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emidln
06-21-2007, 01:15 PM
This is a thread for SI and derivatives. I'm going to post several lists, but please note that I'm only going to talk about specific versions in the writeup. I consider these other versions obsolete and am including them for historical interests.

This deck was conceptualized by Robert Vroman and others on Ogre's Message Boards in the late Winter/early Spring of 2006. I remember playing against an early version with Flame Vault Stasis Stax on the side of a Vintage tourney at some Anime Convention that March/April. One of the people on those boards was a kid by the name of Evenpence, who used this list to split first at a tourney in Blue Bell, PA.

Warning: Obsolete Decklist Follows

//"The Spanish Inquisition" by Colby Evenpence (May 2006)
// Initial Mana Sources
4 Land Grant
2 Bayou
4 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox

// Tall Men
4 Ornithopter
4 Phyrexian Walker
4 Shield Sphere

// Ritual Effects
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Lion's Eye Diamond

// Business
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Infernal Contract
4 Diabolic Intent
2 Ill-Gotten Gains
4 Tendrils of Agony

//Sideboard
4 Naturalize
4 Massacre
4 Cabal Therapy
3 Defense Grid

Since this list, a few things have changed. Infernal Tutor allowed 4 creature slots to be freed. I added Goblin Charbelcher as a 1-of alternate win condition against Meddling Mage and storm-hate. We tried several splash colors. To my knowledge, only a few people play this deck, the most notable being B.C. (another Ogre boards guy) who has done a lot of testing with his own variants. I'll present the most interesting of these to you here:

SI Variant Name: Sir Speedy
Major Variation (from): Multiple Maindeck ETW (standard build)
Colors: B/R/u

// Maindeck
// Initial Mana Sources:
2 Polluted Delta
2 Bloodstained Mire
2 Badlands
1 Underground Sea
4 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox

// Ritual Effects:
4 Dark Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Cabal Ritual

// Tall Men:
4 Phyrexian Walker
4 Shield Sphere

// Business:
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Infernal Contract
4 Infernal Tutor
2 Ill-Gotten Gains
4 Empty the Warrens
3 Tendrils of Agony

// Sideboard:
3 Rebuild
1 Hurkyl's Recall
4 Tomb of Urami
3 Echoing Truth
4 Cabal Therapy

SI Variant Name: SITES
Major Variation (from): Simian Spirit Guide (Sir Speedy)
Colors: B/R/u

//Maindeck
//Initial Mana Sources:
2 Polluted Delta
2 Bloodstained Mire
2 Badlands
1 Underground Sea
4 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox

//Ritual Effects:
4 Dark Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Cabal Ritual
3 Simian Spirit Guide

//Tall Men:
4 Phyrexian Walker
4 Shield Sphere

//Business:
4 Infernal Tutor
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Infernal Contract
1 Ill-Gotten Gains
1 Tendrils of Agony
4 Empty the Warrens

//Sideboard:
2 Tendrils of Agony
4 Cabal Therapy
3 Chain of Vapor
2 Tomb of Urami
4 Dark Confidant

SI Variant Name: QSI
Major Variation: Anti-Control Strategy (everything)
Colors: B/U/r

//Maindeck
//Lands:
2 Polluted Delta
2 Bloodstained Mire
4 Underground Sea
1 Swamp

//Additional Mana Sources:
4 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox

//Ritual Effects:
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Culling the Weak

//Tall Men:
4 Phyrexian Walker
4 Shield Sphere

//Busted Draw:
4 Brainstorm
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Infernal Contract
3 Meditate

//Other Business:
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Tendrils of Agony

//Sideboard:
2 Badlands
4 Empty the Warrens
4 Dark Confidant
4 Echoing Truth
1 Rebuild

Card Choices:

SI is made up of a few different classes of cards. You have Initial Mana Sources, Ritual Effects, Tall Men, and Business. I'll talk about each separately.

Initial Mana Sources:

Lotus Petal / Chrome Mox -These are required. They can help start your combo, provide storm, and enable to to keep playing off-black spells throughout your combo turn.

Land Grant / Fetchlands - These are also required, but which you play is dictated by the other cards you want to run.

Land Grant's largest drawback is that it can be countered. Generally, you will want to run no more than 3 Land in a Land Grant build in order to support Goblin Charbelcher as an alternate win condition. On the bright side, Land Grant can be cast for storm, deckthining (very minute, but drawing a land off a draw4 in these builds is very bad), and imprinted on Chrome Mox to make (essentially) colorless mana. Generally, Land Grant is eschewed in builds that play colors outside of green as supporting non-Bayou lands with Land Grant is extremely difficult in a deck that requires lands to produce black.

Fetchlands provide non-counterable (generally, I've never had a fetchland stifled while playing SI) ways of fetching out non-green black-producing lands. Most of the time, the lifeloss will be insignificant due the rounding nature of the draw4s. Fetchlands allow you to run as few or as many lands as you choose. Lately, I've been running 7-9 lands (4-5 fetches) for more consistency. Generally, only black-fetchlands are used. Significantly, fetchlands are much harder to destroy than regular lands and can be played on the table and then saved until needed.

Swamp/Bayou/Badlands/Underground Sea/Scrubland - which of these lands and how many you play largely depends on what other cards you're using. Obviously, don't include duals you don't need to, and play with basic swamp if your manabase will allow it.

Ritual Effects

Dark Ritual - Three black mana for one black mana and a card is pretty good. If you need more explanation, you might want to give up Magic for tic tac toe.

Cabal Ritual - SI reaches threshold very easily. In variants with Simian Spirit Guide this can be used for a turn1 draw4, as well as cast after a Dark Ritual to leaving mana floating post-draw4. Without effects that reduce our graveyard size like Diminishing Returns, Cabal Rit is a monster.

Culling the Weak - BBBB for B and a creature. This is a defining card of the SI archetype, and the card that allows it exist. Culling the Weak gives you density of black rituals necessary to play a mass of spells with 2-3 black mana in their casting cost.

Lion's Eye Diamond - Although I'm not currently favoring it in QSI, the ability to get three mana of any color is extremely potent when combined with Brainstorm, Infernal Tutor, IGG, Diabolic Intent, or Goblin Charbelcher. If you run tutors, you should likely also run LED. It's important to note that LED can be an extremely risky gamble into a draw4, so break LED into a draw4 with extreme caution (or rather, with your balls against the grinder).

Simian Spirit Guide - Recommended recently after testing done by wastedlife, Simian Spirit Guide allows easy casting of Empty the Warrens and acceleration into Cabal Ritual and Infernal Tutor. This significantly speeds up versions that play it by enabling "fizzles" that produce large amounts of Goblin tokens.

Rite of Flame - SI doesn't play Rite of Flame because it has no use for red mana. Changing the deck to use Rite of Flame will almost always require Burning Wish, which takes away space from draw4s leading to you building TES.

Seething Song - See Rite of Flame

Lotus Bloom - This card is simply too slow for a deck that wants to win turns 1-3. Drawing these off of a draw4 is like drawing a currently dead card, but worse since you cannot go off the next turn with Lotus Bloom.

Creatures (aka Tall Men)

Phyrexian Walker/Shield Sphere/Ornithopter - Walker and Shield Sphere are generally played first as they have the fattest asses making them the hardest to kill. These creatures add storm as well as enable Culling the Weak, Diabolic Intent, and Cabal Therapy's flashback. Furthermore, they can block while you setup. The major reason to play these over Trinket Mage/Priest of Gix is that they can be used to start you combo using Culling the Weak without extra mana.

Trinket Mage - Mage isn't played because its casting cost slows the deck down considerably. Playing this takes away Culling the Weak as a first turn play.

Priest of Gix - See trinket mage.

Dark Confidant - many times dark confidant comes out of the sideboard. While it may be counter-intuitive to play Dark Confidant in a draw4 deck, if you are resolving confidant, you have likely not resolved a draw4 yet. Even so, the average mana cost of this deck is extremely low, and the likelyhood of confidant killing you at 9-10 life is very low. The extra cards drawn off an early confidant far outweigh any lifeloss (that will simply be halved anyway as you start to combo). Because of draw4 math, you can safely go down to 16 before you start losing draw4s.

Avatar of Discord - sometimes played in the sideboard, Avatar of Discard was part of "The Man Plan", a sideboard strategy that revolved around boarding into high power creatures with evasion against difficult matchups. With the advent of Empty the Warrens, this is largely unnecessary. This was normally played with Tomb of Urami and either Vampiric Spirit or Phyrexian Negator.

Vampiric Spirit - see avatar of discord

Phyrexian Negator - see avatar of discord

Tomb of Urami - sometimes played as an alternate win condition, this can provide you with a 5/5 flyer for the mere cost of 2BB and your lands. Seeing as you play very few lands, this is often a bargain against unprepared control decks. Tomb of Urami is still sometimes played, unlike Avatar of Discord, Phyrexian Negator, and Vampiric Spirit due to its usefulness as an actual land when needed. That said, the lifeloss will quickly add up if you tap it multiple turns in a row. This isn't a bad random land to place in your deck.

Business

Cruel Bargain/Infernal Contract - "drawing 4 cards is busted" You can safely ignore the lose half your life part since you only need 1 life point anyway ;) SI was originally designed around and still uses the power of these draw4s to stock its hand with useful rituals and win conditions in order to overwhelm an opponent. Much of the fun, consistency, and inconsistency of SI can all be traced back to these cards. Part of designing a good SI build is making sure you can survive a bad draw4 as well as mitigating the chances of one. It generally pays to be highly aggressive with draw4s in order to see as many cards as possible. "When in doubt, draw some cards."

Meditate - Yet another draw4, this one is instant-speed, blue, and doesn't cost life. Meditate, while it can be played on your own turn, allows you to cast it on your opponent's end step, dropping them with a turn they weren't expecting and letting you untap with up to 11 cards post draw step. In a deck like SI, it is very difficult to not win when you have 11 cards in your hand.

Infernal Tutor - Infernal Tutor allows you to double up rituals, blockers, mana, discard cards (with a chrome mox in hand, possibly to get hellbent for a second Infernal Tutor), IGG-loop (Ill-Gotten Gains), and many times to find whatever you need. This is most powerful when finding Cabal Therapy, Tendrils of Agony, or Ill-Gotten Gains. Combine with a Lion's Eye Diamond to get a Demonic Tutor with Black Lotus added on. SI, like Iggy Pop, can sometimes "just win" by getting 2 rituals that will net BBB and an Infernal Tutor with Hellbent to find an IGG, recurring Infernal Tutor and 2 Rituals. An often-useful play is casting an IGG in hand to recur two ritual effects and an Infernal Tutor to find a win condition, since the IGG will not only generate mana, but also provide Hellbent.

Diabolic Intent - this "fixed" Demonic Tutor generally requires you play 10+ creatures, but rewards you with the abiliy to find any card required for only a creature and 1B. Whether you play Infernal Tutor, Diabolic Intent, or both, largely depends on what your build is trying to do. Lately, Infernal Tutor has been favored for allowing the IGG loop as well as not requiring extra creatures.

Ill-Gotten Gains - A general storm enabler in SI, IGG allows you to replay things from your graveyard, giving you hellbent in the process. This is important in builds that play Infernal Tutor as often casting the IGG to return an earlier played Tutor will result in being able to replay tutor and finding a game-ending Tendrils. It's worth noting that IGG can be played as a mass-discard spell if necessary, as well as being able to return a Cabal Rit and two draw4s.

Tendrils of Agony - The primary win condition of SI, this can be played for upwards of 80 lifeloss in a single turn per copy of Tendrils. Multiple by the number of Tendrils and add in Ill-Gotten Gains and it's possible to take down very large life totals with Tendrils. The standard gameplan of SI is to play a lethal Tendrils of Agony (by default, with 9 storm), although mini-tendrils (less than lethal) for lifegain to play more draw4s are common.

Empty the Warrens - The favored secondary win condition of SI (and storm in general), ETW gives you flexibility to create fewer storm than needed for a lethal Tendrils of Agony but also put significant pressure on your opponent.

Brain Freeze - Another secondary win condition, Brain Freeze allows U/B versions with multiple lands an out against Mage on tendrils without resorting to finding and resolving bounce/removal. Given the easy storming capabilities of SI, a lethal or near-lethal Brain Freeze is not difficult.

Goblin Charbelcher - Yet another win condition, this is normally played by B/g variants with Land Grant. Belcher is unique among secondary win conditions in that it is largely unaffected by standard hate cards. Indeed, it was common in the past for control players to fall to SI post-Arcane Lab or Meddling Mage due to Goblin Charbelcher.

Brainstorm - a previously unplayed draw/optimiztion spell, Brainstorm became significantly better when more fetchlands were added. Brainstorm allows you to build a signifcant hand to overpower control, while digging for needed cards against other archetypes. Never dead, late game brainstorms can be imprinted on Chrome Mox to cast Meditate when not needed. Note, if you haven't already, the Brainstorm + fetchland mini combo.

Cabal Therapy - a mass discard spell made better by our Tall Men, Cabal Therapy lets you rid yourself of problem cards that stop your combo, allow your opponent to win, and gives you information at the same time. It is very important to note that casting IGG with an enemy Force of Will/Stifle/Trickbind in the graveyard is much more acceptable in SI than in Iggy Pop or TES since you can just flashback Cabal Therapy with a creature before casting other spells. Furthermore, Cabal Therapy can be used as a storm enabler or hellbent enabler when necessary.

Mystical Tutor - while never a maindeck card due to speed and space requirements, Mystical Tutor has recently been considered as a sideboard option to increase the numbers of IGG or bounce available without taking up so many slots. This accels against discard, which is where it is being tested.

Removal

Naturalize/Oxidize/Emerald Charm/Krosan Grip/Ancient Grudge - Of actual artifact/enchantment removal, Naturalize is generally favored due to casting cost, although cases can be made for Krosan Grip or Oxidize depending on your manabase and expected meta.

Massacre - This removes troublesome True Believers, Meddling Mages, and sometimes Goblin Hordes, usually for 0 mana.

Chain of Vapor/Echoing Truth - these can be used against any problem permanent, with Echoing Truth being especially useful against enemy combo decks utilitizing Empty the Warrens, or against decks that would play multiples of things like Meddling Mage/Pyrostatic Pillar/Chalice of the Void/Arcane Lab.

Hurkyl's Recall/Rebuild - Given that SI's largest problems come from Chalice of the Void and Trinisphere, most sideboards pack one or both of these in an effort to not lose to Chalices. While it doesn't happen often, each can both be used to generate storm off Tall Men/Moxen/Petals if the conditions are right.

Other sideboard options:

Ill-Gotten Gains - Recently moved to the sideboard in some lists, it is played with Mystical Tutor to shore up discard-based aggro control matchups.

Mystical Tutor - Recently tested in order to maximize sideboard slots through a silver-bullet system. Still under consideration.

Xantid Swarm - Useful against reactive blue strategies and Orim's Chant, this allows you to go off unmolested and can be sacrificed in the second mainphase to Culling the Weak or Diabolic Intent once its ability has resolved.

Defense Grid - Again, useful against reactive strategies, without as much vulnerability as Xantid Swarm to common removal. Late game, this is probably worse than Xantid Swarm as your opponent can usually just pay the extra mana.

Duress - While Cabal Therapy is almost always better, a case could be made for Duress since it will almost always hit something. Given that it cannot stop multiple threats, and it can't be flashed back, I personally do not play it, but it is still a consideration.

Playing SI

While SI can be pushed into extreme turn 1 kill percentages, the days of racing Force of Will every game are pretty much gone. Instead, SI looks to gain card advantage through draw4s, Brainstorms, Dark Confidant, and constantly test for openings. When an opening is found, you seek to press the advantage by playing a multitude of spells and eventually a Tendrils. With Empty the Warrens in the deck, baiting countermagic for storm becomes an option, especially with more rituals and draw4s in hand, since you will then be able to apply pressure from the attack step and through drawing more cards (into a now much smaller Tendrils than previously required).

Common openings include Brainstorm, Dark Rit/Culling the Weak into a Draw4, and Cabal Therapy. Alternately, with red versions, opening with 6-8 tokens is a good start, along with the standard draw4 opening. In general, you want to draw as many cards as you can, as early as you can, in order to be able to present a Tendrils/ETW as fast as possible. Many times this means playing a draw4 into a Brainstorm and passing the turn with a fully stocked and optimized hand. This method allows you to more fully exploit the additional lands that newer lists play.

Something to remember when attempting to combo off is how much mana you have floating versus what you can use to continue comboing off. This is the difference between opening Dark Rit, Draw4 and Dark Rit, Cabal Rit, Draw4. If you hand has another 1cc accelerant and something to do with it, it is probably wise to spend the extra rit in the hopes of continuing your combo. If you are missing multiple things, it is better to save the Cabal Rit for a later turn (probably the next one).

Things to look for in an opening hand are business, ritual effects, and starting mana, with mana to start with being the most important. Business is the most plentiful asset in the deck, so if you open a hand with good intial mana, ritual effects, and a couple blockers, it is likely a keeper. Mulliganing aggressively with SI is suggested, since your ability to quickly recover from mulls with draw4s is unparalleled.

Matchups

I'll put up general strategies for matchups later, as well as some games against each archetype either today or later this weekend.

I'm working on blending the QSI list (that currently don't run a second win condition main) with the SITES list to provide yet more threats without taking anything away. I'm open for suggestions on how to do this. I prefer to play with QSI though, as I believe it is the strongest test list to date (only lacking a definite sideboard plan and the maindeck ETW so far).

Questions, thoughts, comments? I'll get a matchup guide up soon, and some play scenarios with a slightly modified QSI build and explanations for each of those card choice (as opposed to a general archetype explanation).

Links to Previous Discussion about SI:

Old Primer and Discussion on MTG Salvation - http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=58807

BreathWeapon
06-21-2007, 04:22 PM
Altho' I think it's better to build around Brainstorm and Mystical Tutor to increase the threat and acceleration density in the deck instead of using Shield Sphere, Phyrexian Walker and Culling the Weak to increase the acceleration density, I have to admit this deck is fast, consistent and durable by combo standards.

4 Tendrils of Agony
1 Ill Gotten Gains
4 Infernal Tutor
4 Infernal Contract
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Shield Sphere
4 Phyrexian Walker
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Chrome Mox
4 Lotus
4 Land Grant
3 Bayou

This is the list I'm using, and it just obliterates aggro, control and combo by virtue of being combo, Tendrils and bomb heavy instead of Warrens and tutor heavy and faster, respectively.

One of the deck's biggest weakness is its dependency on its draws, but against non-interactive decks like aggro you can mulligan aggressively into a Draw 4 and then sit behind your creatures until you can set up. On the flip side, this deck can keep a hand on almost any single Land Grant, Bayou, Chrome Mox, Lotus Petal and either Dark Ritual, Culling the Weak + artifact creature and either a Draw 4, Infernal Tutor + Lion's Eye Diamond.

My main problem with the artifact creature over Brainstorm/Mystical Tutor skeleton is its ability to find answers against permanent based disruption. If a deck like Fairy Stompy can Force of Will your first threat or you take the time to name Force of Will with Cabal Therapy, they can play Chalice of the Void and ruin you. Threshold can do the same thing with Null Rod and to a lesser extent Meddling Mage, and the only way to be certain you can get around it is to draw a Cabal Therapy and artifact creature on the play.

You probably need to replace a Tendrils of Agony with either an Empty the Warrens or a Goblin Charblecher and replace a Bayou with a Tomb of Urami, but the MD is solid and the SB is wide open for alternate win conditions and disruption (I suggest Oxidize for Chalice of the Void removal).

All in all, I think this deck has major potential as long as it stays as far away from Empty the Warrens as possible. What makes this deck a serious consideration is that it doesn't have to invest its hand into any single play.

I'm definitely having a lot of fun with this thing online.

Edit: This is the U/b list I keep referencing,

4 Tendrils of Agony
1 Ill Gotten Gains
1 Diminishing Returns
4 Infernal Contract
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Infernal Tutor
4 Mystical Tutor
4 Brainstorm
4 Duress
1 Massacre/Echoing Truth
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Chrome Mox
4 Lotus
4 Polluted Delta
3 Underground Sea
1 Swamp
1 Island

The basic idea is that the deck can take 4 points of damage before the Draw 4 math is affected, so it uses that cushion to set up with Brainstorm and Mystical Tutor against aggro and then go off all at once or hit a large Tendril and rebuild from there, or if the hand has Lion's Eye Diamond, Mystical Tutor can find Infernal Tutor and end the game immediately. During Draw 4 combo, you just use the Mystical Tutors to interconnect the Draw 4s, find Cabal Rituals with Threshold or end the game with Tendrils of Agony. Brainstorm can be used to stack Draw 4s with Lion's Eye Diamond casting the second Draw 4 after the first one draws into it.

It doesn't have the speed or blockers of the list above, but it's a lot more resilient, consistent and a lot less hand dependent by comparison.

Jak
06-21-2007, 04:25 PM
Thanks emidln for starting a thread. :smile: .

Anyways, have you ever thought to cut the Tall men to open up 12 slots?

ForceofWill
06-21-2007, 05:22 PM
then you also have to cut culling and the sac a guy tutor.

emidln
06-21-2007, 05:24 PM
Culling the Weak enables the deck to play 8 cards that cost BBB. There isn't any way around this.

Jak
06-21-2007, 05:28 PM
Yeah that's why I said 12 slots are free. I think you were looking at the outdated version, because intent is not used. There is a ton of accel, si I would rather run something else. I really don't know if it's good or anything, but I threw together a B/r/u version.

Lands:
2 Polluted Delta
2 Bloodstained Mire
4 Underground Sea
2 Badlands
1 Swamp

Accel
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox
4 Lion's Eye Diamond

Mana Fixing
4 Wild Cantor

Draw/Tutors
4 Brainstorm
4 Infernal Tutor
4 Infernal Contract
3 Meditate

Win
2 Tendrils
2 EtW
2 Ill-Gotten Gains

Not tested, but it is a new idea for the deck.

jamest
06-21-2007, 05:34 PM
Street Wraith? The life loss is obviously an issue, but maybe it could work. It's on-color to imprint on Mox and it's a free way to dig for mana and build Thresh. 4 more cards and you can cut blue. Just throwing out ideas...

technogeek5000
06-21-2007, 05:53 PM
I briefly netdecked a few of the lists and have a suggestion that i believe will improve SI's consistancy alot: UNMASK

In breathweapon's list i took out 4 therapies for this card and was amazed. With therapy you have to sacrifice one of the tall peoplz which are crucial for culling the weak. Often there will be 1 card in you hand that dont plan on casting because of iggy or lion's eye in resp to infernal contract/bargain, infernal tutor so unmask is rarely dead. Its free so it easily builds up storm and because it is pinpoint hand discard, you will be ripping counters out of peoples hand before comboing off.

BreathWeapon
06-21-2007, 06:40 PM
Culling the Weak enables the deck to play 8 cards that cost BBB. There isn't any way around this.

That's actually not true, I've had that U/b Tendrils list since the Fall. If you can Brainstorm and Mystical Tutor into your acceleration, you're effectively increasing their density. Mystical Tutor for a Cabal Ritual with Threshold during the Draw 4 chains is about as good as an artifact creature + Culling the Weak, and Mystical Tutor and Brainstorm can stack Draw 4s to cheat the odds. If you add more lands, you don't even need rituals to resolve Draw 4s.

If you look at Vintage Long, the deck supports 4 Grim Tutors, Necropotence, Yawgmoth's Bargain and sometimes an Infernal Contract with just 8 rituals.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with SI, I think its speed and its ability to SB out Cabal Therapy and SB in a set of Goblin Charblechers when its on the play against aggro/combo is awesome, but Culling the Weak is by no means necessary for supporting 8 Draw 4s.

Edit: I misconstrued that quote, but I'll let the point stand.

emidln
06-21-2007, 06:56 PM
That's actually not true, I've had that U/b Tendrils list since the Fall. If you can Brainstorm and Mystical Tutor into your acceleration, you're effectively increasing their density. Mystical Tutor for a Cabal Ritual with Threshold during the Draw 4 chains is about as good as an artifact creature + Culling the Weak, and Mystical Tutor and Brainstorm can stack Draw 4s to cheat the odds. If you add more lands, you don't even need rituals to resolve Draw 4s.

The problem is that you must first obtain Threshold, which is much more difficult to do without Culling the Weak. U/B Tendrils in Legacy is actually a fine deck, but it is forced to cheat to appear to have threat density. While it may seem like you can Mystical during a draw4 chain, the extra blue mana is rarely available. Once you've played your land per turn, you have Lotus Petal and Chrome Mox (if you happen to have another blue card) to cast.*


If you look at Vintage Long, the deck supports 4 Grim Tutors, Necropotence, Yawgmoth's Bargain and sometimes an Infernal Contract with just 8 rituals.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with SI, I think its speed and its ability to SB out Cabal Therapy and SB in a set of Goblin Charblechers when its on the play against aggro/combo is awesome, but Culling the Weak is by no means necessary for supporting 8 Draw 4s.


Vintage Long supports 3 Grim Tutors, Necropotence, Yawgmoth's Bargain, sometimes an Infernal Contract on 4 Dark Ritual, 4 Cabal Ritual, and 1 Black Lotus. The major difference here is that our "necropotence" isn't the only card we have to cast. Even with Grim Tutor, they only need to cast 1-2 Rituals to Grim Tutor into Will/Bargain and just win on the spot. We do not have that capability since our equivilent usually requires us to play another one. I've never encountered an instance in Long where I've played a Necro to be forced to play a Bargain. Playing a Cruel Bargain to play an Infernal Contract to play an Ill-Gotten Gains is the norm in SI.

*As an aside, I happen to think that the combination of Dark Rit/Cabal Rit/LED/Infernal Tutor/Mystical Tutor/Grim Tutor makes for the best combo deck in Legacy, but that's a different thread.

BreathWeapon
06-21-2007, 07:44 PM
I'm not certain I can come up with a counter argument to that other than that the deck works, and it just takes time to get a grip on the Brainstorm and Mystical Tutor interactions in the Draw 4 shell to pilot it. I rarely have an issue achieving Threshold or finding blue mana, because I have 8 more business cards and can afford to wait another two turns to achieve Threshold and 4 more lands to produce blue.

That aside, is there a reason that the original deck list on page 1 of the MTGSalvation list was disregarded? It has the most ridiculous goldfish rate I have ever seen, and being able to support Goblin Charbelcher not just as an alternate kill condition, but as a win condition in multiples has made the Suicide match up favorable. It's amazing the number of sand bagging strategies this deck can use against Suicide, just boarding out the Cabal Therapies for 4 Tomb of Urami on the draw is giving me a great game against them.

I'm at the first list on the MTGSalvation thread -1 Ill Gotten Gains for + 1 Goblin Charbelcher and just smashing the gauntlet. This deck came a long way from the original list posted on TheManaDrain.

emidln
06-21-2007, 08:08 PM
I'm not certain I can come up with a counter argument to that other than that the deck works, and it just takes time to get a grip on the Brainstorm and Mystical Tutor interactions in the Draw 4 shell to pilot it. I rarely have an issue achieving Threshold or finding blue mana, because I have 8 more business cards and can afford to wait another two turns to achieve Threshold and 4 more lands to produce blue.

That aside, is there a reason that the original deck list on page 1 of the MTGSalvation list was disregarded? It has the most ridiculous goldfish rate I have ever seen, and being able to support Goblin Charbelcher not just as an alternate kill condition, but as a win condition in multiples has made the Suicide match up favorable. It's amazing the number of sand bagging strategies this deck can use against Suicide, just boarding out the Cabal Therapies for 4 Tomb of Urami on the draw is giving me a great game against them.

I'm at the first list on the MTGSalvation thread -1 Ill Gotten Gains for + 1 Goblin Charbelcher and just smashing the gauntlet. This deck came a long way from the original list posted on TheManaDrain.

We largely started testing more and it took more effort than it was worth to beat Control. I maintained for a long time that the original list was more than capable of smashing control, but in light of others not being able to reproduce my results, I started tweaking to make it easier to accomplish wins against control and aggro-control. In other words, there is no amazing reason why you should use the B/g list with Grants, other than it makes life more difficult in some matchups. As for goldfishing speed, you are correct, and I believe that the SI list posted there is the fastest deck ever legal in Vintage or Legacy in terms of goldfish speed.

BreathWeapon
06-21-2007, 09:58 PM
I don't seem to have a problem beating control with it, tho' aggro-control is a nuisance as always, and I'm not certain that replacing Cabal Therapy or Tendrils of Agony with Empty the Warrens is going in the right direction when Cabal Therapy is the reason you can disregard Stifle and Empty the Warrens is walking straight into removal game 2.

I think the first incarnation of the deck had it right, minus the second Ill Gotten Gains, and if people need to dumb it down then reversing the Tendrils of Agony and Goblin Charbelcher ratio is the right call. I think Goblin Charblecher is the selling point of the original deck, because instead of using the Draw 4 chain or the IGG chain to win, the deck can just cast a Goblin Charbelcher and it becomes inevitable.

I could see 3 Goblin Charbelcher, 4 Empty the Warrens, 4 Simian Spirit Guide and 1 Taiga as an entire SB plan with perhaps replacing one of the MD Bayou with a MD Taiga to free up the fourth space for a set of Oxidize.

The cool thing about SI is that it's a shell that's capable of supporting all of storm combo's win conditions, has two different engines to find them and make them lethal (Tutur+LED and "connect 4") up to 12 stand alone threats (4 Blecher, 8 Draw 4) 8 free walls and the most savage top decks in the format. You get hit by Chalice of the Void really, really hard, but that's what game 3 is for.

blacklotus3636
06-21-2007, 11:15 PM
I don`t mean to hate on anyone`s deck or anything but I think the most important thing to consider with any combo deck right now is: Why am I playing this instead of TES? I heard it mentioned that someone said TES is tutor heavy but this deck is draw heavy. That would lend me to beleive that this deck may be more explosive and/or consistent than a deck like TES but you have alot more difficulties with hate than TES does. I guess what I am trying to say is that TES kills about as fast as you do and can answer hate better so why are you playing this? Beating aggro with a storm combo deck is not a problem or even an issue so what seperates an awesome storm tendrils deck from an ok one is its ability to deal with control and aggro control that are both playing colors that give them access to the MOST vicious anti-combo cards available in the format. In TES you have burning wish, xantid swarm and orim`s chant but what do you have in this deck? Unmask? Therapy? Most pieces of disruption that are truly scary are things like meddling mage, arcane lab and chalice of the void. You pretty much can`t win or have an extremely difficult time trying to combo off with them on the board. Chalice seems to be worse for this deck than almost any other storm combo deck out there because it stops your petals, moxes, LED`s, creatures and culling the weak and it comes down for zero as early as turn 1...ouch. Not to mention it is the most popular anti-combo card and any deck can run it. Sorry for such a long post

BreathWeapon
06-22-2007, 03:08 AM
I lost a post in response to this, but I'll go over the points again in short.

SI is faster than TES, at least twice as fast if not more.

SI uses ritual based threats, Dark Ritual + Infernal Contract being countered isn't as devastating as Burning Wish + Lion's Eye Diamond being countered.

SI has non-storm based win conditions, Goblin Charbelcher is "The Nuts" in the Land Grant version of the deck, and I think the Land Grant version of the deck could just be a better skeleton for a Goblin Charbelcher based deck.

SI has Cabal Therapy, and unlike Xantid Swarm, Cabal Therapy can discard permanent based hate. SI is stronger than TES against permanent based hate on the play while weaker against permanent based hate on the draw. Furthermore, I'm not convinced that SI scoops to Chalice of the Void on the draw, because 4 Shattering Spree, 4 Simian Spirit Guide, 1 Taiga and 4 Empty the Warrens SB in for 4 Cabal Therapy, 4 Culling the Weak, 1 Bayou and 4 of whatever win condition you are running has good odds of removing the Chalice of the Void. 2cc and 3cc permanent based hate is frankly either ineffective or too slow, Pyrostatic Pillar isn't much of an issue when you can just play a Goblin Charbelcher, and Meddling Mage is only a minor nuisance.

SI, next to Belcher, mulligans better than any other combo deck I have ever seen.

Filipinho
06-23-2007, 09:03 AM
What do you think of Pain's Reward as another draw 4 without leaving black?

Iranon
06-23-2007, 12:48 PM
That's a big no. We even trim lands (and we are notoriously short on permanent mana sources, which is currently the main limitation on the deck's consistency) because they are terrible draws mid-combo. Pain's reward is pretty much uncastable unless you start off with it.

If you are desperate for more heavy-duty draw spells, Meditate is the way to go... it also has the bonus of setting up hand that will overpower most reactive answers.

BreathWeapon
06-23-2007, 02:46 PM
Pain's Reward is too conditional, it has to be the first threat the deck casts and neither losing 19 life for 4 cards or giving the opponent 4 cards for 13 damage is acceptable. Promise of Power is the next best card advantage spell and 5cc for 5 cards or an X/X Flying Demon and 5 Life is too difficult to support.

The next best threat I've found is either using 4 Goblin Charbelcher in the Land Grant version and/or Death Wish.

A few notes,

Cabal Therapy is worthless in the Land Grant version, because I 2 fisted the SI vs Threshold match up and found out if the Threshold opponent Force of Wills or Dazes the Chrome Mox, the game is over. In order for that deck to work, it has to replace Cabal Therapy with Unmask and cut four other cards for Pact of Negation to even stand a chance.

From what I've found, SI needs 7 lands in order to support Cabal Therapy and not rely on Lotus Petal->Dark Ritual->Draw 4. 4 of those lands should be Fetchlands and 3 of those lands should be Dual Lands so the deck can thin lands but still build a 3 land mana base for the Draw 4s.

