad at all.

I tested against Iggy Pop this afternoon and although game one was very bad for me (mainly my own fault, since I was desperatly trying to get rid of a Leyline, instead of simply getting a Cranial Scrying or Haunted Echoes with the 1 burning wish not yet removed from the game), it isn't that bad when you can board in both Crypt and Rule of Law.

However I really feel the Moats should be switched for Humility. For some reason I've been walking into decks with huge fliers all day. I still won the matches (very close), but I'd feel way more comfortable when I can get rid of all my opponents creatures with a single Pyroclasm.

Muradin
08-08-2006, 05:49 PM
I have read the whole thread now and think this deck might be a very good option in my metagame as combo doesn't exist here, unless I am playing solidarity or any casual player playing belcher.
In my meta is a lot of , ********, gobbos, rock and the rest is like zoo, deadguy, burn, rift, landstill.

So my questions are:
1) Can this deck beat burn with price of progress?
2) Is the list you posted on page 4 or the one at the beginning of the thread "better" ?
3) What should my sideboard look like if I don't have to dedicate any slots to combo?
4) As I can't afford 2 moats I am playing 2 humilities in these slots. So i thought about adding a decree of justice to the board as a wishable wincondition. What do you think about it?

Di
08-08-2006, 10:20 PM
1) Can this deck beat burn with price of progress?
2) Is the list you posted on page 4 or the one at the beginning of the thread "better" ?
3) What should my sideboard look like if I don't have to dedicate any slots to combo?
4) As I can't afford 2 moats I am playing 2 humilities in these slots. So i thought about adding a decree of justice to the board as a wishable wincondition. What do you think about it?

1. Yes, this deck can beat Burn with PoP. If they cast PoP, you need to respond with a Crop Rotation for Glacial Chasm. That's the only sure way to stop PoP. As for the rest of the deck, recurring Nomad's Stadium is pretty good.

2. Considering the page 4(this page) decklist is the one that I just ran at the D4D, I'd consider it the "better" list. It's removal package is actually really good, and it gives you an easier time in the Gro matchup as your removal kills all their creatures while StP doesn't touch Mongoose.

3. I'm not entirely sure. I haven't been in a comboless metagame, so I suppose outside of the 6-7 wish targets the deck has, the rest could be filled with whatever metagame slots you like. These could inclue Tormod's Crypt, Engineered Plague, additional removal, etc.

4. If you're running the list that I recommend (the latest one), it doesn't run white, so that's not really an option. As for DoJ, why is it a better win condition than Haunting Echoes? I'm personally a big fan of Echoes, as it just flatout wins games, whereas DoJ can be dealt with via Pyroclasm or something.


On a side note, I'm doing what I can to squeeze Nantuko Monastery back into the manabase. I've missed it being in there, because it's incredibly good and acts as another win condition.

TheDarkshineKnight
09-11-2006, 02:47 PM
Another BUMP. I want to know if any progress has been made on this thing.

Don't bump threads. If you want to know about a deck that has no action, PM someone working on it. In this case, Diablos.
~ Nightmare.

Bane of the Living
09-11-2006, 06:30 PM
Diablos, have you ever considered Gamble in place of something else? I swear by it in Land Ho! It will almost always work out for you unless your holding something like Burning Wish that you dont want to lose. Then again that deck is based more off Loam whereas yours is Crucible. Loam fills your hand with cards to make Gamble good. Just figured since your playing red it was worth throwing out there.

scrumdogg
09-11-2006, 08:50 PM
Saw you at Ray's tournament but had no opportunity to watch your matches. Were you running this deck? The black version? If so, what went wrong (as you had 3 points in final standings...)? If you did not run the deck, why not?

Di
09-12-2006, 12:51 AM
Saw you at Ray's tournament but had no opportunity to watch your matches. Were you running this deck? The black version? If so, what went wrong (as you had 3 points in final standings...)? If you did not run the deck, why not?

I chose to run Turboland over this because I anticipated a combo heavy metagame and Turboland holds a rather positive combo matchup. Unfortunately I kind of shit the bed that day at 1-3, but I personally think Turboland isn't a bad choice for the meta. Prior to the Mana Leak Open, I stopped work on Eternal Garden and picked up Turboland and tuned it for a good 2 months.

This deck has to wait for a metagame shift where Solidarity and Iggy Pop aren't nearly as popular. I'm not sure how soon that will be though...

Ebinsugewa
09-12-2006, 01:06 AM
This deck has to wait for a metagame shift where Solidarity and Iggy Pop aren't nearly as popular. I'm not sure how soon that will be though...

Well, in my meta, they're non-existant unless I or someone on my team is playing them. I think I'll give this deck a shot, I've always found it interesting and Tog is sort of a drag nowadays, being all complicated and all :p

morgan_coke
11-02-2006, 12:54 AM
Has anyone been messing with this since TS came out? Just from looking at the lists and the new cards a couple of things that would really help power this deck up jumped out at me.

1) Academy Ruins. This card is just crazy here. Intuition for LftL (or Petrified Field), Crucible, and Ruins and you get all three no matter what they do. It also fights disenchant and other forms of artifact removal. It also looks to combo well with a more artifact heavy build running stuff like Horn of Greed. Finally, it gives you unlimited Tormod's Crypts to deal with annoyances like Threshold.

2) Children of Korlis. This is a great IGG hoser, which was a big problem for the deck previously.

3) Trickbind. Another solid anti-combo card for IGG and Solidarity.

4) Gemstone Mine. I know this isn't a new card, but it really just seems like it should be in the deck, and its reprinting reminded me its out there.

5) Gamble. Academy Ruins makes this less risky as you can now get back both lands and artifacts if you discard them.

6) Walk the Aeons. I'm not saying its good or anything, just noting that in this deck the buyback cost is inconsequential and can easily be paid every turn, making this basically a card that says "I win" if it resolves.

7) Volrath's Stronghold. This goes in the same category with Academy Ruins, except it covers creatures (think Children).

8) Horn of Greed. Again, not a new card, but it really eliminates the drawback to Ruins and Stronghold.

9) Words of War, Wind, and Waste. Combined with Exploration and Horn of Greed, these can quickly decimate your opponents, board, hand, or army.

10) Archeological Dig. This is the perfect repeated trigger for a Words when combined with Horn and Crucible.

I'm not exactly sure what the resulting deck would look like, but something along the lines of this seems like a good direction to start in:

4x Crop Rotation
4x Crucible of Worlds
4x Intuition
3x Horn of Greed
4x Exploration
2x Gamble
1x Smokestack
1x Life from the Loam
1x Words of Wind
3x Burning Wish

4x Mox Diamond
4x Gemstone Mine
2x Flooded Strand
2x Wooded Foothills
1x Glacial Chasm
1x The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1x Wasteland
1x Nomad Stadium
1x Petrified Field
1x Academy Ruins
1x Boseiju, Who Shelters All
1x Barbarian Ring
1x Nomad Stadium
1x Cephalid Coliseum
3x Tropical Island
1x Savannah
1x Tundra
3x Bayou
1x Volcanic Island
2x Taiga

Sideboard
1x Volrath's Stronghold
4x Children of Korlis
3x Gaea's Blessing
4x Trickbind
3x Tormod's Crypt

Ok, this IS NOT meant to be a defining list. It has some ridiculous holes, no way to deal with a T1 Lackey, no targets for the three Burning Wishes, no Nostalgic Dreams, etc. I'm not claiming to be an expert with the deck, I'm just pointing out that I think the advent of Ruins and the Children makes the deck much, much, much better, and it should probably be explored more now.

Watcher487
11-02-2006, 12:50 PM
I've recently dropped White to only lands now since Academy Ruins is in the format.

Children doesn't really do anything for us that we really need. Trickbind on the other hand is a HUGE pick up for both combo matches.

Walk of Aeons I can picture in the board eventually. The thing that scares me about the card is that it's Buyback is 3 islands in a non-blue intense deck.

Volrath's Stronghold has actually made it into my deck now, but for a different reason. (More about that later...)

Horn of Greed, Word enchantments, Archeological Dig, Gemstone Mine and Gamble. Horn of Greed has always been too much of a Win-More for me with this deck. The Word enchantments are ok with Horn of Greed but as with Horn if you have them in play you should be winning anyway. The Dig and Mine are ok for this deck if you are looking to budgetize the fact that you should run 10-12 duals. But for this deck you need colored mana ASAP and in abundance. So I would have to say it's an ok idea but nothing I, myself would do. Gamble is search that you should already have in Crop Rotation, Intuition, Burning Wish and Life from the Loam. I think it's an interesting idea for the deck but that's a ton of search for a deck that has zero wrath effects. You need some type of creature removal in this format, even with the fact that there is Solidarity and IGGy PoP in the format. Goblins will just Wasteland the Glacial Chasm away and swing for the win.

About your suggested deck:
RIFTSTONE PORTAL. Nantuko Monastery is good as another win condition, especially if your running any amount of White. You need some Creature Removal, Pyroclasm, Decree of Pain, Wrath of God, Devastating Dreams, Innocent Blood, Chainer's Edict, Diabolic Edict, Swords to Plowshares.

Smokestack is a decent idea to toss back into the deck due to Academy Ruins. But Time Spiral also gave us Curse of the Cabal. I've been testing more of the Kobe-Small Pox-Loam deck and have intergrated the deck into Eternal Gardens. After work I'll post my current list w/ board.

midnightAce
11-02-2006, 06:02 PM
On the note of the Curse of the Cabal: I've tried it in a few decks without much success. I have found that the fact it gets TWO time counters per permenents is really making the card not as effective as Smokestack.

Watcher487
11-03-2006, 01:34 PM
On the note of the Curse of the Cabal: I've tried it in a few decks without much success. I have found that the fact it gets TWO time counters per permenents is really making the card not as effective as Smokestack.

Well I like Curse better since it's tutorable with Burning Wish and there is only 1 card that can take it out of Suspend. Smokestack is good since it's symmetrical with Glacial Chasm and Crucible/Loam. But I'm not playing Enlightened Tutor anymore to tutor up the card when I need it, I have to rely on either drawing it, Intuition (for Loam, Ruins and Smokestack) or Dredging it into the graveyard w/ a Ruins in play.

I'm playing more of a board control/board removal style to punish decks that rely on thier lands (4c Landstill, Thresh and Rifter)

Here's my build as of right now:
1 Academy Ruins
2 Badlands
1 Barbarian Ring
2 Bayou
2 Glacial Chasm
1 Nantuko Monastery
1 Nomad Stadium
1 Petrified Field
2 Polluted Delta
1 Riftstone Portal
2 Taiga
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
2 Tropical Island
2 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island
1 Volrath's Stronghold
2 Wasteland
3 Wooded Foothills

4 Crucible of Worlds
3 Mox Diamond
3 Small Pox
3 Intuition
4 Crop Rotation
3 Eternal Witness
4 Exploration
2 Life from the Loam
3 Burning Wish
2 Devastating Dreams

Sideboard:
1 Hull Breach
3 Engineered Explosives
1 Chainer's Edict
1 Curse of the Cabal
1 Decree of Pain
1 Haunting Echoes
1 Small Pox
1 Life from the Loam
1 Nostalgic Dreams
1 Regrowth
1 Anarchy
1 Burning Wish
1 Devastating Dreams

I'm looking to add 3-4 Innocent Blood into the deck to help out the Goblin Match-up. Small Pox is amazing against Thresh. Eternal Witness adds the single recursion that the deck was looking for, but it costs me my drawstep which is fine especially since I often find myself low in cards toward the end of the game. Sideboard has give me fits as of lately. I'm probably going to remove the Explosives and the Regrowth to toss in the Removal I talked about earlier.

Bane of the Living
11-03-2006, 06:18 PM
You guys arent doing much to improve combo with Academy Ruins tricks. The only way I could fight combo with a loam based deck was to play 3 Duress, 3 Therapy, 3 Witness. Smallpox helps very little.

Watcher487
11-04-2006, 12:30 AM
You guys arent doing much to improve combo with Academy Ruins tricks. The only way I could fight combo with a loam based deck was to play 3 Duress, 3 Therapy, 3 Witness. Smallpox helps very little.

Well do you have any suggestions on what to cut to make life easier? Obviously you don't like Small Pox enough so that would be cut for you. But what out of the deck above would you cut to add the other 3 cards your looking to add.

morgan_coke
11-04-2006, 01:03 PM
I've been testing this a fair amount lately, and while I wouldn't list this as a definitive list or anything, but through a fair amount of testing this list has been doing great against everything but combo game one.

4x Wooded Foothills
2x Tropical Island
2x Taiga
2x Volcanic Island
1x Plateau
1x Tranquil Thicket
1x Riftstone Portal
1x Nomad Stadium
1x Barbarian Ring
1x Cephalid Coliseum
4x Gemstone Mine
2x Wasteland
1x Academy Ruins
1x The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1x Glacial Chasm
1x Nantuko Monastery
4x Mox Diamond

4x Gamble
3x Crop Rotation
3x Intuition
2x Engineered Explosives
2x Crucible of Worlds
1x Life from the Loam
4x Swords to Plowshares
3x Pyroclasm
4x Exploration
1x Smokestack
1x Nostalgic Dreams
1x Ancient Grudge
1x Tormod's Crypt

Sideboard
4x Meddling Mage
1x Volrath's Stronghold
3x Trickbind
1x Ancient Grudge
2x Gaea's Blessing
2x Pithing Needle
2x Research//Development

Intuition for Life from the Loam, Ruins, and any artifact will always get you all three, Smokestack gives you a long game edge against other board control type decks such as Rifter, and the Swords, Explosives, and Pyroclasms do a nice job of keeping Goblins and Thresh in check until you reach a point where you have taken control of the game. The combination of Ruins, Explosives, and Crypt is really devastating to Thresh given their low creature curve. I've really been liking Gamble in this deck, turn one it can tutor up almost anything, while after that, when you have a smaller hand it's still useful as a neo-Entomb that sometimes works as a Demonic Tutor.

One thing I have been looking at is the vulnerability of the Explorations in the deck when you're using E.E. to control the board for a few turns. A rather janky, but effective solution I came up with was Azusa, Lost but Seeking and Volrath's Stronghold. The Research//Developments in the board are stictly for combating Tormod's Crypt. This way, if you lose some important cards to the RFG pile, you can get them back. This may be a worse option than extra pithing needles however. The rest of the board seems pretty self explanatory, Trickbinds, Mages, and Blessings for Combo, although Children of Korlis might be a good inclusion if IGGy is big where you play since they negate a turn one win if you're on the play.

One other completely random thought I've been having lately is including Haakon as a one-of. This deck wouldn't have trouble getting him in the 'yard, and aside from StP, not much kills him. He also trades with Mongoose. I'm not completely sold on the Smokestack maindeck, as it often seems like a win more card, so I'm thinking of trying Horn of Greed, Phyrexian Totem, Powder Keg, and Pithing Needle in its place.

morgan_coke
11-07-2006, 07:59 PM
I hate double posting like this, but these are entirely different comments than what I had previously, so an EDIT didn't seem appropriate.

@bane_of_the_living: yeah, lots of discard slows them down a bunch, but you still have to kill them before they can recover, which isn't exactly this decks' strong suit. Homebrew loses to Solidarity even with all its disruption because of the lack of a clock. This deck has the same issue.

@Watcher: i can't say i'm really a fan of curse either, mainly because of the every other turnness of it. I'd rather just use a smokestack.

The vast majority of the decks' difficulties lie in dealing with combo.dec. I realized that the two best anti combo strategies are disruption + quick clock and making it impossible for combo to win. Since the general design of this deck doesn't lend itself to aggro/disruption at all, we have mostly been focusing our efforts on ways to make the deck fight combo by making it impossible for combo to win with multiple Mages or Trickbinds, etc. This has been a losing strategy. I'm not really sure where I got the idea for this, but with the more tutor heavy version I've been trying lately, and going off of Diablos' latest list (with a buncha modifications), I've come up with the following sideboard (this deck does not run any Wishes, Burning or otherwise)

3x Smokestack
4x Trinisphere
4x Chalice of the Void
2x Pithing Needle
1x Ancient Grudge
1x Tormod's Crypt

This is based off of the idea that since Stax has a very positive combo matchup, and this deck is very similar to Stax, that simply using the board to have a transformative Stax option will help that matchup a lot.

The Needles are general help, Grudge is additional needle/vial hate, and the crypt is a nice way of increasing the md graveyard hate. I would sideboard for Solidarity as follows: -4 StP, -3 Pyroclasm, -2 E. Expl., -1 ancient grudge, -1 tormod's crypt, -1 glacial chasm, -1 tabernacle, +3 Smokestack, +4 Trinisphere, +4 chalice, +2 needle. That leaves your deck as mana, tutors, and lock pieces.

For Iggy Pop I would recommend -4 StP, -3 Pyroclasm, -2 E. Expl., -1 Glacial Chasm, -1 Tabernacle, -1 Ancient Grudge, -3 Crop Rotation, +3 Smokestack, +4 Trinisphere, +4 Chalice of the Void, +2 Pithing Needle, +1 Tormod's Crypt. Intuition might be the better cut against IGGy since rotation can find an early Stadium to kick your life up out of combo range ASAP, but Intuition grabs two lock pieces and Ruins, so I'm not sure if that's the right call. You couldn't ever really fight another Stax deck with this transformation, but it seems like enough to halt combo, and the maindeck already handles Goblins and Thresh very well.

Ruins is really the card that powers up this deck i think, since crucible and lands can now recur each other, with backup from LftL, and the extra recursion and artifact emphasis really power up cards like engineered explosives and tormod's crypt, both of which combine with wasteland to completely pwnorz threshold. They also allow Gamble to be used extensively with almost no drawback since its essentially half Crop Rotation/half Entomb/ half Demonic Tutor/ half Enlightened Tutor. I'm also starting to wonder if perhaps Ruins hasn't outdated Nostalgic Dreams in the maindeck as a one of. It was solid as a one of before, with Wish to support it, but all it seems to do right now is end up in the graveyard. I only hesitate to cut it because it is the decks' only way of getting back Explorations from the yard. I'm pretty tempted to replace it maindeck with a Pithing Needle and replace one of the board needles with a Zuran Orb to fight IGGy and burn. Crystal Chimes might, wierdly enough, work here since its certainly better than Skull of Orm, and it does make it much, much less painful to utilize E.E. for one. The only worry would be that Chimes is just a bit tooooo techy. Then again, considering how much this deck needs Exploration maybe not, and Intuition for Chimes, Exp. Exp. does sound rather tempting. Heck, Chimes even makes Nevinyrral's Disk look tempting.

Thoughts on any/all of this from anyone?

Di
11-07-2006, 08:22 PM
I've been trying lately, and going off of Diablos' latest list

Just for the record, the public hasn't seen that list, so they won't know what the hell you're talking about. :p

Watcher487
11-07-2006, 08:31 PM
Thoughts on any/all of this from anyone?

Well I've been slowly testing out your build. And I'm liking the non-land cards better and better. I still like running Eternal Witness and Volrath's Stronghold as a recur engine. But I have a huge problem with dealing with Enchantments Post Board (Leyline of the Void, Planar Void). Null Rod has made my side board once again (only as a 1-of).

The sideboard looks like something to attempt to try out at least for testing. Only time can tell.

morgan_coke
11-08-2006, 07:00 PM
@watcher

I haven't had much trouble with enchantments, as smokestack and explosives both kill them, but if you're having a lot of trouble, then just run a ray of revelation or two. as far as a recur engine, i pulled the nostalgic dreams for a blessed chimes, then realized it wasn't that important MOST of the time, so i switched it into the board for a maindecked pithing needle. The needle helps vs. goblins game one since most only include artifact hate in the board, meaning you can Chasm lock them with Needle set to Wasteland. it also does a nice job of answering t1 Vial if you don't have explosives or grudge or a tutor in hand.


I'm becoming more and more enamored of Gamble in this deck, almost to the point of thinking I don't need three Crop Rotations in a deck with four Gambles and three Intuitions, but given how strong Rotation is, I'm going to wait for a must include card that I can't find space for before I try that out.

On the Staxboard. I've got to say that so far I really, really like it. You can throw down massive disruption. I played both sides of an IGGy Pop/Garden matchup post board, and if the garden player was going first, it seemed like about an 80% win, with a first turn chalice or crypt sometimes even stopping the T1 win from IGGy. In game three (you're going to lose game one badly, deal with it) with the IGG player going first, it seemed more like 60-65% in Gardens favor. mainly due to the T1/2 wins by IGGy. Chalice on zero, needle on LED, or just Trinishpere on anything usually gave the garden deck enough time to get out a smokestack, which was usually just game over. You can generally leave out a Stack at 1 even without a crucible because the deck is so permanent heavy.

Solidarity was a different story. I was never able to pull off the win from the solidarity side, even without disruption before t4 (one time on t3, but it involved some lucky draws). This tells me that the results were basically invalid because I wasn't good enough with the solidarity deck to pull off a lot of wins that were in hand/on the table. It seemed like the garden deck was throwing a lot of heat in Solidarity's face though, so I'd assume it gives some kind of a boost to the matchup. Trinishpere seemed again, like the best card against solidarity, but Chalice, especially in multiples, was a very close second. Again, in this match garden is just trying to slow down Solidarity enough to get a smokestack going, which will mostly take care of the win on its own even if you have to make both players permanentless to do it. You much, much higher landcount lets you restart or maintain a parity loss much better than solidarity can.

Basically, I'm really optimistic about the Stax board, but it does leave you with the vulnerability that all transformational sideboards have, if neither version of your deck is good against something, you pretty much just lose because your board doesn't have much, if any, flexibility.

Watcher487
11-09-2006, 12:48 PM
Needle on LED

Sorry Morgan, it doesn't work. Even though you have to play the activated ability as an instant Lion's Eye Diamond is still a mana producing ability. So you can't get away with it, unless your opponent is dumb.


10/4/2004 The ability is a mana ability, so it is played and resolves as a mana ability, but it can only be played at times when you can play an Instant. Yes, this is a bit weird.

http://ww2.wizards.com/gatherer/CardDetails.aspx?&id=3255

In regards to the recur engine that I use. I'm kinda aggressive when it comes to playing this deck sometimes. When I say aggressive, I mean I'll just sit on Loam and just Mill my deck out entirely. Eternal Witness/ Volrath's Stronghold gives me the ability to just tutor out of the yard, which in my point of view is a better outlet especially in the late game.

An interesting idea popped into my head while testing the deck. Why not just run Chalice, Trinisphere and Smokestack MD as 1-ofs for Gamble/ Intuition effects. All 3 are useful for all of the Tier 1 and Tier 2 match-ups except Truffle Shuffle and maybe Goblins.

Watcher487
11-22-2006, 02:29 PM
Sorry for the double post but it has been over a week.

I thought it would be best to post my current list and see if anyone might have any suggestions for the holes I've been having problems with.

1 Academy Ruins
1 Barbarian Ring
1 Bayou
2 Flooded Strand
2 Glacial Chasm <-- might be cut to 1
1 Nantuko Monastery
1 Nomad Stadium
1 Petrified Field
2 Plateau
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Savannah
1 Scrubland <-- might be cut
2 Taiga
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale <-- might be cut
1 Tranquil Thicket
1 Tropical Island
1 Underground Sea
1 Volcanic Island
1 Volrath's Stronghold
2 Wasteland <-- might be cut to 1
2 Wooded Foothills

4 Crucible of Worlds <-- might be cut to 3
1 Engineered Explosives
3 Mox Diamond <-- I feel safer with only 3
1 Pithing Needle

3 Intuition

3 Crop Rotation
3 Eternal Witness
4 Exploration
2 Life from the Loam

4 Gamble
2 Pyroclasm

4 Swords to Plowshares

Sideboard:
3 Chalice of the Void
1 Null Rod
4 Smokestack
4 Trinisphere
2 Constant Mists
1 Krosan Grip

Tabernacle really doesn't do much. It might help a little to add one more Pyroclasm for the Goblin match-up but as of right now the set-up that I have has been working for me.

The recursion set-up has been nice especially post-board with the switch sideboard. Smokestack on 2 w/o Crucible is easy with Witness Recursion.

Overall:
I love the Staxx board. Given that there is 7 ways to slow down both Solidarity and IGGyPop before they normally go off has been amazing. Also even pre-board, I feel the deck does have at least a blind chance against Solidarity, given that Crucible + Academy Ruins or Volrath's Stronghold can produce no library 'soft-locks', with Engineered Explosives or Eternal Witness + Pyroclasm.

I need to find a spot for Tormad's Crypt either MD or SB. I've been pestered into finding a spot for Ghost Quarter MD (either over Wasteland or somewhere) especially since Pithing Needle usually names Wasteland in most matchups. Constant Mists has been my back-up for Goblins post-board. Krosan Grip has found it's way into the board for misc. random decks that I've been coming across lately, Scepter Chant is nasty when it drops second turn.

Cavius The Great
11-22-2006, 03:15 PM
I like your current build Watcher. I'm curious though, how well did you do at the FoW tourney? Add to that, what were your matchups and what changes would you make due to them?

morgan_coke
11-22-2006, 03:34 PM
I'd cut a Crucible and a Chasm to add a pyroclasm and a crypt. With the gambles, intutions, and ruins i've found that one is plenty to completely shut thresh out of their 'yard. I'm also running a singleton Ancient Grudge md with one more boarded and I have to say I'm really, really, really happy with the card, it's been absolutely outstanding for me. I think three pyroclasms are definitely necessary for the goblins matchup, they help so much with so many things.

Do you need the second LftL? I've been running one and haven't really had a problem at that level. Also, is there a reason you've dropped Coliseum? I've found the ability to make my opponent draw 9 cards a turn to sometimes be a valuable alternate win condition in addition the card drawing you get from Coliseum + LftL.

Also, just on a general question, I've noticed that I'm using Intuition far more often as a mini-gifts ungiven than as a neo demonic tutor, are you experiencing the same or have you continued to use it as a "grab three"? Speaking of which, can you cut the third witness and just grab stronghold, witness, witness instead of the three witnesses? It would give you room to run a Grudge maindeck.

Concur on the awesomeness of the Staxx board and the fact that the deck can now beat combo often enough that the matchup isn't hopeless.

Bane of the Living
11-22-2006, 08:04 PM
After being beaten by Watcher at the FoW tournament while playing Solidarity I can confidently say there is hope in the combo match. I made a bad playmistake one game but in another I couldnt keep the stax pieces on the board enough to combo off. The deck still needs a quicker clock and I suggest you try Rude Awakening in the sb as a wish target. Ive actually won the game with it multiple times in my build of rgb Loam.

Watcher487
11-22-2006, 08:23 PM
I'd cut a Crucible and a Chasm to add a pyroclasm and a crypt. With the gambles, intutions, and ruins i've found that one is plenty to completely shut thresh out of their 'yard. I'm also running a singleton Ancient Grudge md with one more boarded and I have to say I'm really, really, really happy with the card, it's been absolutely outstanding for me. I think three pyroclasms are definitely necessary for the goblins matchup, they help so much with so many things.

Do you need the second LftL? I've been running one and haven't really had a problem at that level. Also, is there a reason you've dropped Coliseum? I've found the ability to make my opponent draw 9 cards a turn to sometimes be a valuable alternate win condition in addition the card drawing you get from Coliseum + LftL.

Also, just on a general question, I've noticed that I'm using Intuition far more often as a mini-gifts ungiven than as a neo demonic tutor, are you experiencing the same or have you continued to use it as a "grab three"? Speaking of which, can you cut the third witness and just grab stronghold, witness, witness instead of the three witnesses? It would give you room to run a Grudge maindeck.

Concur on the awesomeness of the Staxx board and the fact that the deck can now beat combo often enough that the matchup isn't hopeless.

I dropped Coliseum due to no longer running Haunting Echoes in the board. Attempting to win via draw out is just a little to loopy especially since they get to choose what to discard. Intuition has been a way to set up 1 of the 2 recursion sets that I run, and if it already is up and running I'll just basically put down 3 things my opponent doesn't want me to have down.

I run 3 Witnesses cause I want the ability to draw it if it comes down to it. I might cut 1 to see how it works, but it's amazing post-board with Staxx board.

Another card people have been pestering me over, is Goblin Lore. I've been back and forth with this as a 2-of with Gamble as a 2-of as well. Late game it's a bad Millstone with an empty hand but when your got a full grip of lands and a Crucible in play it's downright nasty.

blitz
01-04-2007, 09:28 PM
hey guys, has anyone been working on this deck? It seems at the very end the deck managed to find a rough solution to the combo issue, but then no one has commented on this for awhile =\

Watcher487
01-04-2007, 11:02 PM
hey guys, has anyone been working on this deck? It seems at the very end the deck managed to find a rough solution to the combo issue, but then no one has commented on this for awhile =\

I've been working on it a decent amount for the past 2 months. But with only limited time to work on it and testing, and especially lack of interest here from other players, I've been keeping a low key on it. I'm planning on playing this at Columbus and just about any other 1.5 tourney I hit up along the way.

Diablos and myself tagged eachother back and forth for a little bit in regards to current builds. And to be nice we have gone in opposite directions especially with the MD. I'm more than willing to work with this deck but it's a matter of interest for anyone else here for me.

blitz
01-05-2007, 02:41 AM
well, I would love to discuss some ideas for the MD, as I've got something weird myself =) Send a PM my way or catch me on AIM. The SN is: radikal designs

morgan_coke
01-05-2007, 08:25 PM
I've been doing some quiet, side work on this lately, and I think I've managed to make some significant improvements to the deck. 1. Cut Nomad Stadium for Zuran Orb. 2. Added Azusa, Lost but Seeking and Volraths Stronghold. 3. Added God's Eye, Gate to the Rekai. 1 and 3 have an amazing level of synergy together, allowing you to easily, uncounterably, and for zero mana produce 3-4 tokens and 6-8 life per turn. Orb also does a real number against almost all forms of aggro, I think its a long overdue addition to the deck. Azusa is just a double exploration that can get Strongholded back very easily. When she's in play, even if she's killed immediately it really turbocharges things if you just kick out the extra lands before passing priority. I've completely come around to Watcher's views on Witness/Stronghold, and might get to the point where I agree about Coliseum as well, since its less important with the Witness' around.

Also, there is a recently spoiled card, "Yawgmoth's Tomb" its a legendary land that simply says "all lands are swamps in addition to their other types." Has some massive mana implications with Coffers, but I'm not sure what this deck would do with that that would improve its game.

Watcher487
01-06-2007, 05:32 PM
Also, there is a recently spoiled card, "Yawgmoth's Tomb" its a legendary land that simply says "all lands are swamps in addition to their other types." Has some massive mana implications with Coffers, but I'm not sure what this deck would do with that that would improve its game.

Ehhh I'm kinda touch and go with the Tomb, but it would be nice, if I swing the deck back around to G/B/U/r/w instead of G/R/U/W/b. Anyway, Riftstone Portal is 100% better at this time anyway since produces both W and G, and this is a really good thing since it's 2 of the main colors for the deck instead of 1.

I've been kicking around ideas for other MD win conditions and it looks like God's Eye might do the trick, but I'm still not overly happy about Zuran Orb in my testing.

