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Lego
12-22-2005, 07:37 AM
I've come to the conclusion from my personal testing that Mongoose is needed in the deck (plus I just can't not play an untargetable 3/3 for G). I currently have him playing the role of Meddling Mage in the main, with Mage in the side, but that's only because I need to find 3 more mages. If I run Mage and Needle main, I'll test out Peek, I had forgotten about that one (I ran it once in Trix, just to mess with people).

I am seriously considering switching to the red version though. Has anyone done extensive testing with this? It seems to me like it would give you a much better match against Pikula which, for better or worse, should become a metagame prescence. Better game against Pikula, Goblins, Elves, etc., worse game against Solidarity, Nausea, Iggy Pop, etc. does that sound about right? How does it do (compared to the white splash) against the control decks like Landstill, MWC, and Rift, as well as things that are starting to get big like Dredge-a-Tog. There were some thoughts posted earlier about it, but no one seems to have done any extensive testing.

If no one has done the testing, I'll throw together a gauntlet and run the white splash and the red splash through it and let you know how my results go. I feel like something like that has already been done though.

dryadfanatic724
12-22-2005, 09:58 AM
Well Lego, if you play the red version, you have Fire, which is a house against goblins. Elves is non-existent anyway and I don't see any difference vs. Pikula homebrew. However, if you cut white, you lose out on Meddling mage, which is good against (almost) everything. Solidarity/IGG loses to Mage (this is the truth; no matter how much they say about ridding the mage).
Vs. straight up control though, both builds should have an egde. The white build can STP big guys and Mage their nasty removal or their STPs (although you then, don't want to be holding any) and if you play the red version, there's the chance that you can burn them out. Vs. Dredgeatog or Straight up B/U tog, the white version is better because of STP and Mage (you're not going to burn a Psychatog to death, although Ice can give you enough time to win. I would stick with either one; just don't play 4 colors if you live in the states because Wastelands were way more prevalent than at Lille; I mean when you play 4 color w/ that many non-basics, you're screaming: "WASTELAND ME". If you rip land, its OK, but when you don't see one for a while, you 'll probably die.

Lego
12-22-2005, 10:20 AM
I'm aware that Elves isn't a presence, I just always like to include it in my deck analysis ;) In theory it's got some game though. But on to more pertanent dicussion.

The red version should in theory do much better against Pikula because it's got Pyroclasm, and Fledgling Dragon doesn't die to Perish. I haven't played the matchup, but on paper the red splash has a much better matchup against Pikula than the white splash.

SpencerForHire
12-22-2005, 11:25 AM
My current cantrip setup is:
4 Brainstorm
3 Serum Vision
3 Mental Note
4 AK

I Don't feel that I need the fourth mental note and I really dislike Serum vision thanks to it's sorcery speed no matter how good it may be. AK over predict has been tried and tried again and at the moment AKs have been absolutely amazing for me. If I ever want to stop an enlightened tutor I'll just counter it.

I'm not sure if anyone realizes this but Pikula can be alot easier if you protect your lands with Dazes. This makes the Pikula matchup somewhat easier, (at least the testing that I have done) however, this still doesn't make the matchup a walk in the park thanks to their hand disruption. My goal when playing them is to get an untargetable on the board as soon as possible and just take chunks out of their life while struggling not to lose permanents and CA. If you can stop their initial burst than you should be able to answer their topdecks without too much difficulty.

Nightmare
12-22-2005, 12:02 PM
If you're running Mage MD, name Vindicate game 1, and If they don't have one yet, Cursed Scroll. This basically shuts them off from killing your men. After that, you should win through their card advantage anyway. Dazing a Vindicate or Sinkhole targeting a land is one of my favorite plays. Sometimes, they even pay the 1, to only have it countered on resolution anyway.

dryadfanatic724
12-22-2005, 02:15 PM
@ Gimbles, finally, someone agrees with me on AK usage.
@ Mr. nightmare - Daze is a free counter against any LD, but Misdirectioning Hymn/Sinkhole is even funner (if that's even a real word)
Also, usually once their scroll is online, the only guy thay can kill is Mage - while your other guys continue to smash face. Perish on the other hand is a problem, but I'm not about to play Spectral Shift or some bullshit like that to stop them. This does give me a better reason to play red version though.
In the mirror, who has the more favorable matchup (game 1), Red or White build?