I think it's possible that replacing 3 Tendrils of Agony and 1 Phyrexian Walker with 4 Death Wish could lead to more playable starting hands, storming short with Empty the Warrens instead of Tendrils of Agony and gives the deck answers to resolved hate (Death Wish->Massacre on Meddling Mage) or accelerating wins with Empty the Warrens (SB in 3 Empty the Warrens and 4 Simian Spirit Guide, then Death Wish->Dark Triumph to double Time Walk them). It's also possible that replacing 4 Infernal Tutor with 4 Death Wish could just be a more efficient tutoring mechanism for the deck, where Diminishing Returns is replacing the function of Ill Gotten Gains and is significantly better with artifact creature, Culling the Weak and Lion's Eye Diamond combinations. You also release 2 MD slots to the Ill Gotten Gains and a Tendrils of Agony, which facilitates MD Empty the Warrens.

I have a strong suspicion that a list along the lines of,

MD

3 Tendrils of Agony
3 Empty the Warrens
4 Death Wish
4 Infernal Contract
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Shield Sphere
3 Phyrexian Walker
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Chrome Mox
4 Lotus Petal
4 Polluted Delta
3 Badlands

SB

1 Tendrils of Agony
1 Empty the Warrens
1 Diminishing Returns
1 Massacre
1 Snuff Out
1 Dark Triumph
1 Mind Swords
1 Crash
4 Shattering Spree

would be an absurd wrecking ball against control and aggro-control. The next logical step would be to see if Burning Wish was superior to Death Wish and then go from there. In the Burning Wish version, I think the artifact creatures should be replaced with Kobolds to increase the number of cards that can be imprinted on Chrome Mox and give access to red mana. The deck can go down to 16 life before it loses 1 Draw 4 and 8 life before it loses 2 Draw 4s and Phyrexian Walker can't chump that well any way, so you may as well make them more useful in combo mode then draw-go mode, which is actually a terrible position to be in any way. You can still use Kobolds to strategically chump block at crucial life markers, and getting the opponent to kill the damn things has given me Threshold on a number of occasions. You really can't count on them keeping out Goblin Lackey, because Tin-Street Hooligans blow them away and leave you with out chaff for Culling the Weak.

Game 3 on the play, board out the Draw 4's and board in Empty the Warrens and Simian Spirit Guide, the opponent will let the counter resolve so he can counter the Draw 4, and then you bait/switch with Empty the Warrens. You'll also notice people countering Dark Rituals just with a Badlands on the board if they think you're playing Red Death or you lead with an artifact creature and tip them off. You can constantly mind fuck your opponent into countering your rituals and boarding in removal just because you have Badlands on the board.

Get use to winning with only 3 Draw 4's, Mogg Fanatic will always keep you off of the fourth Draw 4 unless you can gain life off of a Tendrils

I'm going to be messing around with the Wish based versions, .

Iranon
06-23-2007, 04:26 PM
I have actually experimented a version with Burning Wish for some time, and it's my favourite of the splashes. The toolbox is lovely, preserving functionality of the deck against most widely played hate.


3 Badlands
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Polluted Delta
1 Bloodstained Mire
4 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Dark Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Cabal Ritual
2 Simian Spirit Guide

4 Shield Sphere
4 Phyrexian Walker

4 Burning Wish
4 Infernal Tutor
4 Infernal Contract
3 Cruel Bargain
1 Ill-Gotten Gains

2 Tendrils of Agony
2 Empty the Warrens

4 Cabal Therapy
1 Duress
1 Erase
2 Shattering Spree
1 Meltdown
1 Rolling Earthquake
1 Ill-gotten Gains
1 Empty the Warrens
1 Tendrils of Agony
2 Massacre



The major problem: Kobolds or Robots is a choice of damnations. Robots stretch the mana base to the limit, but running them buys us ~2 turns against many decks.



When all is said and done, I still prefer the Land Grant-based version for its speed and consistency. Belcher is ridiculous and often remains a viable win condition when everything else has become unfeasible in an orgy of hate.

BreathWeapon
06-23-2007, 06:00 PM
I have the same list -1 Tendrils of Agony for + 1 Empty the Warrens, -2 Simian Spirit Guide for +2 lands, -4 Shield Sphere and -4 Phyrexian Walker for + 4 Kobolds of Kher Keep and + 4 Crookshank Kobolds. I'm convinced that Kobolds are better than artifact creatures, because the artifact creatures cause you to unintentionally misplay your deck by reducing your storm, making your opponent's Swords to Plowshares and Tin-Street Hooligans live and losing an outlet and not being able to imprint the card on Chrome Mox.

I'm convinced it's the fastest combo deck in the format.

I was experimenting with a Land Grant version that ended up with this,

4 Goblin Charbelcher
4 Death Wish
4 Infernal Contract
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Unmask
4 Pact of Negation
4 Shield Sphere
4 Phyrexian Walker
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Chrome Mox
4 Lotus
4 Land Grant
2 Bayou

It's 62 cards and still uses the artifact creatures, because you NEED a defensive wall if you play Goblin Charblecher and expect to be able to top deck into mana to activate it, but it's great on the play and garbage on the draw. The problem is that I think R/g Belcher is just a better deck because the tier 0 mana producers aren't clear targets for the opponent's counter spells. If they counter your Chrome Mox/Land Grant, you're completely fucked.

B/r Kobold SI is definitely the way to go, my U/g/w Threshold match up is ridiculous by combo standards. I'm really only afraid of Faerie Stompy, AfFOWnity, Suicide, Stax and red based aggro-prison at this point.

Gui
06-24-2007, 12:07 AM
Nice job tweaking the list with those splashs... just wonder why not putting the Salvation list on the first post, since in my opinion it's faster than any of those... anyway...

What's the next name going to be? CSI? xD

BreathWeapon
06-24-2007, 03:42 PM
I finished testing Burning Wish and the card wasn't working as well as I had hoped it would. Even after replacing the artifact creatures with the Kobolds, I still couldn't get the 4RR needed to cast Burning Wish into Empty the Warrens with out Lion's Eye Diamond. I decided that Simian Spirit Guide was needed in order to facilitate Badlands, Kobolds of Khe Keep, Culling the Weak, Simian Spirit Guide and then either Burning Wish into Cruel Bargain or Chrome Mox/Lotus Petal into Empty the Warrens.

After an additional round of testing, I ended up with a permutation of SITES that I feel is stronger than the original. The presence of Empty the Warrens forces the opponent to counter the rituals, and Simian Spirit Guide protects the rituals from Daze while setting back the opponent's Meddling Mage or Tarmogoyf a turn. Burning Wish is just a superior tutor to Infernal Tutor, because it's a self contained threat that the opponent must counter in order to prevent either an Empty the Warrens or Cabal Therapy from the SB. Also, the original SITES had a critical weakness against Stifle on the draw, because even tho' the deck could draw upwards of 16 cards before casting an Empty the Warrens or Infernal Tutor, Stifle still won the game for the opponent unless I could cast 2 Storm spells, which is a tall order.

The list ended up as SITES -4 Infernal Tutor, -1 Ill Gotten Gains, -1 Cruel Bargain (SB) -8 artifacts creatures for +4 Burning Wish, +2 Tendrils of Agony, +8 Koblds and the deck started to click, but the Tendrils of Agony were dead weight now that Chrome Mox imprints Kobolds for red mana. I ended up cutting two of the three Tendrils of Agony for Infernal Tutors, and at that point I decided to just say "fuck it" and cut a Kobold and a land for the other Infernal Tutors.

I ended right back at Iranon's list -1 Ill Gotten Gains and -1 Kobold for +2 Simian Spirit Guide. I feel that Ill Gotten Gains is just a crutch against aggro, and even then, you can still set it up with Burning Wish if you need to.

This deck is literally Threshold's worst nightmare, they have to mulligan into Force of Will on the draw thanks to your speed, they can't count on Daze on the play thanks to your Simian Spirit Guide, they can't count on Stifle on the play thanks to Draw 4's, they can't count on Engineered Explosives on the draw thanks to being able to cast it for 10+ storm and or on the play game 2 thanks to SB 2 of them out for 2 more Tendrils.

Filipinho
06-28-2007, 01:48 AM
I really like the blue splash. I'm playing the Quasi SI and I love this version. Although I have a hard time with Meddling Mage (http://ww2.wizards.com/gatherer/CardDetails.aspx?&id=26591), I'm going off on turn two more than 90% of the games. If I'm playing second that can become a problem. The red splash is kinda hard with the deck, and it's hard to get an 17 storm count to make Brain Freeze (http://ww2.wizards.com/gatherer/CardDetails.aspx?name=brain%20freeze) worthy.
I was thinking on a wish SB, with DeathWish (http://ww2.wizards.com/gatherer/CardDetails.aspx?name=death%20wish), and silver bullets, like Chain of Vapor (http://ww2.wizards.com/gatherer/CardDetails.aspx?name=chain%20of%20vapor), Echoing Truth (http://ww2.wizards.com/gatherer/CardDetails.aspx?name=echoing%20truth), Slaughter Pact (http://ww2.wizards.com/gatherer/CardDetails.aspx?name=Slaughter%20Pact), Massacre (http://ww2.wizards.com/gatherer/CardDetails.aspx?name=massacre), Infest (http://ww2.wizards.com/gatherer/CardDetails.aspx?name=infest), Empty the Warrens (http://ww2.wizards.com/gatherer/CardDetails.aspx?name=Empty%20the%20Warrens), Badlands (http://ww2.wizards.com/gatherer/CardDetails.aspx?name=badlands)

marit
07-31-2007, 04:40 PM
The SITES list you put up has a total of 8 Infernal Tutors, what are the four extra supposed to be?

Sanguine Voyeur
07-31-2007, 04:48 PM
The SITES list you put up has a total of 8 Infernal Tutors, what are the four extra supposed to be?Infernal Contract is notably absent.

marit
07-31-2007, 05:04 PM
That explains it well enough.

emidln
07-31-2007, 06:42 PM
That explains it well enough.

Yep, 4 of those Tutors should be Contracts. All fixed now, but this just goes to show, that even I can make a mistake every couple years.

marit
08-03-2007, 06:45 PM
What's the correct SBing for the Man Plan? As of now I'm going -4 Infernal Tutor -4 Draw4, -2 IGG, -1 belcher, -1 Tendrils, +4 Avatar of Discord, +4 Tomb of Urami, +4 Vampiric Spirit. Is this the correct Sbing, or is there a more efficient way?

emidln
08-04-2007, 02:15 PM
What's the correct SBing for the Man Plan? As of now I'm going -4 Infernal Tutor -4 Draw4, -2 IGG, -1 belcher, -1 Tendrils, +4 Avatar of Discord, +4 Tomb of Urami, +4 Vampiric Spirit. Is this the correct Sbing, or is there a more efficient way?

Well, I haven't used it for awhile, but you're correct. It depended on the exact maindeck you used and the matchup though. I abandoned the man plan due to it being marginally better in only a few matchups and singificantly worse in several others. I don't even play the old list anymore as I haven't see a meta develop for it. I've been playing QSI variants lately.

Occam
08-04-2007, 10:48 PM
The list ended up as SITES -4 Infernal Tutor, -1 Ill Gotten Gains, -1 Cruel Bargain (SB) -8 artifacts creatures for +4 Burning Wish, +2 Tendrils of Agony, +8 Koblds and the deck started to click, but the Tendrils of Agony were dead weight now that Chrome Mox imprints Kobolds for red mana. I ended up cutting two of the three Tendrils of Agony for Infernal Tutors, and at that point I decided to just say "fuck it" and cut a Kobold and a land for the other Infernal Tutors.

I ended right back at Iranon's list -1 Ill Gotten Gains and -1 Kobold for +2 Simian Spirit Guide. I feel that Ill Gotten Gains is just a crutch against aggro, and even then, you can still set it up with Burning Wish if you need to.

This deck is literally Threshold's worst nightmare, they have to mulligan into Force of Will on the draw thanks to your speed, they can't count on Daze on the play thanks to your Simian Spirit Guide, they can't count on Stifle on the play thanks to Draw 4's, they can't count on Engineered Explosives on the draw thanks to being able to cast it for 10+ storm and or on the play game 2 thanks to SB 2 of them out for 2 more Tendrils.

Kobolds would probably enable a better translation into B/R, but when I tried that aggro/control matchups became worse, as kobolds can't chump as well as the arti creatures. On the other hand, they pitch to mox whereas arti creatures don't. Perhaps 4/4 split? Can be pretty useful when you can't go off on first turn after a draw 4, and lay a creature to avoid discarding and to block lackeys.

On another note, I really favour the version that splashes blue, but I'm not really sold on brainstorm due to it turning out to be a relatively dead card in certain situations, such as when you lack shuffle effects or when their effects overlap with draw 4s.

Another problem with the blue splash is the lack of tutors, meaning there is actually a rather noticeable statistical chance of fizzling while trying to chain draw4s. It needs to be more consistent, especially as it gives up some speed for resiliency. Even with 12 draw 4s and 4 brainstorms, there is still a good enough statistical chance of fizzling while chaining. This is assuming brainstorm is not always cast at the end of a chain (ie when there are no other draw4s left or when there is no mana left for draw4 + tendrils) because any other situation would be sub-optimal. Has anyone found a way around that in blue SI? It is in my opinion the best version of SI around, but I'm thinking it still lacks one more piece to complete its puzzle. Plus, unlike usage of tutors and black draw4s, fizzling a chain with meditates being used = next game.

I actually have tested the blue SI deck for quite a while. Few hundred games, but not under tourney pressure. SI has great matchups with aggro in general, but suffers against threshold and other heavy aggro-control decks with short clock, especially after sb if they bring in more stifles. Prison decks eat SI alive most of the time, barring broken turn 1 wins, turn 2 latest, but those decks are rarer. I think most people who have tested this deck rigorously understand how to play the selected versions, so why hasn't it posted results on at least a semi-consistent basis?

emidln
08-04-2007, 11:07 PM
Kobolds would probably enable a better translation into B/R, but when I tried that aggro/control matchups became worse, as kobolds can't chump as well as the arti creatures. On the other hand, they pitch to mox whereas arti creatures don't. Perhaps 4/4 split? Can be pretty useful when you can't go off on first turn after a draw 4, and lay a creature to avoid discarding and to block lackeys.

On another note, I really favour the version that splashes blue, but I'm not really sold on brainstorm due to it turning out to be a relatively dead card in certain situations, such as when you lack shuffle effects or when their effects overlap with draw 4s.

Another problem with the blue splash is the lack of tutors, meaning there is actually a rather noticeable statistical chance of fizzling while trying to chain draw4s. It needs to be more consistent, especially as it gives up some speed for resiliency. Even with 12 draw 4s and 4 brainstorms, there is still a good enough statistical chance of fizzling while chaining. This is assuming brainstorm is not always cast at the end of a chain (ie when there are no other draw4s left or when there is no mana left for draw4 + tendrils) because any other situation would be sub-optimal. Has anyone found a way around that in blue SI? It is in my opinion the best version of SI around, but I'm thinking it still lacks one more piece to complete its puzzle. Plus, unlike usage of tutors and black draw4s, fizzling a chain with meditates being used = next game.

I actually have tested the blue SI deck for quite a while. Few hundred games, but not under tourney pressure. SI has great matchups with aggro in general, but suffers against threshold and other heavy aggro-control decks with short clock, especially after sb if they bring in more stifles. Prison decks eat SI alive most of the time, barring broken turn 1 wins, turn 2 latest, but those decks are rarer. I think most people who have tested this deck rigorously understand how to play the selected versions, so why hasn't it posted results on at least a semi-consistent basis?

When are you trying to go off and what is your criteria for a hand that can go off? It sounds like you are playing incorrectly because I have found that blue aggro-control is actually a pretty stellar matchup that is heavily in my favor. Likewise, I haven't lost to Prison (Sun Tower or Armageddon Stax) in a very long time. I think with proper sideboarding and play these difficulties that you're having can be overcome. Additionally, I cast Brainstorms quite a bit, and definitely over black draw4s a good portion of the time.

Furthermore, how do you lose to stifle? Everytime I go off I can either double Tendrils or Therapy for Stifle. Postboard I bait with Empty the Warrens for a few tokens quite often to apply minor pressure. Perhaps you are forcing the issue too early against control and not properly optimizing. Can you post hands/play situations with your analysis so I can see how you play?

I don't play the deck in tournaments. I play Sun Tower or Grim Iggy. This is a pet project of mine that I test continuously. Right now, I prefer Grim Iggy when I play combo in most metas, although QSI and Grim Iggy are becoming rather blurred as I reach conclusions on what I like best for my playstyle. In any event, I almost always audible into RG Stax because I still think it's the best deck in the format when properly metagamed.

Occam
08-04-2007, 11:31 PM
When are you trying to go off and what is your criteria for a hand that can go off? It sounds like you are playing incorrectly because I have found that blue aggro-control is actually a pretty stellar matchup that is heavily in my favor. Likewise, I haven't lost to Prison (Sun Tower or Armageddon Stax) in a very long time. I think with proper sideboarding and play these difficulties that you're having can be overcome. Additionally, I cast Brainstorms quite a bit, and definitely over black draw4s a good portion of the time.

Furthermore, how do you lose to stifle? Everytime I go off I can either double Tendrils or Therapy for Stifle. Postboard I bait with Empty the Warrens for a few tokens quite often to apply minor pressure. Perhaps you are forcing the issue too early against control and not properly optimizing. Can you post hands/play situations with your analysis so I can see how you play?

I don't play the deck in tournaments. I play Sun Tower or Grim Iggy. This is a pet project of mine that I test continuously. Right now, I prefer Grim Iggy when I play combo in most metas, although QSI and Grim Iggy are becoming rather blurred as I reach conclusions on what I like best for my playstyle. In any event, I almost always audible into RG Stax because I still think it's the best deck in the format when properly metagamed.


I'm not denying that blue SI is probably the best version, even though I guess the tone of my post suggested otherwise.

As for when I try to go off, generally with 2 draw 4s, at least one ritual, one critter and 1 initial mana source minimum. That way, 2 draw 4s are guaranteed, while hitting a tutor/culling fuels the rest and so on.

I always run 4 x therapies too. When I get them, I usually bring it home, barring an unlucky fizzle. The problem is, do you mull against an aggro/control deck for a therapy? If you had a hand that was 2 x brainstorm, meditate, mox, contract, therapy and dark rit, it isn't a bad hand, but if you keep, you would basically be forced to throw the therapy to rit (meaning almost dead if fow), pitch a brainstorm, needing to hit an initial mana source within next 3, or pitch the contract and hope to topdeck either a black draw4, or a blue source that allows eot medi. Even if the mox were a petal for instance, which is a pretty common hand, a fow on the draw 4 leaves us in topdeck mode. I often get screwed by mage/duress at times too. I mean it isn't a complete picture, but that is kinda why thresh etc have decent game agains tthis deck at least. Fow/stifle means you need to remove two answers and play cautiously against daze as well.

Expanding on the above issue, this deck needs to cast draw4s in order to force the control issue. Random topdecks do win games for SI, but the way the deck is put together also means that topdecking usually means no draw4 bombs when those in your hand are countered (deck runs a lot of accel, but the % of draw4s is not high enough for a 50% topdeck rate, meaning you would be helpless for a couple turns at least).

As for the prison matchup, 3sphere plus CotV at 0/1/3 kills the deck. The latter is still possible, but any sort of clock means 3sphere = good game 99% of the time.

I have also been going for brain freeze quite a lot in game2, as well as a confidant/lowcc manplan against control in game2. Works decently well, but any other tech worth listening to against control matchups? Oh and I saw the primer on sun tower. Pretty nifty deck.

emidln
08-05-2007, 12:12 AM
I'm not denying that blue SI is probably the best version, even though I guess the tone of my post suggested otherwise.

As for when I try to go off, generally with 2 draw 4s, at least one ritual, one critter and 1 initial mana source minimum. That way, 2 draw 4s are guaranteed, while hitting a tutor/culling fuels the rest and so on.

I always run 4 x therapies too. When I get them, I usually bring it home, barring an unlucky fizzle. The problem is, do you mull against an aggro/control deck for a therapy? If you had a hand that was 2 x brainstorm, meditate, mox, contract, therapy and dark rit, it isn't a bad hand, but if you keep, you would basically be forced to throw the therapy to rit (meaning almost dead if fow), pitch a brainstorm, needing to hit an initial mana source within next 3, or pitch the contract and hope to topdeck either a black draw4, or a blue source that allows eot medi.

The solution:

mox imprinting meditate, brainstorm. If you hit another mana source you can rit into draw4 and pass. Otherwise, you have another brainstorm next turn that will dig 2 cards deeper. If you get an initial mana source, you have brainstorm to help you out in the event of fow on draw4.

You run 11 draw4s, 4 cabal therapy (8 virtual copies), 4 brainstorm, 4 tendrils preboard. That makes 27 things to do. If they FoW 1 draw4 you now have 26 things to do. In a 60 card deck where you start with 7 cards in hand, there is no only a great chance you already have a second card to play, but if there isn't, it would not be uncommon to topdeck one every other turn.


As for the prison matchup, 3sphere plus CotV at 0/1/3 kills the deck. The latter is still possible, but any sort of clock means 3sphere = good game 99% of the time.

Against prison you drop fast mana turn 1 if you have it. Then you don't break fetches until you need to when under chalice/3sphere to enable you to bounce the 3sphere when necessary. You have 17 sources to hit three mana (actually, more in SITES since you can RFG SSG) to cast ETruth/H.recall/Rebuild. Additionally, you will almost always brainstorm or draw4 turn 1 to increase the liklihood of you seeing the 3 mana necessary. Additionally, if 3sphere does not come down, you can very likely win turn 2.

As to prison with a clock, such a deck doesn't exist. 5/3 is rarely played (and heavily inconsistent when it is, mulling itself out of the potential for turn 1 trinisphere most often), Faerie Stompy doesn't run Trinisphere, and very old white stax lists can go turbo exalted angel turn 2 after a trinisphere, but even that could be played around with Rebuild with a marginal hand.


I have also been going for brain freeze quite a lot in game2, as well as a confidant/lowcc manplan against control in game2. Works decently well, but any other tech worth listening to against control matchups? Oh and I saw the primer on sun tower. Pretty nifty deck.

I haven't been playing brain freeze much recently postboard. I bring in ETW and force control to deal with draw4s (specifically meditate), etw, therapy, and confidant en route to mini tendrils.

Occam
08-05-2007, 12:25 AM
The solution:

mox imprinting meditate, brainstorm. If you hit another mana source you can rit into draw4 and pass. Otherwise, you have another brainstorm next turn that will dig 2 cards deeper. If you get an initial mana source, you have brainstorm to help you out in the event of fow on draw4.

You run 11 draw4s, 4 cabal therapy (8 virtual copies), 4 brainstorm, 4 tendrils preboard. That makes 27 things to do. If they FoW 1 draw4 you now have 26 things to do. In a 60 card deck where you start with 7 cards in hand, there is no only a great chance you already have a second card to play, but if there isn't, it would not be uncommon to topdeck one every other turn.



Against prison you drop fast mana turn 1 if you have it. Then you don't break fetches until you need to when under chalice/3sphere to enable you to bounce the 3sphere when necessary. You have 17 sources to hit three mana (actually, more in SITES since you can RFG SSG) to cast ETruth/H.recall/Rebuild. Additionally, you will almost always brainstorm or draw4 turn 1 to increase the liklihood of you seeing the 3 mana necessary. Additionally, if 3sphere does not come down, you can very likely win turn 2.

As to prison with a clock, such a deck doesn't exist. 5/3 is rarely played (and heavily consistent when it is, mulling itself out of the potential for turn 1 trinisphere most often), Faerie Stompy doesn't run Trinisphere, and very old white stax lists can go turbo exalted angel turn 2 after a trinisphere, but even that could be played around with Rebuild with a marginal hand.



I haven't been playing brain freeze much recently postboard. I bring in ETW and force control to deal with draw4s (specifically meditate), etw, therapy, and confidant en route to mini tendrils.

I understand your solution. The thing I wanted to illustrate was that SI hinges a lot on its first draw4, because those are the only things that generate real card advantage, and which dig the deepest. Even storming twice gives the opponent 1-2 turns to find a counter to the draw4, which is why I sometimes tend to aggressively go for the first draw4, which also compounds the problem I tried to illustrate with the above example.


If they FoW 1 draw4 you now have 26 things to do. In a 60 card deck where you start with 7 cards in hand, there is no only a great chance you already have a second card to play, but if there isn't, it would not be uncommon to topdeck one every other turn.

I agree and I understand. Just playing a little devil's advocate when saying that SI is almost always about the first draw4. Not always, but majority of the time. Tendrils is often not really a good topdeck early game though, even though I guess it does make good mox fodder.


As to prison with a clock, such a deck doesn't exist. 5/3 is rarely played

To be honest, I was making that point with 5/3 in mind. I understand the inconsistencies of mulling for a 3sphere, but with 4 x 3sphere and 4 x CotV, anyone of those could conceivably wreck a game.

When going etw postboard, how often are you mana screwed for red, seeing petals are almost always needed for other uses when chaining draw4s and brainstorms? I often found myself wanting a 4/4 split between arti critters and red ones when I went for etw game 2, even though I board in 3 max in case I need to revert to tendrils.

emidln
08-05-2007, 12:33 AM
I understand your solution. The thing I wanted to illustrate was that SI hinges a lot on its first draw4, because those are the only things that generate real card advantage, and which dig the deepest. Even storming twice gives the opponent 1-2 turns to find a counter to the draw4, which is why I sometimes tend to aggressively go for the first draw4, which also compounds the problem I tried to illustrate with the above example.

I would always brainstorm over draw4, because if I brainstorm and it gets forced I am still even on cards, and, importantly, have plays next turn. If I draw4 and it fails due to counters, then I'm left sitting with no plays at all. Furthermore, brainstorms have always been less likely to get forced than draw4s for me, probably because you are seen also investing a ritual into the draw4.




I agree and I understand. Just playing a little devil's advocate when saying that SI is almost always about the first draw4. Not always, but majority of the time. Tendrils is often not really a good topdeck early game though, even though I guess it does make good mox fodder.

Often, I find the first draw4 is for setup. It gives me extra but not really want I exactly need to go off. What it does is setup another draw4 or brainstorm, which gives me the critical to go off. Now, draw4s into 4x guys happens sometimes (unlikely, but I've done it), you just have to go with it. That's actually not all that bad since it gives you time to setup. The tall men buying a few turns is one of the reasons to play SI over Belcher.




To be honest, I was making that point with 5/3 in mind. I understand the inconsistencies of mulling for a 3sphere, but with 4 x 3sphere and 4 x CotV, anyone of those could conceivably wreck a game.

I don't find myself completely wrecked by a single chalice often. This is largely dependent on my opening hand, but the last several times I've had chalice played against me I've won handily. I haven't tested against 5/3 in awhile since I've never actually seen someone else playing it in a tourney. I generally test against RG Stax, W Stax, and Faerie Stompy for prison.


When going etw postboard, how often are you mana screwed for red, seeing petals are almost always needed for other uses when chaining draw4s and brainstorms? I often found myself wanting a 4/4 split between arti critters and red ones when I went for etw game 2, even though I board in 3 max in case I need to revert to tendrils.

When I board in ETW, I generally keep in at minimum 3 Tendrils and find other things to board out. I generally fetch my badlands and use it. I don't tend to chain together all at once, especially postboard as you are more prone to fizzling. I'd rather ETW for 6-12 tokens, then spend another turn attacking, drawing 4, maybe play a mini tendrils, and keep going. I try to win small.

BreathWeapon
08-05-2007, 04:46 PM
Kobolds would probably enable a better translation into B/R, but when I tried that aggro/control matchups became worse, as kobolds can't chump as well as the arti creatures. On the other hand, they pitch to mox whereas arti creatures don't. Perhaps 4/4 split? Can be pretty useful when you can't go off on first turn after a draw 4, and lay a creature to avoid discarding and to block lackeys.

To be honest, I haven't noticed the difference between having blockers and not having blockers, because once Combo reaches draw go against aggro-control the game is just as good as lost. The Kobolds can still stop aggro-control from "countering" a Draw 4 thru' their damage for a turn, and imprinting them for red has won me more games than not.

As an aside, I made a minor improvement to the mana base.

4 Wooded Foothills
2 Badlands
1 Dryad Arbor

The deck can go, Wooded Foothill->Dryad Arbor, Lotus Petal or Chrome Mox/b and then Culling the Weak on the first turn to combo with Draw 4's or just decrease the reliance on the other creatures over all.

emidln
08-05-2007, 05:51 PM
It's important to not lose to turn 1 Lackey if you don't win turn 1 against Goblins. If you drop a kobold, it's easily hit by a wide range of removal and lackey can put in stuff that will put unneeded pressure on you. It's important against Goblins to take your time game 1 because with Chalice and Pyrostatic Pillar combined with pressure, game 2 can be make for trouble.

B.C.
08-05-2007, 05:56 PM
I just noticed that there is a thread for SI. Thanks for finally starting this, emidln. After playing maindeck Cabal Therapy for a long time, I've recently decided to sacrifice protection for speed. Anyway, here is my current list:

4 Land Grant
2 Bayou
4 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox

4 Phyrexian Walker
4 Shield Sphere

4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Simian Spirit Guide

3 Cruel Bargain
4 Infernal Contract
4 Infernal Tutor
2 Ill-Gotten Gains
2 Tendrils of Agony
2 Empty the Warrens
1 Goblin Charbelcher

Sideboard (Still really unsure about this)
3 Naturalize
1 Goblin Charbelcher
4 Leyline of the Void
4 Duress
3 Xantid Swarm

I know this post is a little thin, but that's because I don't have a lot of time right now. I'll read the whole thread more thoroughly and edit this post with more details as soon as I can.

BreathWeapon
08-05-2007, 06:41 PM
It's important to not lose to turn 1 Lackey if you don't win turn 1 against Goblins. If you drop a kobold, it's easily hit by a wide range of removal and lackey can put in stuff that will put unneeded pressure on you. It's important against Goblins to take your time game 1 because with Chalice and Pyrostatic Pillar combined with pressure, game 2 can be make for trouble.

SITES goes off on the first turn so often tho' that it's almost a moot point. I could see those blockers being useful in the second game, but the best answer to losing the second game in the combo vs aggro match up is to just win game three. The Kobolds are just more efficient than the artifact creatures in "goldfishing," and I'd rather run a more efficient combo deck than a combo deck that can block. I'll admit that the artifact creatures let the deck keep "bad" hands against aggro, but that feels like a crutch to me (albeit a useful one).

Occam
08-05-2007, 07:53 PM
I would always brainstorm over draw4, because if I brainstorm and it gets forced I am still even on cards, and, importantly, have plays next turn. If I draw4 and it fails due to counters, then I'm left sitting with no plays at all. Furthermore, brainstorms have always been less likely to get forced than draw4s for me, probably because you are seen also investing a ritual into the draw4.

Fair enough. I guess the point I was making is that brainstorm is a great setup card, and makes 8 first turn plays with therapy, but after all is said and done the first draw 4 still needs to be cast at some point in time, and will likely be done with an accelerant, and so sculpting a hand with brainstorm gives you a better hand and more fuel for the chain, but also gives an opponent who knows what he is up against more time to answer. Moreover, a case can be made that a brainstorm is actually more efficient without a draw4 left, as a draw4 draws cards that you have already seen with brainstorm. There aren't nearly enough shuffle effects to consistently storm and shuffle. Brainstorming after a draw 4 to setup for next turn does nearly what an eot meditate would do, seeing cards that would be useful as gas and giving an opponent a much tougher choice of whether to counter.

I feel that mystical tutor deserves a place somewhere, especially as the blue version already gives added consistency. A single card disadvantage is a small price for getting a necessary card to carry on a chain or to go off next turn. It could also become +2CA with a draw4. At least in the sb. I know it has been brought up before, but I think it deserves more thought.

marit
08-05-2007, 10:32 PM
I just noticed that there is a thread for SI. Thanks for finally starting this, emidln. After playing maindeck Cabal Therapy for a long time, I've recently decided to sacrifice protection for speed. Anyway, here is my current list:

4 Land Grant
2 Bayou
4 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox

4 Phyrexian Walker
4 Shield Sphere

4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Simian Spirit Guide

3 Cruel Bargain
4 Infernal Contract
4 Infernal Tutor
2 Ill-Gotten Gains
2 Tendrils of Agony
2 Empty the Warrens
1 Goblin Charbelcher

Sideboard (Still really unsure about this)
3 Naturalize
1 Goblin Charbelcher
4 Leyline of the Void
4 Duress
3 Xantid Swarm

I know this post is a little thin, but that's because I don't have a lot of time right now. I'll read the whole thread more thoroughly and edit this post with more details as soon as I can.
Protection is necesarry, no matter how fast the deck is FoW, Daze and more combo hate can still ruin the game for you. Also, I would recomend going up to 8 draw4, because draw4's make it much easier to win, and having multiples is rarely a problem. I also would recomend -1 IGG, +1 Null Profusion, although this oculd be a personal preferance, the only time I use IGG is to randomly win when I have a LED and infernal tutor, and it's always tutored for, so 2 seems redundant. Null profusion just flat out wins when you resolve it, it's rediculous. If you have no hope of casting it, make it mox fodder.