Dia has been using Ancient Tombs to a greater effect with a more higher end MD. He's told me that he is now running A full set of Thirsts and Intutitions along with 2 MD Smokestacks and 2 MD Humilities. Now don't get me wrong I loved Humility in this deck when I was playing with it 6 months ago but I think the format has really changed from it. But since the Staxx board has worked even better for me since I started running 2 MD City of Traitors, I've been trying to slowly figure out how to get a better idea of what would be best in each match anyway.

Vetinari
01-15-2007, 07:43 AM
1. Cut Nomad Stadium for Zuran Orb. 2. Added Azusa, Lost but Seeking and Volraths Stronghold. 3. Added God's Eye, Gate to the Rekai. 1 and 3 have an amazing level of synergy together, allowing you to easily, uncounterably, and for zero mana produce 3-4 tokens and 6-8 life per turn.
Flagstones of Trokair would be a good match for Zunan Orb and Smokestack as well.

I don't want to be to inflammatory, but there is a question bugging me for some time, if stax board is so good, why play this over stax in the first place. Which matchups are better.

Watcher487
01-15-2007, 10:07 AM
Flagstones of Trokair would be a good match for Zunan Orb and Smokestack as well.

I don't want to be to inflammatory, but there is a question bugging me for some time, if stax board is so good, why play this over stax in the first place. Which matchups are better.

Nah, that's not even close to inflamatory. The main reason to play this over Staxx is due to it's Aggro and Aggro-Control Match-ups. This deck has an amazing match against Goblins and Thresh. Thresh can't usually handle the recursion from Anicent Ruins and Crucible especially. And Against Goblins all they really have is the huge alpha-strike w/ Wasteland, but we have the Pithing Needle, Constant Mists, Pyroclasm and StP to handle most of thier threats.

But there are weaknesses that have appeared for me. First off, is the burn match-up or anyone packing high amounts of burn alone. Post-Board, yeah it becomes better because you switch over partially but, Price of Progress is nasty unless you have a Zuran Orb in play (This is the biggest thing that I have loved about Zuran Orb so far). Second and this is my own personal opinion, No 2 people can really agree on what list to play. (I consider this a weakness espeically since that I consider this deck NOT in New and Developmental but in the open Forum and it should be more heavily discussed among everyone here. The deck has come a LONG way from where it started, and considering half of the other decks listed over there I have no problems just rewriting this over there w/ full description of my current list.)

Staxx parts have played roles in this deck before. I used to run 2 Smokestacks MD, Diablos last time I checked is currently running 2 Smokestacks w/ 1 Trinisphere MD. Now don't get me wrong here but if I see more Combo that what I would normally expect at a tourney I have no problems switching this over to the heavy Staxx version with all of the Anti-Aggro elements in the board.

Flagstones is ok in the deck. The bigger problem is that your going to have to commit more of your land over to Plains/Duals (I currently run only 4 targets for Flagstones).

Thanks for commenting and your suggestions, Vetinari. If you have anymore or anything else is bugging you about the deck don't be afraid to post'em here again.

Bane of the Living
01-15-2007, 06:36 PM
Flagstones of Trokair would be a good match for Zunan Orb and Smokestack as well.

I don't want to be to inflammatory, but there is a question bugging me for some time, if stax board is so good, why play this over stax in the first place. Which matchups are better.

The combo matchup for this deck is garbage which is the point of the stax pieces in the first place. Id rather play stax for a solid matchup against aggro/combo/control than just have a real good aggro matchup.

morgan_coke
02-13-2007, 05:50 PM
I've moved a lot closer to your builds lately watcher, this is what I'm running now:

Colored ManaLands - 18
3x Mox Diamond
4x Gemstone Mine
3x Wooded Foothills
1x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1x Riftstone Portal
1x Savannah
1x Taiga
1x Plateau
1x Tropical Island
1x Volcanic Island
1x Bayou

Non-Mana Lands - 10
1x Nantuko Monastery
1x God's Eye, Gate to the Reikai
1x Volrath's Stronghold
1x Academy Ruins
1x Glacial Chasm
1x Wasteland
1x Barbarian Ring
1x Nomad Stadium
1x Maze of Ith
1x The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

Creatures - 4
1x Asuza, Lost but Seeking
3x Eternal Witness

Tutors - 9
4x Gamble
3x Intuition
2x Crop Rotation

Permanents - 13
4x Exploration
3x Crucible of Worlds
1x Smokestack
1x Trinishpere <--- candidate for cutting/moving to board
1x Zuran Orb
1x Pithing Needle
1x Tormod's Crypt
1x Engineered Explosives <--- candidate for cutting

Spells - 8
1x Life from the Loam
1x Ancient Grudge <--- might move to board
3x Pyroclasm
3x Swords to Plowshares

Sideboard - 16
2x Constant Mists
3x Trinishpere
4x Chalice of the Void <--- might drop to three
1x Pithing Needle
1x Tormod's Crypt
2x Smokestack
1x Pyroclasm <--- could be cut
1x Krosan Grip <--- might become Ray of Revelation
1x Ghost Quarter

Right now the maindeck is 62 cards and the board is 16, which means I need to cut three cards total from the deck. Goblins is good pre board and a near bye postboard, even the newer green goblins builds with maindeck hooligans and boarded grips don't really pose that much of a threat. The following are some of the "locks" you can get against goblins, or any kind of hyper aggro for that matter. Constat Mists + Crucible/LftL. Glacial Chasm. Witness/Stronghold/Pyroclasm. And my personal favorite, Exploration/God's Eye/Zuran Orb/Crucible. The Ghost Quarters in the board are for decks with manabases similar to Thresholds, i.e., lots of fetches and duals backed up by 4-6 basics. Wastelock takes out the non-basics, then Quarterlock finishes off the rest of their lands. The Urborg is simply another way besides portal for the nonmana lands to kick out mana, tapping the Tabernacle for B is worse than tapping it for G/W, but better than not tapping it at all.

As far as the reasons to play this over full blown Stax, I'd say there are a couple. #1, Versatility. #2, Tutor power. #3, Recursion. This deck can do plenty of things Staxx can't (like recur and use barbarian ring four times in one turn, or maintain a stack at 2 with witness recursion.), and your game plan has more variety than the simple "prison lock them" theme. You gain a near bye vs. most forms of aggro while still having a decent chance vs. combo g2 and 3. And in most Legacy metas, theres a lot more aggro than combo.

Oh, and watcher, if you do flip this over to the open forum, i'm more than happy to contribute anything i can to what you have to say about the deck.

Cavius The Great
02-13-2007, 05:56 PM
@Watcher - I'm aware that you've been an advocate for this deck and I've seen you play it at the monthly tourneys at the Dragon's Lair. I'm curious though, what's the best you ever done in those tournaments?

Watcher487
02-13-2007, 06:05 PM
@Watcher - I'm aware that you've been an advocate for this deck and I've seen you play it at the monthly tourneys at the Dragon's Lair. I'm curious though, what's the best you ever done in those tournaments?

3rd/4th place 2 times.... all with older versions of the deck. I've come out first in swiss and I think it was 6th in swiss when it was Top 8. I haven't really played the newer version at a tourney yet, I'm going to play it at Running GAGG (even though the weather is going to suck).

I'll post my list later on, I've got some interesting things that both myself and blitz have been sending back and forth.


Current list as of 2/10/06
1 Academy Ruins
1 Barbarian Ring
1 Bayou
1 Cephalid Coliseum
2 City of Traitors
2 Flooded Strand
1 Forest
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Glacial Chasm
1 God's Eye, Gate to the Reikai
1 Nantuko Monastery
1 Plateau
1 Riftstone Portal
2 Savannah
2 Taiga
1 Tranquil Thicket
1 Tropical Island
1 Underground Sea
1 Volcanic Island
1 Volrath's Stronghold
2 Wooded Foothills

3 Crucible of Worlds
1 Engineered Explosives
3 Mox Diamond
1 Pithing Needle
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Zuran Orb

3 Intuition

1 Constant Mists
3 Crop Rotation
3 Eternal Witness
4 Exploration
1 Life from the Loam

4 Gamble
2 Pyroclasm

4 Swords to Plowshares

Board:
1 Krosan Grip
4 Smokestack
3 Chalice of the Void
1 Null Rod
2 Constant Mists
4 Trinisphere

Currently the MD is 61 cards, and not to get into a fuss over, this is what I prefer for a board control deck with a high land count. (<SOAPBOX>I have made my case over on that thread and despite what opinion other people have over the whole 60 vs 61 card thing, I know it's a player thing not a deck thing.</SOAPBOX>)

Notes over main deck:
Ghost Quarter over Wasteland: Wasteland has been removed completely due to Pithing Needle. (I name Wasteland 9 times out of 10 vs Goblins to set the soft lock)

1 Zuran Orb and 0 Nomad Stadium: While it's good to have double the life gain, I've been finding that Z Orb is better overall especally when you look at Geddon and Dead Guy.

1 Explosives MD and 1 Krosan Grip SB: This is a little tougher to work with that what it seems. Explosives nails alot of stuff MD and while it's poor against Solidarity it's just about amazing in everyother match up. The Grip has been in the board since Time Spiral came out and I still haven't found a reason to take it out. Too many useful targets are out there and the Split Second ability has been amazing too.

0 Urborgs: If the deck was more toward Black than what I have it, it would be in the deck regardless, but I already have Riftstone Portal and I'm only playing 1 card that requires Black mana in the first place.

If there is any questions or other suggestions please please please post them, Thank You

Di
02-13-2007, 10:25 PM
I figure I might as well pitch in my 2 cents too. Watcher saw my last list but it wasn't posted, and it's updated a bit since then but isn't very different. I took a different approach than him (as well as the rest of the recent posters in this thread), but as always will supply reasonings with slots. Now, I haven't touched this in a while, as my focus has been on another deck of my glorious past :p, but I might as well show you guys anyway for insight or something:

4 Exploration
3 Crucible of Worlds

4 Thirst for Knowledge
3 Intuition
2 Crop Rotation
1 Life from the Loam

4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Pyroclasm
2 Smokestack
1 Engineered Explosives
2 Constant Mists

4 Mox Diamond
1 Glacial Chasm
1 Academy Ruins
1 Maze of Ith
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Nomad Stadium
1 Cephalid Coliseum
1 Tranquil Thicket
2 Wasteland
1 Barbarian Ring
2 Nantuko Monastery
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Windswept Heath
2 Savannah
3 Tropical Island
3 Taiga

Sideboard:
4 Chalice of the Void
4 Trinisphere
1 Pyroclasm
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Tormod's Crypt
2 Pithing Needle
2 Boil

This style list focuses a lot more on speed and the early game rather than pushing for the slow, long game. I found when playing the earlier versions of the deck that without an explosive start the deck would fall short during the midgame to faster, more explosive decks. This was because often times the deck wasn't able to get going and hit its bombs until turn 3-5, and by then it would sometimes be too late.

New card choices:

- Ancient Tomb: A lot better than City of Traitors. Actually, I would like to take this time to slap anyone running City of Traitors in this deck. You run 25+ lands, and most of the time drop multiples a turn. City just dies. In most cases, the damage should not be an issue. Taking 8-10 damage isn't a huge deal when you seal up the game with Chasmlock. Plus, you don't take damage under Chasm either. Their speed boost easily make them worth it, for more consistant turn 1 and 2 Crucibles, Trinispheres, etc.

- Maze of Ith: Those of you who aren't running it I would probably recommend to do so, or at least give it another thought. The only reason I currently run it is because it shuts off the turn 1 Lackey and is awesome to Crop Rotation into. It's certainly better than Tabernacle for the non-mana anti-aggro slot.

- I went down to 1 Glacial Chasm because I feel the deck doesn't need to rely on it as much. Constant Mists made its way back into the deck, and its the stonecold nuts, so it isn't as necessary.

- Thirst for Knowledge: I really, really dislike Gamble. Don't get me wrong it's not bad, and I don't condemn anyone for running it, but a number of times I lost the card I fetched for and it sucked hard in topdeck mode - something this deck finds itself often in. One of the biggest issues I had with the deck early on is the lack of card advantage and always being in TD mode. Thirst is a great CA spell that fills up your hand and can dump lands into the yard if needbe. I just prefer raw CA over a possibly dead tutor.

- Smokestack: Insanely good in the deck, as many of you have already noticed. I don't know how I didn't add it to the original builds, because it's retarded. It's even more nice when you drop it turn 2-3 with Crucible backup. The card is great for those long games that stretch on and on and you eventually win the permanent war, but also very solid in the early game if you can secure it.

- Engineered Explosives: A gimme, really. You have the option of destroying anything from 0-4 cc in here, 5cc there really isn't anything to touch so that's fine. I was up to 3 in the maindeck, but decided Constant Mists was better and cut it down to 1 to squeeze them in. I'd personally love another in the MD, but can't find the room atm.

Constant Mists: Non-wastable Glacial Chasm. For the most part, an auto-win against Goblins or any aggro deck. Makes the deck a lot less reliant on Chasm too, which is convenient.

Sideboard:

Chalice/Trinisphere: Gimme. Combo is bad. These fight combo. Simple.

Boil: The other combo answer, but also good against any Islands deck. But mainly it's there for Solidarity. These might possibly become Rule of Law though.


Alright, now card choices that I didn't include:

- Eternal Witness/Volrath's Stronghold: After reading over the thread a bit it seems like you guys love this little combo. And you should, it's really good. I personally opted against it because it requires a little more bastardization of the manabase, as well as 3 non-land slots that I feel are rather weak. Control matchups should already be simple enough. Resolve Crucible and win. If you don't, you have Academy Ruins. My maindeck has 10+ non-land anwsers to aggro, and then you have Chasm and the other lands. It should be fine. The EW engine does nothing against combo, so that should be negated. Don't get me wrong constant recursion of all that stuff is insane, but I just feel it isn't necessary.

- Azusa: She's really good, but way too fragile. Every deck in the format would just pick her off on sight.

- God's Eye: Maybe I should look at this guy again, because it's a win that evades Pithing Needle, but I like the 2nd Nantuko Monastery over it. It allows you to throw nasty beats when you have to with 2 of them in play. However, God's Eye does have great synergy with Smokestack, so I'll have to look at it again.

- Ghost Quarter: Hell no. Just hell no. Wasteland is infinately better on all counts. So what if you Needle your own Wastelands, 9/10 matchups Wasteland is better. The ONLY time I would like Quarter more is if you have 3+ Exploration in play and are picking off lands until they don't have any left. And if you're doing that, you should've already won by then.

Gamble: This was pretty much explained under the Thirst for Knowledge comment, but to sum it up again it needs more cards in hand to work and is a terrible topdeck. I would at least try Brainstorm over Gamble.

Zuran Orb: This is a tough call, because it's essentially better than Nomad Stadium, but it can't be fetched by Crop Rotation. I'm not sure if it'll ever make it in or not, but for now I like Stadium.

- Humility: I really feel these should find a place in the maindeck somewhere, because they make every creature-oriented matchup easier. Plus, Monastery is still nasty under it. Issue is, if I add it it would be over EE and possibly a Smokestack, and I'm not sure if I'd want to do that.


I'm probably forgetting to add something in the middle of all this, but for now this post should suffice.

morgan_coke
02-13-2007, 11:00 PM
Watcher,

in response to an earlier post you had about there not being one build of the deck, i'd say all three of us have moved closer to executing the same theory, even if we do use different tactics to get there.

Diablos,

completely agree with you about city, ran some for a little while, didn't work at all, i am however somewhat slightly frightened by the life loss.


overall there seem to be two basic versions of the deck, and the card that divides them is Gamble. One version runs Gamble, which almost necessitates the inclusion of witness and stronghold. The other version runs blue card draw, which negates the necessity of witness and stronghold. The removal suite (3-4 StP and 'Clasm), the majority of the board (3spheres and chalices), and the prescription against goblins/other aggro (chasm and mists) as well as the long game (smokestack). Ok, this last paragraph doesn't really say anything that intelligent, but it does point out the similarities in all the builds, which to me seems to be a sign that things are progressing towards one or two "idealish" builds.

Ta Jugs
02-14-2007, 03:32 PM
I still like the first list ever posted the best. Why change it so much?

morgan_coke
02-14-2007, 03:46 PM
because that list can't beat combo. ever.

Watcher487
02-15-2007, 01:46 PM
Watcher,

in response to an earlier post you had about there not being one build of the deck, i'd say all three of us have moved closer to executing the same theory, even if we do use different tactics to get there.

overall there seem to be two basic versions of the deck, and the card that divides them is Gamble. One version runs Gamble, which almost necessitates the inclusion of witness and stronghold. The other version runs blue card draw, which negates the necessity of witness and stronghold. The removal suite (3-4 StP and 'Clasm), the majority of the board (3spheres and chalices), and the prescription against goblins/other aggro (chasm and mists) as well as the long game (smokestack). Ok, this last paragraph doesn't really say anything that intelligent, but it does point out the similarities in all the builds, which to me seems to be a sign that things are progressing towards one or two "idealish" builds.

Nah the last paragraph made sense, strangely. We really are not that far away from each other in a sense. But some of us have feelings for what is better in the deck. But the 'How we get to the late game' is pretty solid between the 3 of us here.

@ Jugs:
The Burning Wish board was nice espeically vs aggro and aggro-control but there was only one thing you would have to hope to do vs any combo. Hope they sputter and Echoes them out. It was nice for what was going on at the time, but it was found to be more of a win-more situation, especially since Time Spiral gave us Artifact Recursion (Academy Ruins), a different way to look at the combo match-up (Staxx Switch-over) and a different point of view MD (a move more over to Crucible w/ Life from the Loam back-up)

Ta Jugs
02-15-2007, 04:56 PM
Doesn't this deck auto lose to combo anyway because your deck takes like 15 turns to win and your opponent has soo many turns to wish up an answer for whatever you played to try and stop them. In a deck like this I would play gilded light against combo because answers in permanent form don't seem like they do much.

Watcher487
02-15-2007, 05:15 PM
Doesn't this deck auto lose to combo anyway because your deck takes like 15 turns to win and your opponent has soo many turns to wish up an answer for whatever you played to try and stop them. In a deck like this I would play gilded light against combo because answers in permanent form don't seem like they do much.


After being beaten by Watcher at the FoW tournament while playing Solidarity I can confidently say there is hope in the combo match. I made a bad playmistake one game but in another I couldnt keep the stax pieces on the board enough to combo off. The deck still needs a quicker clock and I suggest you try Rude Awakening in the sb as a wish target. Ive actually won the game with it multiple times in my build of rgb Loam.

Yes, game 1 is usually a scoop. But post-board the match turns around greatly. 1st and 2nd turn bombs of Trini and Chalice are amazing vs most combo decks and while yeah the deck is slow as paint drying, you usually have a better time winning (Like Sun Tower (R/G Uba Staxx)) vs combo.

Ta Jugs
02-15-2007, 05:19 PM
Which is why I recommend gilded light. I mean in extended teps auto loses to that card unless they duress it out of your hand. Maybe it is the same in legacy?

bigbear102
02-15-2007, 05:51 PM
Except for the fact that Legacy combo plays defensive cards like Xantid Swarm, Defense Grid, and Force of Will, as well as Solidarity just owning the stack...

Di
02-15-2007, 06:07 PM
Except for the fact that Legacy combo plays defensive cards like Xantid Swarm, Defense Grid, and Force of Will, as well as Solidarity just owning the stack...

Yeah what he said. Instant-speed hate like Gilded Light or Orim's Chant is great against Iggy Pop or TES, but is awful against Solidarity because they can easily get around it. The matchup we have to gun for the most is Solidarity because it is the most popular of the combo decks and also the hardest of them to beat. Iggy Pop or TES can be shut down quickly due to Chalice of the Void or Trinisphere, but you need more than that against Solidarity. This is why I like Boil. There's no chance for you to win the game quickly, so it's easier if you can stick a couple lock pieces down and then force through a Boil midgame to make them completely restart, and by that time you should have enough time to swing in for the win (5 turns max with a single Monastery).

And if not Boil, then Rule of Law. I like Rule of Law as well because it's better vs. non-high tide decks, but Boil is just awesome vs. Solidarity.

blitz
02-18-2007, 11:00 AM
yeah... things I'm diggin' right now:

-zuran orb
-city of traitors+mox diamond
-gamble+loam
-ghost quarter+forest
-intuition piles that cause groans.

ask watcher =)

morgan_coke
05-04-2007, 09:30 PM
I'm posting this in the assumption that flash gets the banhammer in a few weeks, because i can't imagine wizards appreciating even semi consistent turn zero kills in legacy.

there aren't a lot of cards in Time Spiral Block that really got my attention for this deck, but, wizards did do some interesting things with lands here, which leaves us with the following new intruiging possibilities: Academy Ruins (already adopted) Tolaria West, Rites of Flourishing - lends itself more to a staxish build, and the biggie, Horizon Canopy. When you've got Canopy around and a Crucible in play, it might as well read "X: draw X cards. X cannot be greater than 1 plus the number of Explorations you have in play." This is an absolutely amazing draw engine that really just slides right into everything the deck is already doing. The fact that it produces two colors of relevant mana is just a bonus.

ok, basically this post is about the fact that a) when flash gets banned, this deck has picked up some good tools in canopy, and b) canopy is really, really cool.

Watcher487
05-24-2007, 01:48 PM
Academy Ruins (already adopted) Tolaria West, Rites of Flourishing - lends itself more to a staxish build, and the biggie, Horizon Canopy. When you've got Canopy around and a Crucible in play, it might as well read "X: draw X cards. X cannot be greater than 1 plus the number of Explorations you have in play." This is an absolutely amazing draw engine that really just slides right into everything the deck is already doing. The fact that it produces two colors of relevant mana is just a bonus.

Well I'm currently running All 3 as 1-ofs right now testing them out. Tolaria West has been really nice when I need to tutor a land ASAP. Rites gives me an out when my opponent Extripates my Explorations out of my deck, which is GOOD. And Canopy is retarded in this deck, (screw cycling lands) yeah it would be even more retarded if it produced Green or Blue but I'm more than willing to put this in the deck if it tapped for double pain and a colorless.

I had my version with me at Columbus but wussed out, going with 43 Non-Land Boros (Dark Three-Deuce), that had a better shot vs Flash. But I played against 2 Board Control Decks, 3 Aggro-Control Decks 1 RG Aggro and something I can't even describe.

I'll post my current Hulk-Flash meta list later to see if it anyone might be interested in looking and working at it.

Cavius The Great
05-24-2007, 03:16 PM
I'm posting this in the assumption that flash gets the banhammer in a few weeks, because i can't imagine wizards appreciating even semi consistent turn zero kills in legacy.

there aren't a lot of cards in Time Spiral Block that really got my attention for this deck, but, wizards did do some interesting things with lands here, which leaves us with the following new intruiging possibilities: Academy Ruins (already adopted) Tolaria West, Rites of Flourishing - lends itself more to a staxish build, and the biggie, Horizon Canopy. When you've got Canopy around and a Crucible in play, it might as well read "X: draw X cards. X cannot be greater than 1 plus the number of Explorations you have in play." This is an absolutely amazing draw engine that really just slides right into everything the deck is already doing. The fact that it produces two colors of relevant mana is just a bonus.

ok, basically this post is about the fact that a) when flash gets banned, this deck has picked up some good tools in canopy, and b) canopy is really, really cool.

I've been testing Horizon Canopy in a G/W Stax build for the past week now, and yea, it's pretty damn sick with Crucible/Exploration. If you can get over the fact that you can't run Chalice, then your good. I pretty much replaced Chalice with Tangle Wire and it seems like a positive move. Multiple Explorations, a Crucible and Smokestack set at 2 is just sick. I definitely plan on posting the decklist though when I get around to it. I might even start a thread on it, who knows. :wink:

Goblin Snowman
05-24-2007, 04:14 PM
I've been testing Horizon Canopy in a G/W Stax build for the past week now, and yea, it's pretty damn sick with Crucible/Exploration. If you can get over the fact that you can't run Chalice, then your good. I pretty much replaced Chalice with Tangle Wire and it seems like a positive move. Multiple Explorations, a Crucible and Smokestack set at 2 is just sick. I definitely plan on posting the decklist though when I get around to it. I might even start a thread on it, who knows. :wink:

Why do you need to run Exploration? It seems to me that drawing an extra card a turn will usually let you hit a permanent to sacrifice to Smokestack anyway, so cutting Chalice seems..... poor. However, I've been attracted to Green pre/post Flash because of Gigipede, Dueling Grounds, Elephant Grass, and Plow Under.

Watcher487
05-24-2007, 07:53 PM
Here's my more current list w/Future Sight.

3 Crucible of Worlds
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Mindslaver <-- test slot
1 Pithing Needle
1 Sensei's Divining Top <-- test slot
1 Smokestack
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Trinisphere
1 Zuran Orb

3 Diabolic Edict
1 Sudden Death

2 Intuition
1 Propaganda <-- test slot
4 Thirst of Knowledge

1 Constant Mists
2 Eternal Witness
4 Exploration
1 Life from the Loam
1 Rites of Flourishing <-- test slot

4 Mox Diamond
1 Academy Ruins
4 Ancient Tomb
2 Bayou
1 Cabal Pit
1 Cephalid Coliseum
1 Forest
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Glacial Chasm
1 Gods' Eye, Gate to the Reikai
1 Horizon Canopy <-- test slot
1 Island
2 Polluted Delta
1 Quicksand <-- test slot
1 Tolaria West <-- test slot
1 Tomb of Urami <-- test slot
2 Tropical Island
2 Underground Sea
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Volrath's Stronghold

I'm slowly reworking to the board to include Tarmogoyf which can be a house if I'm fast enough or just plain lucky vs combo.

I'm testing certain cards at the moment but everyone is more than welcome to give thier thoughts or feelings toward what they think might be best, just remember I might not listen to them :P

I decided to cut the deck down to 3 colors for a couple of reasons; 1. I didn't like the fact that we were literally splashing 3 colors for purposes that could be played in the main colors, (recursion, removal, etc...). 2. I think there was other directions that the deck could be taken.

94teen
06-13-2007, 11:44 AM
Alright, after extensive goldfishing and theorizing about this deck, I've come to a few conclusions:

1) This deck is incredibly difficult to play well. However, when the deck is played properly, it's really powerful, and crushes almost any non-combo deck. I think that this is something that needs to be taken advantage of. The combo matchup is all but non-existant, and most of you are dedicating lots of sideboard space to alleviate this. However, after all of that space could be dedicated to improving matches that are a little closer to even.

2) This deck suffers from trying to do too many cool things in the maindeck. People are running the traditional land toolbox, Gods' Eye and an engine to enable it, an Artifact toolbox and an engine to enable it, an Enlightened Tutor, etc. The concept is the same as Survival of the Fittest decks. You run so many silver bullets and potential combos that your hands tend to be filled with singletons that don't have any relevance in the current gamestate. This deck tries to do too many things decently instead of a few things well.

3) Intuition is the best draw spell/tutor for this deck. This leads me to wonder why no one's playing Intuition 5-8 in the form of Gifts Ungiven. We almost never use intuition to get three of the same card, and so they serve essentially the same purpose.

So, I suggest that we need to reduce the size of artifact toolboxes and land toolboxes. We should run a few general answers rather than lots of smaller animals. I suggest testing Gifts Ungiven as another method of tutoring. I suggest considering an anti-combo gifts or intuition pile. However, you have to consider that, against combo, you are the beatdown. Because of this, I suggest something like Tarmogoyf or Vinelasher Kudzu, or both, maybe even maindecked to give you more of a clock.

I'm working on a new list that takes all of this into account, and I'll post it as soon as I figure it out. Gifts Ungiven frees up some deck space and would let a smaller toolbox accomplish the same task as a bigger toolbox, especially if we use more general answers.

morgan_coke
08-04-2007, 06:16 PM
Rites of Flourishing is a really tough card to evaluate in this deck. When its good, its really, really good, and when its bad, its pretty bad. I've made a list of its pros and cons as I see them to help with figuring out whether or not to run it and how many copies should be included.

pros:
- at three mana doesn't get hit by explosives set at one (to kill vial, mongoose, needle etc.)
- provides card draw in addition to land drops.
- acts as extra copies of the decks' most important card (exploration)
- lets you play the extra lands first

cons:
- gives your opponent cards
- lets your opponent play extra lands
- gives your opponent a card first

So yeah, I'm just really not sure about the card because its so... inconsistently dominant or crappy.

I've dropped the Stronghold/Witness plan, the deck was just - to borrow a term from the art world - too busy with that going on. And the advent of Extirpate and its slowly growing adoption doesn't really help either.

I've also switched from Trinisphere to Sphere of Resistance in the sideboard. The reason is two-fold. 1) combo decks are getting faster, and Sphere comes down earlier, because we have eight ways to get two mana on turn one, while we have only one way, which requires two separate accelerators to get three mana on turn one. 2) unless you're dealing with a large number of free spells, 3sphere doesn't charge much more extra mana than Resistance does, and SoR hits cards with cmc 3 or higher (Solidarity). So basically it's cause SoR is faster and has nearly the same effect, and sometimes more of an effect (think Seething Song, EtW, Turnabout, etc.)

I've also cut down on the number of toolboxes in the deck in an effort to gain more consistency. Innocent Blood vs. Swords to Plowshares is another switch I've been wondering about, since blood kills well, everything (Mongoose, Quagnoth, Troll, T1 Lackey), but isn't an instant and you can't pick what dies if there's more than one critter.

I got rid of Constant Mists because I figured Crop Rotation into Chasm already did the same thing cheaper and easier.

This is the list I'm running right now (26 lands):

Draw/Tutor (10):
3x Crop Rotation
3x Thirst for Knowledge
3x Intuition
1x Horizon Canopy

Recursion (5):
1x Life from the Loam
1x Academy Ruins
3x Crucible of Worlds

Acceleration (12):
4x Exploration
4x Mox Diamond
4x Ancient Tomb

Win Conditions (3):
1x God's Eye, Gate to the Reikai
1x Nantuko Monastery
1x Barbarian Ring

Removal (10):
4x Swords to Plowshares
3x Pyroclasm
1x Ancient Grudge
1x Smokestack
1x Wasteland

Artifact Toolbox (4):
1x Engineered Explosives
1x Pithing Needle
1x Tormod's Crypt
1x Zuran Orb

Land Toolbox (2):
1x Maze of Ith
1x Glacial Chasm

Colored Mana Lands (14):
4x Wooded Foothills
4x Tropical Island
3x Savannah
3x Taiga

Sideboard

Combo (10):
2x Smokestack
4x Sphere of Resistance
4x Chalice of the Void

General (5):
1x Ancient Grudge
2x Pithing Needle
2x Tormod's Crypt

The extra crypts in the board are for Ichorid/Dredge style decks where you'll want to get one online as soon as possible. Also handy to have extras for the mirror. Also wondering about Krosan Grips given that the Counterbalance/Top combo is seeing more play lately.

And finally, one card I noticed recently that NO ONE is playing, but that creates a hard lock on Goblins when combined with Academy Ruins is: Leonin Bladetrap. Stupid, but effective. May be better suited for pure Stax builds, but I figured I'd mention it anyway.

Illissius
08-05-2007, 01:50 AM
And finally, one card I noticed recently that NO ONE is playing, but that creates a hard lock on Goblins when combined with Academy Ruins is: Leonin Bladetrap.

I only take issue with the "hard" qualifier. They can still destroy the Bladetrap before combat or Waste your Ruins.

Watcher487
08-05-2007, 11:43 AM
I only take issue with the "hard" qualifier. They can still destroy the Bladetrap before combat or Waste your Ruins.

Leonin Bladetrap
Mirrodin uncommon
(3)
Artifact
Flash
(2), Sacrifice Leonin Bladetrap: Leonin Bladetrap deals 2 damage to each attacking creature without flying.

I wouldn't call it hard either but, you won't be able to destroy this if you are semi-intellegent. And Ancient Ruins can be brought back too many ways in the deck.

@ morgan_coke:
I would still try to fit in 2 Constant Mists. Between Constant Mists and multiple Wastelands/Ghost Quarter is usually game for any deck that plays Wasteland.

Citrus-God
08-05-2007, 12:09 PM
I tested Horizon Canopy. It's damn good. When you cant seem to find that Intuition to set-up Life from the Loam and you happen to have Exploration and a Crucible out, just tutoring for a Horizon Canopy makes me happy.

Illissius
08-05-2007, 01:14 PM
Leonin Bladetrap
Mirrodin uncommon
(3)
Artifact
Flash
(2), Sacrifice Leonin Bladetrap: Leonin Bladetrap deals 2 damage to each attacking creature without flying.

I wouldn't call it hard either but, you won't be able to destroy this if you are semi-intellegent.

Ah. Indeed, it seems I don't qualify. Missed the Flash. If they destroy the Ruins, though, they could make you skip a turn because you can only play lands during your main phase.

morgan_coke
08-05-2007, 04:11 PM
Ok, I guess the "hard lock" bit might have been a bit much, but the card does pwn goblins pretty hard for being an artifact.

While I think everyone agrees that the FS addition of Horizon Canopy is truly smoking, does anyone have any thoughts on Rites of Flourishing? I've been running it in place of TfK, and about 90% of the time within two turns of playing it I'm either completely dominating the board and game or getting just completely destroyed. The card is incredibly swingy, but it just never seems to be apparent before I play it what direction its going to swing in. Anyone else have similar thoughts experiences with it?

Di
08-05-2007, 08:51 PM
Rites of Flourishing gives bad matchups more cards to kill you with, and doesn't do all that much in matchups you should already be winning. Fwiw, I'd rather have Azusa in that slot, and she isn't in the deck anyway.

It's interesting this thread got bumped because I started working on the deck again right before I went on vacation and was having fun making Nightmare all pissy and frustrated due to awesome locks. I'm pretty sure a few of you have seen my build through PM's, but it's a bit different than what the rest of you have been coming up with.

4 Exploration
3 Crucible of Worlds

4 Thirst for Knowledge
2 Intuition
3 Crop Rotation
1 Life from the Loam

4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Sphere of Resistance
2 Smokestack
3 Engineered Explosives
2 Humility/Constant Mists

3 Mox Diamond
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Windswept Heath
3 Tropical Island
3 Savannah
1 Wasteland
1 Cephalid Coliseum
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Glacial Chasm
1 Horizon Canopy
1 Academy Ruins
1 Nomad Stadium
2 Nantuko Monastery
1 God's Eye, Gate to the Reikai
1 Riftstone Portal

Sideboard:
4 Chalice of the Void
3 Rule of Law
4 Tarmogoyf/Meddling Mage
3 Pithing Needle
1 Tormod's Crypt


I dislike the whole toolbox plan because it gives the possibility for dead cards in the maindeck. I'd rather just run Explosives over all of those and consistently be able to deal with Empty the Warrens and have a solid, recursive removal plan.

I'm fairly certain that I'm currently the only person running maindeck Spheres right now. Up until recently they were Trinispheres, but I was then reminded of Sphere of Resistance and it fits the bill really well. I'm actually kind of stuck between Trinisphere and Sphere of Resistance because they are both absolute bombs, but for now it's going to be Sphere. Considering the high chances of getting Sphere on turn 1 (Tomb, Mox, Crop Rotation -> Tomb), it's better against combo as opposed to a turn 2 Trinisphere. But I dunno...Trinisphere is nuts. Highly underrated in this format. Either way, it makes the game 1 against combo slightly above autolose.

For some reason nobody else is running Humility. The card is batshit insane. It's basically another Glacial Chasm. There's probably a few other choices for this slot, but the card absolutely wrecks people. I have been debating of switching these for Constant Mists as they essentially serve the same purpose, but for now I like Humility.

For some reason nobody else is running Tabernacle. I know it's expensive, so that limits a bit of people from playing it, but it is absolutely insane. Empty the Warrens gets completely raped, and it slows down Goblins and all other aggro decks. Seriously worth the money there.

I rather like the sideboard currently. Between Sphere, Chalice, and Rule of Law, the combo matchup isn't all that bad post-board. Not favorable, but it's getting better. In fact, Belcher isn't really that big of a deal at all. Empty the Warrens is very easy to deal with when you have EE and Crop Rotation -> Tabernacle, and Glacial Chasm is good too. Depending on the meta, The Tarmogoyf slot could also go to Meddling Mage to support that as well. I like Tarmy though because he ends games quickly and people board out creature removal. Needles are there for everything in between: fetches, Belcher, Vial, Wasteland, Survival, whatever. You could cut one for an Ancient Grudge I suppose, but I think between recurring EE and Smokestack you can handle stuff just fine.

Citrus-God
08-05-2007, 11:01 PM
Humility > Constant Mists. As long as your win conditions are ground win coniditions, dominating the board is all it takes.

Anyways, I love the new list. Better Combo match up, and still has great board control in the form of Smokestack, as well as Sphere of Resistance, which is a great taxing card.

Imma test this shit out.

Whit3 Ghost
08-05-2007, 11:30 PM
Only three Diamond makes my eyes bleed.

Other then that, your list is interesting. I haven't looked at the archetype in forever, I may have to pick this stuff up again.

I still don't like the God awful combo matchup game 1, but I'm assuming your overall matchups is good enough so that you can just play around it.

Di
08-06-2007, 12:24 AM
Humility > Constant Mists. As long as your win conditions are ground win coniditions, dominating the board is all it takes.

What would ground win conditions have anything to do with this? The card isn't Moat. :p Either one really dominates the board, but it's rather difficult to make a choice. With Humility, they lose everything outside the attack step and can still win through attacking me should I not be able to handle it, and it doesn't stop manlands or Decree of Justice. With Constant Mists I can force them to try to win outside the attack step with something like SGC which is incredibly rare, only it requires Crucible or Loam to do so. I'm actually leaning on Mists right now simply because it is a lot cheaper to cast.


Only three Diamond makes my eyes bleed.

Mox Diamond is much worse than a land in this deck. I actually almost cut it, but I like the acceleration. I like it at 3 because generally this deck suffers horribly to card disadvantage and doesn't lock the game up by turn 3 like Stax would do, so having the land drops is important. If I went back to Trinisphere over Sphere of Resistance, then it'd probably go back to 4. But seeing how I'm not aching for 3 mana turn 1 every game, it's fine. I hit 3 mana by turn 2 every game no problem.


I still don't like the God awful combo matchup game 1, but I'm assuming your overall matchups is good enough so that you can just play around it.

And what, if I may ask, do you propose we do to make a land-based deck have a positive combo matchup game 1? The only solution I have is to turn it into a different deck or run incredibly narrow cards such as Rule of Law in the maindeck. Some people have mentioned Chalice, but it really interferes with the whole Exploration thing against other relevant matchups. Like any Loam-based deck, I think it's fine to accept the fact that it's impossible to give yourself a positive game 1 vs. combo without making your deck suck, and overload the sideboard.

Citrus-God
08-06-2007, 07:14 AM
What would ground win conditions have anything to do with this? The card isn't Moat. :p Either one really dominates the board, but it's rather difficult to make a choice. With Humility, they lose everything outside the attack step and can still win through attacking me should I not be able to handle it, and it doesn't stop manlands or Decree of Justice. With Constant Mists I can force them to try to win outside the attack step with something like SGC which is incredibly rare, only it requires Crucible or Loam to do so. I'm actually leaning on Mists right now simply because it is a lot cheaper to cast.

But for the tokens, and such, you actually have Glacial Chasm, Engineered Explosives, and Smokestack to cover Humility.

But anyways, tell me more about how Constant Mists did in testing, I was curious about that card in the Turboland days.

94teen
08-07-2007, 12:19 AM
I'm glad to see that this is getting a little more attention than it once was.

A few general comments since combo seems to be on the rise.

For ETW combo, I think the best way to deal with it is to up the amount of Engineered Explosives (obv) and upping the number of Crop Rotations. Crop Rotation into Tabernacle kills most of the tokens.

Similarly, Rotation into Chasm defuses Belcher, and Rotation into Nomad Stadium can defuse Tendrils.

The biggest problem this deck faces is Tendrils and Brain Freeze, and I'm not entirely sure what the best way to deal with those is besides the stax shell already in the deck.

@Morgan_Coke

I really don't like Rites of Flourishing. I really want it to be good, but it just isn't. I tried testing it for a little while, but it just doesn't live up to other options.

I don't really like the red splash. Red helps you deal with aggro and aggro-control, but you crush those decks anyway, so I think the red is kinda redundant. Other than that, I really like the build, and I think it's pretty solid.

@ Di

I like engineered explosives since the metagame seems to be leaning towards combo, but are the Constant Mists/Humilities really necessary? They help with matches that are already pretty solid, where the slots could be used for general hate or combo hate. I think that the biggest strength of this deck is that it can answer any situation given the time, and these cards seem redundant since you already have an uncounterable lock in the form of Stax and/or Glacial Chasm.

How is the Thirst/Intuition split working for you? I didn't really like TfK when I tested it, and I've tried using Gifts Ungiven in its place. In my testing, resolving an Intuition is crucial to the early game, because it either sets up your engine or finds the answers you need for the current game state.

I resisted the change until recently, but I agree with lowering the number of wastelands to 1 or 2. They're really not all that helpful in a lot of matches, and you have enough tutoring to find them in the matches where they make a difference. I think one may be pushing your luck, but 2 is more than enough in my experience.

I suggest putting 1 Mishra's Factory in place of a Nantuko Monastery. Sometimes Monastery just doesn't come online fast enough, and Factory fills in that slot nicely. Factory also gives you some more resilience to Pithing Needle game one, which leads to my last point:

I disagree with placing Gods' Eye in the main deck. You have more than enough diverse win conditions in the maindeck, that this is really redundant. It is DEFINITELY sideboard material, but I don't think it's worth the space in the maindeck.

So, with all of that said, this is my most recent build. It's probably not exactly what I'd want to play at a tournament, as I threw it together after reading the last couple of posts, but its a work in progress.

Mana
1 Tundra
3 Savannah
3 Tropical Island
1 Flooded Strand
3 Windswept Heath
4 Mox Diamond
4 Ancient Tomb

Random Lands
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Glacial Chasm
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Nomad Stadium
1 Petrified Field
1 Horizon Canopy
1 Mishra's Factory
1 Nantuko Monastery
1 Academy Ruins
1 Wasteland (Strip Mine in casual =D)
1 Cephalid Coliseum

Random Artifacts
1 Pithing Needle
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Zuran Orb

Tutoring
4 Intuition
2 Gifts Ungiven
3 Crop Rotation

Lock Pieces and Random Stuff
3 Swords to PLowshares
4 Exploration
2 Smokestack
4 Sphere of Resistance
3 Crucible of Worlds
1 Life from the Loam

Sideboard is special. I haven't adjusted it since I first started thinking about the sideboard, but generally it'll look something like this:

1 God's Eye, Gate to the Reikai
1 Ghost Quarter
4 Chalice of the Void
1 Smokestack
2 Pithing Needle
4 Meddling Mage
2 Vinelasher Kudzu

EDIT: Does anyone (namely Di) mind if I start discussions about this deck on other sites? Maybe some people at TMD, SCG, or WoTC boards will be able to think of something we haven't?

jrr1987
08-07-2007, 05:24 AM
so, if you would rather use land instead of the moxes, what would you replace them with?i love this deck, and im gonna make this as soon as i get paid..

Di
08-07-2007, 02:30 PM
I like engineered explosives since the metagame seems to be leaning towards combo, but are the Constant Mists/Humilities really necessary? They help with matches that are already pretty solid, where the slots could be used for general hate or combo hate. I think that the biggest strength of this deck is that it can answer any situation given the time, and these cards seem redundant since you already have an uncounterable lock in the form of Stax and/or Glacial Chasm.

Placing too much reliance on a single card will make your good matchups worse. Without the Constant Mists engine or Humility to shut down attackers, you're pretty much left with having to deal with decks like Goblins with Glacial Chasm alone. If that is the case, they can simply build up their army and Wasteland it, then attack for the kill. Having a backup plan is not a bad thing. Also, considering a deck like Cephalid Breakfast just popped up, having Humility in the deck isn't such a bad idea.


How is the Thirst/Intuition split working for you? I didn't really like TfK when I tested it, and I've tried using Gifts Ungiven in its place. In my testing, resolving an Intuition is crucial to the early game, because it either sets up your engine or finds the answers you need for the current game state.

Lately I've found myself using Intuition less and less, but it's still a bomb. Actually, doing a 3/3 split between Thirst and Intuition is fine. I still really like Thirst because this deck suffers from the same issues as general prison decks do, which is having absolutely no card advantage and ends up losing in a topdeck war. Being able to replenish your hand and find more than stuff to tutor for is important in a lot of matchups. Gifts is a fine replacement I suppose, but I'm not sure how I really feel about a 4cc tutor. What does your normal stack look like? Crucible, Loam, Academy Ruins, Petrified Field?


I resisted the change until recently, but I agree with lowering the number of wastelands to 1 or 2. They're really not all that helpful in a lot of matches, and you have enough tutoring to find them in the matches where they make a difference. I think one may be pushing your luck, but 2 is more than enough in my experience.

Finding a Wasteland really isn't all that difficult to do. I was skeptical at first about dropping it, but in reality you have 4 counting Crop Rotations. Factor in dredging with LftL, Thirst, Intuition, Cephalid Coliseum, and Horizon Canopy, it isn't all that difficult to find.


I suggest putting 1 Mishra's Factory in place of a Nantuko Monastery. Sometimes Monastery just doesn't come online fast enough, and Factory fills in that slot nicely. Factory also gives you some more resilience to Pithing Needle game one, which leads to my last point:

I disagree with placing Gods' Eye in the main deck. You have more than enough diverse win conditions in the maindeck, that this is really redundant. It is DEFINITELY sideboard material, but I don't think it's worth the space in the maindeck.

I'll give a swap of a single Monastery for Factory a try. It does seem appealing that I can have an early attacker/blocker.

However, your reasoning against God's Eye doesn't make any sense. You say there are diverse win conditions in the deck, when in reality I only run Monastery, unless you count Smokestack and Coliseum as win conditions. Even if you thew Mishra's Factory into the mix, that's still very few. Plus, considering the number of decks running Swords to Plowshares, should both manlands get plowed I'm forced to resort to Smokestack or decking them. God's Eye is perfect because it bypasses both StP and Pithing Needle, plus it has great synergy with Smokestack, Crop Rotation, and Glacial Chasm.


EDIT: Does anyone (namely Di) mind if I start discussions about this deck on other sites? Maybe some people at TMD, SCG, or WoTC boards will be able to think of something we haven't?

Go ahead. But may I ask why the hell you're on WotC boards? They're horrible.


so, if you would rather use land instead of the moxes, what would you replace them with?i love this deck, and im gonna make this as soon as i get paid..

I wasn't saying I'd rather use land, I was saying that land is generally better in the deck. However, the acceleration from Mox is decent enough to being worth running it.

94teen
08-07-2007, 06:32 PM
I understand your reasoning on Constant Mists a little better now. I agree with it a little more now that you've given me an example of a common gamestate. Same for God's Eye. That said, what changes do you think I should make in order to fit those cards in?

-2/3 ???

+1/2 Constant Mists
+1 God's Eye, Gate to the Reikai

Actually, in reference to the gifts piles, I find myself using life from the loam less and less. Maybe that means I'm playing the deck wrong, but since I've added Petrified Field, I haven't cast life from the loam once. Gifts doesn't require that you get four cards, but my gifts piles usually look like:

Crucible
Petrified Field
Academy Ruins
Land/Artifact Bomb

After testing, I'm not as excited about Sphere of Resistance as I was when I saw it. I'm finding that Crucibles costing 4 and Smokestacks costing 5 is really messing up my gameplay. I always end up one mana short of either one, and I lose because I can't play an answer to the threats on the table.

On the card advantage issue: For builds with an artifact toolbox, could Horn of Greed be a potential solution? It becomes a problem after you've found answers and you're trying to win, but if there's a way to get rid of it (ancient grudge) then it seems to be a perfectly viable answer. Using explorations, it'd be easy to drop it into play underneath a stax lock, draw 10 cards, and destroy it.

Lastly, I don't use the WotC boards for competitive magic often, but there are a few people who really know what they're talking about in the casual forum. They helped me tune my build to where it was before the most recent update, and it played fabulously.

I'm liking the idea of a red splash more and more as I watch the deck developing. What does white give the deck besides STP and Humility? If we were to drop those cards, then red could be added to the deck, which allows for Barbarian Ring, Pyroclasm, Gamble, Boil, etc. Swords is good, but I think recurring shocks and cheap wraths may be better.

EDIT: or Standstill for the card advantage issue. It's easy for this deck to control the game without playing spells.

Whit3 Ghost
08-07-2007, 08:41 PM
And what, if I may ask, do you propose we do to make a land-based deck have a positive combo matchup game 1? The only solution I have is to turn it into a different deck or run incredibly narrow cards such as Rule of Law in the maindeck. Some people have mentioned Chalice, but it really interferes with the whole Exploration thing against other relevant matchups. Like any Loam-based deck, I think it's fine to accept the fact that it's impossible to give yourself a positive game 1 vs. combo without making your deck suck, and overload the sideboard.
Possibly MD Glowrider or something, I'm not totally sure.

What I meant to say was that I'm not sure if this deck has a good enough combo matchup to do well at a major tournament, or if it has to be lucky enough to get noncombo matchups. It's not that I'm saying that there's a way for you to consistently beat combo game 1 and you just aren't seeing it. I'm asking does your postboard combo matchup allow you to actually win games 2 and 3 or does it pull the matchup to about even.

Di
08-07-2007, 09:43 PM
-2/3 ???

+1/2 Constant Mists
+1 God's Eye, Gate to the Reikai

Given your list, I'm rather unsure. If anything, I'd remove the artifact toolbox and move them to the sideboard.


After testing, I'm not as excited about Sphere of Resistance as I was when I saw it. I'm finding that Crucibles costing 4 and Smokestacks costing 5 is really messing up my gameplay. I always end up one mana short of either one, and I lose because I can't play an answer to the threats on the table.

If Sphere of Resistance is an issue, you can always use Trinisphere instead. That would still be strong against combo, but your Crucibles and Smokestacks will still cost 3 and 4 respectively.


On the card advantage issue: For builds with an artifact toolbox, could Horn of Greed be a potential solution? It becomes a problem after you've found answers and you're trying to win, but if there's a way to get rid of it (ancient grudge) then it seems to be a perfectly viable answer. Using explorations, it'd be easy to drop it into play underneath a stax lock, draw 10 cards, and destroy it.

Horn was in my initial list before I brought it to tournament play or posted it, but cut it because I found myself losing to it because I would deck myself. It's absolutely insane in here, but the issue is you need to continuously play lands in order to win. However, that was long before the deck ran Smokestack. Given that it does and the deck now has a means to destroy it, I'm rather certain Horn of Greed will fit very nicely into the deck. It can probably take the Thirst for Knowledge slot.


I'm liking the idea of a red splash more and more as I watch the deck developing. What does white give the deck besides STP and Humility? If we were to drop those cards, then red could be added to the deck, which allows for Barbarian Ring, Pyroclasm, Gamble, Boil, etc. Swords is good, but I think recurring shocks and cheap wraths may be better

Nantuko Monastery is white, which is the primary reasoning for it. Originally there were the 4c versions running GURW, but the manabase couldn't support it very well. Monastery is the best win condition there is (much better than Barbarian Ring), but I suppose in theory you could replace them with Mishra's Factory. You also lose Nomad Stadium, and the best removal spell in the game.

Still, I guess it'd be ok to see what it'd look like. This is a sample list, purely theoretical, that I whipped up in 5 seconds. It just swaps the white stuff for the red.

4 Exploration
3 Crucible of Worlds

3 Thirst for Knowledge/Horn of Greed (I'll be testing this slot in depth)
3 Intuition
3 Crop Rotation
1 Life from the Loam

4 Pyroclasm
4 Sphere of Resistance
2 Smokestack
3 Engineered Explosives
2 Constant Mists
1 Zuran Orb (makes up for loss of Stadium)

3 Mox Diamond
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Wooded Foothills
3 Tropical Island
3 Taiga
1 Wasteland
1 Cephalid Coliseum
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Glacial Chasm
1 Horizon Canopy
1 Academy Ruins
2 Mishra's Factory
1 Barbarian Ring
1 Riftstone Portal (still good)


Just at a glance, that list actually doens't look bad. A playset of Pyroclasms would make the Goblins matchup just retarded. But I dislike how the deck lacks a removal spell to deal with turn 1 Lackey, Tarmogoyf, Ichorid, etc. Lightning Bolt isn't in the same league. Still, I suppose something like this could show promise.


What I meant to say was that I'm not sure if this deck has a good enough combo matchup to do well at a major tournament, or if it has to be lucky enough to get noncombo matchups. It's not that I'm saying that there's a way for you to consistently beat combo game 1 and you just aren't seeing it. I'm asking does your postboard combo matchup allow you to actually win games 2 and 3 or does it pull the matchup to about even.

I would ask the same thing of a Stax deck against combo. Post-board, they are very, very similar. 4 Chalice, 4 Sphere/Trinisphere, 3-4 Rule of Law. My sideboard creature is between Meddling Mage and Tarmogoyf, but given the combo issue, it's probably Meddling Mage. Between those 15-16 cards, and then Engineered Explosives maindeck, do you believe that this deck can't deal with combo post-board? I'd say that pulls it to nearly even.

94teen
08-07-2007, 11:00 PM
I really like the artifact toolbox. It's been really helpful, though I would like to narrow the toolbox a bit. You'd have to metagame it a little more. Instead of 4 slots, maybe 2 or 3 rather than 4. I'll see what I can do to make it work.



I've been testing both spheres, and I really do like 3Sphere better, just because it's more one-sided. I'll test Sphere of Resistance a little more before dropping it though.

I'll also definitely test Horn of Greed. It looks to be absolutely insane. The biggest problem I've had isn't getting a lock down, it's finding an exploration so that I can build my board position under a stax lock. This'll fix that problem and provide some much needed card advantage, though I wouldn't want to draw one most of the time. It'll take something's place in the artifact toolbox I think for now.

About the white splash. I realize that Nantuko Monastery is AMAZING. But isn't Riftstone Portal enough to activate that? I just don't think that StP is worth it. Humility is easily replaced, but I think that, especially with the new draw engine, I think Riftstone Portal could supplement the entire splash (ignoring GY hate for now).

All in all, I think red offers more than white. Barbarian ring is simply busted in this deck, and on it's own it almost answers the aggro matchup. I'll edit a list into my post after I look over the deck. Your list looks pretty good, but I don't think I'd play it as is. Let me mess around with it a little and goldfish a couple times.


EDITING LIST:

Mana
3 Wooded Foothills
1 Windswept Heath
2 Taiga
2 Tropical Island
1 Savannah
1 Volcanic Island
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Mox Diamond

Singleton Lands
1 Nantuko Monastery
1 Mishra's Factory
1 Barbarian Ring
1 Cephalid Coliseum
1 Gods' Eye, Gate to the Reikai
1 Petrified Field
1 Horizon Canopy
1 Academy Ruins
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Strip Mine/Wasteland
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

Engine
4 Exploration
3 Crucible of Worlds
2 Horn of Greed
1 Life from the Loam

Lock Pieces
4 Trinisphere
2 Smokestack
2 Engineered Explosives
1 Constant Mists
1 Glacial Chasm

Singleton Artifacts
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Zuran Orb

Tutoring
4 Intuition
3 Crop Rotation
2 Gifts Ungiven

Watcher487
08-10-2007, 02:47 PM
Heya guys,

Has anyone thought about adding Counterbalanace and Divining Top to the deck? It was something that I considered in the board back when I was cutting colors, and since it's down to G/U/R or G/U/r/w, it might be something to consider especially since we run all the major CMC's (other than 5 (FOW))

@Di: I really do like the Red Skeleton that you drafted up, it might be something to consider next time, I play another tourney.

Di
08-10-2007, 04:41 PM
@94teen

Your edited list is pretty good. I did realize, however, that with adding Barbarian Ring, you can afford to cut a different win condition, be it Nantuko Monastery or Mishra's Factory. A list with 3 win conditions works perfectly fine given how long it takes to win, so you could easily cut one of those for either another utility slot or a 3rd Horn of Greed or Engineered Explosives, or 2nd Constant Mists. I'd personally lean towards Mists because it's nearly as good, and sometimes better, than Glacial Chasm. You could also possibly cut Trinisphere down to 3. I personally only run 3 due to the issue of the card being terrible in multiples, and utterly hate getting a dead draw like that. A 4th could easily be moved to the sideboard.

I still dislike Zuran Orb over Nomad Stadium though. The fact that Stadium can be tutored with Crop Rotation, is uncounterable, gains more life, and has better synergy with Crucible and Life from the Loam makes it an easy choice over Zorb. You only currently have a single white source outside Portal, Canopy, and Mox, but given the consistency of finding all colors I think it's worth it.

Also regarding the manabase, why a setup of 3 Foothills/1 Heath? My only guess is Pithing Needle, but it seems weak to bother doing that considering there are much better Needle targets in the deck, and the fact that Heath can't fetch Volcanic Island.


Heya guys,

Has anyone thought about adding Counterbalanace and Divining Top to the deck? It was something that I considered in the board back when I was cutting colors, and since it's down to G/U/R or G/U/r/w, it might be something to consider especially since we run all the major CMC's (other than 5 (FOW))

I'm very skeptical about this for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it would require atleast 6 slots in the deck. This could potentially go in the anti-combo slots being Trinisphere and possibly Smokestack, but I don't foresee much of an improvement there in what you're trying to achieve. Next, this deck has a terrible curve for trying to abuse Counterbalance. Most of the cards are high casting cost, roughly 3 or 4. It won't work like it would in a deck such as Threshold because of their curve and the average curve of the format. You would almost never be able to counter something that was 2cc. Finally, I'm not sure how realibly the deck would be able to get UU early. The deck would be forced to fetch out Tropical Islands and thus shut off it's white sources.

Lastly, I'm currently in the process of developing a new Gwur skeleton. I'm really not in favor of it though, as the only card I really plan on using for this is Barbarian Ring, which requires at least 2 other red sources to go with it. This pretty much prohibits the idea of using double-colored cards, but that only really applies to myself using Humility. I suppose Constant Mists in that slot isn't so bad though, or at least Pyroclasm. But even so, I'm seeing incredible consistency in my current list to the point where I think that adding red may be unnecessary.

jrr1987
08-10-2007, 07:52 PM
so, which would be the better color for the skeleton? white or red? personally, i like red more, but consistancy matter a great deal too. just opinions, though, because im thinking about goin through like 400 land cards just to make sure we're not missing any.

94teen
08-11-2007, 12:49 AM
I can understand changing Zorb for Nomad Stadium, it makes a lot of sense other than that Zorb doesn't combo with Gods' Eye. It merits testing at least.

The 3/1 split between fetchlands was me trying to get lucky on a pithing needle somewhere (and I only have 3 foothills), but testing shows that it's just dumb to do that. 4 Foothills it is. I can't tell you how many times I'll try to fetch a Volcanic Island off a Windswept Heath.

I understand your reasoning for only running 3 Trinisphere and Mox Diamond, but they're so good in the early game that I run four just so that I can consistently see one in the early game. I completely agree with you that they're both usually pretty bad in multiples, but I think that 4 copies is a necessary evil. If your testing shows otherwise, then just let me know (I don't get to test often).

The thing about Mishra's Factory and Nantuko Monastery: I understand that I can cut one, but I'm not sure which to cut. Mishra's Factory is great in the early game, but becomes all but useless in the late game. A recurring 2/2 is always good, but a recurring 4/4 first-striker is so much better.

I really like the colored maanbase that's set up in this deck. The single Savannah is really good and really annoying I always look for a third Trop or Taiga, but other than that, I have to say that I've had no problems with color screw that were not due to stupid play errors (crop rotating away my colored mana and walking into FoW).

I think this deck is taking a few steps in the right direction, and I know that it's a powerful deck. It's dominating Goblins and Thresh in my testing. The only games that haven't been close is when my friends get double FoW or double piledriver draw. There's a lot of potential available to this deck, and I think there are a few other cards to consider boarding:

Boseiju (FoW hurts a lot sometimes).
Rix Maadi
couple of others I can't think of. It's a little too late for me to be up. Basically I'm reconsidering 5c instead of 4c.

Di
08-11-2007, 01:53 AM
so, which would be the better color for the skeleton? white or red? personally, i like red more, but consistancy matter a great deal too. just opinions, though, because im thinking about goin through like 400 land cards just to make sure we're not missing any.

If you choose a single color, then white. Here's a breakdown of what each color has for viable choices, both maindeck and sideboard:

White:
Swords to Plowshares
Nantuko Monastery
Riftstone Portal (probably irrelevant as it'd be run in a red version anyway)
Humility
Moat
Nomad Stadium
Rule of Law
Meddling Mage
Orim's Chant


Red:
Barbarian Ring
Pyroclasm
Gamble
Burning Wish
Pyrostatic Pillar
REB/Pyroblast
Ancient Grudge (sort of irrelevant as you could cast it off Mox in a white version)

Now, there's a chance I'm missing some good cards between the lists, but I think it's clear that white has a better chance on it's own. It features the best removal spell in the game, the best manland in the game, strong life gain, and more anti-combo cards. Red, on the other hand, has a solid alternative win condition, excellent board sweeper, and some tutors, but after running Burning Wish in the deck for a year I ended up hating it because it cluttered the sideboard with crap. Gamble might be ok though, if you manage to keep cards in your hand.