B.C.
08-06-2007, 12:34 PM
I've been playing SI for a year now. The first time I played it against another deck was at the 2006 Legacy World Championships. Before that I had just goldfished a bunch of times. That was also my very first Legacy tournament ever. I went 5-3, finishing in 28th place overall. Through 8 rounds of Swiss, I recorded 8 first turn kills. Here is the list I played that day:

4 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox
4 LED
4 Land Grant
2 Bayou
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Phyrexian Walker
4 Shield Sphere
3 Ornithopter
4 Infernal Contract
3 Cruel Bargain
3 Tendrils of Agony
4 Infernal Tutor
3 Ill-Gotten Gains
2 Diabolic Intent

SB:
3 Tomb of Urami
4 Duress
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Naturalize

The deck played no maindeck disruption, just flat out speed. It was obviously not an optimized list, nor was I an experienced player by any means. I still think that if I would have been a little more prepared for that tournament, I would have made top 8 easily. My only truly deserved loss was to TheInfamousBearAssassin playing Truffle Shuffle. My other two losses were very winnable.

SI is the only Legacy deck I play. Our team is primarily Vintage players, so I don't spend a lot of time tuning the deck or playtesting, but any attention I spend on Legacy is on this deck. I've goldfished this deck (many builds, including the BU version) at least a couple thousand times, and I've taken this deck to at least a half dozen Legacy tournaments with mixed results.

So that's my background with SI. With that being said, here are some of my opinions about card choices and some stuff that has been said up to this point:

Bg Grants vs. Bu Fetches: I go back and forth on this. As stated previously, the Bg version supports Belcher, which is a huge selling point for me. The pros and cons of each build have been pretty well aired, so I'll just say that right now I'm playing Bg, but that could change before Gencon. Everyone's comments have been very helpful so far. I'm not sure if anyone else is bringing this deck to Gencon, but like I said before, it's all I play.


Protection is necesarry, no matter how fast the deck is...
Yes and no. Protection will make some matchups better, some worse. You can certainly win with a build that has no protection, but you're right that Force and Daze can randomly blow you out of games. For a large tournament, I would probably go with the Therapies. This point is debatable, though.


I also would recomend -1 IGG, +1 Null Profusion, although this oculd be a personal preferance, the only time I use IGG is to randomly win when I have a LED and infernal tutor, and it's always tutored for, so 2 seems redundant. Null profusion just flat out wins when you resolve it, it's rediculous. If you have no hope of casting it, make it mox fodder.
I don't agree with this at all. IGG is a great play in many situations, not just when you're doing the IGGy loop. Many times I have dropped IGG first turn with no hope of going off just to Mindtwist my opponent down to three cards. It's very hard for them to rebuild in time to stop you from going off. As for Null Profusion, I tested this card quite a bit when it came out. I will agree that if it hits the table and you have cards in hand, it's game over. However, it costs a LOT of mana. Enough that the best way to cast it is off of a tutor/LED, which leaves you with no cards in hand. I think there are better uses for that spot. Plus, being able to imprint it on a Mox is a bad consolation prize.

8 Infernal Contract/Cruel Bargain Ė Eh. Again, this goes to personal preference. Most people on this thread seem to be running 8, and that's fine. But I think 7 is good too, and I certainly don't feel WRONG for running 7. Same with dropping to 3 Infernal Tutor. Could be ok, could be bad, not really sure.

Street Wraith - I like this card, since SI is an inherently random deck to start with. Unfortunately, this is one of the few instances where the life loss is relevant. VERY relevant sometimes.

Unmask - A pretty good card, but this deck really needs as many cards in hand as possible. Dropping any sort of business for a discard effect doesn't seem right.

Diabolic Intent Ė In order to run this, you need some Ornithopters. SI has definitely outgrown this card.

As for the sideboard, I still don't have a strong plan for it. My boards usually consist of Naturalize, then some combination of discard and big dudes. I've never gone with the full on "man plan", although I can see how that would be cool. Those of you looking at the "man plan" should consider Tombstalker.

Sideboard cards:

Tomb of Urami Ė An uncounterable 5/5 flyer for a generally ignorable drawback. Great against control decks, especially since they will have boarded out all their creature hate.

Avatar of Discord Ė Similar concept to Urami, just not as good. 5/3 flyer that can be countered. Even if heís not countered, he costs you 2 cards.

Naturalize Ė Every deck has something they will bring in against storm combo. This will kill a lot of them.

Duress/Cabal Therapy Ė Discard. Answers counters, Orimís Chant, Stifle, etc.

Leyline of the Void Ė Good against a lot of decks, although itís not as good as it is in Vintage. It kills IGGy Pop and Ichorid, hurts Threshold, LftL decks.

Xantid Swarm Ė Again, since theyíve probably boarded out most of their creature hate, this little guy will probably survive. No more worrying about counters.

Defense Grid Ė See Xantid Swarm.

Extirpate Ė Not great, but could be useful in certain situations.

I guess that's it for now. Unfortunately, I don't really have the expertise to talk about the Bu version in depth. I'll be rocking this deck at I-Con in Springfield, IL this weekend if anyone wants a shot at the title. Keep reaching for those first turn kills.

marit
08-10-2007, 01:56 PM
I see your point on IGG, I never thought to use it as a mindtwist, with that said it works much better than Null Profusion. You seem a lot more experienced than me BC, what would be your sideboard of choice. I've been fiddling with two, the manplan and a semi-standard sb.

Man-Plan
4 Tomb of Urami
4 Avatar of Discord
4 Vampiric Spirit
3 Xantid Swarm/Naturalize

I've been goinbg back and forth with swarm and naturalize, I can't think of too many artifacts/enchantemnts that could be devastating, so right now I'm using swarms. My other Sb is

4 Tomb of Urami
4 Dark Confidant
4 Xantid Swarm
3 Naturalize

I like the man-plan more, but it's terrible vs. UGr thresh.

B.C.
08-10-2007, 04:45 PM
Sideboards for this deck are not something I consider myself an expert in. My sideboard usually consists of a combination of:

Duress
Xantid Swarm
Tomb of Urami
Naturalize
Cabal Therapy (if not maindeck)
Charbelcher (usually just 1 extra)

I've only played the Man Plan a little, but I agree that it can be very good against a lot of decks. As I stated in the previous post, my new favorite guy for Man Plan is Tombstalker. I think he's slightly better than Avatar of Discard, and WAY better than Vampiric Spirit. Personally though, I don't think I would ever have a Man Plan sideboard for a tournament. Man Plan does get you around a lot of hate, though. Cards that no longer bother you that much: Spheres (Trini or Of Resistance), Pyro Pillar, Rule of Law, Challice. The only hate card that still bothers you is Solitary Confinement. That doesn't get played much anymore, though.

In general, I would say that both sideboarding strategies are legitimate. Play whichever one you feel more comfortable with. If I were you, I would always have at least 3 Naturalize in the SB, though, just in case.

Occam
08-10-2007, 05:34 PM
Sideboards for this deck are not something I consider myself an expert in. My sideboard usually consists of a combination of:

Duress
Xantid Swarm
Tomb of Urami
Naturalize
Cabal Therapy (if not maindeck)
Charbelcher (usually just 1 extra)

I've only played the Man Plan a little, but I agree that it can be very good against a lot of decks. As I stated in the previous post, my new favorite guy for Man Plan is Tombstalker. I think he's slightly better than Avatar of Discard, and WAY better than Vampiric Spirit. Personally though, I don't think I would ever have a Man Plan sideboard for a tournament. Man Plan does get you around a lot of hate, though. Cards that no longer bother you that much: Spheres (Trini or Of Resistance), Pyro Pillar, Rule of Law, Challice. The only hate card that still bothers you is Solitary Confinement. That doesn't get played much anymore, though.

In general, I would say that both sideboarding strategies are legitimate. Play whichever one you feel more comfortable with. If I were you, I would always have at least 3 Naturalize in the SB, though, just in case.

Tombstalker is a very good card if SBing creatures. I think the belcher in the sb should be cut, because there is no reason to side it in. SI goldfishes fast enough to run over other combo decks, and boarding it in against control/hate does not solve any existing problems. Xantid/therapy should be present in the sb, with the latter having an extremely good case for the mb. Having 10-12 (8 therapies) cards to battle control after boarding is a great advantage that the B/G build has. At least 1 copy of grip is needed too, for the problem cards that you named. Dark confidants could be used too to increase bombs after sb.

In my opinion, both spheres are the worst SI can play against. At least for sphere, you are able to draw4 and tutor into removal, whereas the spheres cut out acceleration, crippling the deck.

Nosomo.
08-11-2007, 12:20 AM
Tombstalker is a very good card if SBing creatures. I think the belcher in the sb should be cut, because there is no reason to side it in. SI goldfishes fast enough to run over other combo decks, and boarding it in against control/hate does not solve any existing problems. Xantid/therapy should be present in the sb, with the latter having an extremely good case for the mb. Having 10-12 (8 therapies) cards to battle control after boarding is a great advantage that the B/G build has. At least 1 copy of grip is needed too, for the problem cards that you named. Dark confidants could be used too to increase bombs after sb.

In my opinion, both spheres are the worst SI can play against. At least for sphere, you are able to draw4 and tutor into removal, whereas the spheres cut out acceleration, crippling the deck.

Well you are right trini is crippling to SI. It is a game ender if you have sided in no artifact removal expecting the sphere. But you still have cabal therapy to hopefully stop it even though it is as hard to have a 1st turn cabal therapy. But more to the fact no artifact removal needed in sides for SI are needed. Why? Who runs Trini main or side? Name 2 other than stax.

I agree with you greatly on the new build is a great improvement over to B/G list when dealing with Control. Even though I got a 8 out of 10 1st turn win rate. When I hit control I only ever won by then skin of my teeth and small tendrills'ing 2-3 times.

As for Confidant he is ok SB. I say he is not needed due to the fact that you only have so many permanant mana sources to cast him 2nd turn. Then he drains you life you dearly need. He also makes their 4 swords to plowshares relevant.

marit
08-11-2007, 12:52 AM
As for Confidant he is ok SB. I say he is not needed due to the fact that you only have so many permanant mana sources to cast him 2nd turn. Then he drains you life you dearly need. He also makes their 4 swords to plowshares relevant.
Most of the time, the other deck will be boarding out their creature removal when they see this deck (unless it's burn), so it's very unlikely that they will leave 4 most-likely dead cards in their maindeck, as they need all the disruption they can get. That is why confidant is a nice SB card.

I tested tombstalker, it's very good in the man-plan. I play it over vampiric spirit, becaise tombstalker has a bit of synergy with avatar of discord, and avatar is better than vampiric spirit anyways.

Nosomo.
08-11-2007, 02:28 AM
White players will not if they know what is needed for the deck. Tall men are important so if they usually play swords and know the deck they will most of the times keep them. But they do SB them out if they have better options to combo no doubt.
But on the confi note i do not run him SB just due to the fact that he makes a dead 4 cards if you are playing against R.
Before the switch from B/G SI to B/U I was considerering running Tombstalker side but at that time I had no cruel Bargains so I could not test them. Do you think they are good side? And if so in your opinion how many?

Occam
08-11-2007, 10:51 AM
Well you are right trini is crippling to SI. It is a game ender if you have sided in no artifact removal expecting the sphere. But you still have cabal therapy to hopefully stop it even though it is as hard to have a 1st turn cabal therapy. But more to the fact no artifact removal needed in sides for SI are needed. Why? Who runs Trini main or side? Name 2 other than stax.

How many stax decks are there in this format? You have 5/3, 5/3 with red/white/blue/black splashes, demonstompy, sun tower, and various other decks built to abuse smokestack. 4 x cabal therapy is not enough to combat the spheres and chalices.

As for naming two other decks running spheres other than stax, now that is not a good question is it, seeing as stax is not so much a deck name as a synonym for prison, whether pure prison or aggro-prison. Why not name two other decks using tendrils other than storm-combo?


I agree with you greatly on the new build is a great improvement over to B/G list when dealing with Control. Even though I got a 8 out of 10 1st turn win rate.

Well, the U/B version is definitely better, but I've made some changes to my own list that I run, and I sacrificed a couple of first turn plays to increase threat density and speed a little, so it gets almost the best of both worlds.

8/10 first turn kill? Really? Even Long.dec doesn't average a 80% first-turn goldfish.


As for Confidant he is ok SB. I say he is not needed due to the fact that you only have so many permanant mana sources to cast him 2nd turn. Then he drains you life you dearly need. He also makes their 4 swords to plowshares relevant.

With 4 x mox and at least 8x land, accelerating into a bob and a draw 4 before passing on the first turn is a great play against control. Most thresh builds (I assume you refer to thresh builds running white) side out stp in any case, but even if they do leave it and stp on their turn, you have effectively set yourself up with a draw 4 on the previous turn, AND you have taken stifle out of the equation. Confidant also pitches to mox, and even if it results in thresh boarding stps in again, it ensures that they make sacrifices to use the stps, meaning less control, less cantrips or less threats. Either way, more time to sculpt a hand.


But on the confi note i do not run him SB just due to the fact that he makes a dead 4 cards if you are playing against R.

Pure burn is a tough matchup for SI. There is no way around that.


Before the switch from B/G SI to B/U I was considerering running Tombstalker side but at that time I had no cruel Bargains so I could not test them.

1 stalker is usually enough. 2 is fine too. No bargains? SI absolutely cannot work without them, especially the U/B version.

Kronicler
08-11-2007, 11:23 AM
How many stax decks are there in this format? You have 5/3, 5/3 with red/white/blue/black splashes, demonstompy, sun tower, and various other decks built to abuse smokestack.

And how many of them are good and/or competitive? None. You are going to run into chalice 10x as often as trinisphere.


Kronicler

Occam
08-11-2007, 11:31 AM
And how many of them are good and/or competitive? None. You are going to run into chalice 10x as often as trinisphere.

The same removal works on chalice as well. I can't see the logic behind that statement.

marit
08-11-2007, 01:44 PM
I play 4 Tombstalker SB for the man-plan, they're 5/5 flyers that come out turns 1-2 and dont die to bolt. I would only recomend them if you're playing the man-plan though, or else Tomb of Urami is better.

Nosomo.
08-11-2007, 05:58 PM
8/10 first turn kill? Really? Even Long.dec doesn't average a 80% first-turn goldfish.
Well it happened 80% of the time with foldfishing and it is the same with no disruption (If you are playing against a deck with no disruption then you might as well be goldfishing).And against disruption I pulled a 30/70 in their favor.

1 stalker is usually enough. 2 is fine too. No bargains? SI absolutely cannot work without them, especially the U/B version
Had no money thats why and I was goldfishing which is why I had no real tournie matches with it.

With 4 x mox and at least 8x land, accelerating into a bob and a draw 4 before passing on the first turn is a great play against control. Most thresh builds (I assume you refer to thresh builds running white) side out stp in any case, but even if they do leave it and stp on their turn, you have effectively set yourself up with a draw 4 on the previous turn, AND you have taken stifle out of the equation. Confidant also pitches to mox, and even if it results in thresh boarding stps in again, it ensures that they make sacrifices to use the stps, meaning less control, less cantrips or less threats. Either way, more time to sculpt a hand
A deck with R will kill it before you even draw it just becomes a lighning rod against disruption.

I play 4 Tombstalker SB for the man-plan, they're 5/5 flyers that come out turns 1-2 and dont die to bolt. I would only recomend them if you're playing the man-plan though, or else Tomb of Urami is better.
Thank ya for the advice!!

marit
08-11-2007, 08:41 PM
Pure burn is a tough matchup for SI. There is no way around that.


I disagree with this statement, burn is a great matchup IMO, they have a 3-4 turn clock, and all you need to do is not be stupid when you draw 4, such as not going down to 5 life when they have RR available, the only problem I've encountered is the unexpected fireblast, but overall it's a favorable matchup.

Occam
08-11-2007, 10:40 PM
Well it happened 80% of the time with foldfishing and it is the same with no disruption (If you are playing against a deck with no disruption then you might as well be goldfishing).And against disruption I pulled a 30/70 in their favor.

You are playing the G/B version? With 80% first turn goldfish, you should do a lot better than 30/70 on pure speed alone.


A deck with R will kill it before you even draw it just becomes a lighning rod against disruption.

That is why you do not sb bob against red aggro/burn, but you sb him against control. Thresh splashing red is not so much of an issue, as them burning bob gives you more time, and he is essential to winning control matchups on tempo/card advantage.


I disagree with this statement, burn is a great matchup IMO, they have a 3-4 turn clock, and all you need to do is not be stupid when you draw 4, such as not going down to 5 life when they have RR available, the only problem I've encountered is the unexpected fireblast, but overall it's a favorable matchup.

Well, I'm running a version with street wraith in, and that could have compounded my problems against burn, but I can see other situations in which burn could cause problems.

No matter which version of SI you run, and especially if you run the blue version, you will need at least 2 x draw4s to go off. Blue SI typically goes off turn 2 or 3. A first turn fetchland leaves you at 9 after the first draw4, and at 4 after the second draw4. All the burn player needs to do is to burn you after 1-2 draw4s. With fireblast, chain lightning and bolt around, it should not be a problem dealing enough. It is still very winnable due to SI's speed, but by no means a good matchup/

emidln
08-12-2007, 01:39 AM
I just got back from iCon 2k7 and BC and I split in the finals of the Legacy event. I ran Grim Iggy, he was playing B/G/r SI.

Occam
08-12-2007, 11:58 AM
@BC and Emidln: You guys have reports on the tourney? Always like to see combo do well.

B.C.
08-12-2007, 02:06 PM
@BC and Emidln: You guys have reports on the tourney? Always like to see combo do well.

I ran the list I posted previously:

4 Land Grant
2 Bayou
4 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox
4 Phyrexian Walker
4 Shield Sphere
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Simian Spirit Guide
3 Cruel Bargain
4 Infernal Contract
4 Infernal Tutor
2 Ill-Gotten Gains
2 Tendrils of Agony
2 Empty the Warrens
1 Goblin Charbelcher

Sideboard:
3 Naturalize
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Duress
4 Tomb of Urami

The tournament was 18 people or so, 4 rounds of Swiss, cut to top 8. I got some really lucky matchups in the Swiss:

Round 1 - Richard w/ Mono-White Rebels Life Gain Combo
It was pretty apparent that it was this kid's first Legacy tournament. He was playing unsleaved and wasn't familiar with many of the cards I played. I wasn't worried about winning the match, and he was nice enough, so I didn't push it too hard and gave him a few turns. Game 1 I dropped EtW for 10 guys turn 1 and beat for the win a couple turns later. Game 2 I kept a hand that probably shouldn't have been kept, but still was able to Draw 4 a couple times and win with Belcher on turn 3 or 4.
1-0

Round 2 - Aaron w/ (mostly) Type 2 Mono-Green Stompy
This kid actually ended up with a good enough record to make Top 8 (2-1-1, I believe), but had to drop out of the tournament because he had to get home or something. After the Swiss he told me he played Tendrils combo 3 times and won against 2 of them. Game 1 I got sort of a slow hand, but was able to drop EtW for 14 dudes on turn 4. I was a turn away from attacking for the win, but I was at 5 life due to a couple Draw 4's, when he dropped an Uktabi Drake and buffed it with Might of Old Krosa and flew across to pull out the win. Boo. Game 2 I IGG on turn 1 to Mind Twist him down to 3 cards, then get a Belcher win on turn 3. Game 3 I dumped a bunch of goblins on the table turn 1 or 2 and it was over fast.
2-0

Round 3 - Tim w/ Sligh
At this point I can draw into the top 8, but when I offer my opponent a draw he says "I came to play, I'd rather just play it out". I explain to him that if we draw, we're both definitely in the Top 8, but if we play, the loser might not make it at all. He says "I didn't come here to make Top 8, I came here to play Magic". I smile and say ok, deciding at that point to beat him in the most vicious way possible. Game 1 he plays Mountain, pass. I play Bayou, pass. He plays Mountain, pass. I storm up to ten and Tendrils him for the win on my second turn. Game 2 it doens't even go that long. He play Mountain, pass. I storm up to 15 before I stop counting, I got myself down to one life with 4 Draw 4's, but I ask him if he has a Lightning Bolt or a Shock or something, and he doesn't. I Tendrils him for infinity. That's the match, but I just want to say that this guy was a prick. After game one he said something like "nice deck, you probably just found the list on the internet, right?" After the match, Ogre talked to him and his friends for a while, debating the pros and cons of netdecking (even though I don't feel much like a netdecker with this deck). In any case, he was terrible and I'm glad I beat him viciously.

Round 4 - The Jaker w/ Goblins
ID - We go get some wings from Hooters.

Top 8 - Dave w/ Mono-Black Deadguy Ale Type Deck
I consider this probably the worst matchup for SI. Dave was 2-2, but made Top 8 due to the fact that Aaron (round 2 opponent) had to drop out of the tournament. I curse my luck, but Dave starts talking about how inexperienced he is with the deck, so I think I might have a chance. Game 1 he Duresses first turn, but takes completely the wrong card. I Draw 4, then spend a couple turns getting beat for 2, then win on turn 4 or 5 (I think with goblin tokens, I'm not 100% sure). Game 2 I keep a hand with a lot of acceleration, but no business. I figured I would draw into something, but that doesn't turn out to be true. He beats with Dark Confidants and such for the win. Game 3 I take out my SB cards, reverting to the original list. Turn 1 I storm up to 11, Draw 4 myself down to 2, but never find the finish and have to pass the turn. Turn 2 I get what I need and find Belcher for the win.

Top 4 - Jacob w/ Recruiter Aluren
Game 1 I get a very solid opening hand and drop 18 goblin tokens turn 1 or 2. Win two turns later. Game 2 I side in Therapys and Duresses, which prove to be useful. I Therapy 4 times, taking Aluren, Intuition, Recruiter. He sees NO disruption either game, and I am able to drop 20 goblin tokens on turn 2 or 3 and swing for the win. This win broke a very long losing streak I have with Jacob in tournament play. I think the last time I beat Jacob in a tournament was I-Con 2006. Seriously.

Finals - emidln w/ Grim Iggy
Split - Each of us walks with 2 Force of Will, 2 Taiga.

Conclusions:
- This build is fine, even without maindeck disruption. This was not exactly a rigorous test though, as I was blessed with very favorable matchups.
- I only won with Tendrils twice throughout the whole tournament. I won with EtW five times and Belcher three times.
- I barely used my sideboard at all. There are some matchups where speed is the best thing you can bring to the table.
- It was a good couple of tournaments, and the prizes were ridiculous (especially for Vintage). Thanks to everyone on the organizing side.

DrJones
08-12-2007, 06:00 PM
I've been testing this deck for two weeks now, and you were indeed incredibly lucky (and with a very undeveloped meta). This deck sucks! I've tested thousands of variations and there's no way to stabilize it. The deck auto-loses to burn, force of will, random hate, and 25% of time to just bad luck. (Of course, faster=lower consistency)

Some comments:
0. 8 robots is not enough. The deck should pack minimum 10.
1. Chrome Mox + robots is HORRIBLE!!! Kobolds at least ensure chrome mox won't be a dead card (and allows Burning Wish/Empty the warrens). The deck should pack minimum 4 kobolds, but it would be better if it could ditch entirely the moxes.
2. 2x Phyrexian Tower is AWESOME!! Consistency++
3. 2-3x Jet Medallion is AWESOME!! Consistency++ (allows for more a chain of Infernal Tutors among other things)
4. 1x Ill-Gotten Gains is enough. Makes room for other, more important cards.
5. 4x Land-Grant is AWESOME!! Consistency++
6. Only alternate draw spell that works is Glimpse of Nature, specially with 11-12 men.

Even then, this deck is so inherently inconsistent and autistic that it's not fun.

Nosomo.
08-12-2007, 06:18 PM
I've been testing this deck for two weeks now, and you were indeed incredibly lucky (and with a very undeveloped meta). This deck sucks! I've tested thousands of variations and there's no way to stabilize it. The deck auto-loses to burn, force of will, random hate, and 25% of time to just bad luck. (Of course, faster=lower consistency)

Some comments:
0. 8 robots is not enough. The deck should pack minimum 10.
1. Chrome Mox + robots is HORRIBLE!!! Kobolds at least ensure chrome mox won't be a dead card (and allows Burning Wish/Empty the warrens). The deck should pack minimum 4 kobolds, but it would be better if it could ditch entirely the moxes.
2. 2x Phyrexian Tower is AWESOME!! Consistency++
3. 2-3x Jet Medallion is AWESOME!! Consistency++ (allows for more a chain of Infernal Tutors among other things)
4. 1x Ill-Gotten Gains is enough. Makes room for other, more important cards.
5. 4x Land-Grant is AWESOME!! Consistency++
6. Only alternate draw spell that works is Glimpse of Nature, specially with 11-12 men.

Even then, this deck is so inherently inconsistent and autistic that it's not fun.

0. 8 is enough 10 is too much. Why you want gas or meat and this only helps gas.
1.Yes you could run kobolds but if you fail to combo and need the to block critters, let your 0/1's die.
2. Tower? You cannot fetch it and you cannot land grant like you want.
3. Jet Medallion? Wow you run something that doesn't even help you with much (Gas is either 1 or 2, Meat is 3 black, only would help old version and only a little.)
4. What? are you playing the B/G version?
5. Same thing as above.
6. Same as 4.

emidln
08-12-2007, 06:25 PM
I've been testing this deck for two weeks now, and you were indeed incredibly lucky (and with a very undeveloped meta). This deck sucks! I've tested thousands of variations and there's no way to stabilize it. The deck auto-loses to burn, force of will, random hate, and 25% of time to just bad luck. (Of course, faster=lower consistency)

Some comments:
0. 8 robots is not enough. The deck should pack minimum 10.
1. Chrome Mox + robots is HORRIBLE!!! Kobolds at least ensure chrome mox won't be a dead card (and allows Burning Wish/Empty the warrens). The deck should pack minimum 4 kobolds, but it would be better if it could ditch entirely the moxes.
2. 2x Phyrexian Tower is AWESOME!! Consistency++
3. 2-3x Jet Medallion is AWESOME!! Consistency++ (allows for more a chain of Infernal Tutors among other things)
4. 1x Ill-Gotten Gains is enough. Makes room for other, more important cards.
5. 4x Land-Grant is AWESOME!! Consistency++
6. Only alternate draw spell that works is Glimpse of Nature, specially with 11-12 men.

Even then, this deck is so inherently inconsistent and autistic that it's not fun.

You must be the worst deckbuilder in the world. It's not uncommon for people who build awful decks to be awful players as well. That might explain your problems. As to your suggestions, I'm usually pretty open with working things out with people, but STFU and learn the deck first.

Warning: This is a totally worthless post that only flames. 3 warnings = a site-ban.

-PR

Occam
08-12-2007, 06:52 PM
If that's all I get from trying to optimize your deck and reporting constructive criticism, I feel less bad for calling your deck a pile of junk, then.

There must be a reason why everyone else can get the deck to work and you can't. Also, you are in my opinion sorely mistaken on at least 4.5 of your 6 points, the only one being correct is that land grant is indeed very good in B/G, and half correct when saying that kobolds can possibly be run.

Seriously, just barging in and saying a deck sucks is not going to earn you any brownie points, so cut the bravado, stop jumping to conclusions about a deck you apparently cannot pilot and list any criticisms you have in a civil fashion. I'm sure the people here aren't elitists.

emidln
08-12-2007, 06:56 PM
If you're having consistency issues you should pickup QSI. It is the most consistent fast storm combo deck available. It doesn't even run Infernal Tutor due to the card only being good for finding a win condition 70% of the time. Why you would suggest playing Jet Medallion to improve a marginal card anyway is beyond me. Simian Spirit Guide does everything Jet Medallion can possibly do, and it even imprints on Chrome Mox or casts ETW.

Land Grant is really bad for consistency. You want to hit your land drops to slowly force card advantage through draw4s. That can't happen if they counter your land (which is what happens essentially).

Phyrexian Tower must be a fucking joke because it's significantly worse than Basic Swamp in SI. At least you can fetch basic swamp and it doesn't get wasted. It seems like you are creating a need that doesn't exist by playing Tower.

Kobolds reduce consistency because you don't use colored mana. The only spells in any build that can use colored mana are:

Cabal Ritual
Simian Spirit Guide (hardcasting it)
Infernal Tutor
Goblin Charbelcher
Tendrils of Agony

By the time you actually want to cast IT/Belcher/Tendrils you already have infy mana. There really aren't many hands that would be keepable if you changed a robot to a kobold anyway. There are a lot of hands that are not keepable because your kobolds are easily killed.

Alternate draw spells for those who aren't mentally handicapped include (but are not in any way limited to):

Meditate
Brainstorm
Dark Confidant
Impulse
Night's Whisper


The problem here is that only the first three are really any good. I've tested these a lot and use them from time to time in SI variants.

DrJones
08-12-2007, 07:00 PM
Well, then let's calm down a bit.

1. I get the deck to work, but much less consistently than other combo decks that I've tried that also kills turn 1/2. That's why I have been testing these 2 weeks on ways to make it better. I'm being frustrated because there's no way to stabilize it on goldfishing, and still autoloses 15-20% of time, due to it not being able to recover half the time from a failed chain.
2. I've tried mono builds, B/r builds, B/u builds and B/g builds.

DrJones
08-12-2007, 07:30 PM
Ok. Let's explain my card choices.

If you're having consistency issues you should pickup QSI. It is the most consistent fast storm combo deck available. It doesn't even run Infernal Tutor due to the card only being good for finding a win condition 70% of the time. Why you would suggest playing Jet Medallion to improve a marginal card anyway is beyond me. Simian Spirit Guide does everything Jet Medallion can possibly do, and it even imprints on Chrome Mox or casts ETW.2x Jet Medallion is much better than what it seems. First and foremost, it makes Cabal Ritual, IGG, Infernal, and Tendrils cost 1 less, so most of the time I recover the mana investment at that same turn, while making for better lGG loops, and even allowing for Infernal + Infernal + Infernal + Tendrils if needed. Before it, I found that it was hard to perform an IGG loop and still have mana for Tutor (2) and Tendrils (2BB). Simian Spirit Guide doesn't help there, it doesn't help casting draw4/rituals either, and also doesn't add up the Storm Count.


Land Grant is really bad for consistency. You want to hit your land drops to slowly force card advantage through draw4s. That can't happen if they counter your land (which is what happens essentially).I use Land grant just to add storm count, even if I can't play more lands. Frankly, it's the single spell I would worry less about it getting countered.


Phyrexian Tower must be a fucking joke because it's significantly worse than Basic Swamp in SI. At least you can fetch basic swamp and it doesn't get wasted. It seems like you are creating a need that doesn't exist by playing Tower.Phyrexian Tower as a 2x is the extra black ritual SI lacks. You are going to use it once, so getting it wasted is not a problem, and gives an use to those robots that sit and do nothing if you don't draw Culling the Weak. It also allows a first turn Cabal Ritual for Draw4 to start building your hand. In my test, it only has improved the deck.


Kobolds reduce consistency because you don't use colored mana. The only spells in any build that can use colored mana are:

Cabal Ritual
Simian Spirit Guide (hardcasting it)
Infernal Tutor
Goblin Charbelcher
Tendrils of Agony

By the time you actually want to cast IT/Belcher/Tendrils you already have infy mana. There really aren't many hands that would be keepable if you changed a robot to a kobold anyway. There are a lot of hands that are not keepable because your kobolds are easily killed.Kobolds die as fast as Ornithopter/Phyrexian Walker. At least they allow to play cabal ritual, infernal tutor, IGG and Burning Wish when imprinted. Also, if I go "Kobold, Tower/Culling the weak" there's no window of action where they can kill them.

I'm curious about that Infy Mana, because I've never seen more than 12, and that's with Threshold and 2 Cabal rituals. It normally struggles on 3-7.


Alternate draw spells for those who aren't mentally handicapped include (but are not in any way limited to):

Meditate
Brainstorm
Dark Confidant
Impulse
Night's Whisper

The problem here is that only the first three are really any good. I've tested these a lot and use them from time to time in SI variants.Tested all of them, including also Promise of Power, Ambition's Cost, Glimpse of Nature, Casting of Bones, Desperate Ritual, Bequetal, and Street Wraith. The best of these being Glimpse of Nature because it only costs G, which you can attain from lotus petal, lotus diamond, imprinted land grant, bayou, and many others. It has the best draw/cost ratio of all alternatives (better than Meditate, but less raw power), in my test, it works better with 11-12 robots. The worst ones being Bequetal, Promise of Power and Street Wraith.

Occam
08-12-2007, 07:48 PM
Alright. Let me see if I can explain the choices that others made for the lists.


2x Jet Medallion is much better than what it seems. First and foremost, it makes Cabal Ritual, IGG, Infernal, and Tendrils cost 1 less, so most of the time I recover the mana investment at that same turn, while making for better lGG loops, and even allowing for Infernal + Infernal + Infernal + Tendrils if needed. Before it, I found that it was hard to perform an IGG loop and still have mana for Tutor (2) and Tendrils (2BB). Simian Spirit Guide doesn't help there, it doesn't help casting draw4/rituals either, and also doesn't add up the Storm Count.

The problem with the medallion is that it does not assist any of SI's fundamental cards. In any combo deck, the finisher (belcher, tendrils, etw) are important, but the real fundamental cards are the engine cards (lotus petal, culling the weak, dark ritual, draw4s). Jet medallion also required you to either pass the turn, or spend mana that you could have casted a draw 4 with.

IGG loops are really easy. They mostly involve LED + IT into IGG. Then, you get back LED + IT and another card (usually therapy) and loop again, tutoring for tendrils to win. I don't understand why you need another mana source when you have dark ritual, cabal ritual, culling and LED.


I use Land grant just to add storm count, even if I can't play more lands. Frankly, it's the single spell I would worry less about it getting countered.

Land grant is basically great if you use belcher. If not, a force of will on land grant could cause problems.