Also for the record, I'm officially sticking with a GWU list, and not even bothering with the red splash. The deck is working too well in its current state for me to go and make the manabase worse. For reference, this is where my list currently is:

4 Exploration
3 Crucible of Worlds

2 Horn of Greed
3 Intuition
3 Crop Rotation
1 Life from the Loam

4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Trinisphere
3 Engineered Explosives
2 Smokestack
2 Humility
1 Constant Mists

4 Mox Diamond
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Windswept Heath
3 Tropical Island
3 Savannah
1 Glacial Chasm
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Academy Ruins
1 Cephalid Coliseum
1 Horizon Canopy
1 Wasteland
2 Nantuko Monastery
1 God's Eye, Gate to the Reikei
1 Nomad Stadium
1 Riftstone Portal

Sideboard:
4 Chalice of the Void
3 Rule of Law
3 Meddling Mage
2 Tormod's Crypt
2 Pithing Needle
1 Constant Mists

With running Trinisphere again I am back up to 4 Mox Diamond for more consistent turn 1 3drops. I ended up cutting a Horn of Greed from the maindeck because I was constantly drawing multiples and never wanted to play them for fear of decking myself. Having 2 is fine because I still have the option of Intuition. The list does feature less draw than before, but I feel it's more important to have a solid removal presence in the deck should the Glacial Chasm plan fall through. Concerning that anti-aggro suite, I was rather torn between Humility and Constant Mists (still). There were so many games where I wanted one of them, but then wanted the other, so I ultimately decided to run them both squeezing another in the sideboard. I really like that setup.

Speaking of aggro matchups, I'd really questioning your list against Goblins, 94teen:


I think this deck is taking a few steps in the right direction, and I know that it's a powerful deck. It's dominating Goblins and Thresh in my testing. The only games that haven't been close is when my friends get double FoW or double piledriver draw. There's a lot of potential available to this deck, and I think there are a few other cards to consider boarding:

I really don't see how your Goblins matchup can be so strong. An opening Lackey can be a disaster for you unless you somehow manage a turn 3-4 lock on them without them having a Wasteland. You are heavily relying on Glacial Chasm for this matchup and you can easily get screwed by a Wasteland. I think you should definetely be playing either some sort of sweepers like Pyroclasm or spot removal at the very least, because I just see them running over you. EE isn't very effective against them because of their range of casting costs and effects it has on your own board position. You won't want to cast it for 3 and then wipe out your Crucible, and 1 wipes your Explorations, and if you lose those then you can't stop the disadvantage from Exploration.


The thing about Mishra's Factory and Nantuko Monastery: I understand that I can cut one, but I'm not sure which to cut. Mishra's Factory is great in the early game, but becomes all but useless in the late game. A recurring 2/2 is always good, but a recurring 4/4 first-striker is so much better.

Considering the deck will always go into the late game, I think this is an easy choice to make.


Boseiju (FoW hurts a lot sometimes).
Rix Maadi
couple of others I can't think of. It's a little too late for me to be up. Basically I'm reconsidering 5c instead of 4c.

I've lost too many games because of Boseiju to count. I ran it in the deck for a very long time but it's just bad. Given all the damage you take from Ancient Tombs and fetchlands, it makes it easy for the opponent to prey on you hitting yourself. Plus, there are very few instants that you can cast off of it, at least before Trinisphere is in play. FoW can be problematic at times if you keep a hand relying on a single spell or if it's overly weak, but for the most part it's easy to play around those decks due to the high number of bombs, not to mention Academy Ruins and LftL.

Rix Maadi seems interesting because the deck has no source of hand disruption, but it's in 2 off-colors and it's really slow.

I really advise you to not take the 5c route. It's a disaterous manabase and only follows the idea of danger of cool things. Having access to every color is nice in theory, but the deck plays like utter crap trying to do so much at once. Trying to squeeze even more into an already tight manabase and maindeck is hard enough with 3c.

94teen
08-11-2007, 01:12 PM
I understand what you're saying, but after the deck has developed so much, I can't help but feel we might've missed some potential in red and black, and it might be worth trying again.

From what I can tell, red was dropped largely because Gamble wasn't that good when you emtpy your hand so quickly, burning wish wasn't all that great, and barbarian ring was deemed unnecessary. Basically, because the deck lacked enough card draw to make red worthwhile.

The addition of Horn of Greed (awesome in testing) alleviates this problem, and makes gamble a lot more reasonable, and as a 1cc tutor, is just amazing, and I think it alone merits another testing of red.

While I agree with you, your current list looks really, really consistent and really stable, it's not going to make an impact on the format at large unless we innovate. Right now, I feel the best thing to test is the addition of red and the removal of the artifact toolbox in favor of Engineered Explosives. Singleton artifacts can easily be found, but there's more than enough space in the sideboard.

I believe that maybe dropping Gifts Ungiven for Gamble in my list merits testing, because 4cc is just too much sometimes. However, I feel that it's worth testing new things to try to raise the overall power of the deck.

With that in mind, here's the list I'll be testing:


Mana
4 Wooded Foothills
1 Taiga
2 Tropical Island
2 Savannah
1 Volcanic Island

4 Ancient Tomb
4 Mox Diamond

Singleton Lands
1 Nantuko Monastery
1 Barbarian Ring
1 Cephalid Coliseum
1 Gods' Eye, Gate to the Reikai
1 Horizon Canopy
1 Academy Ruins
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Strip Mine/Wasteland
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Nomad Stadium

Engine
4 Exploration
3 Crucible of Worlds
2 Horn of Greed
1 Life from the Loam

Lock Pieces
3 Trinisphere
2 Smokestack
2 Engineered Explosives
3 Swords to Plowshares
1 Constant Mists
1 Glacial Chasm


Tutoring
4 Intuition
3 Crop Rotation
2 Gamble

Sigar
08-28-2007, 07:38 PM
Why not play Nether Void over Smokestack?

Watcher487
08-28-2007, 08:10 PM
Despite the fact that it looks like you don't need to cast spells, you do. Smokestack is better with the deck total since you can just go through all of thier land through Trinisphere.

Maveric78f
09-14-2007, 06:45 AM
What are the MUs of eternal garden in the new metagame ?

About the list you proposed 94teen :
- I don't get the utility of main deck trinisphere. What spells are you afraid of ?
- what is the need of constant mist (in 1 of moreover) when you play glacial chiasm ? The Glacial Chiasm lock is gg against most of the metagame. You play 4*ancient tomb in order to play it first turn or you really think ancient tomb is a 4-of ?
- why god's eye ? Just for Smokestack ? You usually don't need that...
- why horn of greed ? You usually don't need that to make card advantage. You'd better play another horizon canopy and a cycling land (thicket or steppe) instead of horn*2.
- do you really need gamble ? crop*4 + intuition*4 looks enough. If I was including a red tutor I would certainly take wish.
- I like to play engineered explosives and powder keg, because I can beak powder keg @ 1 without destroying my explorations.
- why play 2 moutain lands ? I'm not even sure you would play a single one if you were not playing gamble.
- I like to play jotun grunt*3 or 4, because it deals with opponent graveyard and recycles cards you cannot get back (non-land and non artifact cards). It also prevents me from decking myself.
- I like to play 1*sensei's divining top because it gives me information about the cards I am going to dredge. Very often I intuition for LftL + ruins + top. Moreover top is never a dead card.
- I like to play 2*Maze of Ith, don't you miss it sometimes ?
- I play also Ghost quarter. I'm not sure I'll keep it though.

Edit : and I forgot but I think that your SB is awful. Rule of Law, for instance is so bad against combo... You cannot rely on a first turn 3 mana spell. You'd better play sphere of resistance.

Watcher487
09-14-2007, 10:01 AM
What are the MUs of eternal garden in the new metagame ?

About the list you proposed 94teen :
- I don't get the utility of main deck trinisphere. What spells are you afraid of ?
- what is the need of constant mist (in 1 of moreover) when you play glacial chiasm ? The Glacial Chiasm lock is gg against most of the metagame. You play 4*ancient tomb in order to play it first turn or you really think ancient tomb is a 4-of ?
- why god's eye ? Just for Smokestack ? You usually don't need that...
- why horn of greed ? You usually don't need that to make card advantage. You'd better play another horizon canopy and a cycling land (thicket or steppe) instead of horn*2.
- do you really need gamble ? crop*4 + intuition*4 looks enough. If I was including a red tutor I would certainly take wish.
- I like to play engineered explosives and powder keg, because I can beak powder keg @ 1 without destroying my explorations.
- why play 2 moutain lands ? I'm not even sure you would play a single one if you were not playing gamble.
- I like to play jotun grunt*3 or 4, because it deals with opponent graveyard and recycles cards you cannot get back (non-land and non artifact cards). It also prevents me from decking myself.
- I like to play 1*sensei's divining top because it gives me information about the cards I am going to dredge. Very often I intuition for LftL + ruins + top. Moreover top is never a dead card.
- I like to play 2*Maze of Ith, don't you miss it sometimes ?
- I play also Ghost quarter. I'm not sure I'll keep it though.

Edit : and I forgot but I think that your SB is awful. Rule of Law, for instance is so bad against combo... You cannot rely on a first turn 3 mana spell. You'd better play sphere of resistance.

1. Trinisphere- in this deck it is so under-rated considering how the deck is moving more toward prison as opposed to control. Trini also make the Thresh, Breakfast, COMBO match-up so much easier.

2. Constant Mists- is your hard lock against anyone playing wasteland. Even though Chasm is usually game over against most of the format you can still lose to a well timed Wasteland/Ghost Quarter.

3. God's Eye- this is a un-needleable win condition. Yeah it's slow as molasses and doesn't do much else, but it also works with Wasteland/Ghost Quarter if you have the game locked down.

4. Horn of Greed- Horn has actually turned out to be a nice thing especially in the combo match-up. But it's something you don't need to drop ASAP like in Turboland.

5. Red- Alot of people have been pushing out red despite the fact that it gives us the best win condition (Barbarian Ring), I'm going to jump in the bandwagon for now and say red's not needed.

6. Ghost Quarter- I currently play both Wasteland and Ghost Quarter as 1-of's, while Ghost Quarter is slowly not showing how good it could be (since more and more people are playing non-basics as opposed to a balanced set), but I think it's something that is definatly needed.

Zach Tartell
09-14-2007, 10:25 AM
I think that red is pretty good - maybe add 1 taiga in the place of one savannah, and replace the cephellid colliseaum with the canopy, and go to... 61 with the barbarian ring?

I put together a pretty terrible multiplayer stax for casual play, with 4 sphere of resistances, 4 intuition, 1 crucible, 1 LFTL, and 1 academy ruins, and aeoliple as my win condition. It functioned pretty awesomely.

Secondly, if you extend into red enough, you could use keldon megaliths as a secondary win condition (look it up - hellbent 1R, T: 1 damage to target creature or player). I tooled around with that as a win in 43 land lately. That's really good, because you have the possiblity of winning through 'yard hate.

That's just what I've got to say.

Maveric78f
09-14-2007, 10:48 AM
1. Trinisphere- in this deck it is so under-rated considering how the deck is moving more toward prison as opposed to control. Trini also make the Thresh, Breakfast, COMBO match-up so much easier.

Trinisphere is certainly a good card, but certainly worse than sphere of resistance for instance, as you can rely on a first turn sphere but not on a first turn trini.


2. Constant Mists- is your hard lock against anyone playing wasteland. Even though Chasm is usually game over against most of the format you can still lose to a well timed Wasteland/Ghost Quarter.

It's a hard lock as 1-of that is very narrow, that can be countered and lost forever, and that you can't even tutor.


3. God's Eye- this is a un-needleable win condition. Yeah it's slow as molasses and doesn't do much else, but it also works with Wasteland/Ghost Quarter if you have the game locked down.

Juste play EE or keg, or like me both and you'll never get needled EE, keg, ghostquarter (no mana means essentially no blocker with tabernacle), barbarian ring and cephalid coliseum (nice vistory condition against cephalid breakfast ^^.


4. Horn of Greed- Horn has actually turned out to be a nice thing especially in the combo match-up. But it's something you don't need to drop ASAP like in Turboland.

Very narrow once more. and I don't see why drawing from the 3rd turn will give you the advantage against combo.


5. Red- Alot of people have been pushing out red despite the fact that it gives us the best win condition (Barbarian Ring), I'm going to jump in the bandwagon for now and say red's not needed.

I don't want to remove barbarian ring. Mox diamond is good at giving red. And once you have the control of the board, you can draw your library, included your diamonds (you also play academy ruins).


6. Ghost Quarter- I currently play both Wasteland and Ghost Quarter as 1-of's, while Ghost Quarter is slowly not showing how good it could be (since more and more people are playing non-basics as opposed to a balanced set), but I think it's something that is definatly needed.

Ok.

On the paper, I find that the deck is superior to cephalid breakfast (glacial chiasm or maze of ith owns cephalid breakfast, as well as STP which I play 4-of).

It's superior to most of combo decks (all the ones playing EtW as their main win condition) : glacial chiasm, EE, keg, tabernacle... Against belcher we have a difficult to tutor pithing MD but glacial chiasm gives you time to find it. Post-board, I don't see what they can do. go aggro won't help them.

Against Gobs, wasteland is you main problem, but they can't recur them contrarily to you and tabernacle in play just wins the game. Post board, Chalice@2 + tinkerers can help them to struggle against the tabernacle recursion. As we can also recur the artifacts, it's going to be really really difficult for them...

My main concern is the Tarmhold because a counterspell on mox diamond or on a crop rotation can be very harmful. Finally, you are the one that can be the more mana denied in that MU, because they play wasteland and stifle. Once you found Life From the Loam and the mana to play it, you have almost won the game, but this may never happen.

Another concern about the deck is the SB. I find the ones here very poor, but I cannot imagin one better. I would surely play defense grid as 4-of. I would also complete my set of needles, and I would try to find a good response to ichorid. The new Teeg would be good against combo and in this case the rest of my SB would be kegs.

94teen
09-14-2007, 05:53 PM
Alright, I've been away for awhile, but I have a little time for some discussion of this awesome deck.


Trinisphere over Sphere of Resistance was a conscious choice on my part for the following reason: Trinisphere doesn't mess around with my cards' costs. Not only is it less symmetrical, but that 4th mana for an intuition or a crucible is a much bigger deal than you'd think against lots of decks.

You're missing the point with Horn of Greed. Using Horizon Canopy and Cycle Lands, while really good, consumes resources every time you use them. Horn of greed consumes some resources, but quickly replaces itself. YOu never have to invest in it again as long as you can keep it on the table. If you don't like horn of greed, I'd suggest Thirst for Knowledge or something similar, but personally, I'd keep it as at least a 1 of, because it ends so many games as soon as it resolves.

Gods' Eye is an amazing sideboard card as far as I'm concerned. It's slow, but it has unbelievable inevitability. I don't think it merits maindeck inclusion, but definitely at least a singleton in the sideboard.

I'm liking the red splash less and less, regardless of how good Barbarian Ring is. Gamble is pretty good, but honestly, I prefer Gifts Ungiven (which is pretty good in this deck btw). I've said it before, and I'll say it again, resolving one Gifts Ungiven or Intuition is good, and gets your engine running. Resolving a second ends the game. I hear that tutoring for any 3 or 4 cards in your deck for that much mana is pretty good.

With all the cards you draw, Constant Mists shows up when you need it. If you're consciously trying to get it, you'll usually find it in time. Your lock pieces slow the opponent down long enough that you can dig for it or find a few relevant pieces of removal before the opponent's wasteland becomes relevant. Though constant mists can be countered, you don't use it in matchups where your opponent has counters. That's what the uncounterable Glacial Chasm is for. You use Constant Mists as a wasteland-proof version of Glacial Chasm. There aren't too many decks that run both Wasteland and counterspells.

Hopefully I've provided some adequate reasoning for my card selections, and some food for thought and discussion.

technogeek5000
09-14-2007, 06:08 PM
I like the idea of land based prison. I threw this deck together when i saw Di top 8 at Eli's tournament. I replaced a few cards so the deck has more of a control aspect. Also a singleton vesuva has ben broken for me.

MANANA(33):
1 Maze of Ith
1 Tabernacle
1 Glacial chasm
1 riftstone portal
1 Nomad stadium
1 cephalid colliseum
3 wasteland
1 Rishadn port
1 vesuva
1 mishra's factory
4 Savannah
3 tropical island
4 Windswept heath
2 nantuko monastery
4 Ancient tomb
4 mox diamond

Utility:
4 exploration
3 crucible
1 LFTL
3 crop rotation
3 Intuition

Control:
2 Smokestack
3 trinisphere
3 Humility
3 engineered explosives
3 swords

Di
09-14-2007, 06:52 PM
Wow lots of replies here. I'll try to get to everything even if anyone else responded to it.

Also for the record, my list that I ran at Eli's was near-perfect. I was very impressed with how strong the deck was and would've won the event had I not played like a retard in the top4. I'll post what was good/bad on the list as well as my current one at the bottom of my post.


What are the MUs of eternal garden in the new metagame ?

About the list you proposed 94teen :
- I don't get the utility of main deck trinisphere. What spells are you afraid of ?
- what is the need of constant mist (in 1 of moreover) when you play glacial chiasm ? The Glacial Chiasm lock is gg against most of the metagame. You play 4*ancient tomb in order to play it first turn or you really think ancient tomb is a 4-of ?
- why god's eye ? Just for Smokestack ? You usually don't need that...
- why horn of greed ? You usually don't need that to make card advantage. You'd better play another horizon canopy and a cycling land (thicket or steppe) instead of horn*2.
- do you really need gamble ? crop*4 + intuition*4 looks enough. If I was including a red tutor I would certainly take wish.
- I like to play engineered explosives and powder keg, because I can beak powder keg @ 1 without destroying my explorations.
- why play 2 moutain lands ? I'm not even sure you would play a single one if you were not playing gamble.
- I like to play jotun grunt*3 or 4, because it deals with opponent graveyard and recycles cards you cannot get back (non-land and non artifact cards). It also prevents me from decking myself.
- I like to play 1*sensei's divining top because it gives me information about the cards I am going to dredge. Very often I intuition for LftL + ruins + top. Moreover top is never a dead card.
- I like to play 2*Maze of Ith, don't you miss it sometimes ?
- I play also Ghost quarter. I'm not sure I'll keep it though.

Edit : and I forgot but I think that your SB is awful. Rule of Law, for instance is so bad against combo... You cannot rely on a first turn 3 mana spell. You'd better play sphere of resistance.

Matchups are currently the main reason to play this deck. It's really unfair how stupid this is:

Threshold: Any flavor, whether it be UG, UGW, UGR, whatever. You have a very solid matchup. UG is a bit harder due to Wasteland and Stifle, but still a breeze. You have more bombs than they have counters, and play retarded control against them. You have Chasm-lock, Trinisphere, Humility, recurring Engineered Explosives, Smokestack, etc. Actually, the entire deck is good here. Maze of Ith > Tarmogoyf. Plain and simple. Post-board, Chalice of the Void brings it over the top.

Cephalid Breakfast: Pretty much same as Threshold, but a little harder because they can randomly win. Still, you have insane outs against them. If they don't run Abeyance, Crop Rotation -> Maze of Ith is game. They also scoop to Chasm-lock, EE is retardedly good, and so is Trinisphere. Wasteland recursion against a deck without basics is retarded too. Soo easy post-board as well. Needle, Meddling Mage, Chalice and recurring Tormod's Crypt make me a happy panda.

Fish: A Threshold deck without Tarmogoyf? Sign me up! It's easy enough with the damn thing, it's a bye without.

Landstill: Deck's favorite matchup. You are the better control deck because you don't have near as many dead cards, and have too many bombs for them to deal with. Pernicious Deed builds can be annoying at times, but Academy Ruins is retarded. They can't kill you nearly fast enough for you to not regain board position. Nightmare summed this up in his UGW Landstill article rather well, something the likes of, "Landstill's auto-lose."

Belcher: Easiest of the combo decks. If they Charbelcher you game 1, you probably lose. Otherwise, you probably win. You have Explosives and Crop Rotation -> Tabernacle for Empty the Warrens, and Trinisphere forces them to scoop. Post-board, Chalice, Meddling Mage, and Needle make this much better, but you still have the random lose to Charbelcher factor.

Goblins: This matchup is slightly favorable to slightly unfavorable depending on the build. Wasteland is annoying on Chasm, but otherwise you can easily deal with what they have. Humility is the tits, and Tabernacle is incredibly strong too. If you're able to stick a Crucible, the game isn't that hard.

Any other aggro deck: Breeze, for the most part. Black-based aggro can be troublesome if they can slow you down and throw a fatty on the table and keep you off 3 mana. Otherwise that's about it. White decks are a complete joke, and most of the Tarmogoyf builds are laughable because Tabernacle > their deck.

Ichorid: I don't have much testing with it, so I can't gauge how the matchup is. They occasionally have the nuts, but otherwise they probably lose. Explosives is retarded here, and they scoop to Chasm-lock. Trinisphere is also pretty sweet too if you manage it. Post-board they bring Leyline if it isn't maindeck which makes things tricky, but if you can get around that the recurring Tormod's Crypt makes life easy.

TES: Bad. They have Orim's Chant to stall you into not playing Trinisphere which is highly annoying, and kill with Tendrils. Post-board you bring in a lot, which brings it around 45-55% their favor, but it's still rough.

Iggy: They don't combo until like turn 3 on the norm, giving you all the time in the world to get Trinisphere. I slaughtered Iggy Pop in the top8 of Eli's DLD both games. He really didn't have much of a chance. Post-board it's just dumb. Their 2-3 bounce spells have a hard time against all the crap you bring in.

Enchantress: Worst matchup ever. They outpermanent you like 60-1, so those Smokestacks don't get you very far. Replenish is teh gayz.

Are there other relevant matchups I didn't cover?

1. Trinisphere is their for game1 against combo. Also happens to be absolutely retarded against 97% of the format. I tested Sphere of Resistance in this slot for a long time but eventually hated it because it made all my 3cc spells cost 4c, which is a pain in the ass. The fact that Trinisphere is almost completely one-sided makes it superior in this deck.
2. Constant Mists allows you to not entirely rely on Chasm. Wasteland ruins that plan sometimes.
3. I cut God's Eye from my list. You can see that below, with comments.
4. Stax decks suck because they have no concept of card advantage. No, Sylvan Library is not card advantage. In a deck playing lands every turn, using Horn of Greed makes it retarded to keep your hand full against decks that need it. It's much easier to draw into three new threats every turn rather than rely on a single one on the board.
5. Red isn't necessary in the deck. Going to 4c isn't worth the manabase strain, and it isn't nearly as good as white. White is retarded.
6. Powder Keg takes an entire turn to kill and Aether Vial, and two to kill a Tarmogoyf. That is too slow. Losing Explorations is much better than losing the game.
7. Running creatures is a poor strategy in a deck running Humility. The sole exception is Meddling Mage, as an answer to Tendrils of Agony and combo. I've contemplated Tarmogoyf, but opt not to run him as my matchups against decks I'd side it in against are already good enough. Also, you can prevent decking yourself by using Academy Ruins.
8. Sensei's Divining Top is a fine suggestion. I'll try it out.
9. A 2nd Maze of Ith is another land that doesn't tap for mana. There are occasional issues with this. Crop Rotation finds it just fine anyway.
10. I presume decks to be running more and more basics now due to how retarded Wasteland is currently, so Ghost Quarter is a bad call.


It's a hard lock as 1-of that is very narrow, that can be countered and lost forever, and that you can't even tutor.

Constant Mists is an iffy slot. I run it as a personal backup, but there are various replacements for it. As a matter of fact, I did replace it in my current list, which will be mentioned below.


Very narrow once more. and I don't see why drawing from the 3rd turn will give you the advantage against combo.

Horn of Greed narrow? In a land-based deck? I'm not following you. I'll agree I don't understand the combo advantage as you generally die by then, but it's card advantage engine is insane. For what it's worth though, this deck almost always has 3 mana by the second turn between Mox, Ancient Tomb, Exploration, and Crop Rotation.


Against Gobs, wasteland is you main problem, but they can't recur them contrarily to you and tabernacle in play just wins the game. Post board, Chalice@2 + tinkerers can help them to struggle against the tabernacle recursion. As we can also recur the artifacts, it's going to be really really difficult for them...



Goblins, admittedly one of the harder matchups, is fortunately on a serious decline in the metagame.


Another concern about the deck is the SB. I find the ones here very poor, but I cannot imagin one better. I would surely play defense grid as 4-of. I would also complete my set of needles, and I would try to find a good response to ichorid. The new Teeg would be good against combo and in this case the rest of my SB would be kegs.

My sideboard for Eli's DLD was as follows:

4 Chalice of the Void
3 Meddling Mage
2 Krosan Grip
3 Tormod's Crypt
2 Pithing Needle
1 Constant Mists

Why exactly is this poor? It deals with basically anything you can expect to see, and worked wonderfully for me. Also, Teeg is a HORRIBLE choice for this deck's sideboard. It stops you from playing Explosives, Smokestack, Chalice of the Void, and Humility. The cards you are worried about are stopped just fine by Meddling Mage without the possibility of screwing you over in the process.


Now that all of that is out of the way, here is my current list:

4 Exploration
3 Crucible of Worlds

3 Crop Rotation
3 Intuition
2 Horn of Greed
1 Life from the Loam

4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Trinisphere
3 Engineered Explosives
2 Humility
2 Smokestack
1 Meekstone

4 Mox Diamond
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Windswept Heath
3 Tropical Island
2 Savannah
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Wasteland
1 Glacial Chasm
1 Tabernacle
1 Academy Ruins
1 Maze of Ith
1 Horizon Canopy
1 Cephalid Coliseum
1 Nomad Stadium
1 Mishra's Factory
2 Nantuko Monastery

Sideboard:
4 Chalice of the Void
3 Meddling Mage
2 Krosan Grip
2 Pithing Needle
3 Tormod's Crypt
1 Meekstone

The only changes from this list and my top4 list are:

-1 God's Eye
-2 Constant Mists (1 sb)

+1 Mishra's Factory
+1 Meekstone (1sb)

God's Eye never really did anything for me but I saw it a lot. During those times I could've been attacking/blocking. I really overestimated the card. Factory also eases the fact that I need threshold and GW open for Monastery.

Meekstone is absolutely retarded in the format right now. It keeps Nimble Mongoose and Tarmogoyf locked down. Goblins is on a decline to the point that Constant Mists isn't necessary. This thing can get Intuitioned for and recurred with Academy Ruins, which is amazing. I'm not sure if it'll be staying for good, but right now with all the Tarmogoyfs running around, I'm really liking the slot. Ensnaring Bridge is another choice, but that has the possibility of being completely negated if you're working with Life from the Loam or Horn of Greed. Still, it warrants testing.

94teen
09-16-2007, 12:42 PM
I have to say Di, that's an amazing build as far as I'm concerned. It's not necessarily my style of play, but that looks like a great deck.

Meekstone is an amazing find on your part. That's absolutely retarded against most of the decks in the format, and I never would have found it on my own.

I've been advocating Mishra's Factory over the second monastery for awhile now, and I'm glad you've seen the light :tongue: . IYou're still playing the second monastery, but you've dropped the Gods' Eye, which I agree with also. Gods' Eye is a really cool idea, but it's terrible in practice, kinda like Zuran Orb, which completely pales in comparison to nomad stadium. The only upside to orb is that it "combos" with glacial chasm and other lands, so you can gain more life at instant speed (not that it typically matters).

I'd probably run moat over Humility (at least one of them), but that's mostly because I just got myself a moat, and I really want to play it a couple times.

The only thing that I find myself questioning is that you aren't using playsets of intuition and/or crop rotation. My builds usually started with 4 intuition and 2 gifts ungiven as backup. Maybe that's just the way I like to play, but I found that resolving the second copy of either of those just ended the game. I'm not sure how I'd try to make that work though, because this build is really, really solid. Maybe lose the Humilities or one or two STPs to add the extra tutoring, since that would let you set up recurring engineered explosives sooner, but I really wouldn't want to do that...

So basically, my post in short:
1) I really, really like this iteration of the deck
2) Meekstone is amazing!
3) Do you have enough intuitions?/Is Gifts Ungiven worth testing?

Xero
09-16-2007, 03:08 PM
If you ran Moat over Humility, how would you win? Your man-lands would be incapable of attacking.

94teen
09-16-2007, 03:16 PM
If you ran Moat over Humility, how would you win? Your man-lands would be incapable of attacking.

Cephalid Coliseum ftw or Engineered Explosives after I've established a lock. You have all the time in the world to win with this deck. This is the most inevitable deck I've had the pleasure of playing. If the game goes long, you win. That's all there is to it.

ClearSkies
09-20-2007, 11:51 PM
The few times I tested this deck (using Di's list, except with Constant Mist instead of Meekstone) I had lots of problems of getting Threshold. How do you guys get Threshold quickly?

Also, have you guys tested Armageddon before?

Di
09-21-2007, 02:57 AM
Cephalid Coliseum ftw or Engineered Explosives after I've established a lock. You have all the time in the world to win with this deck. This is the most inevitable deck I've had the pleasure of playing. If the game goes long, you win. That's all there is to it.

That is a horrible strategy to try to win the game. Coliseum, although a viable win condition, offers the opponent a better chance at finding answers, and using Explosives to kill your own damn permanent just so you can win is a joke. I fail to see why Moat would be used over Humility regardless, as it isn't nearly as good. Flyers still attack you, creatures still have abilities, you can't even attack....


The few times I tested this deck (using Di's list, except with Constant Mist instead of Meekstone) I had lots of problems of getting Threshold. How do you guys get Threshold quickly?

My current list is slightly altered from the last one posted. It actually runs both Meekstone and Constant Mists.

I've also at times had trouble getting to threshold. It can be a pain because it heavily relies on cards like Life from the Loam, Crop Rotation, and Intuition to get there, and should you fail to draw them you could potentially be waiting a little while depending on the situation. However, it technically isn't a huge deal, because you don't really need to use threshold cards until the end of the middle/late game, where by then you most likely would have it.


Also, have you guys tested Armageddon before?

I had Devastating Dreams as a Burning Wish target a while ago, but that was it. Given the high amount of Aether Vials and Threshold decks currently, Armageddon is a bad choice as they can recover quickly. I have been, however, been interested in cards like Choke, which seem to be picking up some strength at the moment.

Maveric78f
09-21-2007, 04:55 AM
Di >>

- Could you describe your TarmHold match-up in detail ? If possible can you explain the threats of the different splashes (Ug, Ugr, Ugw, Ugb).

- What is your gameplan against gob ?

ClearSkies
09-21-2007, 02:07 PM
I had Devastating Dreams as a Burning Wish target a while ago, but that was it. Given the high amount of Aether Vials and Threshold decks currently, Armageddon is a bad choice as they can recover quickly. I have been, however, been interested in cards like Choke, which seem to be picking up some strength at the moment.

Won't engineered explosives usually a good answer to Aether Vials? Last time I saw your list, you were running 3 of them. What about versus non-threshold type decks? Won't Burning Wish + Devastating Dreams be slower?

I know it depends on situation to situation, but what are your usual intuition targets? Besides the tutor for 3 copies of one card, and Crucible/Life from the Loam/Academy Ruin targets, I can't really think of any other good targets.

94teen
09-21-2007, 02:37 PM
That is a horrible strategy to try to win the game. Coliseum, although a viable win condition, offers the opponent a better chance at finding answers, and using Explosives to kill your own damn permanent just so you can win is a joke. I fail to see why Moat would be used over Humility regardless, as it isn't nearly as good. Flyers still attack you, creatures still have abilities, you can't even attack....