Phyrexian Tower as a 2x is the extra black ritual SI lacks. You are going to use it once, so getting it wasted is not a problem, and gives an use to those robots that sit and do nothing if you don't draw Culling the Weak. It also allows a first turn Cabal Ritual for Draw4 to start building your hand. In my test, it only has improved the deck.

Tower is really terrible. The artifact creatures are there to sac to culling/therapy. Tower gives you less, and gets hit by wasteland. With 3 black rituals AND LED/petal/mox, you should have the mana you need.


Kobolds die as fast as Ornithopter/Phyrexian Walker. At least they allow to play cabal ritual, infernal tutor, IGG and Burning Wish when imprinted. Also, if I go "Kobold, Tower/Culling the weak" there's no window of action where they can kill them.

I'm curious about that Infy Mana, because I've never seen more than 12, and that's with Threshold and 2 Cabal rituals. It normally struggles on 3-7.

Walkers and spheres can block, which gives you extra time against deadguy, gobs and various other decks.

I agree that Kobolds can be considered, but only when you play ETW.

Infy mana here simply means more than you need to go off. IE where business spells, not mana, are your limiting factor.


Tested all of them, including also Promise of Power, Ambition's Cost, Glimpse of Nature, Casting of Bones, Desperate Ritual, Bequetal, and Street Wraith. The best of these being Glimpse of Nature because it only costs G, which you can attain from lotus petal, lotus diamond, imprinted land grant, bayou, and many others. It has the best draw/cost ratio of all alternatives (better than Meditate, but less raw power), in my test, it works better with 11-12 robots. The worst ones being Bequetal, Promise of Power and Street Wraith.

Glimpse does not work because it dilutes the deck, and forces you to play those extra creatures when the maindeck is extremely tight already.

DrJones
08-12-2007, 08:32 PM
The problem with the medallion is that it does not assist any of SI's fundamental cards. In any combo deck, the finisher (belcher, tendrils, etw) are important, but the real fundamental cards are the engine cards (lotus petal, culling the weak, dark ritual, draw4s). Jet medallion also required you to either pass the turn, or spend mana that you could have casted a draw 4 with.Cabal ritual, IGG, and tutors are engine cards. I tested medallions because they work as mana sources to help playing all these, up to the kill (they also counter Sphere of Resistance). I play them instead of SSG on non-red builds. I use 2 so I find one mostly while comboing, which helps to stabilize the deck, so they are a backup plan. They aren't good at the start, but not absolute horrible either, for example:
Culling + Medallion + Cabal Ritual + Draw 4 = 1 mana floating, and 15-18 spells cheaper;
Culling + Cabal Ritual + Draw 4 = 2 mana floating, no discount.


IGG loops are really easy. They mostly involve LED + IT into IGG. Then, you get back LED + IT and another card (usually therapy) and loop again, tutoring for tendrils to win. I don't understand why you need another mana source when you have dark ritual, cabal ritual, culling and LED.
Tower is really terrible. The artifact creatures are there to sac to culling/therapy. Tower gives you less, and gets hit by wasteland. With 3 black rituals AND LED/petal/mox, you should have the mana you need.You need 2+2 in your pool before LED + IT + IGG + ritual/culling + IT + Tendrils. If you have a medallion in play, you only need 1 before LED +IT + IGG + lotus petal/ritual/cabal/culling/SSG + IT + tendrils.

The problem is that I struggle a lot with the mana. I don't find enough gas in the current builds, and is not easy to always reach 4 before LED + IT, and it's not easy to get threshold, either. Medallion makes it much, much easier to start, while upping the Storm count. It's a card mostly for Bg and mono versions, though.

I play Tower because I find the deck lacks mana builders, but that might be a MWS thing. (I test mostly on MWS because is fast and help me practice on bad draws)


Glimpse does not work because it dilutes the deck, and forces you to play those extra creatures when the maindeck is extremely tight already.I suggest it for BG builds that already pack 11-12 creatures, as most other options are just unplayable.

The Rack
08-12-2007, 09:11 PM
In all seriousness Dr. Jones, the Cure goldfishes about 45 turns faster than all of the SI builds. I do agree that Kobolds is a much stronger deck in this format as of late because it is strictly better than all combo decks??

Dude are you serious?? SI and all of its versions are considered to be the strongest tendrils 1.5 legacy decks. TES, SI, Cephalid Breakfast, and Ichorid are the strongest combos out there. It is completely ridiculous for anyoe to think that GLimpse of Nature should be run in any good Legacy deck. Medallion is terrible allong with Phyrexian Tower. Stick to the Cure because thats all you got.

2 cents

Zilla
08-12-2007, 09:17 PM
Keep this conversation civil and on topic or we will lock it down. Flaming, personal attacks, and even derogatory sarcasm is against site rules. It will get you banned, so don't do it.

Occam
08-12-2007, 09:50 PM
Cabal ritual, IGG, and tutors are engine cards. I tested medallions because they work as mana sources to help playing all these, up to the kill (they also counter Sphere of Resistance). I play them instead of SSG on non-red builds. I use 2 so I find one mostly while comboing, which helps to stabilize the deck, so they are a backup plan. They aren't good at the start, but not absolute horrible either, for example:
Culling + Medallion + Cabal Ritual + Draw 4 = 1 mana floating, and 15-18 spells cheaper;
Culling + Cabal Ritual + Draw 4 = 2 mana floating, no discount.

Yes they are, but the most important ones are those I listed. Dark ritual, culling, draw4s and petal. SI is not SI without them. EG, IGG and IT can be cut, and even cabal ritual can be cut to 3, but dark rituals, culling and petal will almost never ever be cut. I would cut a chrome mox before I cut those.

The main problem with medallion is that it is too situational. SI needs to build mana up via its acceleration, while the medallion requires you to have a specific set of cards to be useful. Let me use your above case.

When you cull into medallion + cabal + draw4, you only have 1 mana floating. That means that in the draw 4 you need to draw a ritual or culling + critter. Drawing an IGG or tendrils, while cheaper, is of no advantage as you still need a ritual or a critter + culling to chain into anything else. In the second situation, most people would cull into draw4 and cabal ritual after, so you do not waste a cabal ritual without threshold on an iffy situation for +1mana. There are at least 12-17 initial mana sources in the deck, so you will probably draw one to continue chaining.


You need 2+2 in your pool before LED + IT + IGG + ritual/culling + IT + Tendrils. If you have a medallion in play, you only need 1 before LED +IT + IGG + lotus petal/ritual/cabal/culling/SSG + IT + tendrils.

What I see wrong with that is that SI does not need to play like Iggy pop. You can IT for a LED and crack 2 x LED after a draw 4 to chain, or IT for a cabal ritual with thresh etc. IGG is only really used for turn1-2 kills, because all removal/permission goes back to opponent's hand too. The medallion solves such a narrow problem and is so situational that it is only marginally superior in a narrow situation and is dead in your opening hand. In addition, as you said, SI needs all the mana it has, so how many times do you find yourself floating 3mana with a medallion and a cabal ritual in hand? Even then, without the medallion, 3mana with a cabal ritual gives either 4 or 6 mana, which is plenty to go off on.


I suggest it for BG builds that already pack 11-12 creatures, as most other options are just unplayable.

I really cannot envision this, even though I tried this out. In your opening hand, you will average 1-2 mana sources. Using one to play glimpse, which must be played at the beginning for any profound effect, means you do not have any left to play xantid or ritual. The card is too narrow to work. Not to mention that xantid is commonly a sb card. Drawing glimpse in mid game often requires sacrificing a petal to cast, when it can be used for a ritual/cull. SI can't work with situational cards like that. Waiting for turn 2 to glimpse + cast accel is not optimal either, as SI typically wants a turn1 setup or therapy and turn 2 going off.

*I think you include xantid in your 11-12 creatures, as I can't think of anything else save wild cantor that SI would play, and cantor is inferior as well.

DrJones
08-13-2007, 09:20 AM
What I see wrong with that is that SI does not need to play like Iggy pop. You can IT for a LED and crack 2 x LED after a draw 4 to chain, or IT for a cabal ritual with thresh etc.Huh? That setup requires 5 mana beforehand (2 for Tutor + 3 for Draw4) plus having LED,Tutor and Draw4 in Hand. I don't see how that play might be better in any scenario.


I really cannot envision this, even though I tried this out. In your opening hand, you will average 1-2 mana sources. Using one to play glimpse, which must be played at the beginning for any profound effect, means you do not have any left to play xantid or ritual. The card is too narrow to work. Not to mention that xantid is commonly a sb card. Drawing glimpse in mid game often requires sacrificing a petal to cast, when it can be used for a ritual/cull. SI can't work with situational cards like that. Waiting for turn 2 to glimpse + cast accel is not optimal either, as SI typically wants a turn1 setup or therapy and turn 2 going off.11-12 creatures means playing with Walkers, Shields, and Ornithopter/Kobold. I already play 10 because I see 8 too few, adding 1-2 isn't too hard, and enables Diabolic Tutor/Tower/Glimpse, others creatures you can try with that build are Xantid Swarm and Tombstalker.

Glimpse isn't spectacular, it draws 2-3 cards on average, but it's a better deal than Night's Whispers.

I think you are looking at glimpse/medallion under a bad light because you are looking at what they can't do, instead of what they replace in the deck. Also note that I've tested many different variations of the deck, and what can work in one build is absolutely horrible in others.

goobafish
08-13-2007, 10:16 AM
11-12 creatures means playing with Walkers, Shields, and Ornithopter/Kobold. I already play 10 because I see 8 too few, adding 1-2 isn't too hard, and enables Diabolic Tutor/Tower/Glimpse, others creatures you can try with that build are Xantid Swarm and Tombstalker.

Glimpse isn't spectacular, it draws 2-3 cards on average, but it's a better deal than Night's Whispers.

I think you are looking at glimpse/medallion under a bad light because you are looking at what they can't do, instead of what they replace in the deck. Also note that I've tested many different variations of the deck, and what can work in one build is absolutely horrible in others.

Our original lists had 12 creatures in them, we found that it would be a very very common occurency to draw dead into multiple creatures off one of our Draw 4s. Because the deck relys on draws instead of tutors, it is better to run fewer creatures. I play anywhere from 8-10 in Bg. Glimse is a much worse deal than whisper, it is terrible in this deck, and it has been tested. Night's whisper is better because it acts as a setup card, and dosen't require you to waste storm (in creatures) to draw cards. Also, whisper acts on black where as glimpse acts on green, which is rare in this deck. We tested whispers and didn't like them, after casting a couple of Draw 4s, you cannot cast whisper because of the life loss. It is decent as a setup card. Medallion is also terrible. The deck runs so many cards that rely on solely black, and I't really dosen't need more acceleration on top of an array of 12 rituals, moxes, petals and leds. What it needs is a good black draw card.

Occam
08-13-2007, 10:38 AM
Huh? That setup requires 5 mana beforehand (2 for Tutor + 3 for Draw4) plus having LED,Tutor and Draw4 in Hand. I don't see how that play might be better in any scenario.

The most important thing to note is that IGG is an early play, meaning you either use it turn 1-2 or it becomes less useful. It returns permission to your opponent's hand, invalidating your disruption (therapies).

5mana before chaining is not a lot. CUll + petal/mox achieves that. You only need 4 to IT into 2 x cabal ritual. With thresh, that gives you enough mana to chain almost anything you want.

Medallion is hugely situational too, as you need at least 3 mana to medallion into cabal ritual into draw4. Without thresh, you need a mana source and a ritual/cull in the draw4. With thresh, you don't even need the medallion to go off.


11-12 creatures means playing with Walkers, Shields, and Ornithopter/Kobold. I already play 10 because I see 8 too few, adding 1-2 isn't too hard, and enables Diabolic Tutor/Tower/Glimpse, others creatures you can try with that build are Xantid Swarm and Tombstalker.

Play dryad arbor with green fetchlands if you feel you need more creature redundancy. Diabolic tutor? You mean diabolic intent, I presume. Decent, but I tested it and found it to be the weakest card in my lists. Even death wish would be better.

With respect to xantid and tombstalker, glimpse alreay requires a green mana, which means your bayou will not be tapping for B to ritual, and you basically need another mana source to cast xantid in your first hand + go off after that. the deck needs black mana. It is only B/G in name, but really it is a black deck splashing green to enable belcher.

DrJones
08-13-2007, 11:08 AM
Our original lists had 12 creatures in them, we found that it would be a very very common occurency to draw dead into multiple creatures off one of our Draw 4s. Because the deck relys on draws instead of tutors, it is better to run fewer creatures. I play anywhere from 8-10 in Bg. Glimse is a much worse deal than whisper, it is terrible in this deck, and it has been tested. Night's whisper is better because it acts as a setup card, and dosen't require you to waste storm (in creatures) to draw cards. Also, whisper acts on black where as glimpse acts on green, which is rare in this deck. We tested whispers and didn't like them, after casting a couple of Draw 4s, you cannot cast whisper because of the life loss. It is decent as a setup card. Medallion is also terrible. The deck runs so many cards that rely on solely black, and I't really dosen't need more acceleration on top of an array of 12 rituals, moxes, petals and leds. What it needs is a good black draw card.Here's a test build that uses Glimpse. (therapy and charbelcher on sb, doesn't use Medallion because of splash, which means ESG is better)

// Deck file for Magic Workstation (http://www.magicworkstation.com)

// Lands
2 [US] Phyrexian Tower
2 [R] Bayou

// Creatures
4 [VI] Phyrexian Walker
4 [AL] Shield Sphere
3 [AL] Elvish Spirit Guide
3 [LG] Kobolds of Kher Keep

// Spells
3 [TO] Cabal Ritual
2 [DIS] Infernal Tutor
3 [SC] Tendrils of Agony
1 [US] Ill-Gotten Gains
4 [TE] Lotus Petal
4 [R] Dark Ritual
4 [EX] Culling the Weak
3 [MI] Lion's Eye Diamond
4 [7E] Infernal Contract
4 [PT] Cruel Bargain
4 [MR] Chrome Mox
3 [CHK] Glimpse of Nature
3 [MM] Land Grant
--------------------------------------------
And here's a sample game I just played (no point in cooking up)
1st game, player 1: Mulligans. Draws Culling but no creature. Puts bayou on play and waits before going off (it's usually better to wait to be able to get another land drop)
player 2: petal, glimpse, kobold, LED, chrome with cabal ritual, culling, ritual, infernal contract, sacrifice LED (note that robots are cantrip now, so it's less risky), I draw land grant, LED, infernal tutor and IGG, which is enough to 1st turn kill. (player 1 gets a 2nd turn kill)

2nd game, player 1: Mulligan, mulligan, ends with horrible hand (tendrils, IGG, Bargain, chome mox, land grant) keeps hopping for ritual, but draws robot and dies (note how Phyrexian tower would have helped here).
player 2: Lotus petal, ritual, contract, lotus petal, glimpse, kobold, walker, chrome mox with contract, dark ritual, cabal ritual, tendrils (with spare LED and chrome mox).

So:
50% 1st turn kills
25% 2nd turn kills
25% Autoloss.

Which has very low statistical weight, but approximates what I usually get.

goobafish
08-13-2007, 11:17 AM
25% Autoloss in unacceptable. Congratulations, you created a deck that when it gets the perfect hand, it wins. That is not what we are looking for, you need some sort of consistancy, and consistantly autoloosing is not what I mean. Glimse also makes mulliganing terrible because you rely on creatures when you have glimpse, and when you don't have glimpse you have 12 shitty creatures that don't help you win.

DrJones
08-13-2007, 11:59 AM
25% Autoloss in unacceptable. Congratulations, you created a deck that when it gets the perfect hand, it wins. That is not what we are looking for, you need some sort of consistancy, and consistantly autoloosing is not what I mean. Glimse also makes mulliganing terrible because you rely on creatures when you have glimpse, and when you don't have glimpse you have 12 shitty creatures that don't help you win.It's not really 25% autoloss, it's more around 17%, but you can't get any number between 0-25 with only four games. If do you find 17% unacceptable, so do I, that's why I'm not fond of SI, that's the same autoloss ratio I get from the other SI builds on this thread.

Glimpse here takes the place of Night's Whispers/Street Wraith, which are pretty terrible, too. Drawing 1-3 cards for 1cc > Drawing 2 cards for 2cc + 2 life. This is not "you rely on creatures with glimpse", but "you don't die for having drawn robots". Glimpse is not the main plan of this deck, it's a "combo stabilizer".

And these haven't been theoretical examples based on perfect hands, either: just two sample games I just played. It just happened that I drawn Glimpse on two of these games, and because it stabilized the deck, I got 1st turn kills. I don't know a better way to explain myself except by posting real data, so please tell me how else can I explain to you what's a combo stabilizer and how they work.

Occam
08-13-2007, 12:09 PM
It's not really 25% autoloss, it's more around 17%, but you can't get any number between 0-25 with only four games. If do you find 17% unacceptable, so do I, that's why I'm not fond of SI, that's the same autoloss ratio I get from the other SI builds on this thread.

Glimpse here takes the place of Night's Whispers/Street Wraith, which are pretty terrible, too. Drawing 1-3 cards for 1cc > Drawing 2 cards for 2cc + 2 life. This is not "you rely on creatures with glimpse", but "you don't die for having drawn robots". Glimpse is not the main plan of this deck, it's a "combo stabilizer".

And these haven't been theoretical examples based on perfect hands, either: just two sample games I just played. It just happened that I drawn Glimpse on two of these games, and because it stabilized the deck, I got 1st turn kills. I don't know a better way to explain myself except by posting real data, so please tell me how else can I explain to you what's a combo stabilizer and how they work.

From what I have seen from goldfishing more than a thousand times with SI, the fizzle rate is between 10-20%, depending on how hard you push the deck. Push for t1-2 kills, and you will hover nearer to 20% and even go over. My builds all run 4x therapy too, so I basically have 4 dead cards in goldfishing which will affect the fizzle rate.

A 17% fizzle rate is acceptable, as this is 1.5 storm combo, meaning combo is draw based, unlike vintage which relies on a hybrid of tutors and undercosted draws as an engine. What is not acceptable is a 15-20% fizzle rate without disruption.

Night whispers is bad. Street wraith is not. The latter draws for free, and life is a resource that is meant to be freely used in SI. Pitch wraith to chrome mox after 2draw4s. Whisper is sub-optimal because you will almost always want a draw4 for 3mana rather than a draw2 for 2mana, when both require a ritual to use in either case. Glimpse is suboptimal because you need to run cards to cast glimpse + accel with the same opening hand, plus using more maindeck slots for creatures, and not disruption.

At the end of the day though, if you feel that glimpse is needed in your build, then by all means. To each his own, I guess.

goobafish
08-13-2007, 12:09 PM
Glimpse here takes the place of Night's Whispers/Street Wraith


I don't understand. Taking the place? Neither of those cards are in the lists.

You do not "autoloss" 17% of the time with standard SI, that shows that you are playing it wrong, especially if you are talking about goldfishing. Against control 17% is totally fine pre-board. Because in that matchup, either you go nutz or you "auto-loss".


Drawing 1-3 cards for 1cc > Drawing 2 cards for 2cc + 2 life.

That is a terrible comparison. With glimpse, you loose 1 card via glimpse and then you loose x cards to draw x cards, they are totally different. Night's whisper actually nets you cards, where glimpse dosent. I am not advocating running whisper, but it is a terrible comparison.




A 17% fizzle rate is acceptable, as this is 1.5 storm combo, meaning combo is draw based, unlike vintage which relies on a hybrid of tutors and undercosted draws as an engine. What is not acceptable is a 15-20% fizzle rate without disruption.

Fizzle dosen't mean you die. You can still recover. Also are you keeping ever hand? There is no way you get a 17% fizzle rate while aggressively mulliganing.

DrJones
08-13-2007, 12:13 PM
I'll try to explain what's a combo stabilizer with a simile. A combo stabilizer is like those bags full of dirt that balloons carry. They are dead weight, and they don't help in making the balloon fly, but when the balloon is flying too low and there's a risk to getting stuck in a dangerous place, you are always happy to drop one.

These are cards that you don't want to have at start, drawing multiples isn't very good either, but you might want to find one from time to time while going through the deck. That's why they must be cheap, and why I suggest running few copies of them. My experimental Green Academy deck, for example, has 2x stabilizers: Azusa, and Deployment.

DrJones
08-13-2007, 12:34 PM
Here's why I think Street Wraith is not good.
The deck thinning that Street Wraith provides improves your chances to draw each other card in the deck by 1/15.
However, because you have to spend slots in the deck for Street Wraith, you need to take out certain combo elements. Depending on what you take out, your odds to draw them get worse by 1/12, 1/8, or 1/4.

So, I haven't found it worthy to play for the deck thinning. That it can be fetched to Chrome Mox isn't good if it replaces cards that can also be fetched, doesn't add to the storm count, and in some cases reduces the total number of draws4 you can play in a row.

In his favor, it has some sinergy with LED. But after testing it, I concluded I can pass without him.

@goobafish:
It's obvious from the examples that I don't keep every hand. I'm not the best mulliganer in the world, but not stupid, either. I've been told that MWS makes SI much worse than IRL, so if true, the 17% miss ratio should be lower.

B.C.
08-13-2007, 01:19 PM
I don't really want to jump into the middle of this debate because it's pretty boring. I just want to address this:


I've been testing this deck for two weeks now, and you were indeed incredibly lucky (and with a very undeveloped meta). This deck sucks! I've tested thousands of variations and there's no way to stabilize it. The deck auto-loses to burn, force of will, random hate, and 25% of time to just bad luck. (Of course, faster=lower consistency)

When I said that I was lucky with the matchups, I meant that they were very one-sided, with very little chance that I would lose. I did NOT mean that I wouldn't have made Top 8 or made the finals if it was a stronger, more representative metagame. I have a lot of confidence in this deck, and I know it like the back of my hand. I've had a lot of success with SI, even against "good" decks. I would have actually preferred a more tier 1 metagame, because then I could get a better idea of my deck's strengths and weaknesses before Gencon.

I hope you give SI a chance. And try to realize that it doesn't have to win on turn 1 or 2. The deck's strength is its explosiveness. Often that happens on turn 1 or 2, but it could just as easily sit back for 4 turns, then explode on turn 5.

Occam
08-13-2007, 03:34 PM
Here's why I think Street Wraith is not good.
The deck thinning that Street Wraith provides improves your chances to draw each other card in the deck by 1/15.
However, because you have to spend slots in the deck for Street Wraith, you need to take out certain combo elements. Depending on what you take out, your odds to draw them get worse by 1/12, 1/8, or 1/4.

So, I haven't found it worthy to play for the deck thinning. That it can be fetched to Chrome Mox isn't good if it replaces cards that can also be fetched, doesn't add to the storm count, and in some cases reduces the total number of draws4 you can play in a row.

In his favor, it has some sinergy with LED. But after testing it, I concluded I can pass without him.

@goobafish:
It's obvious from the examples that I don't keep every hand. I'm not the best mulliganer in the world, but not stupid, either. I've been told that MWS makes SI much worse than IRL, so if true, the 17% miss ratio should be lower.

With brainstorms + fetchlands/land grant + wraith = 8, you effectively have a 52card deck if you can play them all in sequence without pitching to mox, restricted by one land a turn etc. With the B/G version, you have 4 x IT, 2 x IGG, 8 x draw4 as your typical engine. You also have 8 x 1mana rituals in dark ritual/cull. This eddectively means that your chance of drawing into a ritual AND a business card after thinning your deck is more than the chance of you missing. 4 cards from a draw4 is 1/15 of the deck. This is even more pertinent when you use the B/U version, as that only runs a maximum of 12 draw4s, meaning you cannot use the IGG loop. 12 x draw4 only draws 48 cards, which means not hitting a draw 4 while chaining = fizzle. The importance of deck thinners is not so much of drawing any other card in your deck, but rather effectively making dark rituals more than a 4of, culls more than a 4of and so on.

I know brainstorm and wraith lack real synergy as well in B/U SI, but the chances of actually storming into a wraith are not high, and you can also return to lib or pitch to mox.

Iranon
08-13-2007, 11:35 PM
This is for a B/g version without disruption, 10 creatures, 2 intents. Percentages refer to an even split on the draw/play as we will often wish to draw game 1, play on subsequent ones. The data these claims are based on was collected on MWS, so if the shuffler drags it down it ought to be better irl.

If you play this conservatively, a goldfish should be dead by turn 4 90% of the time or slightly above. That's about par for the course compared to other disruption-less/light combo builds in the format.
At this 'leisurely' pace we still get a 40% first-turn-kill rate, which still blows any other combo deck out of the water.

SI might feel less consistent than it is, because nothing keeps us from pushing the deck past its limits. You can't do that with most other fast combo decks (apart from mulliganing aggressively); they're either ready to kill or they aren't.
Do we float mana into a draw 4, or do we use it as a setup card and simply go off next turn unless we find a independent mana sources? Our choice.

If we always go for the throat, a high fizzle rate is to be expected... but the ability to do so is valuable as well. If we were able to achieve a 50% first-turn rate on the play, logic dictates that any deck without pitch counters would be a positive match-up, regardless of its other capabilities... even if it's supposed to be a Combo-eating monstrosity like Sui or Stax. From my experience, SI isn't quite up to that but it's close enough to make this point extremely relevant.

***

Many attempts to fix the consistency issues backfire:

Street Wraith seems a natural replacement for the weakest link (in the version I run: 2 Ornithopters, 2 Diabolic Intent). The potential of being a dead card after chaining draw-4s (the same problem that plagues Night's Whisper) and the information loss for mulligan decisions make it very dubious that it would improve consistency.

Medallion makes the deck top-heavy. If we can get to 3 mana, we're probably in good shape anyway... unless we lack business spells. Business spells that we had to chuck out for Medallions in the first place.
It's to the mana side of the package what Null Profusion is to the draw suite: great when it works, but too clunky to be practical.

B.C.
08-20-2007, 02:46 PM
I took my build of SI to Legacy Worlds. My tournament report can be read here:

http://mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?p=154098#post154098

dlevsApiJ
08-20-2007, 03:21 PM
I also play this deck, an i have a quastion for you, about the red splash.
I play the deck from before the Red cards you play werent printed, now i see this list. It looks very nice, but dont you mis the Cabal Therapy main?

Mvg

B.C.
08-20-2007, 03:31 PM
I also play this deck, an i have a quastion for you, about the red splash.
I play the deck from before the Red cards you play werent printed, now i see this list. It looks very nice, but dont you mis the Cabal Therapy main?

Mvg

I thought I would, but I don't. Without Cabal Therapy you do leave yourself open to the occasional loss by FOW, but you make up for it by having a much faster deck with a much more stable mana base.

marit
09-07-2007, 09:52 PM
Hey Emidln, you mentioned that you would play a close variant of SITES, and not the list on this thread. Is it possible to reveal the list? I've tested SITES, and I like it more than Bg primarily because it doesn't lose to FoW, and it's still blazingly fast. Thanks.

Nosomo.
09-08-2007, 04:21 PM
Yesterday I went to the local tourney with this list
//Maindeck
//Lands:
2 Polluted Delta
2 Bloodstained Mire
4 Underground Sea
1 Swamp

//Additional Mana Sources:
4 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox

//Ritual Effects:
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Culling the Weak

//Tall Men:
4 Phyrexian Walker
4 Shield Sphere

//Busted Draw:
4 Brainstorm
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Infernal Contract
3 Meditate

//Other Business:
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Tendrils of Agony

Round 1 G/B/R aggro
Game1: I decide to slowball it with a hand of meat and no gas. I combo of 5th turn.
Game 2: I do not SB. I keep a normal hand with 2 meat and 2 gas. I combo off for the win 3rd turn.

Round 2: G/U/R Thresh
Game 1: I keep a hand of 3 meat and 1 gas preparing for the counter. I combo off 4th turn playing through a daze and FOW.
Game 2: I do not SB. I keep a decent hand with 1 therapy and 2 meat and 3 gas and a tall man. I start to combo 3rd turn and lay out therapy naming stifle he has a trickbind in hand I topdeck a 2nd tendrils with 10 mana floating FTW.

Round 3: G/B/W aggro
Game 1: I keep a normal hand and I combo off 2nd turn since I see no discard.
Game 2: I SB none. I keep a decent hand and I combo and see him Krosan Grip my Sphere giving me the 9 spell count I needed for a Tendrils.

Round 4: G/B Aggro control
Game 1: My first phenominal hand of the night I combo turn 1 FTW.
Game 2: I SB none. He plays duress getting rid of Tendrils. I pay a therapy naming Hymn to tourach I hit none. He draws 2 the next 2 turns. He then duress again. Then lays out goyfs and a rack. I combo off through all of that and deal 16 damage. I see nothing else and lose in three turns.
Game 3: He hates me out again with a duress hitting tendrils but this game I get a therapy naming hymn and get 2. I then proceed to combo off on 3rd turn and go to 1 after playing 4 Infernal/cruels and 2 Meditates I have a 12 card hand with 7 mana floating but no tendrils so he wins.
Game 5: R/B/G Aggro control
Game 1: I get a decent hand and win 7th with him dying to Bob and having 2 goyfs and a kird ape on the board. Take that Goyf!!!!
Game 2: No SB.I keep a decent hand and he trip chain lightning me. Then I proceed to combo but I see no tendrils again so I lose.
Game 3: I keep a hand with 5 gas and 2 meat. I live 8 turns and do not see any of the 17 mana effects that would have won me the game.

I leave 7th with a 3/2. I feel happy since my first tourney play with this deck. I learned that I need to acknowledge more when I need to mul a hand even if it seems phenominal.

thefreakaccident
09-08-2007, 07:59 PM
You didn't sideboard once... NICE!

How is it that you lost to black aggro-control but beat thresh 2-0?

Isn't countermagic more of an issue for the deck than discard... (usually mass draw rapes discard, and countermagic counters mass draw)...

Someone please clarify for me.

Silverdragon
09-08-2007, 08:47 PM
Please read his report ;)



Round 2: G/U/R Thresh
... I start to combo 3rd turn and lay out therapy naming stifle he has a trickbind in hand I topdeck a 2nd tendrils with 10 mana floating FTW.

Round 4: G/B Aggro control
... He plays duress getting rid of Tendrils. I pay a therapy naming Hymn to tourach I hit none. He draws 2 the next 2 turns. He then duress again. Then lays out goyfs and a rack. I combo off through all of that and deal 16 damage. I see nothing else and lose in three turns.
Game 3: He hates me out again with a duress hitting tendrils but this game I get a therapy naming hymn and get 2. I then proceed to combo off on 3rd turn and go to 1 after playing 4 Infernal/cruels and 2 Meditates I have a 12 card hand with 7 mana floating but no tendrils so he wins.

Game 5: R/B/G Aggro control
... Then I proceed to combo but I see no tendrils again so I lose.
Game 3: I keep a hand with 5 gas and 2 meat. I live 8 turns and do not see any of the 17 mana effects that would have won me the game.



Some parts bolded for further explanation. In summary he won against Threshold because he got the nuts and lost against Discard because he couldn't find a finisher/fizzled.

Sanguine Voyeur
09-08-2007, 09:22 PM
How well would Death Wish work? The way I see it, it's a tutor that doesn't rely on Lion's Eye Diamond like Infernal Tutor, it's on colour unlike Burning Wish, and it won't cost $600 like Grim Tutor. Conversely, it is three mana and half your life for one card.

I'm also considering supporting Brainstom and Meditate off of rainbow lands that aren't City of Brass.

Congratulations on the tournament, Nosomo. Looks like you only lost to luck.

emidln
09-08-2007, 11:02 PM
That particular list doesn't sideboard very often. When it does, it's normally -4 black draw4, +4 Dark Confidant or adding in 6-8 bounce spells of some variety. The board that I run for it normally is:

4 Dark Confidant
4 Chain of Vapor
4 Echoing Truth
3 Rebuild

It absolutely destroys blue control and traditional threshold and thresh w/counterbalance lists. The roughest matchup as far as Thresh is concerned is my teammate Cappy's UGR list with Wastes and Spell Snares + Lightning Bolt. Without the bolts and snares I'd probably be above 60%, but with them, I'm slightly under 50 on total matches.

As far as him losing to black aggro control, it sounds like he got really unlucky. I'd question keeping a hand without an initial mana source against black aggro control, but it's really a tough decision depending on the hand.

The only thing I contemplate is going -1 Cruel Bargain, +1 Meditate because Meditate is so huge while playing against control, either winning after resolving or providin a mind twist + mana short effect for you to combo out on your next turn. Additionally, it lets you dig deeper on your combo turn, an important ability in a deck without actual tutors.

RE: topdecking against control

The deck typically plays 3-4 black draw4s and 1-2 meditates, plus 1-2 brainstorms and a fetch or two the turn that it combos out. "Topdecking" after seeing half of your deck isn't much of a feat. His outs were:

2nd Tendrils (3 left)
Cabal Therapy (2-3 left)
Creature (if he had a therapy in yard) (several left)
Tendrils + one additional black draw4 drawing more cards if he sees nothing after the initial crop of draws(worst case scenario)

My question is, would you play it again, and if so, what would you change? do you feel keeping a no initial mana source hand was a mistake? Would you feel comfortable devoting 6-7 slots in the sideboard 4 Mystical Tutor and 2-3 Ill-Gotten Gains that could be boarded in against extreme discard. This would cut down on total number of bounce, but allow us to play more varied bounce and sideboard as necessary.

Benie Bederios
09-10-2007, 08:58 PM
Hi,

I've been testing this deck and I found the QSI list not that good. I fizzled more than I with Sir Speedy. Most of the time they force you to go earlier than planned. Can you give me/us some basic advice of playing the deck( you don't need to go in details.)