I realize. However, I'm not going to have the opportunity to play in a competitve environment for awhile now that I'm back at school, and I want an excuse to play the moat I just came into posession for.

You are completely correct, and I would never condone trying to play moat competitively in this deck. It just doesn't work out as well.

Regardless, there are some metagames where moat is better than humility (in my mind at least). How many threatening fliers do you really see in most legacy decks? Aside from Fairy and Angel stompy, there aren't too many flying creatures I've seen in my metagames, and so moat would shut down creature combat so I can build up board advantage and lock people down.

It's not a perfect plan, or an aggressive plan, but against some decks and metagames, it's a safer plan. You are correct, humility is clearly the better choice in most cases, but moat can be a strong metagame choice for some areas, and should not be so quickly dismissed.


Random question:

has anyone seen anything from Lorwyn which might deserve a spot in the deck?

Maveric78f
09-21-2007, 03:09 PM
has anyone seen anything from Lorwyn which might deserve a spot in the deck?

Nothing relevant really. But no hate too and no card implying graveyard hate. The main hate card is teeg and it's not really relevant. The other very good card according to me is Doran and it implies a weak manabase and it's not a real threat to us. I don't believe that gob will be strengthened neither, so it's ok according to me.

Di
09-21-2007, 06:23 PM
Won't engineered explosives usually a good answer to Aether Vials? Last time I saw your list, you were running 3 of them. What about versus non-threshold type decks? Won't Burning Wish + Devastating Dreams be slower?

Explosives is a fine answer to Aether Vial, and yes, I currently have three of them in the deck. However, that doesn't gurantee you'll have it when you want to cast something like Armageddon, and if you don't have it, Armageddon is basically a dead card at that point.

Burning Wish + DD isn't in this deck at all, so that's all a moot point. I merely mentioned it was in the deck at one point, but it wouldn't necessarily be slower given it can be used turn 2/3, not to mention Pyroclasm at the same time.

All of that argument is irrelevant to me though, as Smokestack is superior to both of them. It kills all permanents and establishes a lock, and is brought back with Academy Ruins.


I know it depends on situation to situation, but what are your usual intuition targets? Besides the tutor for 3 copies of one card, and Crucible/Life from the Loam/Academy Ruin targets, I can't really think of any other good targets.

Lands. I constantly, constantly tutor for three lands. Whatever they are depends on the situation, but almost 50% of the time you'll see Intuition grabbing something like Glacial Chasm, Tabernacle, and Riftstone Portal or something. Lands are your best resources in the deck, and when you have Crucible in play, Intuition essentially turns into an overpowered Demonic Tutor.


has anyone seen anything from Lorwyn which might deserve a spot in the deck?

Not yet. Gaddok Teeg is going to be very annoying to play against though. Shuts off Humility, Smokestack, Explosives, and Chalice of the Void.


Di >>

- Could you describe your TarmHold match-up in detail ? If possible can you explain the threats of the different splashes (Ug, Ugr, Ugw, Ugb).

- What is your gameplan against gob ?

All Threshold splashes you play against the same way, barring slight, slight variations (White has StP for instance, so playing around that etc) so you go with the same approach with all of them. In this matchup you are the control deck, and play it very similar to how Landstill would play against it, but you are much more aggressive. What makes this matchup great is that you have a higher number of threats than they have answers, and you have a higher number of answers than they have actual threats.

For the scenario, we'd be assuming we're using my current list:

4 Exploration
3 Crucible of Worlds

4 Intuition
3 Crop Rotation
1 Life from the Loam

4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Trinisphere
3 Engineered Explosives
2 Smokestack
2 Humility
1 Constant Mists
1 Meekstone

4 Mox Diamond
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Windswept Heath
3 Tropical Island
2 Savannah
1 Academy Ruins
1 Glacial Chasm
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Maze of Ith
1 Wasteland
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Nomad Stadium
1 Cephalid Coliseum
1 Horizon Canopy
2 Nantuko Monastery
1 Mishra's Factory

Sideboard:
4 Chalice of the Void
3 Meddling Mage
3 Tormod's Crypt
2 Pithing Needle
3 debatable slots


Playing against them is rather straight-forward, but can be tricky because of Daze. Although it's easy to play around Daze given the amount of mana production in the deck, often times you'll be trying to do lots of things turn 1-3 and can get caught in a situation that might be vulnerable to it. If this happens, then bait them out. Many times I will purposely play cards to bait out Daze in the early turns, and most of the time they will have to act. Because you have so many threats against them, it's difficult for them to let things slide not knowing what's in your hand. Trinisphere, Explosives, Exploration, Smokestack, etc can all be baited to Daze. Having those spells countered is a loss, but throwing them out there testes the strength of their hand, and also is a benefit if it resolves. The only spells I really play conservatively are Crucible, Intuition, Crop Rotation, and StP. I list StP in there because of the potential of Tarmogoyf to randomly kill you. But resolving Crucible and Intuition is vital, so you want to make sure they have an increased chance to resolve, giving their only out as Force of Will.

The only card that I see as an actual threat is Tarmogoyf. Nimble Mongoose could be added here as well I suppose, but a 3/3 is a slow clock giving you time to find answers. Fortunately, you have a plethora of answers. Maze of Ith, StP, Meekstone, and Explosives are all great against them, and adding Humility into the mix makes things better. Counterbalance could be considered a threat, but isn't much of an issue because they have almost no outs to 3cc and 4cc, which is where all of your real threats lie. Countering Exploration, StP, and Crop Rotation can be annoying though, but resolving the higher casting cost cards are what generally win the match.

Crop Rotation is a very important card for the matchup as well. You can live without it, but its tutoring power is a great advantage. In most cases, the first target is Academy Ruins, just so you can go unfair with Explosives and force through Crucible and Trinisphere. Resolving Crucible is huge, but they can easily win through it. Resolving Trinisphere makes life hell for them, considering you also have Wasteland, Smokestack, and Tabernacle to hold them off. The next target is probably Maze of Ith, Wasteland, or Glacial Chasm, depending on the situation. If you have Exploration and Crucible, you go find Glacial Chasm 100% of the time; it's a hardlock that they have no outs for. This doesn't apply to Wasteland builds though, so look more at Maze or Tabernacle. It's really dependant on the gamestate for something like this though.

Same with Intuition. Targets are often reliant on the situation, so it's difficult to decipher what to grab. The first one most likely goes for Academy Ruins/Life from the Loam/artifact. Whether that is Crucible, Trinisphere, Smokestack, Meekstone, or EE is up to you, depending on the game. Otherwise, it would either get 3-of of something or trip utility lands. The card is just so damn versatile in the deck it's amazing.

The only difference between the splashes though is Ug with mana disruption and UGW running StP. UG is probably the hardest of the decks because they can manage to get down early beats and back it up with mana disruption + counters. Essentially it requires a ridiculous start from them, but it happens. I list UGW only because it can remove your win conditions, which can be annoying. Playing around this is annoying as well, but not difficult. It simply requires you to save a Wasteland in play or Crop Rotation in hand.

Post-board against Threshold I bring in Chalice and something else. My board is sort of in the air right now, so I don't know everything atm, but Chalice is in there as a 4-of. I swap Explorations out for them, but depending on how many cards you board, Exploration might not be the choice. You basically play the same game as g1, but you now have additional tools for them. Chalice is a beating. However, you can also expect them to have a better game against you as well, with Ancient Grudge, Krosan Grip, Tormod's Crypt, etc. It's random what you'll run into, so sideboard in whatver you like, but just make sure the Chalices are boarded in.

General gameplan against Threshold in a nutshell:

- Force through bombs in the early game by either baiting them with other bombs or just playing them out.
- Disrupt their mana with Waste, Smokestack, and Tabernacle
- Play the control game with their measly threatbase and assume superior board position through recursion of EE or utility lands.
- Win.


The gameplan against Goblins is very simple, so I won't get into detail. You're playing the control deck. You resolve cards because they don't have counterspells. You resolve Humility and dance. Tabernacle is very fun too. Chasm is fun until it is Wasted, but you also have Constant Mists. Despite the goodies, this matchup is still roughly 55-45 to 50-50. They can randomly go broken on you and disrupt your manabase enough to cripple you. So um, play conservatively? Crop Rotation goes a long way in here to fight mana disruption and tutor.

94teen
09-21-2007, 07:28 PM
All Threshold splashes you play against the same way, barring slight, slight variations (White has StP for instance, so playing around that etc) so you go with the same approach with all of them. In this matchup you are the control deck, and play it very similar to how Landstill would play against it, but you are much more aggressive. What makes this matchup great is that you have a higher number of threats than they have answers, and you have a higher number of answers than they have actual threats.

For the scenario, we'd be assuming we're using my current list:

4 Exploration
3 Crucible of Worlds

4 Intuition
3 Crop Rotation
1 Life from the Loam

4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Trinisphere
3 Engineered Explosives
2 Smokestack
2 Humility
1 Constant Mists
1 Meekstone

4 Mox Diamond
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Windswept Heath
3 Tropical Island
2 Savannah
1 Academy Ruins
1 Glacial Chasm
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Maze of Ith
1 Wasteland
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Nomad Stadium
1 Cephalid Coliseum
1 Horizon Canopy
2 Nantuko Monastery
1 Mishra's Factory

Sideboard:
4 Chalice of the Void
3 Meddling Mage
3 Tormod's Crypt
2 Pithing Needle
3 debatable slots


Playing against them is rather straight-forward, but can be tricky because of Daze. Although it's easy to play around Daze given the amount of mana production in the deck, often times you'll be trying to do lots of things turn 1-3 and can get caught in a situation that might be vulnerable to it. If this happens, then bait them out. Many times I will purposely play cards to bait out Daze in the early turns, and most of the time they will have to act. Because you have so many threats against them, it's difficult for them to let things slide not knowing what's in your hand. Trinisphere, Explosives, Exploration, Smokestack, etc can all be baited to Daze. Having those spells countered is a loss, but throwing them out there testes the strength of their hand, and also is a benefit if it resolves. The only spells I really play conservatively are Crucible, Intuition, Crop Rotation, and StP. I list StP in there because of the potential of Tarmogoyf to randomly kill you. But resolving Crucible and Intuition is vital, so you want to make sure they have an increased chance to resolve, giving their only out as Force of Will.

The only card that I see as an actual threat is Tarmogoyf. Nimble Mongoose could be added here as well I suppose, but a 3/3 is a slow clock giving you time to find answers. Fortunately, you have a plethora of answers. Maze of Ith, StP, Meekstone, and Explosives are all great against them, and adding Humility into the mix makes things better. Counterbalance could be considered a threat, but isn't much of an issue because they have almost no outs to 3cc and 4cc, which is where all of your real threats lie. Countering Exploration, StP, and Crop Rotation can be annoying though, but resolving the higher casting cost cards are what generally win the match.

Crop Rotation is a very important card for the matchup as well. You can live without it, but its tutoring power is a great advantage. In most cases, the first target is Academy Ruins, just so you can go unfair with Explosives and force through Crucible and Trinisphere. Resolving Crucible is huge, but they can easily win through it. Resolving Trinisphere makes life hell for them, considering you also have Wasteland, Smokestack, and Tabernacle to hold them off. The next target is probably Maze of Ith, Wasteland, or Glacial Chasm, depending on the situation. If you have Exploration and Crucible, you go find Glacial Chasm 100% of the time; it's a hardlock that they have no outs for. This doesn't apply to Wasteland builds though, so look more at Maze or Tabernacle. It's really dependant on the gamestate for something like this though.

Same with Intuition. Targets are often reliant on the situation, so it's difficult to decipher what to grab. The first one most likely goes for Academy Ruins/Life from the Loam/artifact. Whether that is Crucible, Trinisphere, Smokestack, Meekstone, or EE is up to you, depending on the game. Otherwise, it would either get 3-of of something or trip utility lands. The card is just so damn versatile in the deck it's amazing.

The only difference between the splashes though is Ug with mana disruption and UGW running StP. UG is probably the hardest of the decks because they can manage to get down early beats and back it up with mana disruption + counters. Essentially it requires a ridiculous start from them, but it happens. I list UGW only because it can remove your win conditions, which can be annoying. Playing around this is annoying as well, but not difficult. It simply requires you to save a Wasteland in play or Crop Rotation in hand.

Post-board against Threshold I bring in Chalice and something else. My board is sort of in the air right now, so I don't know everything atm, but Chalice is in there as a 4-of. I swap Explorations out for them, but depending on how many cards you board, Exploration might not be the choice. You basically play the same game as g1, but you now have additional tools for them. Chalice is a beating. However, you can also expect them to have a better game against you as well, with Ancient Grudge, Krosan Grip, Tormod's Crypt, etc. It's random what you'll run into, so sideboard in whatver you like, but just make sure the Chalices are boarded in.

General gameplan against Threshold in a nutshell:

- Force through bombs in the early game by either baiting them with other bombs or just playing them out.
- Disrupt their mana with Waste, Smokestack, and Tabernacle
- Play the control game with their measly threatbase and assume superior board position through recursion of EE or utility lands.
- Win.


The gameplan against Goblins is very simple, so I won't get into detail. You're playing the control deck. You resolve cards because they don't have counterspells. You resolve Humility and dance. Tabernacle is very fun too. Chasm is fun until it is Wasted, but you also have Constant Mists. Despite the goodies, this matchup is still roughly 55-45 to 50-50. They can randomly go broken on you and disrupt your manabase enough to cripple you. So um, play conservatively? Crop Rotation goes a long way in here to fight mana disruption and tutor.

This is really helpful, and I really appreciate the advice. I've never really been sure if I want to try to bait counters with Trinisphere on the first or second turn, and this is really helpful.

Quick question though:

Would you advise slowing your game down to play against daze and force them to use FoW, or playing into daze to disrupt their tempo the first turn or two? I'm assuming you play around daze unless you're trying to force down a bomb or some such, but I guess it could be played either way depending on your hand.

Di
09-21-2007, 07:30 PM
Would you advise slowing your game down to play against daze and force them to use FoW, or playing into daze to disrupt their tempo the first turn or two? I'm assuming you play around daze unless you're trying to force down a bomb or some such, but I guess it could be played either way depending on your hand.

Yeah, you answered your own question there.

APriestOfGix
09-21-2007, 07:43 PM
You also can't read for shit, because I didn't say I lose to Threshold. The UGr version only has a better chance of winning due to it's retarded amount of burn. This requires them to have 3-4 thresholded beats in and then have 3-4 burn spells right after. But, you have Glacial Chasm and Nomad's Stadium for that. Oops, they can't do anything for it. Plus, outside Mongoose their creatures are crap against this deck.

What about adding the White Oddesy crack land (Barb Ring, Ceph Colisieum, Nomad Statium?) for 5 life gain. It stop they burn, and with crucible/LftL you gain like 10 life a turn.

Di
09-21-2007, 07:58 PM
What about adding the White Oddesy crack land (Barb Ring, Ceph Colisieum, Nomad Statium?) for 5 life gain. It stop they burn, and with crucible/LftL you gain like 10 life a turn.

Are you referring to the Nomad Stadium, which is in the deck, or another land? Is there another land that gains life like that?


You also can't read for shit, because I didn't say I lose to Threshold. The UGr version only has a better chance of winning due to it's retarded amount of burn. This requires them to have 3-4 thresholded beats in and then have 3-4 burn spells right after. But, you have Glacial Chasm and Nomad's Stadium for that. Oops, they can't do anything for it. Plus, outside Mongoose their creatures are crap against this deck.

Also if you didn't notice, that post you linked to is from June 2006.

ClearSkies
09-21-2007, 10:09 PM
Just wondering, out of all the play testing/tournaments you did, have you ever faced someone using Back to Basics or Blood Moon?

Di
09-21-2007, 10:14 PM
Yes. It sucks. Hard. You do have outs against them though. Smokestack can clearly get rid of it, but that'd be one of the last permanents they'd sacrifice, and Engineered Explosives at 3 will as well. The only way to get that however is to manage a Riftstone Portal in the graveyard or two Mox Diamonds in play. Not hard by any means, but it makes it more difficult.

Post-board there is additional removal should that nastyness show up.

EDIT: Thank you for pointing that out, Nihil. I is retarded. Also mentioned double-Mox as a means of getting around it.

Nihil Credo
09-22-2007, 08:49 AM
With a Riftstone Portal in the graveyard, you don't need a Mox to blow up Blood Moon. The Moon gives you red mana, and Portal gives you both green and white.

APriestOfGix
09-22-2007, 03:12 PM
With a Riftstone Portal in the graveyard, you don't need a Mox to blow up Blood Moon. The Moon gives you red mana, and Portal gives you both green and white.

very true

Di
09-23-2007, 05:13 PM
Alright I'm currently in the process of making some new changes/additions to the deck.

First things first, Horn of Greed is out. Can be broken, yes, but in order to be broken you need to draw lands. I'd really prefer to have a draw engine that doesn't have other requirements. Plus, for a draw engine, 3 mana is pretty steep. I'd love to have it begin 1st/2nd turn instead, so I'm currently testing both Sylvan Library and Sensei's Divining Top in this slot, and am likely be end up running one of them.

Meekstone is also out of the deck. Insanely good in theory, but it's really a weak slot. It's useless against Goblins and other weenie decks, and it doesn't act as removal. Plus, it happens to be a completely dead draw after Humility, so I'm unsure as to what I'm going to do with this one.

I'm also most likely going to be adding another land in the deck. Lately for some reason I'm having issues hitting consistent early land drops, and it's getting ridiculous. As far as what it will be, I'm not sure. Most likely options are a 3rd Savannah, 5th fetchland, 2nd Wasteland, or Petrified Field.

94teen
09-23-2007, 08:31 PM
Alright I'm currently in the process of making some new changes/additions to the deck.

First things first, Horn of Greed is out. Can be broken, yes, but in order to be broken you need to draw lands. I'd really prefer to have a draw engine that doesn't have other requirements. Plus, for a draw engine, 3 mana is pretty steep. I'd love to have it begin 1st/2nd turn instead, so I'm currently testing both Sylvan Library and Sensei's Divining Top in this slot, and am likely be end up running one of them.

Meekstone is also out of the deck. Insanely good in theory, but it's really a weak slot. It's useless against Goblins and other weenie decks, and it doesn't act as removal. Plus, it happens to be a completely dead draw after Humility, so I'm unsure as to what I'm going to do with this one.

I'm also most likely going to be adding another land in the deck. Lately for some reason I'm having issues hitting consistent early land drops, and it's getting ridiculous. As far as what it will be, I'm not sure. Most likely options are a 3rd Savannah, 5th fetchland, 2nd Wasteland, or Petrified Field.

This seems to mirror the results I was getting. I attributed a lot of it to my lack of play skill. Top and Library both sound like good additions, along with (potentially) Mirri's Guile? Guile accomplishes essentially the same thing, for free, starting turn one, and though it doesn't give you the potential for drawing cards, instead giving you repeatable card selection.

I like the variance though. It gives you some resiliency to Chalice and pithing needle for whatever that's worth. I'll do some testing with both of those as well, and I'll let you know what I come up with.

I had the same issues with mana problems, which is kinda funny in a land deck. However, this deck is ridiculously mana hungry, and I thought about adding one or two more in, but that costs slots for other spells. I think now that you've set the deck up the way you have now though, it's much more doable. Have you had trouble with colorscrew or just mana screw? Because, while I"m not opposed to it, I don't like the idea of wasteland. You can tutor for it when necessary, and other than that it's just...not very good I guess. It's not a bad choice, but I think you can do better.

Petrified Field has done alright in my testing. It's great for intuition piles, but it makes LftL unnecessary in those piles, and lessens the reliance on loam quite a bit. However...that's also bad, because you don't go through your deck as quickly, and because it doesn't give you the same engine. I played with it for awhile, and I think that's why I've had so much trouble with the deck. Test with it, let me know what you think. It could be really good...occasionally. However, it costs a land drop, and doesn't really do a whole lot. You have all the recursion you could want in LftL and Crucible, and this only takes away from those engines.

Savannah is the best choice I think. Stifle's running rampant where I play, and so the fetch is a bad idea for me, but Savannah's definitely doable and preferable to a lot of other choices.

For meekstone:

what about Oblivion Stone or Nevinryal's Disk (spelling?) or some other recurable artifact removal? I know you have EE, but sometimes you just need to wrath the board. It sets you back a bit too, but you can recover much more quickly through your recursion. Maybe put the singleton Pithing Needle back? It's never a dead topdeck, and gives you a hard lock against goblins and other stuff, so it might be worth it.

EDIT:

Random though: Nostalgic Dreams? Maybe a singleton?

Maveric78f
09-24-2007, 05:21 AM
Engine of the deck : 12
4 Intuition
4 Crop Rotation
3 Crucible of Worlds
1 Life from the Loam

Non tutorable stuff : 6
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Jotun Grunt

Artifact Toolbox : 8
1 Powder Keg
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Horn of Greed
1 Engineered Explosives
2 Smokestack
1 Trinisphere
1 Pithing Needle

Fast mana : 8
4 Mox Diamond
4 Exploration

Lands : 27
1 Ancient Tomb
2 Windswept Heath
2 Flooded Strand
4 Tropical Island
1 Savannah
1 Academy Ruins
1 Glacial Chasm
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
2 Maze of Ith
2 Wasteland
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Nomad Stadium
1 Cephalid Coliseum
3 Horizon Canopy
1 Nantuko Monastery
1 Lonely Sandbar

Sideboard : 15
1 Tormod's Crypt
2 Counterbalance
2 Defense Grid
1 Humility
1 Jotun Grunt
3 Enlightened Tutor
3 Krosan Grip
1 Zuran Orb
1 Seal of primordium

Sensei is absolutely necessary in this deck, it allows you to scry before to choose to dredge with LftL, it also enables you to almost demonic tutor once you have crucible in play and fetches in graveyard.

Powder Keg is great because it leaves your explorations in play. As you should know exploration is the card-advantage card that is the most difficult to find. I call it card advantage because without it crucible and LftL are not really providing card-advantage. Enchantments are rarely a problem, except Leyline and Planar Void.

Jotun Grunt serves several purposes : makes an very good early blocker for 2 turns against aggro. It gives you time to find engine pieces. It deals with opponent's graveyard : ichorid, bridge, threshold creatures, survival advantage, ... In late game, it also gives you back essential cards like STP, exploration that would have been used, destroyed, discarded, counterspelled or even intuitionned. And in very late game, it ensures you not to deck yourself. However, I started with 4*grunt and have been disappointed by my ability to draw 2 very quickly. I removed 2 of them from the MD in order to include 1 additional stax and 1 trinisphere and it looked better.

I play 2 Maze MD because it was sometimes, when my opponent is playing land disruption, difficult to deal efficiently with their creatures in early game. In particular against goblins, their main threat is wasteland. The good thing is that they can't tutor for it.

Counterbalance is good agianst combo and threshold, and even better with sensei. It could even be given a try MD instead of jotun and maze is Goblins are continuing to disappear.

Defense Grid is against any kind of counterspells and also against burn because once glacial chasm recursion settled their only plan is to burn you when you recur it. An advice at this subject, is to wasteland (or ghost quarter) you chasm during your main phase and to play it back just after. Your opponent won't get the priority to burn you. The problem is that it requires you another land drop and that you need to pay the previous upkeep. Anyway burn is a very difficult MU because they often play price of progress MD.

Krosan grip against any graveyard hate : planar voir, leyline and tormod. It deals easily with deeds that are waiting the next turn to destroy your crucible. Krosan Grip against counterbalance too.

Enlightened tutor. Tutors a bit everything in your deck but it's very poor against counterspells, chalices and counterbalances. I enter them as soon as I see my opponent is not playing blue or chalice.

The rest of my SB are quite obvious tool cards to tutor.

94teen
09-24-2007, 08:55 AM
Engine of the deck : 12
4 Intuition
4 Crop Rotation
3 Crucible of Worlds
1 Life from the Loam

Non tutorable stuff : 6
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Jotun Grunt

Artifact Toolbox : 8
1 Powder Keg
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Horn of Greed
1 Engineered Explosives
2 Smokestack
1 Trinisphere
1 Pithing Needle

Fast mana : 8
4 Mox Diamond
4 Exploration

Lands : 27
1 Ancient Tomb
2 Windswept Heath
2 Flooded Strand
4 Tropical Island
1 Savannah
1 Academy Ruins
1 Glacial Chasm
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
2 Maze of Ith
2 Wasteland
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Nomad Stadium
1 Cephalid Coliseum
3 Horizon Canopy
1 Nantuko Monastery
1 Lonely Sandbar

Sideboard : 15
1 Tormod's Crypt
2 Counterbalance
2 Defense Grid
1 Humility
1 Jotun Grunt
3 Enlightened Tutor
3 Krosan Grip
1 Zuran Orb
1 Seal of primordium

Sensei is absolutely necessary in this deck, it allows you to scry before to choose to dredge with LftL, it also enables you to almost demonic tutor once you have crucible in play and fetches in graveyard.

Powder Keg is great because it leaves your explorations in play. As you should know exploration is the card-advantage card that is the most difficult to find. I call it card advantage because without it crucible and LftL are not really providing card-advantage. Enchantments are rarely a problem, except Leyline and Planar Void.

Jotun Grunt serves several purposes : makes an very good early blocker for 2 turns against aggro. It gives you time to find engine pieces. It deals with opponent's graveyard : ichorid, bridge, threshold creatures, survival advantage, ... In late game, it also gives you back essential cards like STP, exploration that would have been used, destroyed, discarded, counterspelled or even intuitionned. And in very late game, it ensures you not to deck yourself. However, I started with 4*grunt and have been disappointed by my ability to draw 2 very quickly. I removed 2 of them from the MD in order to include 1 additional stax and 1 trinisphere and it looked better.

I play 2 Maze MD because it was sometimes, when my opponent is playing land disruption, difficult to deal efficiently with their creatures in early game. In particular against goblins, their main threat is wasteland. The good thing is that they can't tutor for it.

Counterbalance is good agianst combo and threshold, and even better with sensei. It could even be given a try MD instead of jotun and maze is Goblins are continuing to disappear.

Defense Grid is against any kind of counterspells and also against burn because once glacial chasm recursion settled their only plan is to burn you when you recur it. An advice at this subject, is to wasteland (or ghost quarter) you chasm during your main phase and to play it back just after. Your opponent won't get the priority to burn you. The problem is that it requires you another land drop and that you need to pay the previous upkeep. Anyway burn is a very difficult MU because they often play price of progress MD.

Krosan grip against any graveyard hate : planar voir, leyline and tormod. It deals easily with deeds that are waiting the next turn to destroy your crucible. Krosan Grip against counterbalance too.

Enlightened tutor. Tutors a bit everything in your deck but it's very poor against counterspells, chalices and counterbalances. I enter them as soon as I see my opponent is not playing blue or chalice.

The rest of my SB are quite obvious tool cards to tutor.

A few comments, but that looks like a really solid build.

Ghost Quarter has been tested and neither Di or myself like it that much in the maindeck. If it's working for you, that's great, and I'd love to hear why, but it hasn't been doing enough for me to merit inclusion. Same goes for the second Wasteland, Maze of Ith, and Horizon Canopies. You can find any of those whenever you want if you need it, why play a second or third copy just to muck up your hands? If the extra copies are helping you, please share why so we can discuss it some.

Drop Horn of Greed. It was tested, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't good. Not good enough anyway.

Let me know how Powder Keg and Top have been doing for you. Powder Keg seems...slow, and Top seems mana intensive, but they both look like they'd be really good in the deck.

Definitely find more space for at least two more copies of Trinisphere. If you manage to just play that out on the first or second turn, you'd be amazed how many games you can just win before they even start.

How has grunt been working? It's a cool idea. I don't necessarily like it, because the goal of your deck is to build up your graveyard as a resource, and this sets that back a bit, but I'm willing to give it a shot I guess.

Maveric78f
09-24-2007, 09:45 AM
about :
- ghost quarter : never made its proofs, but it's theoretically good against tarmhold which play 1 or 2 basic lands, so that you don't have to follow a stax game plan. During my testing though, I admit that the decks I encountered were either playing a lot of basics, or were so much mana screwed that I just had to deal with their creatures. My testings are most of all against the randomness of MWS which allows a great diversity of builds but also a lot of dumb guys quitting instead of playing the second and the third game. It has also the ability to be played around needle on wasteland (some only-non basic decks think that pithing needle will save them against non-basic hate). I'm considering to play another wasteland (or maze) instead though.
- second wasteland : debatable too. It's a card I like to have in first hand as it is a very commonly played card and a first turn wasteland/go is not as bad as nomad stadium go. That is also why I play 4*tropical island : my opponents will thin I'm playing tarmhold. To come back about wasteland, I like to draw it because we have only 8 tutors in this deck, and sometimes, we don't find any in the first turns. In this cases you are more likely to find exploration and crucible or LftL and I don't want to miss a lock.
- second maze of ith : I needed it and I consider playing more, either MD or in SB. Maze + Maze + tabernacle is gg a lot of aggros.
- additionnal horizon canopies : it's a good land even regardless to the crucible combo. It provides green and white which is very important in early game (explo, crop rotation, STP) and it can be cycled when you are on a topdeck mode. Once more I consider the case when I don't find a tutor.

In conclusion, I would probably cut ghost quarter as stax does the same better. The second wasteland, I'm not sure of myself but I liked to be able to find it without any tutor. About maze and horizon canopy, I'm quite sure of myself. I already play 5/6 lands in which I can fetch and canopy is better than savannah when you play 26 lands and you might be mana full. And additionnal mazes are not redundant. At the contrary, it completely locks your opponent.


- why horn of greed ? You usually don't need that to make card advantage. You'd better play another horizon canopy and a cycling land (thicket or steppe) instead of horn*2.

Horn of Greed, I've been fighting against. But you convinced me in trying it. It randomly gave me games but I'm not sure that gift ungiven would not have done the same. The fact is that dredging horn of greed is far better than dredging gift ungiven.

About Powder Keg, it's awesome really. When I have it in hand I play it first turn and except if I see that my opponent is playing some landstill (ah ah ah) or combo I directly increment a counter, such that I don't have to wait in order to crack it for 1 or for 2.

About additionnal trinisphere, I'm not convinced at this stage because it's quite bad during the money time (between turn 3 and 5/6) when you are trying to take advantage of your card advantage and most of all not to die before being able to control the game.

As I said grunt can be really good, by preventing recursion from your opponent, removing threshold, by recurring your non-lands and non-artifact spells in graveyard. In early game it can block twice usually which is enough for you to take control of the game. It also prevented me from having to find a way to kill my opponent before being decked (I know academy ruins does it too). But sometimes it's just an unnecessary target ot creature removal of your opponent. As a global remark, I find that grunt is often underestimated on these forums because people consider that we are supposed to upkeep it as long as we can, but I will never cut my threshold with grunt for instance, except if I need it. I faced the same reactions when I told that I was playing 4*grunt and 4*tarmogoyf in the same deck. With grunt you choose what goes away, you are never forced to do anything.

Edit : against n00bs, this deck is awesome because you can make the game last as long as you want without showing that you control too much the game. It is typically a deck that has good preboard MUs because graveyard hate hurts us so bad... A really good player of this deck can just win the mathc by making 1-0 at each round.

94teen
09-24-2007, 02:17 PM
Alright, I can understand your reasoning for most of your cards. However, there are a few that still bother me:

2nd Maze of Ith - this deck is obscenely mana hungry. Lands that don't produce mana really clog up this engine. You have more than enough tutors to get Maze when you need it, and you can sideboard more copies for matchups where it's really good. I don't think it's good enough against the field to merit multiple slots in the main. Sure, Maze, Maze, Tabernacle is gg against creature based decks, but so is Glacial Chasm or Constant Mists.

Horn of Greed - After testing, it really is win more. It's really good when you get it to stick, because it runs off of your engine, but you don't have the time or resources to play it and recur it until you've already got control of the game, and at that point you might as well just win.

Jotun Grunt - Part of the strength of this deck is the lack of creatures. If your opponents have nothing to target with their spot removal, then a good portion of their deck becomes dead cards. Grunt is a big blocker and graveyard hate in one package, but I'd rather have beaters that add to my general plan (Monastery and Mishra's Factory), or graveyard hate that's more effective. Grunt takes too long to become effective at what he does, and you can recur all the important spells you play anyway, so it seems redundant. Sure you can use him as graveyard hate, but isn't Tormod's Crypt just better at that?

Lastly, Trinisphere is what gives you game against combo. You need it in order to compete with combo decks before sideboarding, otherwise you just can't keep up. You say it's not as strong in the midgame, but it's an assymetrical effect that compliments your denial strategy, and seriously hinders your opponent's ability to develop their board.

Dark Rituals aren't very good when they cost three mana. Neither are Lotus Petals or LEDs. Goblins and cantrips are horrible when they cost 3. Intuition stays the same. So does Crucible and Stax. THere is absolutely no reason NOT to play this in multiples in this deck. We play it for the same reason that Vintage stax played it in multiples of 4. Because it doesn't affect us very much. Turn 1 3Sphere is almost game over for a lot of decks. Even turns 2 and 3, it's a very relevant threat that either buys you time to set up your board control or baits a counterspell. It is amazing in the current environment, and there's no reason you shouldn't play at least 3 copies.

Di
09-24-2007, 03:36 PM
Sensei is absolutely necessary in this deck, it allows you to scry before to choose to dredge with LftL, it also enables you to almost demonic tutor once you have crucible in play and fetches in graveyard.

For something that seems so necessary, why is it only a 1-of? You aren't ever going to be wasting Intuition piles on it, and I'm sure drawing it randomly won't make up for anything. I'd either add more or drop it completely.


Powder Keg is great because it leaves your explorations in play. As you should know exploration is the card-advantage card that is the most difficult to find. I call it card advantage because without it crucible and LftL are not really providing card-advantage. Enchantments are rarely a problem, except Leyline and Planar Void.

Powder Keg is too damn slow though. If you lose your Explorations, it's not the end of the world. I don't understand this reasoning considering how fast this format is. If you play Powder Keg turn 2, you can't activate it until turn 3. You just gave Cephalid Breakfast a free turn with their Aether Vial to go ahead and kill you. Or, you can take two whole turns to wait to kill a Tarmogoyf. Seriously, this needs to be another Explosives. If it's that big a deal to keep Explorations, then run either Nostalgic Dreams or Crystal Chimes.


Jotun Grunt serves several purposes : makes an very good early blocker for 2 turns against aggro. It gives you time to find engine pieces. It deals with opponent's graveyard : ichorid, bridge, threshold creatures, survival advantage, ... In late game, it also gives you back essential cards like STP, exploration that would have been used, destroyed, discarded, counterspelled or even intuitionned. And in very late game, it ensures you not to deck yourself. However, I started with 4*grunt and have been disappointed by my ability to draw 2 very quickly. I removed 2 of them from the MD in order to include 1 additional stax and 1 trinisphere and it looked better.

Save yourself the trouble and switch them with Tarmogoyfs and run a Tormod's Crypt in the maindeck.

Speaking of Trinisphere, and every other 1-of artifact, why the bullet game? This deck isn't all about bullets with Intuition. It's a very slow engine that takes turns to get them into play. Also, how in the world are you beating combo? I see almost no reason they should ever lose to your list. A single Trinisphere in the maindeck? It'll take 3 turns to get that into play with an Intuition pile. You will die by then. And then no sideboard cards for it? Counterbalance is a serious joke here. The casting costs of the cards in here are way too inconsistent for it to be a serious threat, not to mention half the cards are lands. Instead of hoping to hit a 1cc spell on the top of your deck, you should be running Chalice of the Void which wrecks over half the format.


About additionnal trinisphere, I'm not convinced at this stage because it's quite bad during the money time (between turn 3 and 5/6) when you are trying to take advantage of your card advantage and most of all not to die before being able to control the game.

Quite bad? Bad? Trinisphere practically acts as a Rule of Law against almost every deck beyond turn 3-4, where you still play everything freely. Trinisphere itself controls the game because they can barely do anything, you can freely answer all the threats the opponent throws at you.

94teen pretty much answered everything else I'd say, so no need to echo his comments. But on another note, I am absolutely in love with Sylvan Library so far. Not mana intensive like Divining Top, and the additional draw it gives is great.

94teen
09-24-2007, 05:26 PM
94teen pretty much answered everything else I'd say, so no need to echo his comments. But on another note, I am absolutely in love with Sylvan Library so far. Not mana intensive like Divining Top, and the additional draw it gives is great.

So would you say Library is superior to Mirri's Guile? They give you essentially the same effect, and I think the choice comes down to metagame.

I realize that Sylvan Library gives you the option of keeping cards you drew, but this deck deals enough damage to itself with Ancient Tombs and the like so I don't think the ability to keep cards is going to make that much of a difference in the long run.

Guile competes with exploration at the 1 drop slot, and that means that it's vulnerable to chalice at 1 along with Exploration and Crop Rotation, but it's not vulnerable to pithing needle and comes down earlier. maybe worth a shot? I don't have Eternal Garden with me at school, so I can't do any testing with it at the moment, though I will be bringing it back up with me early October, so i'll be able to do some more serious testing then.

Di
09-24-2007, 05:33 PM
Sylvan Library draws you cards, and has incredibly synergy with Life from the Loam. The odds you'll be taking the extra cards all the time aren't that often due to Ancient Tomb, fetchlands, and Chasm, but given that the option is there, I feel it's better. I also don't like another 1cc spell to inferfere with post-board Chalice of the Void, which is why I'm not using Sensei's Divining Top.

94teen
09-24-2007, 06:04 PM
Sylvan Library draws you cards, and has incredibly synergy with Life from the Loam. The odds you'll be taking the extra cards all the time aren't that often due to Ancient Tomb, fetchlands, and Chasm, but given that the option is there, I feel it's better. I also don't like another 1cc spell to inferfere with post-board Chalice of the Void, which is why I'm not using Sensei's Divining Top.

THat's pretty much what I figured, but it seems like you have some testing to back it up, which makes it more conclusive in my opinion. It makes sense. People have more important things to Needle than Sylvan Library when they're playing against this deck.

Silverdragon
09-24-2007, 07:12 PM
Just fyi Sylvan Library has a triggered ability so needling it won't help.
Also if you only replace one draw with Dredge you still have to put back 2 cards drawn this turn when you activate the Library. So unless you pay 4 or 8 life you end up with only LftL drawn that turn regardless of activating Library.
Multiple Libraries are bad too as each of them triggers seperately meaning unless you pay life you are stuck seeing the same 2 cards again and again during your drawphase.

Now that I've said that I should add that I still think Library is the best option for this deck. Especially with all the shuffling effects it is phenomenal.

Aside from that what are your thoughts on Loaming Shaman? He's similar to J&#246;tun Grunt but he has an immediate effect instead of waiting for your upkeep. He's also in your main color. Drawbacks are that he's smaller, more expensive and only a one time effect.

94teen
09-24-2007, 07:23 PM
Just fyi Sylvan Library has a triggered ability so needling it won't help.
Also if you only replace one draw with Dredge you still have to put back 2 cards drawn this turn when you activate the Library. So unless you pay 4 or 8 life you end up with only LftL drawn that turn regardless of activating Library.
Multiple Libraries are bad too as each of them triggers seperately meaning unless you pay life you are stuck seeing the same 2 cards again and again during your drawphase.

Now that I've said that I should add that I still think Library is the best option for this deck. Especially with all the shuffling effects it is phenomenal.

Aside from that what are your thoughts on Loaming Shaman? He's similar to Jötun Grunt but he has an immediate effect instead of waiting for your upkeep. He's also in your main color. Drawbacks are that he's smaller, more expensive and only a one time effect.

Thanks for making that point. I hadn't checked the Oracle text of Library in a long time, so I was going off of the text on the card, which is clearly wrong.

Now that that's clear, I think that Library is going to be the best card for the deck a majority of the time. It's definitely superior to Top because the effect is repeatable and doesn't require any more investment on your part.

Zach Tartell
09-24-2007, 07:25 PM
Just fyi Sylvan Library has a triggered ability so needling it won't help.
Also if you only replace one draw with Dredge you still have to put back 2 cards drawn this turn when you activate the Library. So unless you pay 4 or 8 life you end up with only LftL drawn that turn regardless of activating Library.
Multiple Libraries are bad too as each of them triggers seperately meaning unless you pay life you are stuck seeing the same 2 cards again and again during your drawphase.

Now that I've said that I should add that I still think Library is the best option for this deck. Especially with all the shuffling effects it is phenomenal.

Aside from that what are your thoughts on Loaming Shaman? He's similar to Jötun Grunt but he has an immediate effect instead of waiting for your upkeep. He's also in your main color. Drawbacks are that he's smaller, more expensive and only a one time effect.


Just to go for the Tic-Tac-Toe on Library corrections, Sylvan Library only counts on cards you actually draw. If you dredge all three draws, then you don't have to put any back; dredge one and you have to replace 1 card or 4 life (because you've only drawn two, having forfieted the third to the dredge). Check the "Pithing and Words of x" thread in rules for more detailed and better phrased rulings.

Nihil Credo
09-24-2007, 08:53 PM
Just to go for the Tic-Tac-Toe on Library corrections, Sylvan Library only counts on cards you actually draw. If you dredge all three draws, then you don't have to put any back; dredge one and you have to replace 1 card or 4 life (because you've only drawn two, having forfieted the third to the dredge). Check the "Pithing and Words of x" thread in rules for more detailed and better phrased rulings.
Just to close this one:

At the beginning of your draw step, you may draw two cards. If you do, choose two cards in your hand drawn this turn. For each of those cards, pay 4 life or put the card on top of your library.

So, here is how you proceed:

Draw your card for the turn (#1).

Library's triggered ability resolves. If you choose to do nothing, fine. Otherwise, you get to draw two cards (#2 and #3). In the latter case, you have to choose "two cards in your hand drawn this turn".

Now, if you dredge-replaced at most one of your three draws, then you do have two cards-in-your-hand-drawn-this-turn (the ones from the draws you didn't replace). You choose those cards, and have to decide whether to put them back or pay 4-8 life.

If you dredge-replaced exactly two draws, then you have only one card-in-your-hand-drawn-this-turn. By the rules, you perform as much of the card's instruction as possible, i.e. you choose one card-in-your-hand-drawn-this-turn. Then "for each of those cards", i.e. for that one card, you have to decide whether to put it back or pay 4 life.

If you dredge-replaced all three draws, then you don't have any cards satisfying the requirement. Then, "for each of those cards", i.e. for zero cards, you have to do some stuff - so you do nothing.

Maveric78f
09-25-2007, 04:54 AM
Nihil >
The conclusion is that there is absolutely no synergy with a single dredger (or a single draw replacement effect), that it's completely owned by chains of mephistipheles, and that you can't raise it from the deck when it goes to graveyard through dredge or when you are forced to destroy it (EE on tarmogoyf as a common example). Well I definitely prefer sensei which can scry 5 times a turn if needed.

94teen >
The mana extensivity of the deck in order to demonstrate that maze is a bad card in multiple is a very unfair argument, as I play 4*crop rotation and 4*mox diamond, if I need mana and I want to pitch a non-producing land, I will with absolutely no problem. Moreover I play 2 additionnal lands (27 in my list against 25 in yours). Well, that is not a good argument. The problem with maze is not that I can't find it when I want, it's simply that I may want several of them into play.
I believe you about horn of greed, it might be overkill even if it's never a bad card as it behaves a bit like a cantrip : I play it, I play a land. It's also boosting the opponent, I know.
Jotun Grunt, well I think you're right, 1*tormod may be better.
I don't need trinisphere to win most of the combo MUs. Tabernacle (or EE or keg) deals with token and glacial chasm with belcher (crop rotation on it in resp to activation for the win). Then I have 4 turns to find a way to deal with it. Belcher, as usual is their best kill but they have absolutely no way to find it efficiently. Postboard, I have 3*enlightened tutor and 1*needle. I'm probably a bye for tendrils and brain freeze decks but I can't really tell as they don't exist anymore (and so you are even with trinisphere into play, I guess). I agree that a turn 1 trinisphere gives you the game. The problem is that it does not happen often even if you play 3 of them, that multiple trinisphere are bad, that it's completely useless in the money time (I repeat myself). Even Threshold will laugh if you play trinisphere on turn 3 or 4 as they already built their handand probably have 3 lands in play. The use of trinisphere for me is to lock combo players, once you have reactively dealt with their first strike and to lock decks with non-basic mana bases.

Di > I think that you are unproperly aggressive in your post
Sensei is a one-of because multiple are bad, because it's not a productive card (only card quality and I already play 8 MD tutors + 3 SB tutors), because when you dredge you are likely to find it and yes I may tutor it sometimes. I may add one more.
I don't get why powder keg would not be played on turn 1. I don't get neither how you do better with EE. I never played with this deck against cephallid breakfast but I think it's going to be difficult for them to face an instant speed maze.
I already answered about trinisphere. About counterbalance, don't you know that belcher plays 12 0CC cards and the best mana providers of all combo decks are 0CC ? So yes having 32 cards with 0CC is not really a problem for me with coutnerbalance even less when you know that I also play 14 1CC spells. Moreover I also play top...

94teen
09-25-2007, 11:42 AM
Nihil >
The conclusion is that there is absolutely no synergy with a single dredger (or a single draw replacement effect), that it's completely owned by chains of mephistipheles, and that you can't raise it from the deck when it goes to graveyard through dredge or when you are forced to destroy it (EE on tarmogoyf as a common example). Well I definitely prefer sensei which can scry 5 times a turn if needed.

94teen >
The mana extensivity of the deck in order to demonstrate that maze is a bad card in multiple is a very unfair argument, as I play 4*crop rotation and 4*mox diamond, if I need mana and I want to pitch a non-producing land, I will with absolutely no problem. Moreover I play 2 additionnal lands (27 in my list against 25 in yours). Well, that is not a good argument. The problem with maze is not that I can't find it when I want, it's simply that I may want several of them into play.
I believe you about horn of greed, it might be overkill even if it's never a bad card as it behaves a bit like a cantrip : I play it, I play a land. It's also boosting the opponent, I know.
Jotun Grunt, well I think you're right, 1*tormod may be better.
I don't need trinisphere to win most of the combo MUs. Tabernacle (or EE or keg) deals with token and glacial chasm with belcher (crop rotation on it in resp to activation for the win). Then I have 4 turns to find a way to deal with it. Belcher, as usual is their best kill but they have absolutely no way to find it efficiently. Postboard, I have 3*enlightened tutor and 1*needle. I'm probably a bye for tendrils and brain freeze decks but I can't really tell as they don't exist anymore (and so you are even with trinisphere into play, I guess). I agree that a turn 1 trinisphere gives you the game. The problem is that it does not happen often even if you play 3 of them, that multiple trinisphere are bad, that it's completely useless in the money time (I repeat myself). Even Threshold will laugh if you play trinisphere on turn 3 or 4 as they already built their handand probably have 3 lands in play. The use of trinisphere for me is to lock combo players, once you have reactively dealt with their first strike and to lock decks with non-basic mana bases.

Di > I think that you are unproperly aggressive in your post
Sensei is a one-of because multiple are bad, because it's not a productive card (only card quality and I already play 8 MD tutors + 3 SB tutors), because when you dredge you are likely to find it and yes I may tutor it sometimes. I may add one more.
I don't get why powder keg would not be played on turn 1. I don't get neither how you do better with EE. I never played with this deck against cephallid breakfast but I think it's going to be difficult for them to face an instant speed maze.
I already answered about trinisphere. About counterbalance, don't you know that belcher plays 12 0CC cards and the best mana providers of all combo decks are 0CC ? So yes having 32 cards with 0CC is not really a problem for me with coutnerbalance even less when you know that I also play 14 1CC spells. Moreover I also play top...

I don't see how you can win against combo the way your list is set up now. Trinisphere is amazing because a trinisphere is a one sided rule of law against half the format no matter when you play it. It gives you a seriously unfair advantage whenever it's in play, because your gameplain is almost unaffected, while it seriously stunts the development of the opponent. This deck is all about stunting the development of your opponent until you can lock them down. I'm never unhappy to see Trinisphere, even in multiples. THat lets you run the first into a FoW and drop the second just behind it. THis is a bomb that either wins you the game, or forces your opponent to waste resources to deal with it.

I think Powder keg is an interesting idea, but agree that it's too slow. EE is almost always going to be superior because it's faster. It may be more mana intensive, but it's faster.

The fact that you play more lands than I do doesn't matter when a lot of them don't tap for mana, or more importantly, don't tap for colored mana. It's not the amounf of lands that's important, it's the amount of mana producing lands, which is essentially the same in both of our lists (mine is incredibly outdated, so you shouldn't reference it at all in the future).

Horn of Greed is win-more. Regardless of whether or not it cantrips, thirst for knowledge or Gifts Ungiven is better. They tutor, they're instants, they're one sided, they aren't permaments.

Top requires too much of a mana investment, and dies to pithing needle. If you're going to play one, it's kinda pointless, as it won't show up enough to be useful.

Belcher is hard for this deck because they have two ways to kill you. Belcher or ETW, and each one requires it's own answer. 3 Sphere is amazing against them, because it slows them to a crawl while you drop bombs and destroy their board position even more.

There are so many decks that just lose to trinisphere backed by any kind of disruption and removal, that there's no excuse not to play it. This is a lock deck, 3Sphere is one of the best lock cards ever printed.

Counterbalance is a cute idea. But..Why would I play Counterbalance against combo if I can play Trinisphere and Chalice of the Void? Enlighteneed tutor is really, really bad in this deck, as it causes even more card disadvantage. You drop your hand quickly enough as it is, ever card in your hand is important, and ETutor is a waste of one, especially when intuition does the same job better.

I think you're build is interesting, and that some of the ideas have potential. However, I also think that it runs on some principles which we have determined not to be ideal.

If you have problems with the way a member posts, use the "Report Post" button to bring it to the staff's attention. Do not attempt to moderate them yourself. ~ Nightmare

Maveric78f
09-25-2007, 01:00 PM
Now about the deck.

Good choice. ~ Nightmare


I don't see how you can win against combo the way your list is set up now. Trinisphere is amazing because a trinisphere is a one sided rule of law against half the format no matter when you play it. It gives you a seriously unfair advantage whenever it's in play, because your gameplain is almost unaffected, while it seriously stunts the development of the opponent. This deck is all about stunting the development of your opponent until you can lock them down. I'm never unhappy to see Trinisphere, even in multiples. THat lets you run the first into a FoW and drop the second just behind it. THis is a bomb that either wins you the game, or forces your opponent to waste resources to deal with it.

Trinisphere is (very) good as long as your opponent has no advantage on the board. Once they have, which is almost always the case except on a first turn trinisphere, it's counterproductive. If combo was my only concern, I would play stax. By the way, I told you how I win against combo, and it works.


I think Powder keg is an interesting idea, but agree that it's too slow. EE is almost always going to be superior because it's faster. It may be more mana intensive, but it's faster.

As I told already, it's not that slow. Against combo you want it @0 so it's not slow, even much easier than EE under trinisphere. Aginst aggro, you want it @ 1 or 2 and as I told, the plan is to play it as soon as you have it in hand and to raise it @1. Then when your opponent is playing a threat you have the choice between crack it @1 now or @2 after your upkeep. Having both is a good argument to play around needle too.



The fact that you play more lands than I do doesn't matter when a lot of them don't tap for mana, or more importantly, don't tap for colored mana. It's not the amounf of lands that's important, it's the amount of mana producing lands, which is essentially the same in both of our lists (mine is incredibly outdated, so you shouldn't reference it at all in the future).

I was playing 1 more mana producing land and 1 more non mana producing land. And that's wrong to consider that a non mana producing land can't produce a mana, as we play 4*mox diamond and 4*crop rotation and 1*riftstone portal. These are 9 cards that can transform your non mana producing land in a mana producing land.


Horn of Greed is win-more. Regardless of whether or not it cantrips, thirst for knowledge or Gifts Ungiven is better. They tutor, they're instants, they're one sided, they aren't permaments.

I believe you on that. I just explained why it was not obvious to me.


Top requires too much of a mana investment, and dies to pithing needle. If you're going to play one, it's kinda pointless, as it won't show up enough to be useful.

Top never dies to needle, it cantrips in response : I tap 1 to activate and in resp I tap sensei to draw. Then we resolve. I draw, put sensei on the top and then look at my first 3 cards of library. I'll be able to shuffle then next turn if my opponent did not name sensei (which would be an error).
What is more striking to me is your argumentation about sylvan library. That is what I call complacency :
"People have more important things to Needle than Sylvan Library when they're playing against this deck."


Belcher is hard for this deck because they have two ways to kill you. Belcher or ETW, and each one requires it's own answer. 3 Sphere is amazing against them, because it slows them to a crawl while you drop bombs and destroy their board position even more.

Don't you play glacial chasm ??? Trinisphere can't be your only strategy ? You might say once more that enlightened tutor is bad for the deck because of the card disadvantage, but I play virtually 4*trinisphere, 5*needle and 5*counterbalance after SB, which is more answer than you can imagine with your deck.


There are so many decks that just lose to trinisphere backed by any kind of disruption and removal, that there's no excuse not to play it. This is a lock deck, 3Sphere is one of the best lock cards ever printed.

I agree that trinisphere is completely broken when you have the board advantage, but recognize that this deck can be annoyed by early played tarmogoyfs on mongooses, and your rule of law effect is then no longer relevant.


Counterbalance is a cute idea. But..Why would I play Counterbalance against combo if I can play Trinisphere and Chalice of the Void?

Let me think, maybe because chalice counters your spells too. Maybe because your opponent can't know what you have on top library and can't make a hand 0CC or 1CC free. It has also a very good synergy with enlightened tutor.


Enlighteneed tutor is really, really bad in this deck, as it causes even more card disadvantage. You drop your hand quickly enough as it is, ever card in your hand is important, and ETutor is a waste of one, especially when intuition does the same job better.

This deck is all about card advantage, Enlightened is never entered in addition to the other tutor spells, except against belcher. Actually even against belcher I SB out intuition (2 probably). And intuition does not do the same better because intuition is not effective turn 1 and does not provide you combo answers (which are singles in the deck) for turn 2.

As a conclusion, I'd say, that we are not really playing the same deck. According to me, you are too much inspired from Stax, and according to you, I may be too much inspired by the philosophy of landstill (not the cards).

Please do not let this thread devolve into a flame war. I'll be watching, and I know Di will, as well. ~ Nightmare

94teen
09-25-2007, 02:54 PM
I'd like to start by saying that I agree, we're approaching this deck differently. HOwever, I'd like to understand why you feel your approach is superior so that I can incorporate parts of it into my build. They point of this post isn't to say that I think you're wrong about these things, just to make clear how I look at them so that you can show me why they're better.


Trinisphere is (very) good as long as your opponent has no advantage on the board. Once they have, which is almost always the case except on a first turn trinisphere, it's counterproductive. If combo was my only concern, I would play stax. By the way, I told you how I win against combo, and it works.

It works when you draw those cards. However, the combo decks are fast enough that you need proactive solutions rather than reactive ones. This isn't to say that I don't think some kind of reactive mechanism won't work, I just don't think Counterbalance + Top is fast enough or relevant enough in other matchups. This isn't a deck that I feel can abuse this. I, personally, want redundant answers to certain matchups, and answers that are applicable as globally as possible.

2 Counterbalance
1 Top
3 Enlightened Tutor

doesn't seem fast enough to provide ample disruption. You won't find them or play them fast enough to make a difference most of them time, in my experience. If you're having a different experience, maybe we play the deck differently or you have a different metagame than I do. I believe that:

3/4 Trinisphere
3/4 Chalice of the Void

is generally faster and more globally useful than your set up. This could just be a personal preference, but I feel that in most scenarios, Chalice @ 0 will accomplish as much as Counterbalance + Top, but won't require all the maindeck and sideboard slots dedicated to Counterbalance, Top, and ETutor.



As I told already, it's not that slow. Against combo you want it @0 so it's not slow, even much easier than EE under trinisphere. Aginst aggro, you want it @ 1 or 2 and as I told, the plan is to play it as soon as you have it in hand and to raise it @1. Then when your opponent is playing a threat you have the choice between crack it @1 now or @2 after your upkeep. Having both is a good argument to play around needle too.

This makes more sense now that I think about it. I'll give it a shot. I think that EE is better most of the time, but this definitely might have it's merits.


I was playing 1 more mana producing land and 1 more non mana producing land. And that's wrong to consider that a non mana producing land can't produce a mana, as we play 4*mox diamond and 4*crop rotation and 1*riftstone portal. These are 9 cards that can transform your non mana producing land in a mana producing land.

I know that I've had trouble getting enough mana with the deck, and I know Di has expressed something to the same extent. I know that my metagame does not require 2 maze of ith, and I wouldn't want it in most matchups, and so it'd make more sense for me to add a mana producing land that doesn't rely on another card to produce mana. If it works for you, that's great. Personally, I don't like the second copy. Maybe your metagame or playstyle calls for it. This deck is so versatile that you can adapt it to your own play, and that's part of the reason I like it so much.




I believe you on that. I just explained why it was not obvious to me.

Glad we understand one another.



Top never dies to needle, it cantrips in response : I tap 1 to activate and in resp I tap sensei to draw. Then we resolve. I draw, put sensei on the top and then look at my first 3 cards of library. I'll be able to shuffle then next turn if my opponent did not name sensei (which would be an error).
What is more striking to me is your argumentation about sylvan library. That is what I call complacency :
"People have more important things to Needle than Sylvan Library when they're playing against this deck."

I misunderstood how Sylvan Library works. Now I feel like I have a better understanding, and I'm better able to discuss this point. I understand why you like the top. Initially I thought it'd be great in this deck too. However, the mana you spend on top is typically better spent casting something else. Granted, our lists are different, and apparently our styles as well, so this could explain it all away. I think that Sylvan Library is a better investment because you don't have to pay to activate it, and because it offers you the opportunity to draw multiple cards when necessary. Another card I've been considering is Mirri's Guile, which gives you a free Divining Top effect every turn.

Sensei's Divining Top does have the cantrip ability, but I feel it has more going against it than for it because it requires multiple mana investments to be any good.

Another thing against it (in my mind) is that it promots an artifact toolbox. The artifact toolbox in my lists was always slow and cumbersome, and by the time you got the artifact you tutored for into play, it was often too late to do anything about the problem cards. I feel that if a card advantage/selection engine should be run, it should be a 2 or 3 of rather than a singleton.

If it's good enough that you want to see it sometimes, you should want to see it more often.


Don't you play glacial chasm ??? Trinisphere can't be your only strategy ? You might say once more that enlightened tutor is bad for the deck because of the card disadvantage, but I play virtually 4*trinisphere, 5*needle and 5*counterbalance after SB, which is more answer than you can imagine with your deck.

Except that the answers come online at least one full turn later. I would be anxious whenever I played against combo, because by relying on Enlightened Tutor, you're making your answers a turn slower, which is often all combo needs to steal the game.

If this works for you, then it works for you, but I don't think I'd feel comfortable playing it myself.



I agree that trinisphere is completely broken when you have the board advantage, but recognize that this deck can be annoyed by early played tarmogoyfs on mongooses, and your rule of law effect is then no longer relevant.


We agree on this. However, I believe that trinisphere is relevant even when the opponent has a board advantage. This deck is all about board control, so you can just hold 3sphere in your hand, wrath the board with EE, Powder Keg, whatever, and then play trinisphere. Or you can use it to bait counterspells or artifact destruction. It's a powerful card that MUST be answered, and so I think it's good enough for 3 or 4 copies.

Like I"ve said previously though, it seems that there's a severe difference in our playstyles, which would account for the differences in our decks. Again, be careful with the artifact toolbox. I tried to make this deck do all kinds of cool things with toolboxes, and it just made it too cumbersome to actually accomplish anything.


Let me think, maybe because chalice counters your spells too. Maybe because your opponent can't know what you have on top library and can't make a hand 0CC or 1CC free. It has also a very good synergy with enlightened tutor.

Chalice is also faster, and doesn't rely on a two card engine. It's a playstyle preference, but I think that Counterbalance requires a 2 card combo, usually put together through enlightened tutor, so it'll take 3 or more turns to put the combo together, assuming you drew one combo piece AND an enlightened tutor in your opening hand, and so the speed provided by Chalice makes it a better choice.

Granted, Chalice counters your spells too. That's why I avoid chalice at one. Chalice @ 0 and Chalice @ 2 are good against a lot of decks, and don't mess with your gameplay very much, if at all.



This deck is all about card advantage, Enlightened is never entered in addition to the other tutor spells, except against belcher. Actually even against belcher I SB out intuition (2 probably). And intuition does not do the same better because intuition is not effective turn 1 and does not provide you combo answers (which are singles in the deck) for turn 2.


Enlightened Tutor seems much worse than intuition to me. Intuition gets your engine online, and gets three cards of your choice later in the game. It's great in multiples, and gets whatever you need when you limit the number of nonland singletons.

I feel that intuition fits the gameplan better regardless of whether you focus on board prescence, card advantage, or anything else. Granted, Etutor costs less, but it sets you back a turn when you could've used that turn to further your gameplan.


As a conclusion, I'd say, that we are not really playing the same deck. According to me, you are too much inspired from Stax, and according to you, I may be too much inspired by the philosophy of landstill (not the cards).

I agree-ish. I think that this deck is a hybrid of Stax and Landstill of sorts, and that it can play either role fairly well in any given matchup. I think that we are playing the same decks, but with some fundamental differences in the deckbuilding, namely:

Enlightened Tutor
Artifact Toolbox
Counterbalance

and that everything else can be attributed to playstyle, and is just getting lumped in with the other points where we don't see straight. Please let me know if you disagree with this, but I'd like to understand why you feel these choices (or whatever choices you feel are the fundamental differences between the lists) are superior.

I don't like these choices because they seem slow and cumbersome in this deck. They seem to put you back turns you can't afford to lose, and so I'd rather just go with a Stax-esque artifact based disruption suite because it seems faster and more of an answer to the metagame at large to me. I play this deck like a prison-control deck, where I think you play it as a pure control deck. There are good thing and bad things about both approaches, and I'd like to try to understand your approach a little more.