It is very good, if you only fear counter magic, but when your opponent plays more than counters and bad permanents, you have to make a though choice, you want to protect your combo from counters AND want to race their hate.

With Sir Speedy you could just go for the turn 1 kill. Alot of players don't mull into Force of Will game 3, so that you just can go for the head and it races anything that doesn't run Force.

But I feel that QSI is the best list, because the interaction of Therapy and the "Tall men" is great, and the exclution of LED and IT makes the deck harder to stop.

How would you(emidln) play against UGr Thresh( w/ Counterbalance) Cephalid Breakfast and Landstill. How to mull( lots of business, little mana or the other way around) how to play( go for a fast kill or just build the perfect hand) and how to board.

Anyway thanks for building such a insane deck.

BB

Nosomo.
09-15-2007, 04:27 AM
Hello yall, this week I went to my local tournie with high hopes playing old fashioned SI...
// Initial Mana Sources
4 Land Grant
2 Bayou
4 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox

// Tall Men
1 Ornithopter
4 Phyrexian Walker
4 Shield Sphere

// Ritual Effects
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Lion's Eye Diamond

// Business
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Infernal Contract
2 Diabolic Intent
2 Ill-Gotten Gains
3 Tendrils of Agony
3 Infernal Tutor
2 Goblin Charbelcher

Round 1: Train Wreck
Game 1: A god hand and I keep. Opponent goes first and duress's my Chrome mox leaving me with no mana start. He then follows with a duress turn 2, a duress/hymn turn 3, and a hymn turn 4. I try to combo and fail since of god hand being dispatched.
Game 2: No SB. I keep a ok hand. He first turn duress's again. Then hymn's twwice in the next two turns. Same as last fail due to lack of cards he then consume spirits me FTL.
Loss 0-2

Round 2: G/W Unknown
Game 1: I win first turn.
Game 2: No SB. I win first turn.
Win 2-0

Round 3: R/B aggro control
Game 1: I win second turn through a duress.
Game 2: No SB I win turn 4 due to a bad hand and a charbelcher seeing no discard.
Win 2-0

Round 4: G/W/B Slide
Game 1: I blast off in his face and win first turn.
Game 2: No SB. I keep a bad hand and win through a confinement break with the belcher.
Win 2-0

Round 5: G/W Slide
Game 1: Win second turn.
Game 2: No SB. I win first turn.
Win 2-0

I lost once due to unluckyness but I win the rest. I come in third place. Best part though no SB'ding. I only have a SB against blue the only thing that SI usually ever loses against,except for mass discard as I have seen.

Joon
09-15-2007, 06:48 AM
What do you guys think about splashes? I mean, Blue offers Medidate. Not incredibly strong but ok. But what does red offer?
- Burning Wish
- lots of Rituals (Rite of Flame, Seething Song, Desperate Ritual :tongue: )
- Red Blasts in the SB against blue based Decks
- last but not least: Emtpy the Warrens

Do you think it would be possible to add Wishes and Warrens without make the Deck look like TES? I mean I'd change 1 Bayou with one Taiga, cut some Business Spells to squeeze them into the Wishboard, add Wish and somewhere EtW. What do you think?

I guess the best splash would be red but only for S Spirit Guide and EtW. Everything else leads you to TES...or so.

Iranon
09-15-2007, 07:51 AM
Nosomo, that's only 59 cards. What's the last?

@ Joon: Did you check the opening posts for details of different splashes?

The B(g) list is still the fastest and most consistent in a vacuum, with excellent tools against reactive answers (Xantid Swarm) and anti-storm cards (Belcher).

I personally don't favour the blue splash, as regular counters aren't the only problem (Chant, Abeyance and the like are handled by Xantid Swarm but not by EoT Meditate. And with mana floating and the omnipresent self-harm SI can easily choke on one of those). I'd run that only in very specific metagames where every none-counter deck is an autowin.

The red splash offers the opportunity to keep them busy with a small EtW and follow up with a Tendrils shortly after, which is nice. However, EtW has significant problems when you burn your life points like there's no tomorrow.
I've also experimented with a variant that also runs Burning Wish, with decent but not overwhelming results. The toolbox is helpful and that version is still faster than TES but not consistent enough for my tastes.

I can think of valid reasons for all colour combinations; without detailed information about what opposition I'm likely to face I'd still run the one with Land Grants.

GreenOne
09-15-2007, 11:27 AM
I did some goldfish with the list of QSI. Here's the decklist:

// Lands
2 [ON] Polluted Delta
1 [6E] Swamp (2)
4 [U] Underground Sea
2 [ON] Bloodstained Mire

// Creatures
4 [VI] Phyrexian Walker
4 [AL] Shield Sphere

// Spells
4 [A] Dark Ritual
4 [7E] Infernal Contract
4 [SC] Tendrils of Agony
4 [PT] Cruel Bargain
4 [TO] Cabal Ritual
4 [MR] Chrome Mox
4 [TE] Lotus Petal
4 [IA] Brainstorm
4 [JU] Cabal Therapy
4 [EX] Culling the Weak
3 [OV] Meditate

Here is what came form my results on 50 games:
- Can't kill in turn 4 or before: 20%
Of the remaining 80% games:
- Average cards in hand after possible mulligans: 6,75
- Nį of games with a cabal therapy played before going off: 20%
- Nį of games with at least a cabal therapy cast before playing Tendrils: 35%
- Average number of cabal therapies played in each game: 1,35
- Average turn with successful combo: 2,75
- Average number of black Draw4s played during the game: 2

Did anyone find different results?
Hope this is somewhat useful.

Iranon
09-15-2007, 04:30 PM
Thanks for the hard data, GreenOne!

Let me rummage through my own, pertaining to the protectionless B/(g) I used in the Goldfish Genocide thread. Unfortunately, I didn't document my goldfishing as thoroughly as you did... I will try to match your example in the future. Here the only relevant numbers I have for a direct comparison:

Failure to kill turn 4 or earlier: 10%
Average turn with successful combo: 2.00
Average kill of the best 80%: 1.63

These numbers assume an equal share of being on the play/draw. Did you make the same assumption? If not, any of the following ruminations may be useless.

***

In short, you played disruption in 35% of your games at the cost of doubling your 'failure' rate and sacrificing just over a turn in speed, assuming both our results are reproducible. At first glance that looks like a steep price to pay.

Against decks that rely on permanent-based hate, it doesn't seem worth it as only the 20% of playing Therapy before going off will make a difference. Also, Therapy for Chalice when there are other horrible plays such as a first-turn Trinisphere is inferior to just going off.

I'm far less sure about reactive hate, which we are more likely to encounter. Especially against cards such as Orim's Chant or Abeyance, comboing into a Therapy might be game-deciding; less so against counterspells because usually Control players will attempt to prevent SI from going off in the first place.
Also, the faster goldfish of the B/g version is to be taken with a grain of salt under these considerations as Ill-Gotten Gains plays a part in that. While it remains a relevant card, it's no longer an 'Oops, I win'. [ADDENDUM: and being careless with LED might give a free loss instead]

***

Both versions have soft benefits that aren't expressed in goldfish averages/numbers of Therapies played. However, those play a large part in determining which one is the more attractive choice. Is the data conclusive?

Personally, I'd still opt for the original in most environments. In matches where massive protection is wanted, 4 Therapy + 4 Xantid Swarm provide just that from the board.

On the other hand, I'm generally biased in this kind of comparison, sticking with the 'Stop losing to your own deck, then worry about your opponent' approach.

Nosomo.
09-15-2007, 05:21 PM
Nosomo, that's only 59 cards. What's the last?
Oh snap I put only 3 contracts and I have 4 LOL.

GreenOne
09-15-2007, 11:09 PM
Failure to kill turn 4 or earlier: 10%
Average turn with successful combo: 2.00
Average kill of the best 80%: 1.63

These numbers assume an equal share of being on the play/draw. Did you make the same assumption? If not, any of the following ruminations may be useless.

I don't understand those data. You probably mean "average kill of the best 90%" (everytime you don't fizzle/combo before turn 4). So the fundamental turn is 2 or 1.63? Does the 2.00 include times when you combo with belcher but you don't kill the oppo? Is there ETW tokens somewhere?

However, my games were 100% on the play, and i tried to play conservatively. Example: I have a hand with Land, D. Ritual, Draw4, Cabal therapy. On turn 1 I cast therapy instead of trying to combo.
I'm probably not the best player wiht that deck too. I'm a combo player at heart and quite good with (storm) combo in general, but took this deck just for a week or so.



Both versions have soft benefits that aren't expressed in goldfish averages/numbers of Therapies played. However, those play a large part in determining which one is the more attractive choice. Is the data conclusive?


Yeah, you hit the point. I'm still unsure what's the best version in my meta, but the 2 decks play in a totally different manner. Not having to worry to a single counter when playing with LED is huge, but data can't show it. Not having to worry about graveyard hate is good too. Having a higher land count helps with hitting land drops to beat trinisphere (if there's no Wasteland involved) and bounce a chalice @0. Not having Land Grant helps in having the opponent choose the wrong spell to counter.
However, it's still a pleasure to know what your deck is capable of, what's the combo-turn etc.

I got another question:
I can't see why is Goblin Charblcher any good. You can tutor for it only with Infernal tutor, so why not just going with a IGG or Draw4?

The Rack
09-16-2007, 01:56 AM
Goblin Charbelcher is good because it is a permanent. When you nait someone out for the stifle and you drop a Belcher you can keep on keepin on. I usually keep hands with culling critter Belcher LED because half the deck is acceleration even if I do miss lethal. I can't see why you wouldn;t want Belcher in this style deck.

Benie Bederios
09-16-2007, 08:18 AM
Goblin Charbelcher is good because it is a permanent. When you nait someone out for the stifle and you drop a Belcher you can keep on keepin on. I usually keep hands with culling critter Belcher LED because half the deck is acceleration even if I do miss lethal. I can't see why you wouldn;t want Belcher in this style deck.

Uhm... Belcher forces you into running Land Grants. This means you have to reveal your hand. Against decks with counters, this isn't a good tech

BB

Iranon
09-16-2007, 08:46 AM
Ok, in order not to compare apples with oranges I will have to readjust my numbers. The following is drawn from 100 games on the play.

Failure to kill turn 4 or earlier: 9%
Average turn with successful combo: 2.08
Average kill of the best 80%: 1.81


To your questions concerning the data: I meant what I wrote. We both counted any game that lasted beyond 4 turns as a loss. The last line discounts the 9% fizzles (obviously) and the 11 times the deck killed on turn 4, to match your numbers which also represent 'top 80%' data - i.e. all games where you killed before turn 5. This is necessary to avoid distorting the data by penalising the more consistent deck.

Let me illustrate with an example: Jank.dec that wins on turn 1 25% of the time, on turn 2 25% of the time and fizzles otherwise sports a turn 1.5 goldfish average. Comparing that directly to our average non-fizzle goldfish of 2.08 or 2.75 would be misleading. We can't account for the huge discrepancy in consistency, but using our 'top 50%' goldfishes we can compare the capacity for blinding speed. In my case, that would amount to an adjusted turn 1.32 goldfish average. So not only am I more consistent, I'm also faster - in spite of what the unadjusted average goldfish turn says.

***

The list I ran doesn't include Empty the Warrens. The numbers are for outright kills - belching for 19 early on, then for 40 on turn 5 would still count as a loss (goldfish don't use fetch lands).

***

Belcher is bloody amazing and one of the prime attractions of B/(g). It means Stifle buys the opponent a turn instead of sending us back to square 1. It's often easier to win with Belcher after some black thug ripped our hand to shreds. It makes comboing through taxing effects, Chalices and Trinispheres more feasible. It doesn't care about Arcane Laboratory/Rule of Law. It's a second win condition if there's a Mage on Tendrils. It can get rid of True Believers by itself (and doesn't care about Mother backup). It allows us to play around all sorts of junk that would require a dedicated answer otherwise.

GreenOne
09-16-2007, 09:01 AM
This is necessary to avoid distorting the data by penalising the more consistent deck.


Right, that makes sense.


The list I ran doesn't include Empty the Warrens. The numbers are for outright kills


Would you mind posting your list for reference? I want to take both decks in a testing gauntlet when I have a bit of spare time and a bunch of testing partners.

Iranon
09-16-2007, 04:01 PM
Certainly. The list I used was:

//Mana
4 Land Grant
2 Bayou
4 Chrome Mox
4 Lotus Petal
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Dark Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Cabal Ritual

//Robots
4 Shield Sphere
4 Phyrexian Walker
2 Ornithopter

//Business
4 Infernal Contract
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Infernal Tutor
2 Diabolic Intent
2 Ill-Gotten Gains

//Win
3 Tendrils of Agony
1 Goblin Charbelcher

Nosomo.
09-16-2007, 04:29 PM
Certainly. The list I used was:

//Mana
4 Land Grant
2 Bayou
4 Chrome Mox
4 Lotus Petal
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Dark Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Cabal Ritual

//Robots
4 Shield Sphere
4 Phyrexian Walker
2 Ornithopter

//Business
4 Infernal Contract
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Infernal Tutor
2 Diabolic Intent
2 Ill-Gotten Gains

//Win
3 Tendrils of Agony
1 Goblin Charbelcher

Nice List I perfer to run 5 wins due to only 8 power draw and even though it runs tutors they only work for a win search in certain situatons. Plus also
Also. Why Run ETW in SI? I have been asking myself that for a while yes it is easier to win sometimes but you lose so much life if you lose the tokens 3 swings with a Confidant will lose you the game and less if you weren't conservative with the Draw.

BreathWeapon
09-16-2007, 05:53 PM
@Nosomo

ETW forces the opponent to counter the rituals, which in turn affords a measure of protection to your Draw 4s and Infernal Tutors. It also increases the number of openings the deck has and reduces the reliance on storm, Infernal Tutor and Lion's Eye Diamond.

@Iranon

Is there a reason no one else is running 4 Goblin Charbelchers in the B/g version? 2 Ornithopter, 2 Diabolic Intent and the second Ill Gotten Gains seem sub-par compared to 4 Goblin Charblechers, 1 Empty the Warrens and the forth Tendrils of Agony.

I don't see a reason to run B/g over B/r unless B/g is using 4 Goblin Charbelchers, because the manabase and the bombs are too easily disrupted. They still are even with 4 Goblin Charbelchers, but at least you're getting some reward out of your risk.

Iranon
09-16-2007, 09:17 PM
I haven't liked multiple Belchers when I tried that.

It's difficult to get rid of them if we want to empty our hand for Infernal Tutor (no imprint). Using them in dubious situations involves a larger risk than in regular Belcher (no Taigas; mana sources make up half our deck as opposed to three quarters).

I would throw in a single EtW before running a full set of Belchers to diversify the deck even more.




Two Ill-Gotten Gains is a personal choice after lots of games. Ironically, not always being useful straight away makes two preferable to one. I simply disliked that imprinting it/throwing it away to a LED permanently rules out the ability to use it later (there is little need to cast it more than once in a game unless it's used as an early disruption tool).

The Intents and Thopters are the weakest slots, and maindecking disruption/running more win conditions in their place has some merit. Having said that, more creatures make Culling the Weak more reliable and having access to a tutor that doesn't depend on hellbent significantly reduces the chances of killing the wrong player after multiple draw-4s.
I think I would find it difficult to achieve success rates upwards of 40% (turn 1) and 90% (turn 4) simultaneously if I replaced them.

Benie Bederios
09-17-2007, 09:08 AM
Allright, next to the goldfish rate of the deck, wich is to be frankly not that important in today's enviroment I would like to discuss the Sideboard. At least for the QSI list. Not to sideboard isn't really a good tech.

The sideboard for suggested is this.

4 Dark Confidant
4 Chain of Vapor
4 Echoing Truth
3 Rebuild

When I saw this I though:"O my god, what is this supposed to be." 11 bounce spells and 4 "draw mores". And when you sideboard you normally remove 4 "Draw Fours" for Dark Confidant? This makes me cry.

First of all I think you only need 3 to 6 bounce spells. The absolutly needed bouncespells are 1 Chain of Vapor and 2 Echoing Truth. Those spells come in against Meddling Mage and other nasty permantents. When you play alot Stax or Faerie Stompy, you might want to add 3 Rebuilds. So thusfar the Sideboard looks like this

2 Echoing Truth
1 Chain of Vapor
3 Rebuild

That leaves you with 9 spots left. Dark Confidant is a very good creature, even in combo. In decks like IGGy Pop it is used to be able to go double Tendrils with more ease. Without it the opponent only has to counter the Ill-Gotten Gains and when the storm count gets bigger an Infernal Tutor or Intuition( or of course a Tutor when a LED is cracked). TES used to win the attrition war against Thresh. Let them counter your Dark Confidants, so that they don't have enough counters left to stop you from comboing. If you look at QSI you use a "Draw Fours" to draw out counter. Why would you board out 4 "Draw Fours" for 4 Dark Confidant, when there purpose is the same. If you want to play Dark Confidant's, board them in for anything but the "Draw Fours".

When you play against alot of graveyard utilizing decks, Leyline of the Void can be a good card. It is a a free thread if you draw it in your opening hand. The problem is that if you draw it during combo you might fizzle and you need to board in 4 to give you a good chance of drawing one in your opening hand.
Tormod's Crypt can be used too, it is free so when you combo out, it gives at least +1 Storm and you don't need to play 4. If you play against alot of aggro with red( including burn) BEB is always a strong card. Unlike other combodecks, your lifetotal is important. It is bad if your opponent can bolt you once you're down to 3 due to early damage and your "Draw Fours".

Well lets take a standard metagame with quite some Tier 1 and 2 decks. Lets say 2 Thresh lists, 2 Landstill, 2 Cephalid Breakfast, 1 Fish, 1 Goblins, 1 Red Death and 1 random zoo or Loam decks.

You haven't much fear of the Goblins decks and the. Red Death is favorable most of the time, because you draw four's can give you advantage over there discard. The Thresh lists and Fish are the hardest. Both a decent clock and quite some disruption. Against Fish you can bring in Massacre to kill there Dark Confidant and Meddling Mage. Against Thresh you must gain cardadvantage to power through there Counters and Stifle. A possibilty to side in would be additional discard. Hymn to Tourach springs to mind, but Duress is another option. Both not expensive, but able to hamper there development. Landstill and Cephalid Breakfast are the other hard matchups. Landstill can be beat, with building a strong hand. Meditate can help here to draw cards EOT when your opponent doesn't expect it. you don't need than bounce in this matchup. Cephalid Breakfast is another story. You can't wait a couple of turns, because they can win out of the blue. The best cards against them are Extirpate and Leyline of the Void. Both capable of hitting other decks too. They won't expect Extirpate game 2, so it might be a nice tech. They won't protect there combo with abeyance and a well timed Extirpate wins the game. It is also a nice card against Loam decks and Ichorid. The problem is though that it's a reactive solution and dead during combo. The spots can be filled like this

3 Extirpate
3 Duress
3 Massacre

Of cours you can go in another direction and try to transform the deck. Against other combo decks, you might want to go in highspeed and board in Ill-Gotten Gains to go faster then you already are. Against control decks without counters like Stax you might want to board in Mystical Tutor. This allows you to find the spell you need. You could even transform the deck in Sir Speedy without to much changes. This also allows you to play 1 off's in you SB wich you can tutor. Against counterdecks and/or decks with Predict this is a bad strategy though. An example SB could be.

2 Mystical Tutor
4 Infernal Tutor
2 Ill-Gotten Gains
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
1 Rebuild
2 Echoing Truth
1 Chain of Vapor

You can also go further and change the deck to an aggro deck instead. Because you don't play Lion's Eye Diamond you can use al mana spells to power out your creatures. An example for such a Sideboard would be.

4 Phyrexian Negator
3 Hypnotic Specter
2 Nantuko Shade
2 Echoing Truth
1 Chain of Vapor
3 Rebuild

At last you could splash another color. You can easily replace a Underground Sea with another Bx Duals. A short list of colors you can play in you board for each color.

Red:
Empty the Warrens: Deals with Meddling Mage on Tendrils of Agony and allows you to not fully combo out.
Red Elemental Blast: Deals with Counters and Meddling Mage and other.
Grapeshot: Deals with Meddling Mage and is another win condition. It's quite hard to get a storm count of 20 though.

Green
Xantid Swarm: Helps protecting the combo or draw out counters.
Krosan Grip: uncounterable way of killing enchantments or artifacts

White
Orim's Chant/ Abeyance: Yet another way of protecting your combo. The first one can be used as semi Timewalk too the last one cantrips and stops activated abilities.

At the moment I'm testing this Sideboard.

1 Chain of Vapor
2 Echoing Truth
3 Rebuild
3 Duress
3 Dark Confidant
4 Phyrexian Negator

Normally I bring in the bounce spells for 1 Brainstorm, 1 Meditate and 1 Culling the Weak. The Rebuilds come in against Stax. Against Faerie Stompy I normally board in a Single Rebuild instead of a Chain of Vapor. Phyrexian Negator and Dark Confidant come in if you want to play aggro. For this you can board out 7 "Draw Fours". This might be a good Tech against fish because Negator Thrumps there creatures. Against Thresh this is worse because Tarmogoyf will make you sack alot permantents. I never done this though, so I might cut them for other spells, but I'm not convinced wich ones.

Anyway what would you guys play for a Sideboard?

BB

georgjorge
09-17-2007, 10:35 AM
Just a quick side note on the man plan...first of all, I don't like it very much in this deck, because I think the Draw4s should stay in to bait counters - but if you play a Draw4 and lose half your life, any deck with creatures will race you no matter how big your creature is.

Having said this, if you want to play the man plan, I'd strongly suggest Tombstalker and Avatar of Discord instead of Negator and Shade, as they are less fragile and have evasion (and in the case of Tombstalker, also make opposing Goyfs smaller to win the race). Hippie seems like a very bad idea to me - if you want an anti-control measure, play Xantid Swarm, which you don't have to burn a Ritual for.

emidln
09-17-2007, 11:20 AM
The idea behind the 11 bounce spells and confidant is that you really don't fear a whole lot. Having 11 bounce available allows you to pick bounce suited to the particular hate that you're facing. Confidant is an incredible threat against decks like Stax, as well as discard-oriented decks that let you get in some quick damage while drawing some cards. Since your initial lifeloss before a draw4 doesn't matter much, confidant is really good here. If you have gone -1 black draw4, +1 meditate in the main deck, confidant really assists you in beating control as well. Without an immediate answer, he draws cards and lessens the tendrils copies needed every turn. Combined with therapies, brainstorms, and meditates you can play around most control strategies.

Recently, I was testing 4 Brain Freeze in the sideboard. Overall I've been very happy with 4 Brain Freeze, 7 bounce, 4 Confidant. Brain Freeze was designed to be sided in against the the new set's GW hate card, although it's pretty good against Meddling Mage too. If you go -4 Tendrils, +4 Brain Freeze, you actually don't run anything that costs X or 4. Since you can pretty easily build lethal storm (I normally draw 30-35 cards while going off) the Brain Freeze kill isn't much harder than the Tendrils kill.

You generally don't want to board in Mystical Tutor against Stax with that particular sideboard plan. The whole idea behind Mystical Tutor is to allow you to more easily abuse Dark Confidant while playing Ill-Gotten Gains in the sideboard against highly aggressive discard. Mystical Tutor isn't completely awful because you can still tutor for silver bullets against control. Stax's chalices turn Mystical Tutor awful in a hurry though.

The manplan board wasn't very good when I designed it. Basically, you have to hope that they board out STP. This doesn't work because not all decks have hate to bring in against you (thus they won't remove STP) and most decks have "deader" cards against you. Even when decks do remove STP, they don't remove all of them in order to answer random threats or gain life in the face of a small tendrils. In any event, Negator was awful because the decks you'd like to go aggro against (Thresh and Discard) have guys with fat asses and/or burn (which never gets boarded out). If you want to play a manplan, you'd probably want to run Tarmogoyf or Tombstalker. Even so, I still think this is bad.

Cephalid Breakfast has (from Nightmare's list in his article) 3 Therapy, 4 Force, 2 Abeyance to concern ourselves with maindeck. This isn't all that bad. When they sideboard, they get 3 Stifle and 3 Duress which is much worse. I'm not actually familiar with how they will board for this, but Engineered Plague looks like it'd probably be better tech than Extirpate against them since they're very likely to have cast a discard spell to hamper you by the time they combo off anyway. In any event, I wouldn't board much for this matchup because boarding will make you slower and you actually need the speed here. I don't honestly think game 1 will be very hard, but games 2-3 will probably be a tossup depending greatly on if they have force/duress in their opening hand since the other stuff can whiff/be dealt with.

BreathWeapon
09-17-2007, 02:49 PM
The Intents and Thopters are the weakest slots, and maindecking disruption/running more win conditions in their place has some merit. Having said that, more creatures make Culling the Weak more reliable and having access to a tutor that doesn't depend on hellbent significantly reduces the chances of killing the wrong player after multiple draw-4s.
I think I would find it difficult to achieve success rates upwards of 40% (turn 1) and 90% (turn 4) simultaneously if I replaced them.

I mentioned it before, but Dryad Arbor is an interesting creature in conjunction with Land Grant in order to increase the # of creatures in the deck by 5 at the cost of only a single slot.

That said, I don't see a reason to run the Land Grants with out the Goblin Charbelchers, I've replaced the Land Grants with Swamps in the original list and scored a higher win percentage against aggro-control, control etc. thanks to the opponent not being able to Force of Will/Daze the land drops and see my hand. Land Grant gives the opponent another tactical approach to disrupting the deck for a marginal increase to its goldfish. Land Grants are "win less," and black has other interesting lands at its disposal, such as Tomb of Urami.

Iranon
09-17-2007, 03:59 PM
The problem is what happens if you use that slot... Either you give up an initial black mana source or you raise the land count; neither is without problems. I liked the prospect a lot, didn't find it all that stellar after testing. Is it really that good? I might have given up prematurely... unfortunately, I won't have a huge amount of time test it in the near future.

We've been over the advantage of having Belcher as a practical win condition... but there's more. I like being able to imprint excess land grants or at least to get rid of them for free in case I need a hellbent Infernal Tutor. It's less the speed I worry about, it's the consistency. Contributing to the Storm count is rarely relevant, but it's another theoretical advantage.

I agree that they are a suboptimal choice if the only decks you fear are counter-based. I consider other fast clocks, discard, staxy stuff and a few other things threatening as well though, and speed and consistency are a catch-all answer.

BreathWeapon
09-17-2007, 06:15 PM
The problem is what happens if you use that slot... Either you give up an initial black mana source or you raise the land count; neither is without problems. I liked the prospect a lot, didn't find it all that stellar after testing. Is it really that good? I might have given up prematurely... unfortunately, I won't have a huge amount of time test it in the near future.

We've been over the advantage of having Belcher as a practical win condition... but there's more. I like being able to imprint excess land grants or at least to get rid of them for free in case I need a hellbent Infernal Tutor. It's less the speed I worry about, it's the consistency. Contributing to the Storm count is rarely relevant, but it's another theoretical advantage.

I agree that they are a suboptimal choice if the only decks you fear are counter-based. I consider other fast clocks, discard, staxy stuff and a few other things threatening as well though, and speed and consistency are a catch-all answer.

The problem tho' is that the deck's critical test is against Tarmogoyf based aggro-control. If you can't get past the free counter magic on your land drops, you're hopelessly lost to the 2cc lock piece (Counterbalance, Meddling Mage or Gaddok Teeg) that's going to hit the board or to the cantrips building a counter wall. Sure, Land Grant performs all sorts of "cute tricks" against decks with out counters, but combo beats decks with out counters regardless of the mana source the deck is using. Tomb of Urami does some busted shit to, so it's not like losing Land Grant's advantages (and disadvantages) forces the deck into using "bleh" swamps.

@Dryad Arbor

You can always cut a creature for it, considering your getting 5+ creatures out of one card, the net gain is in your favor. I actually played a version of SI with 8 green fetchlands, Xantid Swarms, Summoner's Pact, Elvish Spirit Guides and Dryad Arbors instead of creatures that worked out reasonably well for me.

Espenhein
09-27-2007, 06:31 PM
Looking for some comments for this decklist. It is just an idea and is not tested besides some games on MWS.

// Maindeck
// Initial Mana Sources:
2 Polluted Delta
2 Bloodstained Mire
2 Badlands
2 Underground Sea

// Ritual Effects:
4 Dark Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
3 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Cabal Ritual

// Artifact
4 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox

// Tall Men:
4 Phyrexian Walker
4 Shield Sphere

// Business:
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Infernal Contract
4 Brainstorm
3 Meditate
3 Empty the Warrens
3 Tendrils of Agony

// Sideboard:
3 Rebuild
1 Chain of Vapor
4 Dark Confidant
3 Echoing Truth
4 Cabal Therapy


I believe you keep the good control matchup of QSI, while be being more explosive game 1. Lots of business spells so you can trade with counters until something sticks. After SB you have Cabal Therapy.

Hope some will test this and come with some tweaks:tongue:

lloydrage
10-11-2007, 11:25 PM
I was wondering what everyones thoughts were with mana severence? Then you can run belcher but still run lands and not have to run land grant.

It seems like a good idea. Has anyone tested it?

Iranon
10-12-2007, 10:53 AM
Just... no. The deck needs every card to pull its weight, Mana Severance does nothing on its own. In most of the games, Mana Severance will be a blank, and when you need it there's a decent chance you won't get it.

lloydrage
10-12-2007, 12:55 PM
Just... no. The deck needs every card to pull its weight, Mana Severance does nothing on its own. In most of the games, Mana Severance will be a blank, and when you need it there's a decent chance you won't get it.

I disagree, mystical tutor helps. Plus other tutors.

marit
10-12-2007, 01:48 PM
Running 4 mana severance is not a good idea, especially just to run Belcher. Unless you have a belcher in hand, Mana Severance is dead, and to maximize it would take 4 Belchers, which clogs up the deck, because they cost 7 to win each, are redundant, and can't be imprinted. Imprinting Severance also does next to nothing, because the deck primarily runs on black.

lloydrage
10-12-2007, 02:11 PM
Running 4 mana severance is not a good idea, especially just to run Belcher. Unless you have a belcher in hand, Mana Severance is dead, and to maximize it would take 4 Belchers, which clogs up the deck, because they cost 7 to win each, are redundant, and can't be imprinted. Imprinting Severance also does next to nothing, because the deck primarily runs on black.

I never said 4 severence, I didnt actually say a number, I just said its a possibility and was wondering if anyone tested it.

I am assuming that you, how many games did yuo try? What build?

thanks

rsaunder
10-12-2007, 04:02 PM
I never said 4 severence, I didnt actually say a number, I just said its a possibility and was wondering if anyone tested it.

I am assuming that you, how many games did yuo try? What build?

thanksIt's probably not worht testing, truth be told. Decks like this (tendrils/belcher) tend to win with a 1 card combo (tendrils or belcher). What you're suggesting is that instead of a 1 card combo, we use our mana and resources we get from storming about to cast a 2 card combo? Tendrils with ETW backup is better as is just belcher with ETW backup in Belcher builds.

If you want to go a controll sevvy belcher route, then by all means do so, but this isn't the shell to look at.

Benie Bederios
10-13-2007, 05:05 PM
Looking for some comments for this decklist. It is just an idea and is not tested besides some games on MWS.

// Maindeck
// Initial Mana Sources:
2 Polluted Delta
2 Bloodstained Mire
2 Badlands
2 Underground Sea

// Ritual Effects:
4 Dark Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
3 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Cabal Ritual

// Artifact
4 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox

// Tall Men:
4 Phyrexian Walker
4 Shield Sphere

// Business:
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Infernal Contract
4 Brainstorm
3 Meditate
3 Empty the Warrens
3 Tendrils of Agony

// Sideboard:
3 Rebuild
1 Chain of Vapor
4 Dark Confidant
3 Echoing Truth
4 Cabal Therapy


I believe you keep the good control matchup of QSI, while be being more explosive game 1. Lots of business spells so you can trade with counters until something sticks. After SB you have Cabal Therapy.

Hope some will test this and come with some tweaks:tongue:

I will test this list ... Not sure I like the loss of Cabal Therapy in the MD, but it looks a little faster and more consistent game 1 and still can go to the traditional version game 2.

BB

Iranon
10-29-2007, 05:08 PM
Has anyone experimented with a 4 Leyline + 4 IGG post-board against decks that rely on the yard? Leyline being crippling in its own right, the still excellent chance of killing turn 1 and the chance of Yawgmoths Mindtwist should add up to something rather unfair.

emidln
10-29-2007, 05:15 PM
SI doesn't ever want to be playing defensively. The most defensive you might play is a turn 1 IGG as a discard 4. The major problem with Leyline ilies on draw7s, seeing a dead card isn't so bad. In a deck like SI that relies on seeing four cards at a time, having a dead card will destroy you.

lloydrage
10-30-2007, 12:57 PM
I am building this deck and wasnt to go for the two land build. Does anyone have a list they think is the best?

thanks

B.C.
10-30-2007, 03:06 PM
I am building this deck and wasnt to go for the two land build. Does anyone have a list they think is the best?

thanks

I've been pretty happy (and successful) with this list:

2 Bayou
4 Shield Sphere
4 Phyrexian Walker
3 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Lotus Petal
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Infernal Contract
4 Culling The Weak
4 Chrome Mox
4 Lionís Eye Diamond
4 Land Grant
4 Infernal Tutor
2 Ill-Gotten Gains
2 Tendrils of Agony
1 Goblin Charbelcher
2 Empty the Warrens

Sideboard:
4 Dark Confidant
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Duress
3 Naturalize

emidln
10-30-2007, 04:01 PM
I've been pretty happy (and successful) with this list:

2 Bayou
4 Shield Sphere
4 Phyrexian Walker
3 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Lotus Petal
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Infernal Contract
4 Culling The Weak
4 Chrome Mox
4 Lionís Eye Diamond
4 Land Grant
4 Infernal Tutor
2 Ill-Gotten Gains
2 Tendrils of Agony
1 Goblin Charbelcher
2 Empty the Warrens

Sideboard:
4 Dark Confidant
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Duress
3 Naturalize

Seconded. This is the 2 land build that I would play.

lloydrage
11-01-2007, 10:10 AM
thank you,

one more question whats better SI or Belcher??

thanks

largebrandon
11-01-2007, 01:40 PM
I'm curious why you play 3x Simian Spirit guide when you don't even play anything red (besides warrens). Wouldn't ELVISH Sprit Guide be better?

matelml
11-01-2007, 01:53 PM
Because there are 0 maindeck green cards which you are ging to pay mana for.