You convinced me to give Powder Keg another shot, and to try to find more space in my list for some more lands. So I'm hoping you can explain why you feel your choices are superior, because I think your ideas are interesting and take the deck in a bit of a different direction.

So...here's a list. I threw it together trying in a few minutes because I have to run to class, but I think this might be an improvement on my last list at least.

3 Intuition
4 Crop Rotation
3 Crucible
1 LftL
4 Exploration
4 Mox Diamond
3 Swords to Plowshares
3 Sylvan Library / Mirri's Guile / Sensei's Divining Top
3 Trinisphere
3 Engineered Explosives
1 Powder Keg
2 Smokestack

4 Ancient Tomb
2 Flooded Strand
2 Windswept Heath
4 Tropical Island
1 Savannah
1 Tundra
1 Academy Ruins
1 Glacial Chasm
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Maze of Ith
1 Wasteland
1 Nomad Stadium
1 Cephalid Coliseum
2 Nantuko Monastery
1 Horizon Canopy
1 Mishra's Factory

I'd like to find space for some more global removal, but I guess that's sideboard material. Sideboard might be something like:

4 Chalice
1 3Sphere
1 Intuition
1 Engineered Explosives
8 other stuff

Maveric78f
09-25-2007, 05:21 PM
Seems fine, we are not flaming each other anymore :-)

Things that might be necessary to make clear again :
- against belcher (if I'am talking about cards that are in SB, it's of course a strategy available only post-SB) :
xxxx strategy number 1 : wait for them to combo. If they play the belcher issue, crop rotation for glacial chasm (if I have another land in play of course). If they play it EtW, crop rotation for the tabernacle.
xxxx strategy number 2 : if they went EtW (which is the case around 75% of the time), I still have EE and keg techniques.
xxxx strategy number 3 : play a blind counterbalance which effects as a one-sided random chalice @ 0 or 1. With my instant shuffle effects (crop rotation, fetches, intuition), I can provoke the randomness several times in a turn. With enlightened tutor in hand I can even counter anything I want. A bit more randomly but it's still possible, I can activate academy ruins on a random artefact in my graveyard to counterbalance.
xxxx strategy number 4 : play a long term lock with trinisphere or countertop combo. It's the 4th strategy because it's the most mana costly and the most difficult to gather.

All these strategies guarantee that belcher combo is a bye (but it's more difficult for other kinds of combo).

Just to be clear about enlightened to, enlightened is really a SB card and you cannot say that the deck is built around it. Enlightened provides card disadvantage, that's true. But when you use it for humility, it may give you the game. The main concern is not to be counterspelled. Even if I enlighten for crucible, I know that I'll get back 1 or 2 lands from the grave. Enlighten is not MD because of the fear of blue decks that are very common nowadays.

One of the main difference in our builds that explain the big difference in our feelings about the deck is that you play 4*ancient tomb and that I play only 1 in order to accelerate the intuition or crucible sometimes.

Di
09-25-2007, 06:02 PM
3 Intuition
4 Crop Rotation


I would switch these around. Crop Rotation is broken, but is limited in tutoring. Intuition will find the entire deck and is essentially an engine by itself.


3 Swords to Plowshares


I greatly dislike this given how big of a presence Tarmogoyf is right now. He is public enemy #1 as far as creatures go, so I wouldn't ever go under 4. I also miss Humility in your list. I'd honestly cut Smokestack before Humility, or at least find room in the sideboard for it.



1 3Sphere
1 Intuition
1 Engineered Explosives
8 other stuff

These sideboard slots seem suspect. I can understand the 4th Trinisphere, but Intuition? Why would you sideboard this in instead of using it in the maindeck? Explosives is probably also unnecessary as well. I'd prefer a card that can kill Leyline of the Void or something. Plus, you really only need one, as Academy Ruins makes them infinite.

94teen
09-25-2007, 07:20 PM
kCrop Rotation is 4 because I expect more combo than anything else, and I need the utility of Turn 1 Crop Rotation to get Maze or Chasm. Intuition is there so I can board back to 4 intuition 3 rotation against decks where it doesn't matter. I figured it'd be worth testing this to see if it makes much of a difference. If it doesn't, then I'll probably go back to the orginial configuration.

I don't know what to drop for STP and/or humility. I personally don't like humility at all, and would rather just use EE to get rid of the problem permanents. I realize it doesn't always work like this, but that's what I prefer doing. I can't justify Humility to myself when I could be playing Wrath for the same cost.

The Engineered Explosive is sideboarded because, again, I'd rather wrath problems away than trying to make creatures less problematic. I'm not sure what else to use. I realize an answer to Leyline is really necessary...maybe Ray of Revelation or Reverent Silence.

I'm not really sure what else to put in the sideboard. Leyline hate seems necessary. Tormod's Crypt and Pithing Needle definitely deserve slots, and maybe Tarmogoyf or Vinelasher Kudzu. Any recommendations?


EDIT:

So...updates to the deck after some though, as well as some questions I'd like to pose to anyone who cares. Questions first:


1) Smokestack is good in this deck. Really good. But you don't always want to see it. With the amount of tutoring and dredging, would it be possible to drop that to one so you can find it when you want it, but don't see it otherwise? I've been liking 2 copies, but there just isn't enough space to fit enough hate if we don't start making some cuts.

2) Crucible. It's the engine of the deck, but I find that with Intuitions and 3 copies, it's a little redundant. Maybe this could drop to two? Again, i've been liking it at three, but I feel like we need a few extra slots.

3) Number of slots dedicated to card selection/advantage. 2 or 3 slots is plenty for something like Sylvan LIbrary. How many of do you guys think is enough?

4) Creature hate: 4 stp 3 Engineered Explosives is almost universally agreed on. How many slots should we deicate to this. How many should be wrath-esque and how many should be Humility effects?

5) How can we lessen reliance on Glacial Chasm? Pithing Needle, Constant Mists, and Humility seem to be the best choices.

and...decklist

4 Intuition
3 Crop Rotation
3 Crucible
1 LftL
4 Exploration
4 Mox Diamond
4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Sylvan Library
3 Trinisphere
3 Engineered Explosives
1 Smokestack
1 Humility

4 Ancient Tomb
2 Flooded Strand
2 Windswept Heath
3 Tropical Island
2 Savannah
1 Tundra
1 Academy Ruins
1 Glacial Chasm
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Maze of Ith
1 Wasteland
1 Nomad Stadium
1 Cephalid Coliseum
2 Nantuko Monastery
1 Horizon Canopy
1 Mishra's Factory

4 Chalice
1 Trinisphere
1 Humility
3 Tormod's Crypt
3 Pithing Needle
3 Krosan Grip?

What should the last sideboard slot be? I don't really like Grip there...but I'm not sure what else to put. Maybe Condemns? Second Maze/Wasteland?

Di
09-25-2007, 10:42 PM
Crop Rotation is 4 because I expect more combo than anything else, and I need the utility of Turn 1 Crop Rotation to get Maze or Chasm. Intuition is there so I can board back to 4 intuition 3 rotation against decks where it doesn't matter. I figured it'd be worth testing this to see if it makes much of a difference. If it doesn't, then I'll probably go back to the orginial configuration.

That seems like a suboptimal boarding plan if you're going to be switching it against over 1/3 of the metagame. At that point, you might as well just run the Crop Rotation in the board (but I still don't advise that). Crop Rotation may be decent against combo, but it only stops Empty the Warrens of Cephalid Breakfast. Intuition happens to tutor up Trinisphere, which is retarded right there. That doesn't take into account everything else it does, either.

The issue is, Crop Rotation isn't always good. It's not going to do much when you don't have anything to abuse it with, so I would imagine your deck has a higher chance of crapping on you when you need business spells with the 4 Rotation/3 Intuition split as opposed to vice versa.


I don't know what to drop for STP and/or humility. I personally don't like humility at all, and would rather just use EE to get rid of the problem permanents. I realize it doesn't always work like this, but that's what I prefer doing. I can't justify Humility to myself when I could be playing Wrath for the same cost.

Wrath of God does not single-handedly shut off Cephalid Breakfast, or deal with future Tarmogoyfs. A moot point really since it isn't a viable inclusion, but you made the comparison. I personally love Humility, especially right now, because this is leaning towards a more creature-oriented metagame. Storm combo is declining and Breakfast is getting bigger, and a majority of the matchups you face will most likely contain Tarmogoyf. However, despite my eternal love for Humility, I'm starting to view it better as a sideboard card rather than maindeck. It does have a few matchups where it's useless, so I think it's probably better to board it in rather than having dead cards.


The Engineered Explosive is sideboarded because, again, I'd rather wrath problems away than trying to make creatures less problematic. I'm not sure what else to use. I realize an answer to Leyline is really necessary...maybe Ray of Revelation or Reverent Silence.

I liked Ray, until I realized it's all but useless because it gets removed by Leyline anyway, so its flashback isn't going to happen. Reverent Silence is an option I toyed with as well, and is a fine replacement for Krosan Grip. It's your preference, really. I just like the option of hitting artifacts as well.


I'm not really sure what else to put in the sideboard. Leyline hate seems necessary. Tormod's Crypt and Pithing Needle definitely deserve slots, and maybe Tarmogoyf or Vinelasher Kudzu. Any recommendations?

Creatures are an option if there is a no-Humility route. Otherwise, no creatures, but this depends on what matchups you plan on bringing them in. For instance I brought in Meddling Mage against Breakfast, yet still had Humility in the deck. The way I see it, there are a few mandatory sideboard slots:

- Chalice of the Void
- Tormod's Crypt
- Pithing Needle
- Leyline removal
- Meddling Mage (debatable)


That would probably be, at max, 10-11 slots of the sideboard. This only allows you a few slots to tinker with. Meddling Mage is debatable because it really comes down as a meta choice than any other. Although I enjoy the additional hate, it's really there so I don't die to Tendrils, which the deck really has no answer to. But it's just so damn good against bad matchups, it's difficult for me to cut it. The other choices I am going through right now include Humility (if moved to board), Choke, and some additional removal. I'm really liking Choke as an option because there are an insane amount of islands floating around. After watching 43Land at Eli's DLD have success with the card, I've opted to give a shot.


1) Smokestack is good in this deck. Really good. But you don't always want to see it. With the amount of tutoring and dredging, would it be possible to drop that to one so you can find it when you want it, but don't see it otherwise? I've been liking 2 copies, but there just isn't enough space to fit enough hate if we don't start making some cuts.

2) Crucible. It's the engine of the deck, but I find that with Intuitions and 3 copies, it's a little redundant. Maybe this could drop to two? Again, i've been liking it at three, but I feel like we need a few extra slots.

3) Number of slots dedicated to card selection/advantage. 2 or 3 slots is plenty for something like Sylvan LIbrary. How many of do you guys think is enough?

4) Creature hate: 4 stp 3 Engineered Explosives is almost universally agreed on. How many slots should we deicate to this. How many should be wrath-esque and how many should be Humility effects?

5) How can we lessen reliance on Glacial Chasm? Pithing Needle, Constant Mists, and Humility seem to be the best choices.


1. Don't get me wrong I like the card. It's a win condition on its own and can steal games easily. But there are cards I want to fit in and this is most likely the weakest slot in the deck. I've debated going down to one, but at that point I'm just likely to cut it altogether as a 1-of lock piece really won't get the work done.

2. Again, I feel for you on extra slots, but given that the deck revolves around the card, I can't justify cutting any of them. Even with Academy Ruins and the engine and whatnot, it is vital to get Crucible to stick.

3. Right now I only have 3 Intuition and 2 Sylvan Library, but I'm still in the middle of maindeck tinkering, so I imagine these numbers are subject to change. I'm also second guessing myself on SDT as well. 1cc is an issue, but with the shuffle effects this deck has, you can use it more often. Plus, this deck has a number of extra mana available, so it won't tie that up. I'll be testing this over the next couple of days, but for now Library is pulling its weight.

4/5. I'm putting 4 + 5 together because they are very similar. 4 StP 3 EE is set in stone. That should never change. The rest is supposedly up to the metagame, but I disagree with the removal of certain cards. The deck needs an aggro plan outside of Glacial Chasm, and something like EE cannot stop that on its own. Well, it could, but it's slow as fuck. Giving it additional support like Humility or Constant Mists is great. Or, you could add a Pithing Needle maindeck to ensure Chasm will not be wasted, but then again, that's putting the weight solely on Chasm's shoulders, which I don't want to do.

@ decklist

It's solid. I like everything except for the singleton Smokestack and Humility. At that point, I'd just go one or the other, and move the others in the board. But, maybe you're right with the 1/1 split on Humility. Also, if you don't like Grip it can be replaced, but the deck needs a decent answer to Leyline. You can't win through it. Well, you could, but it's retardedly difficult.

94teen
09-26-2007, 12:19 AM
Alright, so...what I think I'm goinig to do for now is play this list:

4 Intuition
3 Crop Rotation
3 Crucible
1 LftL
4 Exploration
4 Mox Diamond
4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Sensei's Divining Top
3 Trinisphere
3 Engineered Explosives
2 Smokestack

4 Ancient Tomb
2 Flooded Strand
2 Windswept Heath
3 Tropical Island
2 Savannah
1 Tundra
1 Academy Ruins
1 Glacial Chasm
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Maze of Ith
1 Wasteland
1 Nomad Stadium
1 Cephalid Coliseum
2 Nantuko Monastery
1 Horizon Canopy
1 Mishra's Factory


sb
4 Chalice
1 Trinisphere
2 Humility
2 Tormod's Crypt
3 Pithing Needle
3 Krosan Grip

I'll test top. I think the deck might be able to use another one drop. Top is better with the shuffle effects, and gives you more card selection, which is really what the deck wants. It's also better with dredge.

I have a 2/2 split of humility and Stax in the main and side. I'll interchange them from time to time and see how they work out.

I think the differentiation between Stack and Humility is key to the future development of the deck. Smokestack promotes a lock deck, while humility makes this control. So far this has been a hybrid of the two, but maybe this shows that a decision on whether to play it as a lock or control deck needs to be a metagame choice?


EDIT:

I have to say:

I'm much happier with SDT than I thought I'd be, and three seems to be a good number. The fact that it's a one drop is really, really good. Smokestack is good. It's really good. But only in the early game. It's good when you want to pressure your opponent into an early lock. As the game goes on, it seems worse and worse, and I want to see it less and less. I think 2 or 3 smokestacks is a good number if you want to play it, but I'm starting to question the slots dedicated to smokestack.

I'm liking Maze more than I thought I would. I don't know if I'd want to run a second copy or not, but it's much better than I recall in the Tarmogoyf infested metagame.

Maveric78f
09-27-2007, 10:57 AM
I'm much happier with SDT than I thought I'd be, and three seems to be a good number. The fact that it's a one drop is really, really good. Smokestack is good. It's really good. But only in the early game. It's good when you want to pressure your opponent into an early lock. As the game goes on, it seems worse and worse, and I want to see it less and less. I think 2 or 3 smokestacks is a good number if you want to play it, but I'm starting to question the slots dedicated to smokestack.

I'm liking Maze more than I thought I would. I don't know if I'd want to run a second copy or not, but it's much better than I recall in the Tarmogoyf infested metagame.

I like to read that. :-)

On MWS I faced a lot of BGw control decks running a lot of basics (6/7) and deed. The match up is awful as you can't rely on your lands disruption to stop the inevitable deed. Against these decks stack is the best card and you almost always want it turn 4 or 5 in hand, but I'm not sure you need to play more than 1 (I play 2 these last days), because the only real threats against it are wretch and extirpate as you will always keep 1U+ruins open once you've found it in order to save it in resp to a tormod's crypt or grave hate.

Ps : when I see your list, I'm sure you'll love counterbalance in SB, it can randomly be played on your first turn and it stops extirpate and that is hot !

94teen
09-27-2007, 12:05 PM
I like to read that. :-)

On MWS I faced a lot of BGw control decks running a lot of basics (6/7) and deed. The match up is awful as you can't rely on your lands disruption to stop the inevitable deed. Against these decks stack is the best card and you almost always want it turn 4 or 5 in hand, but I'm not sure you need to play more than 1 (I play 2 these last days), because the only real threats against it are wretch and extirpate as you will always keep 1U+ruins open once you've found it in order to save it in resp to a tormod's crypt or grave hate.

Ps : when I see your list, I'm sure you'll love counterbalance in SB, it can randomly be played on your first turn and it stops extirpate and that is hot !

Actually, I've been playing with Smokestack more and more, and it's either really good or really bad. I've been trying to think of something to replace it, and Counterbalance is the best thing I can think of since I'm running SDTs. The problem with Counterbalance is that I wouldn't be running enough copies to make it relevant quickly enough.

I've also been considering going -1 Ancient Tomb + 1 City of Traitors. I've been taking way too much pain from my lands recently, and I think that this change would provide enough relief from that and extra mana in the mid to late game through Glacial Chasm shenanigans that it'd make up for the tempo loss you could potentially suffer.

I may try dropping to 2 tops, since they do show up on top of my library more often than I'd like. Maybe with the amount of shuffle effects it'll be easier to find a counterbalance. Then you can use Academy Ruins to implement the lock since you have an artifact at a lot of relevant costs. (you're only really missing 2cc, which could be Powder Keg or some such).

I have a small tournament coming up, so I"ll use the opportunity to test my current build, and then try to comment on what is and isn't pulling its weight.

Di
09-27-2007, 04:01 PM
After thorough testing, I'm back to where my list was after Eli's but - Horn of Greed + Intuition. So that would be a 3 Intuition, 2 Top, 2 Humility, and 2 Smokestack split. I like Divining Top a lot, but I'm also having issues with it. Without a shuffle effect, the card can be miserably weak, whereas Sylvan Library would at least draw you out of the situation. I'm still in the process of deciding which one to use as they both have benefits, but it's difficult to choose.


Ps : when I see your list, I'm sure you'll love counterbalance in SB, it can randomly be played on your first turn and it stops extirpate and that is hot !

Chalice of the Void also stops Extirpate, and that is already in the sideboard (or at least should be), so it's a moot point. The UU casting cost is also a bit of an issue considering how few blue sources are in the deck, but if it works for you then by all means use it. Chalice is another reason why I'm thinking about going back to Library.

Maveric78f
09-28-2007, 05:08 AM
After thorough testing, I'm back to where my list was after Eli's but - Horn of Greed + Intuition. So that would be a 3 Intuition, 2 Top, 2 Humility, and 2 Smokestack split. I like Divining Top a lot, but I'm also having issues with it. Without a shuffle effect, the card can be miserably weak, whereas Sylvan Library would at least draw you out of the situation. I'm still in the process of deciding which one to use as they both have benefits, but it's difficult to choose.

My list runs 12 shuffle effects (8 tutors + 4 fetches) and the fetches are reusable (even if you have nothing to search for anymore). Moreover the dredge of LftL will have the same effect as a shuffle (actually even a better effect, as it removes the bad topdecks from the deck) and countering LftL will never help.


Chalice of the Void also stops Extirpate, and that is already in the sideboard (or at least should be), so it's a moot point. The UU casting cost is also a bit of an issue considering how few blue sources are in the deck, but if it works for you then by all means use it. Chalice is another reason why I'm thinking about going back to Library.

CotV stops also STP, crop rotation, exploration. I know it's more easily playable on turn 1 then coutnerbalance, but if you do, you give up 1/4 of your deck. About the UU, maybe you should finally consider that U is more important than W. My list plays G as first colour, then U then W. Moreover, as I told before you don't have to care too much about first turns against combo as the reactive crop rotation tech is amazing, it's very often like a mind twist.

Di
09-28-2007, 08:54 AM
My list runs 12 shuffle effects (8 tutors + 4 fetches) and the fetches are reusable (even if you have nothing to search for anymore). Moreover the dredge of LftL will have the same effect as a shuffle (actually even a better effect, as it removes the bad topdecks from the deck) and countering LftL will never help.

There are still lots of shuffle effects I will admit, but I've run into a number of occasions where I'm low on land and the top cards of my deck are nothing but crap. Sylvan Library at least has the potential of drawing you out of a situation like that. For the record though, I'm still undecided on the slot.


CotV stops also STP, crop rotation, exploration. I know it's more easily playable on turn 1 then coutnerbalance, but if you do, you give up 1/4 of your deck. About the UU, maybe you should finally consider that U is more important than W. My list plays G as first colour, then U then W. Moreover, as I told before you don't have to care too much about first turns against combo as the reactive crop rotation tech is amazing, it's very often like a mind twist.

In almost every case when you board in Chalice of the Void, you are boarding out either Exploration or Swords to Plowshares (or both). This shuts off Crop Rotation, which may or may not be an issue, but for the most part the deck transforms itself a bit post-board and can handle the loss of cards better on top of a different gameplan. Plus, I still can't get sold the idea of Counterbalance when we have a curve like this in the deck. Wow, it can stop some 0cc spells, and the rare 1cc spell. But it will almost never stop 2cc, which is by far and wide the most dangeous casting cost at this point in the metagame.

Maveric78f
09-28-2007, 09:46 AM
There are still lots of shuffle effects I will admit, but I've run into a number of occasions where I'm low on land and the top cards of my deck are nothing but crap. Sylvan Library at least has the potential of drawing you out of a situation like that. For the record though, I'm still undecided on the slot.

If you are low in lands, you might as well not be able to cast library (no green mana or only 1 mana). The ability to draw is kind of marginal for me as I found that the PV count was already decreasing very fast in first turns.


In almost every case when you board in Chalice of the Void, you are boarding out either Exploration or Swords to Plowshares (or both). This shuts off Crop Rotation, which may or may not be an issue, but for the most part the deck transforms itself a bit post-board and can handle the loss of cards better on top of a different gameplan. Plus, I still can't get sold the idea of Counterbalance when we have a curve like this in the deck. Wow, it can stop some 0cc spells, and the rare 1cc spell. But it will almost never stop 2cc, which is by far and wide the most dangeous casting cost at this point in the metagame.

I agree with you with a bit everything. Just this being said, your opponent is not supposed to know that your 2CC curve is almost empty and he will first of all try to get rid of counterbalance with 3CC spells (vindicate or krosan grip) exactly what you are good at. And don't forget that playing counterbalance raises the number of 2CC spells of your deck too and as I told, I often enter enlightened at the same time. Anyway, both have their advantages and I think it's difficult to make a definitive point to this debate, but I wonder if playing both in SB was possible (something like 3 of each). Maybe difficult to find some room, but worth giving it a try ?

94teen
09-28-2007, 12:15 PM
Personally I've been loving. I haven't done enough testing with Library to tell, but this deck deals enough damage to itself without taking 4 to keep a card you drew off of Library.

I've actually been thinking about switching 1 Ancient Tomb for a City of Traitors because of the pain. I've dropped way too many games because I dealt a little too much damage to myself.


Could you drop humility for another Maze of Ith? I can't tell you why, but I really feel like there has to be something better than Humility for that slot. WHenever I draw it, it's always disappointing.

Also, is there another lock piece that could replace smokestack? Tanglewire? Sphere of Resistance? Counterbalance? Blood Clock? Static Orb? Winter Orb?

It'd be easy enough to throw a Blinkmoth Well in to abuse the "as long as this is untapped" effects, but I don't know if it's worth it. Might be worth testing, but some aspects of the deck have just been...disappointing lately, and I'm wondering if changing the structure of the deck slightly might help to allevite some of the problems I've had.

blitz
09-29-2007, 11:39 AM
so...

I decided to get back to working on this after a short (6 month) break from magic ^_^

Read through the thread since I last saw it... some strange things are going on here o.O;

First, just want to point out a few things I noticed. You guys tested a bunch of stuff that's already been tested a long while ago... and it didn't work then either.

like for instance:

horn of greed
It's always been a "win more" card and has never belonged in 5cg.

Sensei's Divining Top
Pointless. With this deck, you branch out from what you have in your opening hand. You aren't looking for card quality on turns 1-3, you are looking to set up the lock and are generally playing very tightly with your mana. The top makes us slower, and by the time we are past turn 3, it's not worth it's slot. SDT is a good way to make our aggro matchup worse (if not, it certainly makes deadguy ale and goblins that much more annoying). Just play smart and don't dredge recklessly.

sylvan library
This has nearly the same problem as SDT; it's added weight. Tested it before, and frankly, the digging becomes lethal if you are already racing aggro to the lock. If you get it down early, it can mean the difference between that second pile and death, but rationally there are other cards that can do that and have more synergy (like gamble).

gifts ungiven
Tried it. The cc is murder, the deck wants a pile the moment it has the card to do it. Gifts is suited more for a version that plays a waiting game, but this is a fast prison deck, and gifts is too costly (and therefore, too slow) to be of much use when the pressure is on.

sphere of resistance
In this deck, if the manabase is built correctly, you should almost always have 3 mana on turn 1 or 2. Sphere CAN come down quicker, but that's a trifle when you consider trinisphere has about the same odds.

counterbalance
UU is horrid. And the curve is pointless since the deck only sports 1 cc and 3 cc spells, aside from the occasional oddity like MM, SS, etc. There really isn't any reason to play this card. It doesn't slow them down enough early game, it doesn't have enough range to cover your mid game, and is completely worthless by the time you have control of the late game through locks and recursion.

more than 2 wastelands
Not happening. To me, even 2 is pushing it, but I guess a lot of people don't think they'll ever see land again =P
Oh and, My ghost quarter idea was to have not only a surprise pseudo-wasteland (watchers idea i believe), but to add to it; mana fixing + threshold building + shuffle effect in one card (well, one basic forest MD). It also can HIT basics. The idea that people are packing 1 or 2 basics to avoid it is laughable if they are facing this deck.

powder keg
We already have explosives. Explosives work with ruins. Explosives are fed by our broad manabase and mox diamonds to get any size you'd need. Plus, there are a lot of relevant targets that powder keg just doesn't hit. For everything else... there's VISA (needle).

humility
Redundant as a lock piece, and expensive as a silver bullet. Like I'm sure you guys have realized, mists and chasm compliment each other and cover the others vulnerabilities. Humility doesn't have anything to add to this duo, and can't replace mists very easily, considering the cc is beyond murder.

Burning wish
Used to be great... when the deck wanted specific answers, not create a prison. If you have a wish board, you don't have a combo MU, period. Burning wish sounded like a good idea back when we SB'd haunting echoes and devastating dreams... but hasn't been very appealing since.

Other than all that, I like some of the changes. I think it's interesting that you guys worked backwards from watcher's SB and put it into the MD (smokestack, trinisphere, etc.) like you would in a combo heavy environment.

Some things I like so far:

jotun grunt
awesome safety net, but makes me sad I can't just wisk things to my libary from the grave in response to casting intution, or in response to crypt activation. Works as GY hate against combo decks that need it, is absolutely key in the mirror, and a very large beatstick this undercosted and with such a relevant ability is bound to draw removal and counter-magic away from your explorations and intuitions. The problem is, it's white, and can't replace STP, so the white splash gets kinda heavy (if you don't run red, then I guess that isn't a problem). In most cases, this would be a win-more card, but when it's on the field, you can just up and filter your library after 2 to 3 upkeeps, keeping fetches, lands, and artifacts in the grave, and sending pile fodder back into the deck for your search.

horizon canopy
...where has this card been all my life? It makes cephalid coliseum entirely obsolete. Finally, a solid draw engine that fits beautifully into the decks framework. Of course, this means we can't deck people... it's the goto card in the mirror usually, and losing it means our inf life match up is now an autoloss =P

I'd have more relevant things to say, and I was gonna say more, post a list, etc, but I'm really friggin tired o.O need to sleep. I'll post something later on.

94teen
09-29-2007, 02:12 PM
so...

I decided to get back to working on this after a short (6 month) break from magic ^_^

Read through the thread since I last saw it... some strange things are going on here o.O;

First, just want to point out a few things I noticed. You guys tested a bunch of stuff that's already been tested a long while ago... and it didn't work then either.

like for instance:


Just a note. I agree with a lot of what you say, but disagree with quite a bit of it too. Some of the developments have changed the basis of the deck, and it plays quite a bit differently than when I first started looking into it a few months ago.



horn of greed
It's always been a "win more" card and has never belonged in 5cg.


I agree entirely. Horn was comlpetely win-more and we determiend that through testing.



Sensei's Divining Top
Pointless. With this deck, you branch out from what you have in your opening hand. You aren't looking for card quality on turns 1-3, you are looking to set up the lock and are generally playing very tightly with your mana. The top makes us slower, and by the time we are past turn 3, it's not worth it's slot. SDT is a good way to make our aggro matchup worse (if not, it certainly makes deadguy ale and goblins that much more annoying). Just play smart and don't dredge recklessly.


I've been testing this recently, and it's been absolutely amazing. It makes stellar hands absolutely amazing, and turns decent hands into really good hands. It's amazing with all the shuffle effects, and I've always had enough mana to use it when I need to.



sylvan library
This has nearly the same problem as SDT; it's added weight. Tested it before, and frankly, the digging becomes lethal if you are already racing aggro to the lock. If you get it down early, it can mean the difference between that second pile and death, but rationally there are other cards that can do that and have more synergy (like gamble).


Di has been testing this with pretty good results as far as I can tell. Gamble is no longer an option because this deck isn't 4 colors. 4 colors makes the mana base way too unstable, and will lead to more game losses than wins. It's the "danger of cool things" like I said before. Just because this deck can play 5 colors and do really cool stuff doesn't mean it should.



gifts ungiven
Tried it. The cc is murder, the deck wants a pile the moment it has the card to do it. Gifts is suited more for a version that plays a waiting game, but this is a fast prison deck, and gifts is too costly (and therefore, too slow) to be of much use when the pressure is on.


I liked Gifts when I played it for awhile. not as a 3 or 4 of, but a 1 or 2 of. If you have your Crucible engine running, and you resolve a Gifts Ungiven, you should win the game. That's all there is to it. If you get four lands of your choice from your deck, you should win. I agree, this deck wants to play an Intuition effect ASAP, which is why intuition is a 4 of. However, sometimes you don't get that intuition effect, and you need something more. Sure the cc is prohibitive, so you don't play 4 copies. You play 1 or 2 instead.

It's not necessary, but I don't think it should be so quickly written off.


sphere of resistance
In this deck, if the manabase is built correctly, you should almost always have 3 mana on turn 1 or 2. Sphere CAN come down quicker, but that's a trifle when you consider trinisphere has about the same odds.


I agree on this entirely. I tested Sphere of Resistance, and it interfered with my own gameplan way too much. We don't have Mishra's Workshop to make up for the extra mana we need to play, and we have to take damage to support the 2 mana lands we play. Sphere of Resistance is definitely inferior to Trinisphere in my eyes.


counterbalance
UU is horrid. And the curve is pointless since the deck only sports 1 cc and 3 cc spells, aside from the occasional oddity like MM, SS, etc. There really isn't any reason to play this card. It doesn't slow them down enough early game, it doesn't have enough range to cover your mid game, and is completely worthless by the time you have control of the late game through locks and recursion.