Iranon
11-01-2007, 03:49 PM
thank you,

one more question whats better SI or Belcher??

thanks

SI is a lot faster than Belcher, killing at almost the same rate that Belcher combos out in total (including Belcher sans activation mana or Goblin hordes).

The life loss is checked by having tall blockers pre-combo.

Comparing resilience is a little tricky; massive quantities of 1-for-1 disruption tend to be harder on Belcher because SI can just regain a critical mass with the draw spells.
Heavy duty hate from the board tends to be harder on SI because it relies more heavily on the storm mechanic.

Benie Bederios
11-05-2007, 07:15 PM
Hi,

I have a question for boarding with QSI( the UB version). One of the hardest matchups is surprisingly Sui-Black like decks. Allthough you might think massive carddraw should beat discard I have alot harder time against discard then counterheavy decks( like Thresh).

At the moment I'm playing this sideboard:

2 Echoing Truth
1 Chain of Vapor
3 Rebuild
4 Dark Confidant
2 Massacre
3 Duress

When I play against Sui decks they can keep me off balance until a big creature( like Shade) kills me or get a Hippy online, with me holding a single card in hand( this could be winnable but the changes are very small.) With a package of Duress/Thoughtseize and Hymn, there almost always able to attack my draw fours or the mana so I can't cast them.

Anyway if you suspect the opponent is boarding in hate in the form of permanents, say Chalice you have to board in quite alot, how would you guys do that?

Examples are:
-1 Shield Sphere
-3 Meditate
-1 Cabal Therapy
-1 Brainstorm

+2 Echoing Truth
+4 Dark Confidant

Or without Confidants
-1 Shield Sphere
-1 Cabal Therapy
-1 Brainstorm

+2 Echoing Truth
+1 Chain of Vapor

Or drop all Cabal Therapies
-4 Cabal Therapy
-1 Brainstorm
-1 Meditate
-1 Phyrexian Walker

+2 Echoing Truth
+1 Chain of Vapor
+4 Dark Confidant.

Well thanks in advance

btw: Just to be clear this is the list I'm playing.

2 Polluted Delta
2 Bloodstained Mire
1 Swamp
4 Underground Sea

4 Shield Shere
4 Phyrexian Walker

4 Tendrils of Agony
4 Infernal Contract
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Chrome Mox
4 Lotus Petal
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Cabal Therapy
3 Meditate
4 Brainstorm

btw 2 Maybe we should split the thread in two for the BG or BR speed version and this slower version. They are quite different in playing.

BB

Benie Bederios
12-16-2007, 11:41 AM
From the Worlds decklist thread:


IGG is better in SI variants than any other deck because when you give your opponent back 3 cards, you leave Therapy in the yard and before playing other spells, flash it back to take the Force/Stifle/etc your opponent got back. This should be an obvious play to anyone who's played the deck.

Furthermore, IGG is there because it generates free wins when you happen to be able to generate 4 mana with an LED and an Infernal Tutor in hand. It provides free wins against discard where you loop into the kill with LEDs/Cabal Rits. It provides an extremely relevant discard threat against other combo decks and control. The card is really good in SI w/Tutors, and there is little reason to not run at least 1.

Well I'm playing SI for a couple of month's now, the tutorless UB version though. I agree you can play Ill-Gotten Gains with Cabal Therapy, but I don't agree that it is better than Orim's Chant -> Ill-Gotten Gains. It is a nice syenergy, but if your opponent simply returns Fow, Blue card, Stifle you still need double Tendrils to win or draw into another therapy and you have to keep back a Cabal Therapy and can't use it before you tutor for Ill-Gotten Gains, possibly blowing away your hand with LED.

I have to admit I never tested it, I only played like a week the Br version, but that list didn't had Cabal Therapy MD. But in testing with the Bu version, this deck doesn't really need Ill-Gotten Gains with 11 draw fours. And those are the same numbers as the list that was played.

BB

BreathWeapon
12-16-2007, 12:52 PM
Cabal Therapy is the reason to run SI, it gives the deck a pseudo Orim's Chant for the Ill Gotten Gains chain and it gives it pro-active disruption against Counterbalance.

@Iranon, I SB Leyline of the Void all of the time, not for multiple Ill Gotten Gains, but for turning the Ichorid match up into a bye. Storm combo has the SB space, and there's no reason not to put that deck on lock down.

Iranon
12-16-2007, 03:44 PM
Oh, definitely. I was merely pondering if additional Ill-Gotten Gains might have merit when we're sideboarding Leylines anyway.
I wouldn't consider that just to the deck towards a more disruptive angle if the opponent's yard is irrelevant.

Maybe my reasoning was flawed though; often Leyline is marginal anyway or the opposing deck is hampered enough by it that we should focus on winning rather than further crippling them.

emidln
12-16-2007, 04:41 PM
From the Worlds decklist thread:

Well I'm playing SI for a couple of month's now, the tutorless UB version though. I agree you can play Ill-Gotten Gains with Cabal Therapy, but I don't agree that it is better than Orim's Chant -> Ill-Gotten Gains.

Orim's Chant costs mana twice while going off and requires you to use a card off Ill-Gotten Gains. Therapy only requires mana once and a tall guy. That's a tradeoff, but making white mana twice is extremely problematic as is the taking up a slot during IGG's resolution.


It is a nice syenergy, but if your opponent simply returns Fow, Blue card, Stifle you still need double Tendrils to win or draw into another therapy and you have to keep back a Cabal Therapy and can't use it before you tutor for Ill-Gotten Gains, possibly blowing away your hand with LED.

What's your point? If you use Chant and they have FoW, Blue Card, Stifle then you cast Chant, they force it, and then you need double tendrils anyway. The catch is, if you have used two therapies during your game so far and manage to get two creatures, you could double flashback therapy. This isn't all that unreasonable, and is a much better scenario that autolosing to FoW/Blue Card/Stifle.


I have to admit I never tested it, I only played like a week the Br version, but that list didn't had Cabal Therapy MD. But in testing with the Bu version, this deck doesn't really need Ill-Gotten Gains with 11 draw fours. And those are the same numbers as the list that was played.

QSI is a completely different deck because it has 9 lands and 4 brainstorms to get to 3 mana without always using rituals. Those 4 Brainstorms and two extra lands make a huge difference. IGG is still actually good in QSI, it's just less good than Brainstorm. It was in the initial versions. The card that is really awful is Infernal Tutor, with the only justifications to run IT being kill cards and IGG to increase storm in a reliable way.

IGG should be played because it will simply give you too many free wins whereas finding a draw4 will give you four random cards. As a 1-of or 2-of, the threat of going mana source, rit, rit/mana source, led, infernal tutor -> IGG, rit, led, tutor -> IGG/tutor -> (rit, led, tutor ->) tendrils will give you approximately 8% extra turn 1 kills as well as hose discard in ways that I haven't measured yet. IGG is also really good against opposing combo decks and control where you can play it off a rit and a mana source to force a discard 4 early given that you can play down your mana sources AND can simply recover from 3 cards better than any deck in existence.

ACME_Myst
12-18-2007, 06:33 AM
I've played the Bg build something like 10 months+ ago, but dropped it because my meta was completely infested with NQG variants.
I'm now returning with QSI, but I have some questions left.

- I remember Null Profusion being tested when it got out. The results at the time seemed to be positive. What ever happened to it? I can see it not being that good in QSI, because investing 6 mana in 1 thread doesn't seem that hot. Maybe in one of the other builds?

- If you SB with QSI, what are usually cards to take out. My SB currently consist of 4 Confidant, and some bounce in different casting costs.

Iranon
12-22-2007, 09:00 PM
Null Profusion is extremely clunky... pretty much any business spell + 6 mana means you have a good chance of winning the game that turn, and the others are much easier to start off a chain with.

If you're considering the 2-Land version... this is 1 mana less than a Belcher + activation, not an actual win condition, and the investmen + drawback means any failures to kill them outright are likely to be catastrophic.

rsaunder
12-23-2007, 10:35 AM
It was pretty much a win-more option. Generally, if you had 6 mana and cards to play after the bomb hit, you were better off with another option like another tendrils or belcher.

Tendrils for 90+ is fun though:laugh:

thelemite
01-23-2008, 05:02 PM
Has anyone tried Pact of negation as a sideboard card in the Sir speedy version? It seems to me that you could protect the storm combo or the belcher going off for free with it.

marit
01-23-2008, 05:54 PM
Has anyone tried Pact of negation as a sideboard card in the Sir speedy version? It seems to me that you could protect the storm combo or the belcher going off for free with it.

It's always been useless to me, almost 100% of the time I'd rather have cabal therapy. PoN does nothing after an IGG, and is useless when comboing with EtW.

Pulp_Fiction
01-25-2008, 04:40 AM
I play B.C.'s exact legacy worlds decklist except I changed the SB a little. My SB looks like:

4x Naturalize (Lot of 3sphere and Chalice in my meta)
4x Duress
4x Tomb of Urami (So good)
3x Defense Grid (Probably should be Therapy but so far it is VERY Impressive)

I was curious how anyone playing the 2x land version of SI Sideboards against matchups like fish and threshold and landstill (U/W). Stifle, Force, Meddling Mage, Countertop are all terrible cards for this deck to see. The strategy I (usually) take is I side out 3x Cruel Bargain, 4x Infernal Contract, 1x Belcher, 1x Land Grant, 1x Gains, and 1x Walker/Shield Sphere and bring in my whole SB except for the 4x Naturalize. The deck ends up playing just like CRET Belcher with a lot of tiny mini-storms and hand destruction. This strategy has worked out fairly well for me and I was just curious what anyone who plays SI thinks of this SB strategy or any way in which the SB can be optimized to make this deck even more resilient and competitive in the current legacy meta.

B.C.
01-25-2008, 06:14 PM
Against heavy control decks, I might sideboard like this:

-4 Lion's Eye Diamond
-3 SSG
-1 Belcher
-1 IGG
-1 Cruel Bargain
-1 Infernal Tutor

+4 Duress
+4 Tomb of Urami
+3 DGrid/Therapy

LED is useful for activating Urami, but in a lot of situations it's very risky against a control deck that packs a lot of counters and/or Stifles. SSG is one-use mana that isn't even on color. You're probably going to have to play a longer game than you would against other matchups. Make them discard their counters/business, and try to keep your hand full using Draw4's (I wouldn't side too many of these out). Your robots should be able to block their threats for a long time (unless you are playing against Thresh). Hopefully you will eventually exhaust their resources and be able to get through with a Urami or lethal Storm.

raharu
01-27-2008, 09:09 PM
Iím considering picking up the deck. Here is the list Iíve compiled as a base:

Draw en Masse: 12
Cruel Bargain x4
Infernal Contract x4
Meditate x4

Acceleration: 19
Lotus Petal x4
Lionís Eye Diamond x4
Dark Ritual x4
Culling the Weak x3
Cabal Ritual x4

Tutors: 6
Infernal Tutor x4
Ill-Gotten Gains x2

Kill: 2
Tendrils of Agony x2

Robots: 8
Ornithopter x4
Phyrexian Walker x4

Lands: 6
Gemstone Mine x4
City of Brass x2

Protection: 7
Cabal Therapy x4
Remand x3/ Orimís Chant x3

Sideboard: 15 (NOTE: this is just a general board, )
Remand/ Orimís Chant x4
Empty the Warrens x2
Tomb of Urami x2
Defense Grid x4
Disenchant/ cheap, non-chain bounce x3 (bounce hitting lands sucks)

The elements I like about the deck are the massive card advantage, the massive kill, the ability to just kinda win out of a hole.

Explanation of additions:

I added the 4th Meditate because I like the card and what it does for the deck (draw en masse).

I wanted two Ill-Gotten Gains because of the ability (with enough starting mana) to complete this chain:

NOTE: Itís basically just a double IGG loop.

Initial Source (Petal/ land) -> Robot -> Culling the Weak -> Cabal Ritual -> Drop LED -> Infernal Tutor For Ill-Gotten Gains -> Break LED -> IGG for Dark Ritual, LED and IT -> Dark Ritual -> Drop LED -> IT for 2nd IGG-> Break LED -> IGG grabbing Dark Ritual, LED, IT -> Dark Ritual -> Drop LED -> IT for Tendrils -> Break LED -> Tendrils for at least 30 (Well-Wisher sucks ^_^)

Orimís Chant was added for the obvious reason, but the alternative (Remand) interests me because if opens up the ability to go for a double Tendrils/ EtW/ possibly Grapeshot with only one kill spell.

I like the protection main because Iíve seen a few agro decks doing a light splash for Brainstorm and Stifle (ewwie), and the group I play with pretty much builds decks to hate on mine, so making the deck even more resilient is a great thing.

Thoughts?

Also, can anyone tell me why A) most of the lists donít run Gold lands (such as Gemstone Mine and City of Brass) and B) why this isnít played over TES? Thanks.

KillemallCFH
01-27-2008, 09:14 PM
Also, can anyone tell me why A) most of the lists donít run Gold lands (such as Gemstone Mine and City of Brass)Most lists run 4 Land Grant and only 1 or 2 lands so that Belcher can be used as an alternate win-con, which doesn't really work when you're using 6 lands.

raharu
01-27-2008, 09:57 PM
Is Belcher really needed with the availability of Empty the Warrens and Grapeshot as alternate win conditions? I'll readily admit that I haven't played the deck yet, but Belcher seems unnecessary. Hmmm... On second thought, being able to walk into Stifle with reckless abandon and still go off next turn sounds pretty nice. Would running Tendrils, EtW, and Belcher in that list be feaseable (not asking what to cut, just asking if it's overkill).

marit
01-27-2008, 10:05 PM
Is Belcher really needed with the availability of Empty the Warrens and Grapeshot as alternate win conditions? I'll readily admit that I haven't played the deck yet, but Belcher seems unnecessary. Hmmm... On second thought, being able to walk into Stifle with reckless abandon and still go off next turn sounds pretty nice. Would running Tendrils, EtW, and Belcher in that list be feaseable (not asking what to cut, just asking if it's overkill).
Belcher is an out for Meddling Mage, and just a useful alternate win condition alltogether. Belcher is the only justification I see to play a 2 land build in a tournament over QSI or SITES. For referance

Mana
4 Land Grant
2 Bayou
4 Chrome Mox
4 Lotus Petal
3 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Dark Ritual
Rits
4 Culling the Weak
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
Food
4 Shield Sphere
4 Phyrexian Walker
Win
4 Infernal Contract
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Infernal Tutor
2 Ill-Gotten Gains
2 Tendrils of Agony
2 Empty the Warrens
1 Goblin Charbelcher

That's the 2 land build I dabble with, I prefer to take QSI or SITES to local tournies though. I don't think it's overkill though, EtW is to bait out counters, tendrils is the main wincon and Belcher is just useful.

raharu
01-27-2008, 10:50 PM
I personally would rather have Meditate over Belcher. What's your opinion on Gold lands? What do you think about Remand (as a double-kill and as protection)? Would it be better in a build backing Grapeshot?

B.C.
01-28-2008, 03:20 PM
I personally would rather have Meditate over Belcher.
That's fine. Both are changable cards that you can include to suit your play style.


What's your opinion on Gold lands?
Typically, almost every spell in the deck requires Black mana, and only random spells (Meditate, EtW, some SB cards) call for colors. Because of this, most manabases are either 4 Land Grant/2 Lands or 3-5 Fetch/2-4 Fetchables. If you feel that rainbow lands are necessary for your build, I suggest Undiscovered Paradise over City of Brass.


What do you think about Remand (as a double-kill and as protection)? Would it be better in a build backing Grapeshot?
As protection, Remand is pretty subpar. As a combo enabler it is slightly better, but you should not have trouble getting Storm count in the first place. It is certainly better in a deck with Grapeshot, but I personally don't think either card belongs in this deck.

GreenOne
01-28-2008, 09:36 PM
If you feel that rainbow lands are necessary for your build, I suggest Undiscovered Paradise over City of Brass.


I'd suggest Gemstone Mine over both. It's unlikely the deck wants to tap a land for more than 3 times.

Waikiki
01-29-2008, 08:40 AM
The most updated build of QSI is still the one in the beginning post or do people have made some changes since then?

emidln
01-29-2008, 03:15 PM
The most updated build of QSI is still the one in the beginning post or do people have made some changes since then?

QSI was designed for a Landstill/Threshold metagame. I would probably not play it in the current metagame.

Waikiki
01-29-2008, 06:30 PM
My meta mainly is ***** or some sort of aggro controll deck with blue/Loam decks/Pikula

Pulp_Fiction
01-30-2008, 12:56 AM
SI would generally not be a good call to play in a meta with tons of thresh. TES is somewhat more resilient to control than SI is, however TES is not nearly as explosive and SI. Personally I would play combo regardless of the meta just because I am a combo player but if you want good match ups against thresh and fish it would be a good idea to pick up something like dragon stompy, angel stax, or 42 Land. But if you have to play combo TES would be the deck to play IMOP.

emidln
01-30-2008, 05:14 AM
SI would generally not be a good call to play in a meta with tons of thresh. TES is somewhat more resilient to control than SI is, however TES is not nearly as explosive and SI. Personally I would play combo regardless of the meta just because I am a combo player but if you want good match ups against thresh and fish it would be a good idea to pick up something like dragon stompy, angel stax, or 42 Land. But if you have to play combo TES would be the deck to play IMOP.

QSI would easily be metagamed against Threshold and Chalice aggro. Consistent land drops, cantrips, and raw card draw into protected double Tendrils is a fairly strong strategy against light (8-12 pieces) countermagic. Properly metagamed, it wouldn't be hard with Recalls and Rebuilds to annihilate chalice aggro and chalice control ($NAME Stompy and Stax respectively). Lands! honestly isn't even worth talking about because they won't consistently beat QSI with a full 15 card sideboard.

Pulp_Fiction
02-07-2008, 04:01 AM
I have heard a lot of talk about the new card Slithermuse from Morningtide, does anyone think it has a place in QSI? Also, I have been playing around with QSI and I have come to the conclusion that you can't reliably put Empty the Warrens into the deck. I think it necessary to have another kill card but I just can't figure out how to make it work. Has anyone made a consistent QSI list with Empty in it? If so, can you post a decklist?

Pulp_Fiction
02-11-2008, 08:59 PM
Wow, this forum is almost abandoned, does anyone play SI anymore? Anyway, for those who still play this deck I have a question about The Man Plan SB strategy for the 2x Land version of SI. What would a completly updated SB look like? I would probably play something like:

4x Tomb of Urami
3x Tombstalker
4x Avatar of Discord
1x Vampiric Spirit
3x Cabal Therapy

I was just curious as I have been testing SI against Dragon Stompy and Stax and this seems like the only way to even get a decent match without turning a solid sideboard into all artifact destruction as well as greatly improving the Landstill and Thresh match-ups.

marit
02-11-2008, 09:09 PM
Wow, this forum is almost abandoned, does anyone play SI anymore? Anyway, for those who still play this deck I have a question about The Man Plan SB strategy for the 2x Land version of SI. What would a completly updated SB look like? I would probably play something like:

4x Tomb of Urami
3x Tombstalker
4x Avatar of Discord
1x Vampiric Spirit
3x Cabal Therapy

I was just curious as I have been testing SI against Dragon Stompy and Stax and this seems like the only way to even get a decent match without turning a solid sideboard into all artifact destruction as well as greatly improving the Landstill and Thresh match-ups.

I haven't used the man-plan in ages. I wouldn't advise it, I only used it when I was bored, for shits and giggles. I dropped the 2 land build, but my old board was:

4 Tomb of Urami
4 Tombstalker
4 Avatar of Discord
3 Naturalize

I don't know how to update it, I haven't ever touched the new 2 land version. I dropped the man-plan because it improved most matchups only slightly, and I would rather make the tough ones favorable, like thresh and landstill.

Cavius The Great
02-27-2008, 01:34 PM
Has anyone considered 4 Leyline of the Void in the SB slots? Or is SI so fast that combatting graveyard recursion isn't necessary? Leyline also rocks with Iggy, what do you guys think?

emidln
02-27-2008, 01:37 PM
Has anyone considered 4 Leyline of the Void in the SB slots? Or is SI so fast that combatting graveyard recursion isn't necessary? Leyline also rocks with Iggy, what do you guys think?

If you have a lot of Ichorid in your meta, I guess you could devote SB slots to it. You win ichorid anyway, but it gives you more byes which are always nice in swiss. I'd personally rather play a wider selection of bounce spells so that I can tailor my bounce spells to particular matchups than worry about a slower combo deck.

Cavius The Great
02-27-2008, 01:47 PM
If you have a lot of Ichorid in your meta, I guess you could devote SB slots to it. You win ichorid anyway, but it gives you more byes which are always nice in swiss. I'd personally rather play a wider selection of bounce spells so that I can tailor my bounce spells to particular matchups than worry about a slower combo deck.

I'm debating over Tomb of Urami or Leyline of the Void in my current build but I'm not sure which is better for my metagame. Also, emidln, do you mulligan agressively with this type of deck? Walk me through some key mulligan pointers and I'll forever be in your gratitude. I draw alot of "all mana" hands, is this necessarily a must mulligan or can I let it slide hoping to draw into win cons and draw spells?

marit
02-27-2008, 05:45 PM
I'm debating over Tomb of Urami or Leyline of the Void in my current build but I'm not sure which is better for my metagame. Also, emidln, do you mulligan agressively with this type of deck? Walk me through some key mulligan pointers and I'll forever be in your gratitude. I draw alot of "all mana" hands, is this necessarily a must mulligan or can I let it slide hoping to draw into win cons and draw spells?

From my experience, mulling depends on the build. With Bbr grant SI, I agressively mull. With SITEs, I generally mull until i get a turn 1 explosion, a lot like belcher. QSI I only mull when I have to, there's no need to explode on turn 1 because you've got 15 draw spells and 4 therapy. I almost always mull away a hand without business unless I'm facing aggro. In my experience, and I hate praying for a topdeck while my opponent draws counters/disrupts me. It's okay to keep vs. aggro though, as they cant get through your tall men easily, giving you enough turns to topdeck what you need. Emidln probably knows more about it than me though.

Filipinho
02-27-2008, 05:46 PM
Magic-League Legacy Trial 19/02
4th jprophet22

2x Bayou

4x Shield Sphere
4x Phyrexian Walker

4x Land Grant
4x Chrome Mox
4x Lotus Petal
4x Lion's Eye Diamond

4x Dark Ritual
4x Cabal Ritual
4x Culling the Weak

2x Ill-Gotten Gains
4x Infernal Tutor
4x Cruel Bargain
4x Infernal Contract

1x Goblin Charbelcher
3x Tendrils of Agony

4x Pact of Negation

Has anyone seen this decklist? I really like the list. The only question I make is what would be better, Pact of Negation or Cabal Therapy.

Cavius The Great
02-27-2008, 05:55 PM
I've been playing around with B.C.'s list abit and enjoy the explosiveness of it. The main changes of the list are:

-2 Ill-gotten Gains

+2 Wild Cantor

-1 Contract

+1 Cruel bargain

Nothing major just a few tweaks. I've always thought Ill-gotten gains was a win more card and have prefered the low casting cost and mana fixing of Wild Cantor. Surprisingly, Wild Cantor has been an MVP during testing and I've had games where it actually helped Belcher activations where an Iggy would of done nothing. I also chose to run 4 Bargains and 3 Contracts. I have 4 Bargain and rather play with them all. :wink: It can also psych out an opponent if he's expecting an extra Contract.

@Filipinho - Pact of Negation is a horrible card in this type of deck. There will be so many instances where it would be a dead draw. I would definitely go with Cabal Therapy over Pact of Negation.

Pulp_Fiction
02-27-2008, 06:20 PM
From what I have played you should not ever take out the IGG, they enable the IGG + 2x Lion's Eye loop which is usually an autowin when you get it going. It also allows you to just simply win games that you should lose. I remember one game i played against B/W Confidant, turn 4 he had a shade and a Confidant in play and I had 2 Bayou, 2x LED, and a Chrome Mox in play with 0 cards in hand. I ripped Infernal Tutor off the top, got the IGG loop going and cast an Empty the Warrens for 12 tokens. A game I should have lost I won because of IGG. I really would not ever take those out of the deck. Also, just as a note, I also play B.C.'s exact list.

Regarding Leyline of the Void in SB, I personally think it is a poor choice. This is the fastest deck in the format (IMOP) and you really shouldn't play defense with it. Tomb of Urami is PHENOMENAL in this deck. I have won so many games with it. The Tomb is also very entertaining because everytime you activate it and put a 5/5 into play your opponent always goes "wait ... WHAT??" everytime. I have had nothing but good experiences with this card and I wouldn't ever play any less than 4x in the SB.

marit
02-27-2008, 06:32 PM
Magic-League Legacy Trial 19/02
4th jprophet22

2x Bayou

4x Shield Sphere
4x Phyrexian Walker

4x Land Grant
4x Chrome Mox
4x Lotus Petal
4x Lion's Eye Diamond

4x Dark Ritual
4x Cabal Ritual
4x Culling the Weak

2x Ill-Gotten Gains
4x Infernal Tutor
4x Cruel Bargain
4x Infernal Contract

1x Goblin Charbelcher
3x Tendrils of Agony

4x Pact of Negation

Has anyone seen this decklist? I really like the list. The only question I make is what would be better, Pact of Negation or Cabal Therapy.
This is the original Bg grant list, the main one before BC revealed his, with -4 therapy +4 PoN. I dislike PoN, I've stated my reasons, but it's hard to argue with results, even if they are small.

@Pulp: I agree with every single point you made, the only problem I find with Urami is that Deed and EE are running rampant, and so one sb's those out because the threat of EtW. I still play it in my non QSI lists.

@Cavius:I cut the IGG from my list awhile ago, but Emidln convinced me to put them back in. I don't think you've played the deck enough if you want to cut IGG, like Pulp said it gets you out of situations you don't deserve to win.

Pulp_Fiction
02-27-2008, 06:35 PM
Magic-League Legacy Trial 19/02
4th jprophet22

2x Bayou

4x Shield Sphere
4x Phyrexian Walker

4x Land Grant
4x Chrome Mox
4x Lotus Petal
4x Lion's Eye Diamond

4x Dark Ritual
4x Cabal Ritual
4x Culling the Weak

2x Ill-Gotten Gains
4x Infernal Tutor
4x Cruel Bargain
4x Infernal Contract

1x Goblin Charbelcher
3x Tendrils of Agony

4x Pact of Negation

Has anyone seen this decklist? I really like the list. The only question I make is what would be better, Pact of Negation or Cabal Therapy.

Wow, I am not one to flame but that list is awful. Pact if Negation is terrible in a deck like this, it is so situational. It doesn't even have SSG and Empty the Warrens as the 3rd kill mechanism, which is a MUST have in the deck. Seriously, I was not a believer of Empty the Warrens till I saw how many games it just wins. Even an Empty for 8 on turn 1 will generally win a game.
If you are going to play the 2 land version you have to play all 3x different kill spells (belcher, empty, and tendrils) because the deck usually has no answer to Meddling Mage; otherwise it would just simply be better to play QSI or SITES. Cabal Therapy, Duress, and Defense Grid would all be much better choices than Pact of Negation

B.C.
02-29-2008, 11:07 AM
I don't like Pact of Negation for many of the reasons that have already been said. You want to have the ability to win with EtW. Also, the primary time you will need protection is when you play your first Draw 4 (or Tutor or whatever). In this instance, it is VERY common that you won't win that turn even if your spell resolves. Much too common to go all in with a Pact that you could never possibly pay for.

On a bit of a tangent, I am really liking Slaughter Pact for dealing with Meddling Mage and Gaddock Teeg. Teeg only shuts off your win conditions and IGG, so you should be able to fully go off, and only use the Pact when you are about to win. Meddling Mage, when used appropriately, will usually name your win conditions anyway, so he shuts you down even less. I have seen people name something like Dark Rit with their Meddling Mage, but those people are stupid.

As for cutting IGG, I would strongly recommend against that. As previously stated, IGG enables your auto-win with LED/Tutor. Also, it is NOT a dead draw in your opening hand. I have often used it to Mindtwist my opponent down to 3 cards (brutal on the play) or to reform my hand after a fizzle.

Iranon
03-01-2008, 03:56 AM
I don't like Pact of Negation as much as I thought I would, given that this is a turn 1-2 deck if it wants to be.

Cabal Therapy is quite good in its own right and usually easier on the mana for protecting IGG loops since you can nab another mana source. Unlike with other decks, you often don't know whether you're setting up or killing when you cast your first contract, and often not after it resolves either. This makes PoN an unacceptable gamble.

With Slaughter Pact, this is no issue, but the question remains whether it's worth it. Massacre is slightly more conditional but it can kill any number of Meddling Mages, Gaddock Teegs, True Believers and other assorted scum.

***

I still prefer the original B/g approach thanks to its speed, consistency and ability to win independent of the storm mechanic. In that list the dubious spots are the Pacts, the third Tendrils and the second Ill-Gotten Gains. I wouldn't say EtW is mandatory in the maindeck, and certainly not in large numbers... that leaves us with 6 slots to play around with, at least 1 of them should be a win condition.
Before anyone takes this the wrong way, I'm not arguing for the shavings, just stating they are an option.

What draws me to the deck is that it kills faster than most other decks combo off, not giving my opponent the time to find an answer (anyone can use Engineered Explosives or Powder Keg); EtW as a main plan goes contrary to that goal and I haven't found the 'keep them busy with EtW -> kill with Tendrils' plan too effective in practice.

On the other hand, the ability to have a gamebreaking turn-1 play on limited resources fits right in with the demand for extreme speed. An opponent needing to ponder the choice between countering a Lotus Petal and being overrun by a horde of Goblins is also a definite plus.

***

On the whole, I dislike multiple EtWs and would consider multiple Belchers first; 1 of each while relying on the Tendrils kill is perfectly fine with me as well. The remaining slots could be disruption (Cabal Therapy, Xantid Swarm if the only cards to fear in a given meta are reactive), more win conditions, Spirit Guides or something robot-related.
While Diabolic Intent is slightly underwhelming, Glimpse of Nature results in the fastest build I have tested so far. Goldfishing aside, it has been a little unpredictable... it has been dead-ish and it has allowed me to win games I had no business of winning.

Jaynel
03-01-2008, 01:13 PM
With Slaughter Pact, this is no issue, but the question remains whether it's worth it. Massacre is slightly more conditional but it can kill any number of Meddling Mages, Gaddock Teegs, True Believers and other assorted scum.


Gaddock Teeg shuts off Massacre, so if he's the exclusive problem then Slaughter Pact seems like a solid idea.

goobafish
03-01-2008, 01:20 PM
Magic-League Legacy Trial 19/02
4th jprophet22

2x Bayou

4x Shield Sphere
4x Phyrexian Walker

4x Land Grant
4x Chrome Mox
4x Lotus Petal
4x Lion's Eye Diamond

4x Dark Ritual
4x Cabal Ritual
4x Culling the Weak

2x Ill-Gotten Gains
4x Infernal Tutor
4x Cruel Bargain
4x Infernal Contract

1x Goblin Charbelcher
3x Tendrils of Agony

4x Pact of Negation

Has anyone seen this decklist? I really like the list. The only question I make is what would be better, Pact of Negation or Cabal Therapy.

Wow. Just wow. This is our original list from the first time we played the deck in Side Event of GP Toronto, just adding in the Pact of Negations instead of Therapies. Didn't work then, not gonna work now.

Cavius The Great
03-01-2008, 01:33 PM
I've Been toying around with Spanish Inquisition a bit and all I can say is, the deck is really inconsistent. I'm actually reluctant to buy the cards for the deck becuase of the deck's numerous flaws. I've been toying around with Nourishing Lich as well, and all I can say is, Nourishing Lich is leagues ahead of SI in consistency. Has anyone been unsatified with the deck other than me? It seems like luck plays a huge factor for this deck, but you can't always rely on luck to win.

Sanguine Voyeur
03-01-2008, 01:43 PM
Did you proxy it, or are you using MWS? Believe it or not that can have a huge effect.

Cavius The Great
03-01-2008, 01:57 PM
Did you proxy it, or are you using MWS? Believe it or not that can have a huge effect.

MWS. Which method do you suggest?

Iranon
03-01-2008, 02:04 PM
Oops, brain wasn't properly with respect to Gaddock. Grr.

***

@ Cavius: I goldfished hundreds of games with several fast combo decks, and classic SI (Land Grants, no disruption, Diabolic Edicts) killed by turn 4 93% of the time. That's hardly inconsistent in my book; similar to Belcher and noticably inferior only to IGGy Pop from the decks I tested. Given that the successful kills are, on average, more than half a turn faster than the closest competition, I consider that more than consistent enough.