I agree-ish. We need another lock piece, and this seems like a semi-viable option as far as I can tell. The cc is prohibitive, but the 4cc of Smokestack is too. I'm not saying this is a definite inclusion, but may be worth testing.



more than 2 wastelands
Not happening. To me, even 2 is pushing it, but I guess a lot of people don't think they'll ever see land again =P
Oh and, My ghost quarter idea was to have not only a surprise pseudo-wasteland (watchers idea i believe), but to add to it; mana fixing + threshold building + shuffle effect in one card (well, one basic forest MD). It also can HIT basics. The idea that people are packing 1 or 2 basics to avoid it is laughable if they are facing this deck.


I agree, except about Ghost Quarter. Ghost Quarter has been tested and shown to be not too good. I personally hate it. Sure it's a shuffle effect if you need it, but do you really want to stunt your own development? This is a lock deck. you need to abuse your resources as much as possible. Not destroy them and kill your own tempo.


powder keg
We already have explosives. Explosives work with ruins. Explosives are fed by our broad manabase and mox diamonds to get any size you'd need. Plus, there are a lot of relevant targets that powder keg just doesn't hit. For everything else... there's VISA (needle).

Mostly agree. It may be worth testing in case Explosives gets needled (not sure why that would happen). I'm pretty sure Explosives is strictly superior, but I think that it's possible that this might merit a 2/1 split or something. Not saying it does, but it's possible-ish.



humility
Redundant as a lock piece, and expensive as a silver bullet. Like I'm sure you guys have realized, mists and chasm compliment each other and cover the others vulnerabilities. Humility doesn't have anything to add to this duo, and can't replace mists very easily, considering the cc is beyond murder.


Definitely agree. I've never liked Humility in this deck, and it makes much more sense for Constant Mists to fill that slot, in my mind.


Burning wish
Used to be great... when the deck wanted specific answers, not create a prison. If you have a wish board, you don't have a combo MU, period. Burning wish sounded like a good idea back when we SB'd haunting echoes and devastating dreams... but hasn't been very appealing since.

dead on as far as I'm concerned.




jotun grunt
awesome safety net, but makes me sad I can't just wisk things to my libary from the grave in response to casting intution, or in response to crypt activation. Works as GY hate against combo decks that need it, is absolutely key in the mirror, and a very large beatstick this undercosted and with such a relevant ability is bound to draw removal and counter-magic away from your explorations and intuitions. The problem is, it's white, and can't replace STP, so the white splash gets kinda heavy (if you don't run red, then I guess that isn't a problem). In most cases, this would be a win-more card, but when it's on the field, you can just up and filter your library after 2 to 3 upkeeps, keeping fetches, lands, and artifacts in the grave, and sending pile fodder back into the deck for your search.


I can't stand Grunt. You have no creatures. They're creature removal is dead. Why would you give them targets? When would you ever want to get things out of your graveyard? The only thing I can ever see wanting to recycle are Intuitions and Crop Rotations. Other than that, just about everything recurs itself, making this completely unnecessary. Why would I put something back in my deck and hope to draw it when I can just recur it?


horizon canopy
...where has this card been all my life? It makes cephalid coliseum entirely obsolete. Finally, a solid draw engine that fits beautifully into the decks framework. Of course, this means we can't deck people... it's the goto card in the mirror usually, and losing it means our inf life match up is now an autoloss =P

While good, this does not in any way obsolete Cephalid Coliseum. Coliseum lets us draw three cards per recursion. You don't get to keep them all, but we can recur just about anything anyway, so it doesn't matter. This is good for when you need cards in hand, but coliseum digs much, much deeper.


I'm excited to see your list, because it seems like you've got some interesting ideas. I'm almost definitely making some minor changes to my list after some recent posts. I'll try to update ASAP.

Maveric78f
09-29-2007, 03:20 PM
About counterbalance, it depends a lot on your mana base. I can afford it quite often.

Grunt is the card on which I have the most precise idea. A lot of things are cool with him, it's a time walk or two against aggro if it has no creature removal, it recurs the things you want to draw (STP, other grunts, enchantments), and with all your shuffle effect, you don't wait long before finding them on top. Against threshold that's good, it's sure. You touch to their threshold and you have probably the best early beater, the time for you to find a wasteland recursion. But, the problem with it is that you absolutely can't afford to slow down your threshold in early game, so that it is very often a dead card in first turns, and it is often a very bad topdeck as it gives targets to your opponent's removals. Keeping them in SB in order to side them in after your opponent has removed all his creature hate, may be a good tech. The worst problem is that it enters in nothing into our game plan.

blitz
09-29-2007, 05:33 PM
About counterbalance, it depends a lot on your mana base. I can afford it quite often.

Grunt is the card on which I have the most precise idea. A lot of things are cool with him, it's a time walk or two against aggro if it has no creature removal, it recurs the things you want to draw (STP, other grunts, enchantments), and with all your shuffle effect, you don't wait long before finding them on top. Against threshold that's good, it's sure. You touch to their threshold and you have probably the best early beater, the time for you to find a wasteland recursion. But, the problem with it is that you absolutely can't afford to slow down your threshold in early game, so that it is very often a dead card in first turns, and it is often a very bad topdeck as it gives targets to your opponent's removals. Keeping them in SB in order to side them in after your opponent has removed all his creature hate, may be a good tech. The worst problem is that it enters in nothing into our game plan.

ah, but that's the assumption I was working off of in the first place. It's meant to be sided in while rubbing that long and thin mustache between your finger tips (ok, just kidding). And what I meant earlier when I said all that lovely stuff about jotun... wasn't that he was MD 4 of material, but that he synergizes with the deck and draws counters from permission decks when they don't have the spot removal. It can be used the opposite way to (MD'ed, and taken out when the deck has spot removal, or puts it in). My first complaint about it was actually important (you can't whisk cards away from your library in response to anything, so it doesn't protect your GY very well from crypt activations). And the recursion factor IS a big deal depending on the decks functionality and make. With something like grunt on the board, a garden deck that relies heavily on lftl to massively dredge can filter the business spells back to where they can be called upon in an intuition pile(sometimes, just having 2 or 1 of a card in your deck makes intution a 2 turn spell, as what you need ends up in the graveyard, so if you need exploration or STP, it works for that) or spells that can't be recurred unless you get the piece that you need for it. The action would filter the deck of non-business spells, grab threshold, dig very fast. The problem is that jotun isn't quick enough with the process because it works it's magic only once a turn in a manner which is hard to makes use of without shooting yourself in the foot.


94teen: hmmm...

SDT didn't work with the versions of the deck that tried to be speed demons. tricks with mox, city of traitors, exploration and crucible to get that magical lock up and running on turn 2 or 3. If you are working towards that goal, SDT definitely gets in the way. But I guess if you are slowing the deck down a bit, the SDT starts looking favorable... it's definitely a boost to consistency, no doubt about it.

As for the library, it just hurt the goblins and deadguy ale MU's way too much. But hey, new deck design could make it work... I'll have to test more of what you guys have and see.

the coliseum is unsafe if you want multiple activations, and doesn't create CA without dredging once per activation. But it is very strong, I just haven't gotten a chance to see how it works with canopy... canopy definitely looks great on paper though.


Oh, and about red...

gamble is honestly the best thing since sliced bread. When you have a full hand, gamble will almost always get rid of something other than what you fetched. Likewise, if you have no hand, it'll always dump the card you get =) And depending on the card, you may want this. But it really depends on the make of the deck, since it relies on casting loam early on to make your hand big enough for it to work. It's a tricksy card you play tentatively with, but it's power is undeniable. Any card in your deck immediately in hand for 1 mana. We played it when our recursion suite was more involved than just ruins. Red also gives some other things, but it's mostly just this card (works with lftl really well).


And like I said, ghost quarter is a metagame call, and with the right setup, can be more flexible and re-usable than wasteland. But for the most part, it's there as the second copy of wasteland in case wasteland gets needled. Yep.

Also, you guys hybridized the decks transformational SB. How has it been working out, as opposed to the full flip from garden to green stax?

Belgareth
09-29-2007, 05:47 PM
As for the library, it just hurt the goblins and deadguy ale MU's way too much. But hey, new deck design could make it work... I'll have to test more of what you guys have and see.



See this might be the reason you don't agree.
Goblins has been heavily on the decline since future sight , homebrew was barely a blip on the radar.
These matchups are no longer of serious concern in most metas.

blitz
09-29-2007, 06:00 PM
oh... that actually changes quite a bit.

Belgareth
09-29-2007, 06:09 PM
This is why this deck is picking up a lot of followers, the main matchups these days are Combo (breakfast/storm) and about 3 flavours of Threshold.

94teen
09-29-2007, 07:58 PM
If you're looking for something to shuffle business spells back into your deck, wouldn't Loaming Shaman be a better choice? It's not continuous, but it gets everything out of your graveyard that you don't want there, and it does it all at once.

On Horizon Canopy. It looks really good, and sometimes it is really good, but often times it's just a painland, and I'd rather dig with Coliseum than cantrip with Canopy.

On Gamble. Yes, gamble is amazing in this deck. But not better than intuition, not worth wrecking the manabase over, and not worth the splash on its own.

Di
09-29-2007, 08:00 PM
I've been testing this recently, and it's been absolutely amazing. It makes stellar hands absolutely amazing, and turns decent hands into really good hands. It's amazing with all the shuffle effects, and I've always had enough mana to use it when I need to.

I'm sticking with SDT myself. It's doing really good things for me. Sylvan Library is almost as strong, but I'm liking the instant speed draw that SDT can give. It happens to be awesome when you're hiding something on top of your library against a deck like Breakfast and avoid all the Therapy nonsense. I'm also liking the fact that I can keep colorless mana source hands more often. That isn't a very common thing, but the fact you can deal with it makes it appealing.

@Powder Keg

I still hate it, and won't ever run it. Two entire turns to kill a Tarmogoyf. Two turns! For my removal, I'd at least like it immediately available. It's a poor late game topdeck and it isn't very good with Academy Ruins.


Definitely agree. I've never liked Humility in this deck, and it makes much more sense for Constant Mists to fill that slot, in my mind.


Swapping Humility for Constant Mists is a fine call. I still choose Humility, just for its insane ability to shut down Threshold, Tarmogoyf, Goblins, Cephalid Breakfast, Survival, Tarmogoyf, etc etc. Constant Mists has the possibility of getting countered/discarded, and isn't strong until either the late game when you have tons of land to spare, or Crucible. Humility, although more expensive, is at least a one-time deal that shuts them out from thereon. Humility also happens to deal with problematic creatures outside the attack phase. This includes Withered Wretch, previously mentioned Cephalid Breakfast, Yixlid Jailer, Meddling Mage, and a host of others that are troubling. It just does so much, I find it difficult to argue against it. 4cc is not an issue at all, and considering the deck is based GW, finding WW is hardly an issue either.


horizon canopy
...where has this card been all my life? It makes cephalid coliseum entirely obsolete. Finally, a solid draw engine that fits beautifully into the decks framework. Of course, this means we can't deck people... it's the goto card in the mirror usually, and losing it means our inf life match up is now an autoloss =P

When Canopy first came out, I cut Coliseum for it. Biggest.Mistake.Ever. Cephalid Coliseum is still by far the deck's most absurd draw engine. Considering half the deck wants to go in the graveyard, it practically is card advantage. Horizon Canopy simply complements this. It's damn good, but nowhere near as good as Coliseum. Behind only Academy Ruins, this is the probably the best land in the deck. Yes, better than Chasm. Only an insane person would cut Coliseum from the deck. An insane person.

Canopy is only better pre-Threshold, which is will probably get you to. Once you have threshold, there's no point in using Canopy when you can Ancestral every turn. Hell, last tournament one game by turn 5 I was drawing 9 extra cards a turn. You can't deny that kind of power.


SDT didn't work with the versions of the deck that tried to be speed demons. tricks with mox, city of traitors, exploration and crucible to get that magical lock up and running on turn 2 or 3. If you are working towards that goal, SDT definitely gets in the way. But I guess if you are slowing the deck down a bit, the SDT starts looking favorable... it's definitely a boost to consistency, no doubt about it.

Just because we added SDT does not mean the deck is losing speed. It simply doesn't have the explosive starts every game, and requires a decent engine to set up. I also view SDT as more a mid-game card as well because this deck can run out of gas quickly, and keeping resources up and manipulating your draws is highly effective.

Bane of the Living
09-29-2007, 08:57 PM
In my testing with this deck Ive found Chalice to be far too harmfull to the deck itself. If Sphere of Retardo is too antisynergistic then CotV is by far. Besides it only makes your great matchups better. Thats not the point of a sideboard..

Di
09-29-2007, 09:14 PM
Chalice is primarily there for combo matchups. Against those decks, losing cards like Exploration or Crop Rotation aren't nearly as bad when you're stopping them from going off. Plus, it's the best answer the deck has to Extirpate. I won't deny that it's a double-edged sword, but it's not in the sideboard to make matches like Threshold better. It just so happens they are good against them (and Breakfast), so they are boarded as such. Sphere can be played around a lot easier than Chalice as well, which is another point against its inclusion.

Maveric78f
09-30-2007, 12:00 PM
@Powder Keg

I still hate it, and won't ever run it. Two entire turns to kill a Tarmogoyf.

Do you really read me ?

Quote myself for truth 8-)


About Powder Keg, it's awesome really. When I have it in hand I play it first turn and except if I see that my opponent is playing some landstill (ah ah ah) or combo I directly increment a counter, such that I don't have to wait in order to crack it for 1 or for 2.

Zach Tartell
09-30-2007, 12:10 PM
I think that what he's trying to say is that a topdecked Explosives will often lead to a dead Tarmogoyf, whereas a topdecked Powder Keg will take two more turns to kill said goyf.

Even if you don't have four mana, you'll only have to untap to pop explosives.

Maveric78f
09-30-2007, 01:06 PM
It's not a deck that is supposed to live on its topdecks. You have to be proactive on dealing with threats. I'm not telling that powder keg is necessarilly better than EE. I just say that they don't serve the same purposes.
keg deals with manlands and saves your explorations (which are the beath of your deck really).
ee deals with enchantments and is faster (for a ruins recursion) but is too much reflexive (except @2).

94teen
09-30-2007, 01:45 PM
I've played a little with both, and they do both serve different purposes. I really like that Powder Keg doesn't blow up your Explorations. It's not an immediate answer, but often times you don't NEED an immediate answer. That's what Swords, Maze, and Glacial Chasm are for. In most of the games I play, I stall a goyf for multiple turns so I can try to get a 2 or 3 for one out of my explosives.

In a 'Goyf heavy metagame, then I think that Explosives is definitely superior. However, in a control or combo metagame, Powder Keg is stronger because it deals with problem permanents whlie still letting you develop your board faster (exploration).

It's a metagame choice. If you aren't sure, then EE is the better choice because it's faster. If you anticipate landstill or combo, why not play Powder Keg since it accomplishes essentially the same thing, but doesn't get in the way of your gameplan?

Maveric78f
09-30-2007, 02:11 PM
Actually, in my testings mongoose is a bigger threat as it's a 3power untargettable (unmazable and unswordable) creature. Against that keg is far better. But the most important thing to remember is that one needs 2 needles to keep your removals off.

Di
09-30-2007, 06:56 PM
Actually, in my testings mongoose is a bigger threat as it's a 3power untargettable (unmazable and unswordable) creature. Against that keg is far better. But the most important thing to remember is that one needs 2 needles to keep your removals off.

I wouldn't say Mongoose is a bigger threat than Tarmogoyf, but Mongoose is certainly an annoying little bitch. Most of the removal we have is obsolete against it, and I will agree in this situation Powder Keg is in fact better. However, given that Tarmogoyf is far more played than Mongoose, i'd aim to hit the Tarmogoyf more often than the Goose.

94teen
09-30-2007, 07:33 PM
I wouldn't say Mongoose is a bigger threat than Tarmogoyf, but Mongoose is certainly an annoying little bitch. Most of the removal we have is obsolete against it, and I will agree in this situation Powder Keg is in fact better. However, given that Tarmogoyf is far more played than Mongoose, i'd aim to hit the Tarmogoyf more often than the Goose.

Can we agree that Keg is a metagame choice more often than not? It's as good as EE against a lot of combo and landstill, and both deal with threats against thresh. EE is better against random aggro and a generic metagame, while Keg is more of a specific answer.

I should have a tournament report up soon. Not a big tournament, but a tournament nonetheless, and my first competitive experience with this deck. I'll be taking the list I posted a few pages ago.

Belgareth
10-03-2007, 09:30 AM
From my testing I really agree with the addition of an extra mana producing land, however I am not sure what to cut for a 5th fetch.
Most things can't be lowered for fear of being useless as a 1-of (humility/smokestack/sylvan library), or can't be removed because they Are a 1-of.
I think I may drop to 1 monastry and add the extra fetch.

94teen
10-03-2007, 02:22 PM
From my testing I really agree with the addition of an extra mana producing land, however I am not sure what to cut for a 5th fetch.
Most things can't be lowered for fear of being useless as a 1-of (humility/smokestack/sylvan library), or can't be removed because they Are a 1-of.
I think I may drop to 1 monastry and add the extra fetch.

That seems like a fairly reasonable change. The extra manlands haven't been doing a whole lot for me recently. Then again, I've been having lots of concessions due to quick locks.

Has anyone else been having a little difficulty with draw engines? Nothing series, but a lot of the draw engines in the deck require an investment of resources, which is kinda difficult to provide sometimes. I'd love to recur Horizon Canopy or Coliseum multiple times a turn, but a lot of times I need that mana to recur Engineered Explosives or drop a Smokestack. Any suggestions on potential draw engines?

Only things I can think of are:

Nostalgic Dreams (Intuition piles)
Recall (worse Nostalgic Dreams)
Compulsive Research
Deep Analysis
Thirst for Knowledge

Another potential solution is to play something like a singleton Shelldock Isle, the blue hideaway land. This could be helpful for digging for Explorations and whatnot, especially since it lets you cheat on color and amount.

Also, I've been considering a singleton Gemstone Mine for some late game color fixing and for the potential to splash for some random stuff if necessary. Barbarian Ring comes to mind as a potential splash card.

I think the biggest potential card we get out of Lorwyn is Shelldock Isle, which gives us the ability to play bombs for free in the late game if necessary. Granted, I've only looked at Lands from Lorwyn thus far, which there aren't too many of.

EDIT: maybe the blue planeswalker merits some testing if you throw in Shelldock Isle. I don't think so, but I guess it's worth mentioning.

Di
10-03-2007, 04:18 PM
That seems like a fairly reasonable change. The extra manlands haven't been doing a whole lot for me recently. Then again, I've been having lots of concessions due to quick locks.

The 2nd Monastery is probably the land most easily cut, but I'm unsure. Often times I find myself in a position to go double-Monastery beats around turn 5-6 or so, and it allows the deck to aggro much quicker than it would otherwise. After adding the 3rd Savannah back into the deck, I really haven't had much trouble with colored sources, so a 5th fetch is unnecessary. I'd rather have a win condition over a fetchland a majority of the time anyway.


Only things I can think of are:

Nostalgic Dreams (Intuition piles)
Recall (worse Nostalgic Dreams)
Compulsive Research
Deep Analysis
Thirst for Knowledge

Thirst for Knowledge was in my list for a long, long time, and I'm all for it 100%. It can easily replace other draw spells in the deck, I just choose SDT personally because it only costs 1, not 2U. The cheaper the draw, the better.

Nostalgic Dreams was also in the deck for a long time too, and that's a fine slot as well. Not sure what to cut though. Crystal Chimes is also an option so you can dredge it and then recur it, but it's slow. Recall sucks, period. Either way, this slot is really only good for getting back Explorations, and is most likely only going to find room in the already tight draw space.

Compulsive Research is strictly worse than Thirst for Knowledge. Without Crucible, you want to play lands, not discard them. Chances are you'll have excess artifacts more often anyway.

Deep Analysis was tested a while back, but you're already taking too much damage on your own, so I'm against it.

morgan_coke
10-03-2007, 05:24 PM
I think the best planeswalker from Lorwyn is Garruk. I'm currently messing around with land based control utilizing his untap abilities in conjunction with Winter Orb and Rishadan Port/Blinkmoth Well. Its sort of like a garden shell but redesigned. Not sure if it'll end up working or not, but Garruk does have some potential. Though in this deck possibly less than Jace.

Ebinsugewa
10-04-2007, 10:52 AM
Di, since it has been 3 pages, and you have mentioned Sylvan Library and Sensei's Top as possible changes, among others, what is the current working list?

Belgareth
10-04-2007, 02:58 PM
He also mentioned he went back to his DLD list with sylvan library over horn of greed.
So that would be best starting place :)

Cait_Sith
10-04-2007, 04:08 PM
I'm currently messing around with land based control utilizing his untap abilities in conjunction with Winter Orb and Rishadan Port/Blinkmoth Well.

Don't forget that Garruk can untap FORESTS only. I honestly don't see him being much use in Garden simply because, where do you need your forests to keep tapping and untapping? You run so many lands anyway you will rarely suffer a lack of mana.

Edit: Note to self, do not trust spoilers. They trick your eyes.

calosso
10-04-2007, 04:10 PM
Don't forget that Garruk can untap FORESTS only. I honestly don't see him being much use in Garden simply because, where do you need your forests to keep tapping and untapping? You run so many lands anyway you will rarely suffer a lack of mana.

Hey Downs baby it say untap 2 target lands for the 2nd time I had to correct you.

http://sales.starcitygames.com/carddisplay.php?product=47309

Warned for flaming and poor grammar.
-PR

Di
10-04-2007, 04:15 PM
Almost same list from Eli's DLD:

-2 Horn of Greed
-1 Constant Mists

+2 Sensei's Divining Top
+1 Savannah

Top is just getting better and better for me. It's amazing how many tricks I can do with the card.

Belgareth
10-04-2007, 05:41 PM
Your really finding top more useful than library ?
I found with stadium recurring , I was able to easily take 3 cards a turn in many games.

94teen
10-04-2007, 06:04 PM
So have you found Constant Mists to be inferior to Humility? Would you recommend boarding a copy or so?

Has 2 tops been enough? In testing three has been too many for me, but 2 isn't quite enough.

Lastly: How often have you been using Nomad Stadium? I have yet to actually use it consistently, and have seriously been considering dropping it for another land, or for Nostalgic Dreams or some such.

Belgareth
10-04-2007, 06:10 PM
I love stadium and it's saved me too many times to count.
I often find myself plummeting in lifepoints due to tombs etc and without stadium to soak up the life loss many games would be over.
A game I played recently I stabilised at 5 life , before reccuring it 2-3 times a turn to get up to 30 life.
I'll have to try top, nostalgic dreams is interesting but a win more card in my opinion.
Humility is an odd card as I find some games it's all but useless , but when it's removed from the deck Imiss it.

94teen
10-04-2007, 06:50 PM
Nostalgic dreams lets you be less afraid of using Swords and Explosives @1 because you can recur those cards by digging for Nostalgic Dreams.

Nomad Stadium is...good sometimes, but a lot of times it seems unnecessary. I can honestly say I've never used it as anything other than a painland so far during my testing of this deck.

I realize the theoretical power and potential it has within the deck. It just doesn't seem to fill that theoretical slot in practice.

EDIT:

My updated list that I'll be testing:

4 Intuition
3 Crop Rotation
3 Crucible of Worlds
1 Life from the Loam
4 Exploration
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Sensei's Divining Top
3 Engineered Explosives
3 Trinisphere
2 Smokestack
1 Constant Mists
1 Nostalgic Dreams

4 Mox Diamond
4 Ancient Tomb
2 Flooded Strand
2 Windswept Heath
3 Tropical Island
2 Savannah
1 Tundra
1 Academy Ruins
1 Glacial Chasm
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Riftstone Portal
1 Maze of Ith
1 Wasteland
1 Nomad Stadium
1 Cephalid Coliseum
1 Mishra's Factory
1 Nantuko Monastery
1 Horizon Canopy

60


sideboard
4 Chalice of the Void
1 Trinisphere
1 Nostalgic Dreams
1 Constant Mists
3 Tormod's Crypt
3 Pithing Needle
3 Krosan Grip

I like that I found space for Constant Mists and Nostalgic Dreams, but testing will show whether or not they really fit in. I'd like to think the rest of the deck is fairly solid, but feel free to tell me otherwise.

Di
10-04-2007, 09:34 PM
So have you found Constant Mists to be inferior to Humility? Would you recommend boarding a copy or so?

Considering Humility is in my list and Constant Mists isn't, I guess it'd be obvious. To quote something I said in a PM to someone:


- Humility. I seem to be the only person liking Humility, which leads me to believe I may be the only smart person playing the deck. Right now the metagame, although heavily blue, is also very creature oriented. Because of this, the deck needs permanent resources for dealing with them. Glacial Chasm is ok, but it requires a lot of work to keep maintenance, relying on both Crucible and Exploration to assume a lock. As does Constant Mists. It too requires Crucible to be worthwhile, and has the potential ability of being countered/discarded. Humility does everything by itself. Once it sticks, it's there for good, making the entire match easier. If other cards go in this slot, they need to be permanent answers for creatures. Cards that come to mind are Ghostly Prison, Ensnaring Bridge, and Elephant Grass (semi-permanent), but I don't think any are as broken as Humility.


That should sum it up for the most part.


Has 2 tops been enough? In testing three has been too many for me, but 2 isn't quite enough.

If I could run 2.5, I would. Sadly, we don't have that option. I'm happy with two myself.


Lastly: How often have you been using Nomad Stadium? I have yet to actually use it consistently, and have seriously been considering dropping it for another land, or for Nostalgic Dreams or some such.


Nomad Stadium is...good sometimes, but a lot of times it seems unnecessary. I can honestly say I've never used it as anything other than a painland so far during my testing of this deck.

I realize the theoretical power and potential it has within the deck. It just doesn't seem to fill that theoretical slot in practice.

Actually, it's the opposite. In testing the card may seem to be weak, but when you're actually in high-level tournament play, the card is overwhelmingly strong. Considering how much the deck takes between fetchlands, Tomb, Chasm upkeep, and opponent damage, having the ability to gain life is absolutely huge. Gaining 8 life a turn is practically the equivalent of having a Glacial Chasm in play under a handful of circumstances, not to mention it is absolutely retarded under Humility.

If you're going to run a recursion element as a 1-of though, I'd suggest Crystal Chimes instead. It's a bit slower and can't get back Swords, but Ruins is there for artifacts already, and Crystal Chimes works with Intuition piles a lot better with Academy Ruins, and doesn't require the cards in hand. It's a bit slow, but I've found it to be ok.

Also, your list cut a mana source. I find that odd, seeing how you complained as I did about mana issues, then go and cut one. I'm also assuming that Strip Mine is supposed to be a Wasteland. God help us if Strip Mine were legal...

blitz
10-05-2007, 07:32 AM
If you're going to run a recursion element as a 1-of though, I'd suggest Crystal Chimes instead. It's a bit slower and can't get back Swords, but Ruins is there for artifacts already, and Crystal Chimes works with Intuition piles a lot better with Academy Ruins, and doesn't require the cards in hand. It's a bit slow, but I've found it to be ok.

intuition pile: crystal chimes, academy ruins, exploration/humility

and if you already have an exploration/humility in the graveyard... the intuition pile would be: crystal chimes, academy ruins, life from the loam/crucible of worlds

Maveric78f
10-05-2007, 07:52 AM
intuition pile: crystal chimes, academy ruins, humility

Which implies the 11 mana spent to get humility in play.

Nightmare
10-05-2007, 08:16 AM
Which implies the 11 mana spent to get humility in play.What's the alternative? With Chimes, you can freely dredge your deck, knowing that Ruins->Chimes->Humility&Exploration is a viable plan. With Nostalgic Dreams, if you dredge it, or it's countered, it's gone. If you can think up a cheaper way to solve the issue, that's as flexible as chimes, I'm all ears.

94teen
10-05-2007, 08:55 AM
Well, you could play Recoup + Replenish if you really felt like it, but there's no insuring that you'd dredge those up in time or that you'd resolve replenish.

That said, chimes still seems really slow, and I think there has to be a better alternative. I don't know what that alternative is yet, but I'll try to come up with something.

Nightmare
10-05-2007, 08:57 AM
Well, you could play Recoup + Replenish if you really felt like it, but there's no insuring that you'd dredge those up in time or that you'd resolve replenish.

That said, chimes still seems really slow, and I think there has to be a better alternative. I don't know what that alternative is yet, but I'll try to come up with something.HAving looked at every card that either

A) is an artifact with CMC 3 or less
B) contains the word Enchantment or Enchantments in its text box

I can, with reasonable confidence, say good luck.

Nihil Credo
10-05-2007, 09:37 AM
If you Intuition at EOT for: Replenish, Recoup, Humility, then you will get Humility into play for six mana tops.

Now, I'm pretty unfamiliar with the deck, but I'm assuming the Threshold matchup does not exactly rely on Humility. Since the other decks you'd want Humility against don't run countermagic, I think Recoup/Replenish is superior to Crystal Chimes. Especially since Replenish also gives you back Explorations and Sylvan Libraries, and Recoup opens up the option of a few silver-bullet sorceries in the SB.

ClearSkies
10-05-2007, 12:30 PM
Doesn't that mean you will have to splash in Red again? Or is 4 Mox Diamonds enough red sources?

Di
10-05-2007, 04:53 PM
Now, I'm pretty unfamiliar with the deck, but I'm assuming the Threshold matchup does not exactly rely on Humility. Since the other decks you'd want Humility against don't run countermagic, I think Recoup/Replenish is superior to Crystal Chimes. Especially since Replenish also gives you back Explorations and Sylvan Libraries, and Recoup opens up the option of a few silver-bullet sorceries in the SB.

Threshold isn't won by Humility at all, but it's certainly nice to have. But the entire concept of Crystal Chimes is moreso about Exploration than anything else, so I'm not sure why people are stressing Humility. It's also about the fact that it has synergies with cards already in the deck. Plus, it's only one slot compared to two in a deck with tight space, and only needs a single component to be dredged.

T is for TOOL
10-05-2007, 05:06 PM
Moved to Open.
-TOOL

blitz
10-05-2007, 08:02 PM
Thanks tool! This deck was stuck in the development forum for a loooong time. Glad to see it considered relevant for once. ^_^

Di: I agree, chimes is very synergistic with the deck. If you are already running other recursion though, it basically does the same job as petrified field did for loam engine intuition piles. This is why I run the recursion suite you saw in the list I gave you: mana investment is high, but being able to recur anything can be vital to the resilience the decks lock/engine pieces have to have in order to be effective. The other route is just to pray for trini and the mana to cast it on turn 1 or 2, and hope you can follow up with crucible + wasteland or smokestack. I know a deck that does that pretty well, it's called mono white stax. I think the more we try to become stax, the more splash damage we'll take.

94teen
10-06-2007, 12:43 AM
Glad to see this deck has moved up in the world.

I was just throwing around random ideas for mass recursion of non-artifacts when I mentioned replenish. I'm not necessarily advocating for it's inclusion.

That said, I think recoup provides some strong options for mass recursion, particular when comboed with Nostalgic Dreams. I'm going to be testing this combination, as well as ways to make the splash work, in upcoming weeks.