If you mean 'not resilent enough' instead, I wholeheartedly agree. Goldfish percentages with SI are a little tricky because there's a trade-off between consistency and speed... you can easily push the deck beyond its margins of comfort.

Trying to get a turn-4 kill at the latest (counting anything after that as a loss), I got the following percentages with the old build:

Turn 1: 44%
Turn 2: 27%
Turn 3: 15%
Turn 4: 7%
Lost : 7%



More recent tests indicate that an experimental list with Glimpse of Nature seems to be faster although I haven't goldfished it enough to be certain yet, and an an assortment of combos crammed into one deck (xXx in N&D) seems promising once I manage to make more competent mulligan decisions, but both have their own issues.


Do you have any goldfish data for Nourishing Lich? If it's indeed in the same speed bracket, I will do some testing myself... I love fast combo decks.

Cavius The Great
03-01-2008, 02:14 PM
Do you have any goldfish data for Nourishing Lich? If it's indeed in the same speed bracket, I will do some testing myself... I love fast combo decks.


I don't have any goldfish data for Nourishing Lich since I'm too lazy to gather any. I have gotten second turn kills roughly 10% of the time and third to fourth turn kills seem to be the norm with the deck. Nourishing Lich is by no means faster, it's just more consistent and never fizzles. I've gotten a first turn kill with counterbackup (pact of negation) with a God hand, which was fun but not really relevent at all. I'm testing a version of Nourishing Lich which is so finely tuned, that I think I've found the perfect build. You can check my thread in the N&D forums and you'll find the list there with a one card difference from my current build. To make a long story short, Summoner's Pact is godly in the deck. :wink:

the_azn_storm
03-03-2008, 04:06 AM
Hey guys, I just found this thread and was very intrigued at how fast it is. I also wanted to run a decklist by the forum veterans to see what you guys think... here it is

Mana
2 Bayou
3 Land Grant
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Lotus Petal
4 Dark Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Chrome Mox
4 Cabal Ritual

Kill
3 Tendrils of Agony

Business
4 Infernal Contract
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Infernal Tutor
2 Ill-Gotten Gains

Tall Men
4 Shield Sphere
4 Phyrexian Walker

Other
3 Dark Confidant
3 Cabal Therapy

Sideboard
2 Empty the Warrens
1 Taiga
1 Goblin Charbelcher
4 Leyline of the Void
3 Duress
4 Tomb of Urami

The main differences is that it has Dark Confidant and Cabal Therapy MD. Confidant may seem slow but he regains your hand rather quickly and allows you to sculpt the perfect hand while playing control. He is also food for Culling the Weak and Cabal Therapy. Cabal Therapy is also for the control matchup and allows you to get great information that you can plan on. It adds some resilience even though this deck isn't made for that. I have dedicated the board to threat diversity and duress for additionial hand disruption, the main spells that you hit aren't creatures and you don't want to take damage, thats why I'm not running Thoughtseize. I like this board because it allows you two more outs. Thats what I have come up with. Keep in mind I am fairly new to this deck, but was a belcher and TES player looking for something new. Hope to get some positive feedback and I'm willing to take suggestions

emidln
03-03-2008, 04:13 AM
This is only three cards removed from the list that we played nearly two years ago. I'd highly recommend not cutting your 14th mana source (it will destroy you in mulligans). The changes to your list to get my original list are:

-3 Dark Confidant
+1 Cabal Therapy
+1 Land Grant
+1 Goblin Charbelcher

The main issue with running Confidant maindeck is that he isn't very good past turn one. After that point you are low on life from draw4s and want your cards immediately. I think he has a place in the sideboard of some builds where he is brought in along with bounce and/or more discard, but maindeck he is largely a dead card to a deck that is trying to combo out as fast as possible.

Edit: BTW, Taiga doesn't produce black mana and isn't worth it when you play belcher in this deck. It's rare to cast Belcher and activate with land still in your deck, and if you do, finding an extra three maan isn't normally difficult in a deck that is well over half mana sources.

Pulp_Fiction
03-03-2008, 06:14 AM
I would also recommend -1 Tendrils or -1 Therapy and +1 Empty the Warrens in the main in addition to what emidIn said. Again, when playing the 2 land version you really need all 3 kill sources because Meddling Mage just wrecks it and the proper SB has no answers for the Mage. Also Leyline of the Void does not belong in any SB for SI because it is a defensive card. This deck is pure aggression and Leyline is one of the worst possible cards you could have in your opening hand. The point I am trying to make is that why would you want Leyline in play ever while playing SI when you can just win right there? Aside from that everything looks good and the 4x Tomb of Urami is AMAZING with this deck. I just run B.C.'s SB which is:
4x Tomb of Urami
4x Therapy (since you already play it this could be Dark Confidant or Oxidize)
4x Duress
3x Naturalize
That is IMOP the optimal SB for the 2 land version of SI.

emidln
03-03-2008, 09:02 AM
I would also recommend -1 Tendrils or -1 Therapy and +1 Empty the Warrens in the main in addition to what emidIn said. Again, when playing the 2 land version you really need all 3 kill sources because Meddling Mage just wrecks it and the proper SB has no answers for the Mage. Also Leyline of the Void does not belong in any SB for SI because it is a defensive card. This deck is pure aggression and Leyline is one of the worst possible cards you could have in your opening hand. The point I am trying to make is that why would you want Leyline in play ever while playing SI when you can just win right there? Aside from that everything looks good and the 4x Tomb of Urami is AMAZING with this deck. I just run B.C.'s SB which is:
4x Tomb of Urami
4x Therapy (since you already play it this could be Dark Confidant or Oxidize)
4x Duress
3x Naturalize
That is IMOP the optimal SB for the 2 land version of SI.

I don't actually like ETW in the 2 land version with Therapy. The main issue I have with it is that it can be difficult to cast without extra ETW to imprint or SSG. I've never ran into a major issue with Meddling Mage since I already run Therapy + 2 win conditions. IMO, if they stop you long enough to set down double mage and guess belcher correctly, then they probably have access to EE (to clear up ETW tokens) by this time anyway so it doesn't matter. If not, I'm willing to accept these games as losses so I'm never put into a situation where I mana burn to death after casting ETW (usually 1 floating mana is enough to do it) or lose to an opponent untapping and bolting me (more common with UGR Thresh looking like the dominant splash).

As for a sideboard, I'd probably play something like this:

1 Empty the Warrens
3 Tomb of Urami
4 Naturalize
4 Xantid Swarm
3 Slaughter Pact

Knuckles29
03-05-2008, 07:39 AM
I've gone back through the thread and I must just have been unable to find it, but why Tomb of Urami in the SB? I get what it does, but when and why would you want to bring it in?

I also am confused as to what SITEs, QSI, and the other variant names refer to. I was unaware that the variants had shells, and if someone could explain that I would be ever so greatful.

I've been playing the Land Grant version, 1 belcher, and generally I've always played it so that I either win by turn 2 or I pack it up, yes against aggro you can somewhat take your time, but against anything with Stifle or counters I try to pull it off before the 2nd land drop

emidln
03-05-2008, 08:27 AM
I've gone back through the thread and I must just have been unable to find it, but why Tomb of Urami in the SB? I get what it does, but when and why would you want to bring it in?

I bring it in when I need extra mana to fight resource wars (for example, against control). It gives you more opportunities to cast spells like Duress that are brought in as well as more initial mana sources. It doubles as a bomb in some circumstances.


I also am confused as to what SITEs, QSI, and the other variant names refer to. I was unaware that the variants had shells, and if someone could explain that I would be ever so greatful.

Obviously they refer to specific builds. They were given different names so people familiar with the decks can easily converse about them without saying "Fetchland SI, 3 SSG, 0 Therapy, 3 ETW, 2 IGG, 8 Draw4, 2 Tendrils" (in the case of SITES).. The first post in this thread explains some of the reasoning behind the decks.


I've been playing the Land Grant version, 1 belcher, and generally I've always played it so that I either win by turn 2 or I pack it up, yes against aggro you can somewhat take your time, but against anything with Stifle or counters I try to pull it off before the 2nd land drop

Here is a great example where names help. Are you playing the B.C. list with 0 disruption main, SSG, and 2x ETW, the old primer list with Therapy main, or the old primer list with Diabolic Intent? In any event, you don't autolose if your opponent gets their second land. Instead it requires that you carefully manage resources while testing their defenses to see when it is safe to combo out. Doing so is basic to knowing how to play storm combo and should be practiced against a live opponent.

Pulp_Fiction
03-11-2008, 10:19 PM
As of late I have been testing out how the 2 Land Version of SI plays against Armageddon Stax and Dragon Stompy and even after the SB when the 3-4 Naturalize come in it is still almost unwinnable. The only games SI would win would be when either decks could not get a decent hand and just mulled into nothing, which happens on occassion due to the nature of those decks. My question is, unless there is a ton of Enchantress/Decks with Solitary Confinement in your meta, is it really worth playing the 4x Naturalize in the SB? I was thinking you could chalk up the Dragon Stompy and Stax matches to a loss and then with 4x open slots you could jam in 4x Tombstalker/Avatar of Discord/Vampiric Spirit to make the Threshold and Fish matchups even more winnable. The reason is that the Stax and Stompy matchups are literally unwinnable but the Thresh (much more prevalent in my meta), Fish, Landstill, and random blue control matchups would be greatly improved. I would purpose a SB that looked like:
4x Cabal Therapy
4x Tombstalker
4x Tomb of Urami
3x Duress

The purpose would be to turn it into a suicide like combo deck where you have all or nothing matchups, and the nothing matchups would occur (in my meta anyway) a lot less from my experience and you maximize your chances of winning the tougher match ups that you are much more likely to win. Any thoughts? Or any ideas to help this deck with the Stax and Dragon Stompy match up?

emidln
03-11-2008, 11:21 PM
As of late I have been testing out how the 2 Land Version of SI plays against Armageddon Stax and Dragon Stompy and even after the SB when the 3-4 Naturalize come in it is still almost unwinnable. The only games SI would win would be when either decks could not get a decent hand and just mulled into nothing, which happens on occassion due to the nature of those decks. My question is, unless there is a ton of Enchantress/Decks with Solitary Confinement in your meta, is it really worth playing the 4x Naturalize in the SB? I was thinking you could chalk up the Dragon Stompy and Stax matches to a loss and then with 4x open slots you could jam in 4x Tombstalker/Avatar of Discord/Vampiric Spirit to make the Threshold and Fish matchups even more winnable. The reason is that the Stax and Stompy matchups are literally unwinnable but the Thresh (much more prevalent in my meta), Fish, Landstill, and random blue control matchups would be greatly improved. I would purpose a SB that looked like:
4x Cabal Therapy
4x Tombstalker
4x Tomb of Urami
3x Duress

The purpose would be to turn it into a suicide like combo deck where you have all or nothing matchups, and the nothing matchups would occur (in my meta anyway) a lot less from my experience and you maximize your chances of winning the tougher match ups that you are much more likely to win. Any thoughts? Or any ideas to help this deck with the Stax and Dragon Stompy match up?

It's worth noting that I designed, tested, and discarded an aggro sideboard plan a year and a half ago. It's talked about in the original primer. You're still playing a game where you're going all-in or almost all-in on a play, but now that play doesn't win the game immediately.

As for Dragon Stompy, I would imagine that the matchup would be quite bad if they turn 1 a chalcie or trinisphere on the play. It would also seem to be pretty good if you're on the play since you're going to win around 55% of the time and still play ETW a good percentage more.

Stax is an awful matchup for that particular build. That almost directly led me to BR and UB builds in an attempt to gain access to Hurkyl's Recall, Rebuild, and/or something like Shattering Spree.

With B.C.'s build, boarding in Duress/Therapy is going to be much more effective in conjunction with Tomb of Urami to fight potential threats to your ETW tokens or deck in general (Chalice @ 0) than boarding in Naturalize.

B.C.
03-13-2008, 11:34 AM
It's worth noting that I designed, tested, and discarded an aggro sideboard plan a year and a half ago. It's talked about in the original primer. You're still playing a game where you're going all-in or almost all-in on a play, but now that play doesn't win the game immediately.

I also do not recommend the "man plan" sideboard, but if you are so inclined, the new Shadowmoor guy is an auto-include:

http://img179.imageshack.us/img179/973/shmbooster15revealedrf4.jpg

Source: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=magic/preview/shmpack

I also have a lot of hope for "Beseech the Queen".

Iranon
03-13-2008, 07:37 PM
Stax and Dragon Stompy aren't a huge problem (although by no means pleasant) because you can pull out all the stops and push hard for a turn 1 win... SI wins more consistently on turn 1 than Stax gets down a Trinisphere or Chalice.

To truly be a horrible match-up for SI, a deck would need both lock pieces that can come online on turn 1 and Forces of Will... in their usual incarnations, I can only think of Baseruption and Faerie Stompy.

Staxy lock pieces are good against it, with a chalice @0 being remarkably so considering it can be played on turn 1 by everyone, and sideboarding in answers makes the deck a good deal less consistent. This combination doesn't mean that SI loses badly to those decks, the problem is that decks that are dead in the water against slightly slower combo can make their match-up fair by appropriate sideboarding.

Pulp_Fiction
03-14-2008, 02:23 AM
Yeah, I am very happy with that new sort-of Man Plan SB. Stax and Dragon Stompy are not very dominant in my meta so thats why I decided to take out the 4x Naturalize in the SB. On Wednesday at my local weekly Legacy tournament I won (split in finals with Kabal) with a turnout of around 21 people! I played against Burn, Mono-Blue Countertop Wizards??, Thresh, Thresh, Reanimator, and Mono-red Old Skool Sligh only losing one match to the Wizards thing after casting a Draw4 and drawing: Walker, Sphere, Sphere, SSG. I had all the essential cards to go off, just needed a ritual, Land Grant, Petal, Mox, LED .... something that added black mana, but hey, it happens sometimes. That sideboard is AMAZING against Thresh (4x Tomb of Urami, 4x Cabal Therapy, 4x Tombstalker, and 3x Duress). I only lost against Thresh when I didn't have much of anything. Generally I just mulliganed till i got a discard spell and something that could generate a big storm or lots of mana. I took out the combo expect for 1x Tendrils and 1x Empty cause this deck without IGG can just explode and win, which I did one game, I opened a hand of turn 1 Empty for twelve on the draw and was hoping he didnt have Force of Will for my Infernal Tutor, he didn't. I honestly wasn't sure about this SB but after playing Thresh with it twice and winning, I am feeling very confident it was the right choice. There are certain times where I was wanting the 4x Tombstalker to be 2x Avatar of Discord and 2x Tombstalker but regardless of that it is still very solid and I think against UGw Thresh Avatar is better and against UGr Thresh Tombstalker is better.

And YES I WANT TO PLAY THE DEMIGOD!! That card is really solid especially if one is in the grave and you cast one which gets countered, the one in the grave comes back WOOT SUCK 5! And it is out of Lightning Bolt range, even better. Can't wait to test it out.

EDIT: I play B.C.'s 2 land version, forgot to include that.

B.C.
04-01-2008, 12:26 PM
Ok, my maindeck has essentially been set in stone for a while now. The SB, however, is ever changing. Recently I've been testing a sideboard very similar to Pulp_Fiction's:

4 Cabal Therapy
4 Duress
4 Tomb of Urami
3 Tombstalker

I have to say, I really like it a lot. What do you take out when you bring in the board? In the past, when playing against Blue control I've typically taken out something like: -3 SSG, -4 LED, -4 Chrome Mox, -3 whatever. However, I've started to think that leaving in the free mana and making Tomb/Tombstalker your PRIMARY strategy is probably the most effective.

I've been testing against a semi-homebrew UGB Threshold with Thoughtseize, Counterbalance/Top, etc. (basically the worst matchup I can put together). Preboard the matchup is obviously unfavorable. You can win maybe 25% of game 1's by going off turn 1 and them not having FOW. Postboard I think it actually becomes a favorable matchup. Either go for an early Tomb activation or wreck their hand with Therapy/Duress and then drop a Tombstalker. With this strategy I might go with something like this:

-1 Belcher
-4 Infernal Tutor
-2 IGG
-2 Tendrils
-1 Infernal Contract
-2 Cruel Bargain
-1 Phyrexian Walker
-1 SSG
-1 LED

Importantly, this SB strategy still leaves the possibility to play EtW from your opening hand or off of a Draw4. EtW is absolutely backbreaking against Blue control, even for 6-8 Gobbos. They're stuck digging for their 1-2 copies of EE/Echoing Truth.


Stax and Dragon Stompy aren't a huge problem (although by no means pleasant) because you can pull out all the stops and push hard for a turn 1 win... SI wins more consistently on turn 1 than Stax gets down a Trinisphere or Chalice.

Completely agree. Don't board a card. Just go fast.

B.C.
04-01-2008, 03:52 PM
Sorry about the double post.

New card on the Shadowmoor spoiler:

Scarscale Ritual
1{ub}
Sorcery Common
As an additional cost to play Scarscale Ritual, put a -1/-1 counter on a creature you control.
Draw two cards.
Illus. Richard Sardinha

Might be kinda awesome. Thoughts?

Benie Bederios
04-01-2008, 06:20 PM
Sorry about the double post.

New card on the Shadowmoor spoiler:

Scarscale Ritual
1{ub}
Sorcery Common
As an additional cost to play Scarscale Ritual, put a -1/-1 counter on a creature you control.
Draw two cards.
Illus. Richard Sardinha

Might be kinda awesome. Thoughts?

Night Whisper isn't played, so I wouldn't know why this card should be played actually.

BB

BreathWeapon
04-01-2008, 09:55 PM
Here is a pseudo SI list people should play/test,

4 Goblin Charbelcher
1 Tendrils of Agony
1 Ill Gotten Gains
4 Infernal Tutor
4 Infernal Contract
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Xantid Swarm
4 Summoner's Pact
4 Elvish Spirit Guide
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox
4 Land Grant
1 Bayou
1 Dryad Arbor

You can replace the artifact creatures/Cabal Therapy with Dryad Arbor, Summoner's Pact, Elvish Spirit Guide and Xantid Swarm, giving the deck 9 0cc creatures for Culling the Weak at 1/8th the space. The deck sacrifices the opportunity cost of a land drop, which reduces Culling the Weak's net mana to 2, and the deck can continue to chain Culling the Weak by resolving Xantid Swarms. Despite reducing Culling the Weak's net mana, the deck increases it's over all mana thru' Elvish Spirit Guide, Summoner's Pact -> Elvish Spirit Guide and imprinting Green mana on Chrome Mox while increasing the creatures to sacrifice to Culling the Weak by 5 (9 if you count the +0 mana from sacrificing an Elvish Spirit Guide). The additional 0cc mana sources protect Land Grant from Daze and resolves Goblin Charbelcher. Xantid Swarm is an ideal disruption card, using Elvish Spirit Guide, Lotus Petal and Chrome Mox (19 sources) to resolve it and protect Land Grant. The MD runs 4 Goblin Charbelcher, since it's an ideal colorless mana sink for the G mana and using Land Grant with out 4 Goblin Charbelcher is pointless, but 4 Tendrils of Agony/1 Goblin Charbelcher is also viable. I find Goblin Charbelcher allows the deck to keep more hands than Tendrils of Agony, which greatly improves consistency.

I've been running it in Germany since December, and I've been having good results. You'll lose games to Belcher misfires and Draw 4 fizzles, but it's par for the course given the explosiveness the additional threats and mana provide. The deck takes some getting use to, but after you've gold fished it, it'll quickly become second nature.

Pulp_Fiction
04-01-2008, 11:11 PM
Ok, my maindeck has essentially been set in stone for a while now. The SB, however, is ever changing. Recently I've been testing a sideboard very similar to Pulp_Fiction's:

4 Cabal Therapy
4 Duress
4 Tomb of Urami
3 Tombstalker

I have to say, I really like it a lot. What do you take out when you bring in the board? In the past, when playing against Blue control I've typically taken out something like: -3 SSG, -4 LED, -4 Chrome Mox, -3 whatever. However, I've started to think that leaving in the free mana and making Tomb/Tombstalker your PRIMARY strategy is probably the most effective.

With the SB of:
4x Tomb of Urami
3x Duress
4x Cabal Therapy
4 Tombstalker
I really don't think +/- 1x Duress or Tombstalker matters, both SBs are essentially the same, I just like the 4th Tombstalker cause it is another kill mechanism and makes it easier to open a starting hand with 1 in there but doubt it makes a difference :)

When I board I usually take out:
4x Infernal Contract
4x Cruel Bargain
2x IGG
1x Belcher
1x Tendrils
1x Empty the Warrens
1x SSG
1x Walker

It really depends on how you like to play, I like keeping all of the acceleration in the deck because with this SB when you cast a draw4 you generally aren't going to win for the next 4 + turns, you almost always get the first hits in against thresh and with 20 life you will almost always win the race, especially since the Tall Men are there. But with a hand full of cards and 10 life, things start to get iffy against thresh.

I also like keeping 1x Tendrils and 1x Empty in cause this is a storm deck and you can just out of nowhere win. I remember I was playing a game against Landstill, he was at 5 life from fetches and Urami, I played Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, Lotus Petal, Tendrils, he only had 1 counter. And sometimes you open that suicide hand with Rituals, LED and Infernal Tutor so it is good to keep the 1x Empty the Warrens in there. I have discussed this SB with kabal (who plays a LOT of Thresh) and he also thinks it is a good idea to take out the draw4s. I just don't think the card advantage gained off of a draw4 negates the life loss against opponent's Goyfs since you generally aren't going to win on the turn or following turn that they are cast. Glad to hear you like the sideboard!

Pulp_Fiction
04-06-2008, 06:22 PM
SWEET, no one has mentioned this yet in this thread so I will bring it up. Manamorphose. New card from Shadowmoor http://mtgsalvation.com/shadowmoor-spoiler.html#2363
1 (R/G)
Instant
Add 2 mana in any combination to your mana pool.
Draw a card.

Should this card be played in SI? I am not so sure. I will certainly test it out but what gets to me is that it doesn't add mana. Now that fact that it furthers storm and cantrips can overshadow that fact that it doesn't add mana but there are always those times when you are doing your math and come to the realization you are one short and this card certainly won't improve a situation like that but, that being said, what if you cast it and draw Dark Ritual or Culling the Weak, but also, what if you draw into yet another draw4 or another Tall Man? Also what cards does everyone think should come out for Manamorphose?

Sanguine Voyeur
04-06-2008, 06:30 PM
I don't think Manamorphose would be too great in this deck, SI is too black. The typical mana in this deck comes from Dark Ritual, Culling of the Weak, Cabal Ritual, and free stuff. Green is useless and red can only come from Lotus Petal and the debatable Simian Spirit Guide.

B.C.
04-07-2008, 02:51 PM
I don't think Manamorphose would be too great in this deck, SI is too black. The typical mana in this deck comes from Dark Ritual, Culling of the Weak, Cabal Ritual, and free stuff. Green is useless and red can only come from Lotus Petal and the debatable Simian Spirit Guide.

Agreed. If it was 1 (R/B) it would be auto-in.

BreathWeapon
04-08-2008, 01:56 PM
Manamorphose is awesome, it lets the deck use the Summoner's Pact set up in order to filter the green mana into black mana and Summoner's Pact -> Vine Dryad lets you use it as a pseudo mana source.

MD

4 Tendrils of Agony
1 Ill Gotten Gains
4 Infernal Tutor
4 Infernal Contract
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Land Grant
1 Bayou
1 Dryad Arbor
4 Summoner's Pact
1 Vine Dryad
4 Elvish Spirit Guide
4 Manamorphose
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox

SB
4 Goblin Charblecher
4 Xantid Swarm
4 Tomb of Urami

66% mana in SI is fucking nuts, I'm goldfishing at ludicrous speed.

Bovinious
04-08-2008, 02:06 PM
Manamorphose is awesome, it lets the deck use the Summoner's Pact set up in order to filter the green mana into black mana and Summoner's Pact -> Vine Dryad lets you use it as a pseudo mana source.

MD

4 Tendrils of Agony
1 Ill Gotten Gains
4 Infernal Tutor
4 Infernal Contract
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Land Grant
1 Bayou
1 Dryad Arbor
4 Summoner's Pact
1 Vine Dryad
4 Elvish Spirit Guide
4 Manamorphose
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox

SB
4 Goblin Charblecher
4 Xantid Swarm
4 Tomb of Urami

66% mana in SI is fucking nuts, I'm goldfishing at ludicrous speed.

Why are you playing Culling the Weak with 1 creature? And why are you playing Summoner's Pact into ESG/Vine Dryad? This would be better off as tall men, SSG, and like anything else really...

emidln
04-08-2008, 02:51 PM
Why are you playing Culling the Weak with 1 creature? And why are you playing Summoner's Pact into ESG/Vine Dryad? This would be better off as tall men, SSG, and like anything else really...

The idea is that you have 2-3 Creatures with which to sacrifice, but you have 4 Pact, 4 Land Grant to find Dryad Arbor, Vine Dryad is just the best thing to make use of random extra green cards, and if you happen to draw Culling the Weaks 2-4 without anything to cast them with, you could likely just imprint them in Chrome Mox.

(I'm not saying this is a good idea, just that's what Breathweapon is intending. From a design perspective, it's not horrible, and I have no testing data one way or another.)

BreathWeapon
04-08-2008, 02:55 PM
Why are you playing Culling the Weak with 1 creature? And why are you playing Summoner's Pact into ESG/Vine Dryad? This would be better off as tall men, SSG, and like anything else really...

No, it wouldn't, the artifact creatures are unnecessary. Land Grant -> Dryad Arbor, Summoner's Pact -> Dryad Arbor, Summoner's Pact -> Vine Dryad gives you 10 creatures in the MD to fuel Culling the Weak, and Xantid Swarm gives you 4 creatures in the SB to do the same. The difference is that Land Grant -> Dryad Arbor and Summoner's Pact -> Vine Dryad come at an opportunity cost of either a land drop or a green card, but that opportunity costs gets recouped thru' drawing into 8 Elvish Spirit Guides instead of 8 dead creatures. You also start with Culling the Weak in hand less than 40% of the time, at which point having 8 G mana to protect Land Grant from Daze is a lot better than having 8 blockers.

It's faster than regular SI, and ESG, Swarm and Belcher give it a better game against Threshold and Landstill. I've been running versions of Pact SI for about 6 months, and it's definitely viable. I don't know if the Manamorphose version is the best, but it's certainly the bleeding edge.

TeKo
04-08-2008, 03:09 PM
But isn't the Pact list terrible against Control?

One of the strengths of SI is, that it can recover very fast from a fizzled or countered combo (8+ Draw4s).
With you list you lose if you can't kill your opponent the turn you (try to) combo of (cast pact) .

BreathWeapon
04-08-2008, 03:38 PM
But isn't the Pact list terrible against Control?

One of the strengths of SI is, that it can recover very fast from a fizzled or countered combo (8+ Draw4s).
With you list you lose if you can't kill your opponent the turn you (try to) combo of (cast pact) .

On paper, yes, in practice, no. Once Land Grant SI is disrupted, it tends to lose regardless. Aggro-control or control gains the upper hand if it can counter a mana source and Time Walk into Counterbalance or Meddling Mage. You don't use Land Grant SI because it's good against control, you use Land Grant SI because it's fast and it supports Goblin Charbelcher. The 8 Spirit Guides just make the deck faster and protect your mana sources from Daze.

Game 1 the deck goes all in, game 2/3 the deck can walk a fine line between going all in and baiting with Xantid Swarm and Goblin Charbelcher. The deck isn't even that much more committal, since you aren't obligated to use Summoner's Pact, you just can't keep bad hands against aggro and block like you use to.

If you want a better game against control, I think you have to play SITES with Kobolds, where uncounterable land drops and threats give you better odds.

Edit: Also, I think the Pact list's access to green mana for Xantid Swarm can't be under sold, compared to Cabal Therapy, Unmask and Pact of Negation, it's the most efficient disruption card of the lot. Between 4 ESG, 4 Lotus Petal and Chrome Mox with 18 targets, you can usually cast it and protect your Land Grant.

Bovinious
04-08-2008, 05:40 PM
No, it wouldn't, the artifact creatures are unnecessary. Land Grant -> Dryad Arbor, Summoner's Pact -> Dryad Arbor, Summoner's Pact -> Vine Dryad gives you 10 creatures in the MD to fuel Culling the Weak, and Xantid Swarm gives you 4 creatures in the SB to do the same. The difference is that Land Grant -> Dryad Arbor and Summoner's Pact -> Vine Dryad come at an opportunity cost of either a land drop or a green card, but that opportunity costs gets recouped thru' drawing into 8 Elvish Spirit Guides instead of 8 dead creatures. You also start with Culling the Weak in hand less than 40% of the time, at which point having 8 G mana to protect Land Grant from Daze is a lot better than having 8 blockers.

It's faster than regular SI, and ESG, Swarm and Belcher give it a better game against Threshold and Landstill. I've been running versions of Pact SI for about 6 months, and it's definitely viable. I don't know if the Manamorphose version is the best, but it's certainly the bleeding edge.

That makes some sense, I didnt see Dryad Arbor when looking in your list at first, so I guess there are more creatures than I thought. Im still not sure Id do 4 Culling the Weak, but if it works for you I guess go for it.

Sanguine Voyeur
04-08-2008, 06:32 PM
Also, I think the Pact list's access to green mana for Xantid Swarm can't be under soldSo you Pact for Swarm, play it, then, on your next turn, produce 2GG and combo off?

TeKo
04-08-2008, 06:43 PM
4 ESG, 4 Lotus Petal and 4 Chrome Mox (12+ Green Cards to imprint)
= more green mana sources than the "standard" BG list plays.

BreathWeapon
04-08-2008, 07:04 PM
So you Pact for Swarm, play it, then, on your next turn, produce 2GG and combo off?

No, the deck has 4 Xantid Swarms to cast post SB, it just uses Pact to tutor for a Xantid Swarm when it's in the middle of chaining Draw 4s to sacrifice to Culling the Weak. Pact produces G mana when its imprinted on Chrome Mox, so the deck has 4 Land Grant, 1 Bayou, 1 Dryad Arbor, 4 Elvish Spirit Guide and 7 other green imprint targets to cast a single Xantid Swarm. The 4 Elvish Spirit Guide make it easier to cast Xantid Swarm than the original deck could cast Cabal Therapy, so you can protect your black mana sources from counters better.

@Bovinious

Honest mistake, don't sweat it.

Sanguine Voyeur
04-08-2008, 07:16 PM
I see, I don't know BG that well, I play BU or BUw.

raharu
04-08-2008, 10:36 PM
I've been pondering a few cards for this deck and two cards recently struck me.

1) Plunge into Darkness: in the traditional builds with a sizeable number of Robots, you gain the option of turning superflus Robots into life/ tutor power instead of exclusively using them for Therapy/ Culling of the Weak, and digging into a vital card can be as good as landing a draw 4 in certaint situations. Not sugesting it over draw 4s, but as something to mull over in general (on a general note, you can let the cards on the stack resolve and drop the Robot weight from your hand before playing Plunge, but is there any risk behind that that I fail to see?).

2) Promise of Power: Worst comes to worst it's a draw 5, but in better situations it's an alternate win condition that's more friendly with the original deck framework than Tombstalker/ Avatar of Discord.

Also, how much of the deck would be ideal to dedicate to mana production? To drawing cards? Is an Ill-Gotten Gains loop really needed or am I just too fond of it? Could Intuition fit into the deck, or would you rather have more draw (Meditate, maybe Promise of Power)?

Pulp_Fiction
04-08-2008, 11:49 PM
Manamorphose is awesome, it lets the deck use the Summoner's Pact set up in order to filter the green mana into black mana and Summoner's Pact -> Vine Dryad lets you use it as a pseudo mana source.

MD

4 Tendrils of Agony
1 Ill Gotten Gains
4 Infernal Tutor
4 Infernal Contract
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Land Grant
1 Bayou
1 Dryad Arbor
4 Summoner's Pact
1 Vine Dryad
4 Elvish Spirit Guide
4 Manamorphose
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox

SB
4 Goblin Charblecher
4 Xantid Swarm
4 Tomb of Urami

66% mana in SI is fucking nuts, I'm goldfishing at ludicrous speed.

You have no answer for Countertop. To be honest man, I really like your creativity but, all you have done to the deck is make it that much worse against a Chalice at 0. You also have no answer for Meddling Mage in the SB and no Empty the Warrens in the main. Also, IGG #2 has to be in the main, it lets you win a lot of games in which you shouldn't. I am not even going to start in on playing with the Pacts, as there have been a lot of discussions on this board already but in short they don't belong in SI. Now, in Flash, I understand the green pact, in High Tide I can understand Pact of Negation, but why would you take a deck, in particular a deck that is the fastest in the format, and make it more vulnerable to decks that are already really good against it? Xantid Swarm is also really bad, Cabal Therapy/Duress is a lot better. If you opponent resolves Countertop Xantid Swarm has almost no effect against a control player who knows what they are doing!

BreathWeapon
04-09-2008, 01:09 AM
I don't think you really understand the SI vs Threshold match up, if you let them resolve Counterbalance or Meddling Mage, then you are going to lose any way. The only way you can really deal with Counterbalance or Meddling Mage is to win the game before they resolve.

Being worse against Chalice at 0 is sort of irrelevant, over the course of a three game match, I'm going to win game one, and even if I lose game 2, I'm going to be on the play game 3. That said, I'm in a better position to deal with Chalice of the Void than the original version, because I can resolve Oxidize in the SB thru' ESG and I have 6 non 0cc creatures for Culling the Weak.

Xantid Swarm is a lot better than Cabal Therapy in Pact SI, because Xantid Swarm is easier to cast with ESG.

Pact SI isn't worse against the original SI's bad match ups, Pact SI is faster and it's Daze proof.

Also, it's not like the SB is set in stone.

Waikiki
04-14-2008, 06:26 AM
I've been goldfishing the pact SI list for a few times. And I'm allready going of T1 on regular basis. yet i wonder if some MD protection isn't needed?

Any imput on this?

Iranon
04-14-2008, 09:20 AM
From my testing, the fastest version is very similar to the ancient lists, with Glimpse of Nature in the place of Diabolic Intent (that version also makes conventional clocks almost irrelevant, meaning the opponent needs something backbreaking even for your bad draws). The Pact version doesn't even come close.

ESG allowing one to play around daze just makes it bad instead of horrible.

chocomel
04-14-2008, 11:41 AM
Hey guys,
In the weekend I played my first and second tournament with SI and i would like to thank you all for sharing your decklists and for the good discussions about SI.
I won the first tournament playing this list:

MB:
2 Bayou
4 Lotus Petal
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Chrome Mox
4 Dark Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Land Grant

4 Phyrexian Walkers
4 Shieldsphere

2 Ill Gotten Gains
4 Infernal Tutor
4 Infernal Contract
3 Cruel Bargain
1 Spoils of the vault
4 Cabal Therapy

3 Tendrils of Agony
1 Goblin Charbelcher

SB
4 Dark Confidant
4 Xantid Swarm
4 Naturalize
3 Smothers

Obviously is the spoils of the vault replacing my 4th cruel bargain that i don't have yet.
Standard sideboard, didn't have any experience with other sideboard hate so the list is pretty standard except the 3 smother's, i had 3 slots left and didn't knew where to use them for, until i found my pox side board and decided that smothers where better than nothing..

Short tournament summary:
Utrecht, 12-4-08 (Holland)
R1 - Elves
I lost the first round, due to Thorn mainboard, but keeping that one in mind I played first the next game and won, last game I boared naturalize's in and won again.
2-1

R2 - Elves
I won game 1, lost game 2 won game 3 in turn 1.
2-1

R3 - burn
I won 2-0 goldfishing all along

R4 - 43 land
I won game one in the second turn, game 2 i lost to Thorn and I boarded confidants in what was kind of a mistake. but i won the last round by letting my opponent play so i could drew an extra card and won turn 1
2-1

R5 - goblins
Game 1 i won with ease in turn 1.
Second game i was worried for a turn 2 chalice but than piledriver came :)
I won in the second turn.
2-0

Mol, 13-4-2008 (belgium)
R1 - Ub??
I won the first game t1 only saw an island and a brainstorm, i thought it was MUC so boarded 4 xantid swarms in.
Second game i was suprised to see my opponent playing an underground sea and duressing me, but that didn;t do the job and I won in my turn 2 after he played a confidant.
2-0

R2 - ********
Well kinda lost 2-0 for getting crucial things countered while trying to combo off...

R3 - goblins
I knew what my opponent was playing so I kept a semi-bad hand, knewing that i had 3-4 turn to draw bombs...
I only drew shit so i lost the first match..
The second match i kept a semi-bad hand to, i maneged to stall him to turn 5 by blocking his 2 lackeys with walls but i only drew shit so i lost :(
yeah yeah i know, shame on me, i should have won that one.
0-2

R4 - Tes
He made a small error by accidantly revealing a brainstorm while shuffeling, so my first cabal therapy was nameing fow, obviously missing and giving me the info that he was playing tes..
The second was was naming dark ritual but ofcourse he brainstormed it away and that was just fool play from my side.
I won the game 2-1 simply be being faster, but had a nice chat with my opponent and both dropping dark confidants game 2:)

R5 - Fish
I won with ease game one, but lost the second game to chalice.
Third game i played a chrome mox t1 having 2 mana with a bayou and a naturalize in my hand and was simply building my hand.
He played a chalice for 1 and a chalice for 0 the second turn but by naturalizing his chalice 1 and me having enough fuel to powerup the engine i won in my next turn.

R6 - Doran with confi's, goyf's etc...
I lost game one after 1 dures and 1 hymn by comboing of asap, i played a tendrills for 20, couldn't storm for more but that @#@%#$% played a swords on his tarmogoyf gaining some lifes, he ending up with 2 lives me on 31 and empty handed.
But shortly played an other goyf hitting my for 5 every turn and me ofcourse didn't have any chance...
Second game i won by using belcher, couldn't storm he enough due to a leyline and only having cabal rituals.
Third game I lost too don't know why

So I ended up playing 3-3 on 50 man tournament ending up as 30st.

Now something completely different,
Is manamorphose making worth the cut/risk to play in any SI deck?
Giving possible color fix when used with SSG, ESG, ETW, free storm and draw.
But not acually giving any netto mana, an infestment of 2 and only hurting you when daze-ed?

Greetings,
Michel

PS I only played like 5 games with my SI in real live, before i played my first tournament with it... It actually plays much and much better than MWS, I had to muligan less and fizzeld less, and at first i didn't believed the shuffeler is crap, but i really sucks monkey balls, so i would recommend you to proxie any combo deck and than goldfish it, because it actually plays out better.

B.C.
04-14-2008, 12:00 PM
Congratulations on the good results. It looks like your list is missing 4 cards. Cabal Therapy?

BreathWeapon
04-14-2008, 12:46 PM
I've been goldfishing the pact SI list for a few times. And I'm allready going of T1 on regular basis. yet i wonder if some MD protection isn't needed?

Any imput on this?

Goblin Charbelcher and Xantid Swarm in the SB are SBed in against counters/stifle.

@Iranon

Isn't Glimpse of Nature just win more? I never got how it was suppose to make the deck go faster, it just stopped the Draw 4 chain from wiping if you had G mana open when I ran it. Do you cut the win conditions for ESG so you can cast it easier or something?

B.C.
04-14-2008, 01:21 PM
I also played SI in a tournament over the weekend, although I didn't do very well. I'm just afraid that it's a bad choice for the current metagame, at least for the New England metagame, which is riddled with Dragon Stompy and Dreadstill. Anyway, here's a short report:

My list:

2 Bayou
4 Land Grant
4 D Rit
4 C Rit
4 Culling
4 LED
4 Chrome
4 Petal
3 SSG
4 Sphere
4 Walker
4 I Tutor
4 I Contract
4 C Bargain
2 IGG
2 Tendrils
2 EtW
1 Belcher

SB:
4 Therapy
4 Duress
4 Urami
3 Tombstalker

Round 1 - RWGB Zoo
Game 1 I kill him first turn with IGG loop. Game 2 I do not sideboard. He opens with Thoughtseize followed by Cabal Therapy, flashback Therapy, get down a Pyro Pillar. I mini Tendrils, but it isn't enough. Game 3 I am on the play and have a very good hand. I accelerate into a D4, another D4, another D4, another D4. I am left at 1 life, BBR in pool, Petal and LED on the board, and nothing to play. Burn to death (inconceivable!). I drew 16 cards in this game and never found a Tendrils/EtW/Belcher/I Tutor. I lose the match while my opponent did not have a turn in 2 out of the 3 games.

Round 2 - Dragon Stompy
Game 1 I win the roll and play first. I dump 16 goblins on the table turn 1. He can't stop 'em. Game 2 I do not sideboard. He plays first and goes Ancient Tomb, SSG, Trinisphere. I scoop 'em up. Game 3 I'm on the play and I go Land Grant, Chrome Mox, I Tutor finding second LED. On my second turn I can do I Tutor/2 LED loop for the win as long as he does not play Trinisphere on his first turn again, but he does. Lose.

Round 3 - UGB Threshold type deck
Game 1 he counters an early spell or Thoughseizes or something, gets down a blind Counterbalance, but no Top. He does not draw a creature ever, I rebuild slowly and Tendrils for lethal.
Game 2 I bring in all 15 SB cards. I get a turn 2 or 3 Urami token and he goes the distance. Win. I am very pleased with the performance of this sideboard against blue-based control. Dreadstill might not be included in this, as they have a much faster clock, but it may still be the best option.

Round 4 - Angry Beavers (BG Dredge Goyf deck)
Game 1 he doesn't do anything I care about and I win quickly.
Game 2 (no board) he Thoughtseizes, but then doesn't do anything else to disrupt me. I win quickly again.

Round 5 - Slivers
Game 1 I don't really remember, but I lose. Stifle maybe? Game 2 I bring in all 15. I get a fairly early Tombstalker, followed by a Urami. They meet some resistance with flying Slivers, but they get through for the win. Game 3 he tells me he's bringing his STPs back in, and I know I should go back to my original build, but it's been a long day and I'm not in contention, so I just say screw it. I drop an early Urami, which gets Swordsed. I lose.

Overall, I would say the deck performed pretty well. There were just a couple things that didn't go my way. I didn't get to play Dreadstill, which is too bad because I want to see how that matchup goes. From my testing I think it would go very very badly, but you can never really tell.

emidln
04-14-2008, 01:23 PM
The list is either missing 4 Therapy or 4 Serum Powder. I've been feeding people 4 Serum Powder lists recently, so it possible it could have been Powder. It seems like Powder would have been mentioned in the report though.

Willoe
04-14-2008, 01:31 PM
B.C. aren't you making a serious mistake of playing 4 Bayou and 2 Land Grant? I'd play 4 Land Grant and 2 Bayou. Of course, I don't know, so please explain :D

The reason why I'm concerned is that you often deal nonlethal damage with Belcher. That's why.

Other than that, props on that tournament. Well played!

chocomel
04-14-2008, 01:47 PM
editet; ofcourse 4 cabal therapy's :)

B.C.
04-14-2008, 02:04 PM
B.C. aren't you making a serious mistake of playing 4 Bayou and 2 Land Grant? I'd play 4 Land Grant and 2 Bayou. Of course, I don't know, so please explain :D

The reason why I'm concerned is that you often deal nonlethal damage with Belcher. That's why.

Other than that, props on that tournament. Well played!

Yeah, sorry. It was actually 4 Land Grant, 2 Bayou. I've fixed it in the decklist. I've made that mistake before on tournament reports.

Willoe
04-14-2008, 02:19 PM
Fair enough, it was just, it's been a while since I quitted playing SI due to the very large presence of threshold in my meta. So I was just confused if this change was some new sort of tech :P

B.C.
04-14-2008, 03:56 PM
...4 Serum Powder...

I find this very very interesting. I've contemplated Serum Powder in SI before, but I have dismissed it because 1) Serum Powder can't be played from your hand very easily (and is not particularly useful if it is played), 2) It can't be imprinted on Chrome Mox. These two facts hurt the interaction with Infernal Tutor very badly. How much have you tested Powder in this deck? Do you have any preliminary impressions for us?

Iranon
04-14-2008, 05:04 PM
@ Breathweapon: I didn't really feel a need for ESGs... after all, you can imprint Land Grants or spare Glimpses. A few minor details change in play; for example making an educated guess whether to tap a Bayou or to imprint something on a Mox.

Interestingly, I also found that it made the deck more consistent. When you're mulliganing two useless hands into a questionable one, a chance to keep a combo going with minimal investment becomes extremely valuable. Also, it pretty much solved the problem of chaining draw4s into a pile of junk and mana burning to death.


EDIT:

@ emidln: Serum Powder? I don't understand the reasoning behind this. In actual play, it's almost a blank given the modest need for colourless mana and the initial cost of 3.

If you draw none in your opening grip, you made your deck worse for nothing.

If you draw one, your choice is 'take this 6-card hand or a random 7-card hand' instead of 'take this 7-card hand or a random 6-card hand'... the second might be ever so slightly better but it isn't worth diluting the deck. If you draw two, it's 'take this 5-card hand or a random 7-card hand' - which is worse.


I will happily play Serum Powder in decks that have consistency issues AND can go broken with only a few cards AND might want to actually cast it. Colourless Stax for example. But in combo decks with non-trivial colour requirements, it seems suboptimal filler.

Benie Bederios
04-14-2008, 06:16 PM
Yeah! discussion about the deck. So the QSI is dropped completely? I liked the list alot, but I don't see it back. Also how do you board, if you bring in the man-plan? do you remove kill conditions, mana or Draw?

BB

ps. Chocomel check your PM.

BreathWeapon
04-14-2008, 09:22 PM
Yeah! discussion about the deck. So the QSI is dropped completely? I liked the list alot, but I don't see it back. Also how do you board, if you bring in the man-plan? do you remove kill conditions, mana or Draw?

BB

ps. Chocomel check your PM.

The 4 Meditate lists are for Landstill metagames, in Counterbalance metagames being slower is counter productive.

Pulp_Fiction
04-15-2008, 12:33 AM
Yeah! discussion about the deck. So the QSI is dropped completely? I liked the list alot, but I don't see it back. Also how do you board, if you bring in the man-plan? do you remove kill conditions, mana or Draw?

BB

ps. Chocomel check your PM.

SI has always been the kind of forgotten about and unknown deck. Some people at my local card shop who have seen me play it before still think the deck is Belcher (I play the 2x Land version). QSI has been even less popular than SITES and 2x Land SI, emidIn played it for a while but, it just never really caught on. Fetchland Tendrils is a LOT better, more consistent and a lot faster. If you really want to play SI B.C.'s 2x Land version is IMOP the best version due to its consistency, resiliency, and speed. I built up QSI and really didn't like it much, it was just to slow and I could not stand the lack of Infernal Tutors and LEDs. Reading through the forum the deck didn't change much, the original QSI list on the first page is close to the optimal build for the deck and the SB greatly depends on your metagame. With QSI the man-plan is not good at all since the deck is blue and has access to Hurkyl's Recall, Echoing Truth, Wipe Away, and Rebuild in the SB. Hope this helps!

emidln
04-15-2008, 12:43 AM
SI has always been the kind of forgotten about and unknown deck. Some people at my local card shop who have seen me play it before still think the deck is Belcher (I play the 2x Land version). QSI has been even less popular than SITES and 2x Land SI, emidIn played it for a while but, it just never really caught on. Fetchland Tendrils is a LOT better, more consistent and a lot faster. If you really want to play SI B.C.'s 2x Land version is IMOP the best version due to its consistency, resiliency, and speed. I built up QSI and really didn't like it much, it was just to slow and I could not stand the lack of Infernal Tutors and LEDs. Reading through the forum the deck didn't change much, the original QSI list on the first page is close to the optimal build for the deck and the SB greatly depends on your metagame. With QSI the man-plan is not good at all since the deck is blue and has access to Hurkyl's Recall, Echoing Truth, Wipe Away, and Rebuild in the SB. Hope this helps!

I had a newer build of QSI with Ponders in it. I'll try to dig it up for posting at some point. QSI could pretty easily play through a CB without removing it (if you didn't manage to Therapy it away), but it took a lot more skill to play through than the relatively simple motions that Fetchland Tendrils goes through or the all out aggressive that Land Grant lists or SITES uses to beat CB.

Serum Powder is the only other card in the game of magic* that increases your black initial mana sources without requiring more lands or being a land itself. That is why I was playing it. It takes your IMS in a Land Grant build from 14 to 18. This is huge because IMS are what makes the deck capable of playing through hate as well as the major limiting factor in determining to keep a hand. I never really had a problem with it being a blank in my hand because it was increasing my goldfish percentage on turn one a substantial amount.

*That is legal in legacy anyway. Mox Jet, Black Lotus, and various unhinged cards will do it, but rather poorly if your intent is to not be DQd.

BreathWeapon
04-15-2008, 11:50 AM
If all Serum Powder is supposed to do is increase the B count, wouldn't it be easier just to add Tomb of Urami? If I were in mono-B SI, I'd 4x Tomb of Urami just for the "oops I win" factor any way.

emidln
04-15-2008, 12:01 PM
If all Serum Powder is supposed to do is increase the B count, wouldn't it be easier just to add Tomb of Urami? If I were in mono-B SI, I'd 4x Tomb of Urami just for the "oops I win" factor any way.

FAIL.


Serum Powder is the only other card in the game of magic that increases your black initial mana sources without requiring more lands or being a land itself.

BreathWeapon
04-15-2008, 01:04 PM
FAIL.

Uh huh, and what's the point of not increasing the land/threat count as opposed to creating 4 more bricks for the draw 4 chain? As long as Land Grant is cutting down on the total number of lands in the deck, and the deck isn't using Goblin Charbelcher (you don't use them in multiples any way) I don't see any reason to run Serum Powder over the alternatives.

Serum Powder works in Belcher because it's game plan isn't to go past it's first 7/8 cards; SI uses the exact opposite of that game plan, which makes Serum Powder a really dubious inclusion for solely producing B.

Edit: Being a reasonable SB card is also a serious boon.

chocomel
04-15-2008, 03:16 PM
Yeah I agree on that, serum sucks while comboing off...
And it'll make good hands bad for having 1 useless card, what could have been business.

About QSI:
In my limited experience with QSI i find myself comboing off a turn slower on avarage with Qsi than with SI.
And on top of that i see myself fizzling more often, due to not drawing business or not being able to combo further by not having blue mana to continue playing draw4's..

Last but not least;
I really think that 4 cabal therapy's (or at least 3 ) are needed mb:
it makes you save while comboing off, increase an extra storm when flashbacked and if really needed you can therapy your own to get in empty for a infernal tutor.

emidln
04-15-2008, 03:59 PM
Yeah I agree on that, serum sucks while comboing off...

SI mulls better than any other deck to begin with. One card will rarely affect that. The ability to help the mulling by throwing back obvious garbage hands without an IMS or business is a lot more relevant than the relatively few times you have a hand that is unplayable because of Serum Powder. Serum Powder is amazing in Land Grant SI. Playing a few hundred hands with it will immediately prove its worth.


In my limited experience with QSI i find myself comboing off a turn slower on avarage with Qsi than with SI.

This is pretty obvious. I stated this when I debuted the deck. QSI wants to win turns 2-4. SI wants to win turn 1.


And on top of that i see myself fizzling more often, due to not drawing business or not being able to combo further by not having blue mana to continue playing draw4's..

Almost everyone I've talked to has either had the deck perform amazingly or not at all. I never had an issue with consistency. It was more consistent than either TES or Iggy Pop for me. I never actually worked out why some people raved about the deck and other people couldn't win a game with it, but I'm guessing it has to do with the style of playing the deck.

@Breathweapon

The build I play with Serum Powder uses the following win conditions:

3 Tendrils of Agony
1 Goblin Charbelcher

It's rather obvious that if you aren't playing Belcher there is little reason to not add an additional land. Serum Powder was thought of with the Belcher alternate kill in mind.

Thehunter820
04-15-2008, 04:26 PM
SI mulls better than any other deck to begin with.

I dont necessarily agree with that, you rarely mull with burn, but it's usually a good hand after you do, however SI does mull very well.

BreathWeapon
04-15-2008, 06:36 PM
@Emidlen

The problem I have with the Belcher alternate win condition is that a singleton Belcher is asinine, why would you make your mana base vulnerable to disruption in exchange for the most inefficient alternate win condition of them all? How is a 7 colorless mana alternate win condition better than a 3R alternate win condition, and how is enough to warrant the Land Grant mana base over the dual/golden mana base?

I realize that Land Grant is storm, threshold and deck thinning, but it's not worth turning the opponent's counters and discards into stone rains. Land Grants only make sense when you are playing 4 Goblin Charbelcher, which lets you keep a hand solely on your win conditions. If you aren't going to homogenize SI/Belcher, then you really don't have any reason to play a SI variant with an inferior match up against Threshold/Landstill compared to SITES or QSI.

That's what puzzles me about Serum Powder, if you've found out that Land Grant SI's biggest weakness is the mana base, and you aren't utilizing Goblin Charbelcher, then why are you not just running lands? Having a disruptable mana base and then on top of that telegraphing it to your opponent so he can mulligan into Force of Will seems really bad.

Cire
04-15-2008, 06:43 PM
I have a question: how does this deck win against any deck with force of will? It looks like it dies to a single force of will, unless i'm playing it wrong (i'm using the pact version).. so for example

1st game: i win easy, but now they know what i'm playing.
2nd game: they mulligan into relevant disruption and push my shit in.
3rd game: they mulligan into force of will, and ....i lose. Again i might be playing the pact version wrong but that what i find so far.

BreathWeapon
04-15-2008, 06:53 PM
I have a question: how does this deck win against any deck with force of will? It looks like it dies to a single force of will, unless i'm playing it wrong (i'm using the pact version).. so for example

1st game: i win easy, but now they know what i'm playing.
2nd game: they mulligan into relevant disruption and push my shit in.
3rd game: they mulligan into force of will, and ....i lose. Again i might be playing the pact version wrong but that what i find so far.

-3 Tendrils of Agony, -1 Vine Dryad and -4 Manamorphose for +4 Goblin Charbelcher and +4 Xantid Swarm after Swords to Plowshares is SBed out.

That's your best chance, you just have to hope that mulling into Force of Will gives you enough card advantage to over power them or Xantid Swarm shows up on time. Goblin Charbelcher is there to circumvent Stifle and Meddling Mage and reduce mulligans.

Cire
04-15-2008, 06:57 PM
A question about Xantid Swarm. Usually when i go off its either turn 1 or turn 2, so they usually only have time to have a single force up their hand, or a daze. Now daze is relatively easy to get around, and they usually don't have time to put down Counter-top, so is Xantid swarm's 1 converted mana cost and 1 turn delay worth the fear of extra force and spell snare (or controls speed to establish more counters in hand) over simply Pact of negation which is free?

Edit- and was rushwood legate considered SB as a potential target to replace vine dryad against decks that run islands?

BreathWeapon
04-15-2008, 09:44 PM
I used Pact of Negation game 2 on the draw, assuming that Xantid Swarm go would Time Walk the opponent into Counterbalance/Meddling Mage, but I found Pact of Negation was counter productive in the control match up, where I had to deal with counter walls + Stifle and wanted time to set up. Pact of Negation doesn't protect the IGG chain either, so the deck is committed to winning with the Draw 4 chain or Goblin Charbelcher. Pact of Negation isn't a bad choice, it's just more committal than Xantid Swarm and not as flexible. On the other hand, being able to board in Xantid Swarm and/or Pact of Negation could prevent the opponent from SBing in/out their spot removal, gaining dead card advantage.

The problem with Rushwood Legate is that it's useless on the play, on the draw your opponent has to sacrifice his fetchland and you have to Land Grant -> Bayou. He's probably worth the SB slot, but I think he's really conditional. Any free green creature deserves to be considered tho', so give it a whirl and let me know how it works out.

Edit: You can't remove Vine Dryad for Rushwood Legate unless you're playing Xantid Swarm, but you could run both considering the Draw 4 chain will hit a Land Grant and a second free creature would be useful for Culling the Weak.

Also, don't think of Xantid Swarm as just disruption, it's disruption and a target for Culling the Weak, so you're getting a 2 for 1 deal on him. He use to be the main target before I used Manamorphose and Vine Dryad.

chocomel
04-16-2008, 06:18 AM
How about boarding in dark confidant?
They'll probally counter it, but when it resolves it's card advantage for you..

Cire
04-17-2008, 10:41 PM
Heres a build I'm working on, so far in gold fishing its been pretty good and it had more disruption MD than in most SI builds

2 G/B Dual
1 Dryad Arbor
-3 land

2 Xantid Swarm
3 Elvish Spirit Guide
-5 Creatures

4 Pact of Negation
4 Infernal Tutor
4 Summoner's Pact
4 Infernal Contract
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Land Grant
4 Manamorphose
4 Dark Ritual
4 Culling the Weak
4 Lion's Eye Diamond
4 Lotus Petal
4 Chrome Mox
2 Tendrils of Agony
2 Cabal Ritual
-52 other spells

chocomel
04-19-2008, 09:41 AM
Well i did some testing with your deck on mws but for me it isn't really working out..
I like the idea of playin with summoners pact but to many times i cant tutor for a creature and play it at the same time.
Example: playing land grant for bayou, dark ritual, bargain draw s.pact, culling, lotus petal, xantid swarm: the problem is that i cant infest mana to play the xantid swarm and tutoring for the dryad won't help me either, cause i allready played land. The only positive effect is that it will increase my storm with 1 (2 if i play my pact of negotiation on it).
Playing land grant for dryad is also possible, but it will cost me 1 turn, 1 card and it wont produce black, ofcourse i can play manamorphose but that make me rely on 2 cards to produce bb ( lotus petal or ESG )

I don't think its the right configuration for the deck at the moment.

I understand the choice of playing pact of negotiation over cabal therapy;
the downside of pact is that is to reactive, you cant play turn 1 pact and know what your opponent is playing, or you cant play pac t1 to remove a threat... which seems to be rather important.
Also pact can't be flash backed to increase storm count and to gain treshhold, so pact isn't a very good choice...

But i think summoner's pact can be usefull in the old SI built playing it at least with 6 other tall man due not losing cabal therapy's effectiveness and more inportant culling the weak's

BreathWeapon
04-19-2008, 11:21 AM
Uh, in the example Summoner's Pact -> Elvish Spirit Guide, cast Xantid Swarm, sacrifice Xantid Swarm to cast Culling the Weak? The deck is full of mana, if the Summoner's Pact and Xantid Swarm were robots then it wouldn't have worked either.

chocomel
04-19-2008, 03:31 PM
Ok, may be a bad example but the point is allmost all creatures will either cost you manna or slow you a turn down..

Cire
04-19-2008, 04:00 PM
The Dryad Arbor in my list doesn't cost you mana? I don't know how you've been gold fishing my list, but i consistently get turn 1/2 kills with PoN back up.

marit
05-01-2008, 10:37 PM
Okay, I just goldfished 20 games with Emidln's Serum Powder list.
// Deck file for Magic Workstation (http://www.magicworkstation.com)

// Lands
2 [B] Bayou

// Creatures
4 [AL] Shield Sphere
4 [VI] Phyrexian Walker

// Spells
4 [MI] Lion's Eye Diamond
2 [US] Ill-Gotten Gains
3 [SC] Tendrils of Agony
4 [TE] Lotus Petal
4 [TO] Cabal Ritual
4 [B] Dark Ritual
4 [PT] Cruel Bargain
4 [6E] Infernal Contract
4 [DIS] Infernal Tutor
4 [EX] Culling the Weak
4 [MM] Land Grant
4 [MR] Chrome Mox
1 [MR] Goblin Charbelcher
4 [DS] Serum Powder

// Sideboard
SB: 4 [US] Duress
SB: 4 [JU] Cabal Therapy
SB: 4 [SOK] Tomb of Urami
SB: 3 [FUT] Tombstalker

*Disclaimer to using serum powder*
If you take a serum mull, it messes up the ratio of mana to business spells, so if you go by statistics it requires recalculation.

1. I mull to 6, use a serum powder mull, draw 4 into nothing and finaly win turn 6.

2. I keep initial 7, draw 4 into no mana, and don't draw any until turn 10, when I win.

3. I mull to 6, take a serum powder mull, and win turn 2.

4. I serum mull my initial 7, and win turn 1.

5. I mull to 6, take a serum mull, mull to 5, take a serum mull and win turn 3.

6. I straight up win turn 1.

7. I Serum mull my 7, and win turn 1.

8. I win turn 2.

9. I mull to 6 and win turn 2.

10. I don't mull, and win turn 3. I drew a serum off my draw 4, which clogged my infernal tutor, so it could have been a turn 2.

11. I serum mull my 7 and win turn 1.

12. I mull to 6, double serum mull and win turn 1.

13. I serum mull my 7, mull to 6, drop an unfueled belcher T1 and win T2.

14. I mull to 5, draw no business of my draw 4, and win T6.

15. I keep my initial 7 with powder in it, 2 draw 4's into nothing, and win turn 6.

16. I double serum mull my 7, and win T1.

17. I serum mull my 7, mull to 6, serum mull again, and win T2.

18. I mull to 5, serum mull twice, and win turn 1.

19. I mull to 6 and win turn 3.

20. I serum mull my first 7 and belch turn 1 for 32.

I prefer the version without serum powder. I missed EtW a lot, and I don't know how long I could keep calculating semi-accurate statistics in a tourney (when you rfg with powder, it changes the # and ratio of cards in your deck), I got lazy after about 11 games. Just some food for thought.

emidln
05-01-2008, 11:25 PM
Thanks for the testing Marit!

I put together these numbers from the (extremely) small sample you generated:

Bad Serum Mull: 2/(6,3)
Good Serum Mull: 10/(2,1,1,1,1,2,1,2,1,1)
No Serum Mull: 8/(10,1,2,2,4,6,6,3)
Serum Powder Hinders: 2

Conclusions:

The number of times you Serum Mull and it results in a later than turn 2 kill was two (10% of the total hands, 17% of the times you used Serum Powder) with an average kill of turn 4.5.

The number of times you Serum Mull and it results in a turn 1 or turn 2 kill was ten times (50% of the total hands, 83% of the times you used Serum Powder) with an average kill of turn 1.3.

The number of times you didn't Serum Powder mull and it results in a turn 1 or turn 2 kill was three (15% of the total hands) with an average kill of turn 4.25. Of these hands, one had a dead Serum Powder in it and one hand drew a Serum Powder that could have otherwise resulted in one turn faster kill. The total amount of times that Serum Powder was a nuisance was two (10% of the hands).

In 20% of the hands, Serum Powder hindered the overall gameplan. In 50% of the hands, Serum Powder helped achieve a turn one or turn two kill. That leaves 30% of the hands unaffected one way or another by Serum Powder's inclusion.

Now, I realize that the results and statistics generated from them are potentially inaccurate at best, and completely misleading at worst, but they show (at least at first glance on this small sample size) an interesting trend of improving hand quality more than the hand quality is hindered. I'll try to find some time to take notes on a few hundred hands to get some more results.

A major question facing the potential inclusion of Serum Powder, even if it would prove to be a major theoretical boon to goldfish speed and hand strength would be is the added difficulty worth it. SI works by a fairly constant set of statistics that are easily memorized and worked from, but Serum Powder severely distorts the probabilities making planning more difficult.

BreathWeapon
05-02-2008, 01:47 AM
Even worse, Serum Powder says, "Mulligan for Force of Will" right on the card, which makes your worst match ups worse for little to no significant gain against your best match ups.

chocomel
05-06-2008, 03:51 PM
Hey guys,
I won my second tournament with SI last weekend using the same list that I used before and if you guys are interested i'll post a tourney report..
I won 2 taigas and a bad lands so my belcher deck is finished too :)

B.C.
05-06-2008, 06:19 PM
Hey guys,
I won my second tournament with SI last weekend using the same list that I used before and if you guys are interested i'll post a tourney report..
I won 2 taigas and a bad lands so my belcher deck is finished too :)

Congratulations on the win. I'd be interested in seeing a tournament report. I am always curious about how specific matchups go in a tournament setting.

chocomel
05-07-2008, 12:19 PM
Ok then here it goes:

R 1 - Dragon Stompy
G1

Ok ok I knew what he was playing, 'cause he is a friend of mine...
So i was on the play, played a cabal therapy naming trinisphere, which he had in and revealing 2 lands and to powder keg, because i played cabalT with a chrome mox i decided to flashback therapy rermoving 2 keg's and finally winning turn 3-4.

G2
I tried to storm early game which was working quite well until I was forced to play a spoils of the vault, I named infernal tutor, cause i play 4 tutors and 3 tendrils but commited suicide by not finding a tutor in the top 10 cards.

G3
I won in the first turn


R 2 - Eva Green
G 1
Playing a very agressive built he was on 16 lives turn 3 and with not that hard resistance I won in my turn 3.

G2
He was on the play, started swamp, dark ritual, hippy
And I drew just the right thing to win in my turn 1.

R3 - ********
G1
Well it was kind of funny because I was talking earlier with the ******** player and said something that my wb Pox deck beats counterbalance and he assumed that I was playing pox...
So he kept what he thought was a good hand against pox and i won turn 2 while he wasn't having any fows or stifle's.

G2
He was prepared this time but it didn't make any difference...
He couldn't find a fow or stifle and I won turn 2.

R4 - Landstill
R1
He played plains go
I didn't knew what he was playing and assumed he didn't play any counters..
The second and third turn he played 2 mishra's factory's and attacked once..
So i could combo of turn 3 but than it happend: FoW on cruel bargain i was like wtf is this and was kind of shocked cause i had imprinted my second cabal therapy in my chromo mox, but he was mana screwed and i won 3-4 turns later.

G2 First time i boared stuff in: dark confidants...
He was on the play didn't do anything interesting turn 1 and it was my turn..
I drew a card played a petal, dark ritual, confidant, ( still no fow so I decided wtf let's do this) played an other dark ritual drew 4 cards just enough to keep going and won finally with a tendrills

Top 4
G1 - Belcher
Well he won game by me trying to combo of turn 2 and finally finding myself getting fizzeld so that really sucked..
G2
I won turn 2 just by being quicker...
G3
I had 2 Led's 1 belcher, 1 cabal tirual, 1 Land grant and some other irelevant stuff, I took my chances (which where heavilly improved because my opponent mulled to 4)
First I drew an other cabal... then another one, me getting nervous there,.. and then finally another land grant, so won be using his own major threat.

Final Round
My Dragon stompy friend was very lucky and had to play against me for the first prize...
The first prize where 3 taigas and the 2nd where 2 bad lands
I only wanted 2 taigas and he knew I beated everyone i played against so we splited, me getting 2 taigas and a bad lands and he the other cards

marit
05-07-2008, 06:57 PM
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Control becomes such an easier matchup when they don't draw counters. Congrats on the finish though; but one question. Has the spoils ever been better than a draw4? I know it's because you only have 3 bargains, but I was thinking of testing it when I get the time.