Magic Trick
12-22-2005, 04:59 PM
My draw is:
4 Serum Visions
4 Mental Note
4 Predict
4 Brainstorm

I want to cut 2 of either mental note/serum visions but I don't know which and I don't really know what to put in for them. Here's my list, if you have any suggestions for what to put in for them, please be my guest, and I don't have Pithing Needles, that's why you don't see them, and I don't think they're that amazing enough for me to get them, although if more wastelands show up I'll probably have to get some.
17 land
3 Tropical Island
3 Tundra
3 Windwept Heath
4 Flooded Strand
2 Island
1 Forest
1 Plains

11 creatures
4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Werebear
3 Mystic Enforcer

10 counters
4 Force of Will
3 Daze
3 Counterspell

6 removal
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Chain of Vapor (there's some random crap in my metagame, like worship and stuff and this is my only answer to it game 1, plus it helps against reanimator which is very popular in my area)

16 draw
4 Serum Visions
4 Mental Note
4 Predict
4 Brainstorm

15 sideboard
2 Worship
2 Hydroblast
2 Blue Elemental Blast
3 Meddling Mage
3 Tormod's Crypt
3 Naturalize

I think the white version is much better against Pikkula because of Mystic Enforcer's "cant touch this" ability haha. Of course you might not use him in your build so I don't know. He's a house against the deck so I think the white version would be probably 60:40 against the deck.

For the mirror I definitely think white has the advantage. Red's burn can only go to your case, since it cant kill mongoose, warebear, or enforcer. The white version has more draw usually and therefore faster threshhold/card avantage.

Lego
12-23-2005, 01:11 AM
@ Magic Trick: if you want to go down to 14 Cantrips, I would definitely drop the Mental Note over Serum Visions. Serum Visions is, in my opinion, one of the most powerful cards in the deck, especially if you're already playing Predict.

As for the Pikula matchup, I don't think Mystic Enforcer's pro-black is nearly as important as you think, even less so because they are often playing Perish in the side. This, and Pyroclasm in red give the red splash a much better matchup, at least on paper. It's certainly a very hard matchup, and the testing results I've gotten are all vastly different, so I'm assuming it comes down to playskill a lot.

SpencerForHire
12-23-2005, 02:21 AM
The BW Confidant matchup is really based on opening hands. Fighting off their early threats is tough. Having Dazes for their LD and cantrips such as brainstorm to throw off their discard can mean alot. Once that initial rush of disruption is overwith like I said before, if you can stabilize your hand you can easily pick up a win as your CA is vastly superior to theirs.

Bryant Cook
12-24-2005, 12:30 PM
Has anyone on the boards thought about a 1x dual in thier deck? Like a savannah or taiga? Kadilak and myself were talking about it and have found it turns hands that you would mull into playable ones. I think everyone knows what I'm talking about, those hands when you get 2 bears, a mage, cantrips, an island and a fetch. Or fire/ice, magma jet, bear, goose, island, and a fetch. Just wierd situations that happen to occur alot, I've found play 1 non-blue dual helps out alot and others should test and see if they like the results or not.
As for the deadguy match-up I sit down and think oh great,... they got the bye. I've never lost to the deck in a tournament, brainstorm or serum visions turn 1-3 usually screws up them blowing thier load. Daze works on this also, keep confidant off the table and don't let shade resolve and it's a walk in the park.

Magic Trick
12-24-2005, 02:27 PM
so you play the 4 color version then? U/G/W/R? I don'tknow what your mana-setup looks like but you might wanna try and not run so many non-basics. Or maybe just add a land in general since you're more mana dependant.

we should analyze the advantage disadvantages to playing U/G/W over U/G/R or even play U/GW/R for the following matchups:
Goblins
Soliditary
Mirror (U/G/W-U/G/R-U/G/W/R)
dead guy ale
Landstill
Survival
Angel Stompy/White Controll

any other good decks you can think of

Obfuscate Freely
12-24-2005, 02:55 PM
Adding a single copy of the non-blue dual is something I've considered, but never actually wanted. To fit it in, you either have to cut a blue source for it or up the land count, and it isn't worth either. I mean, I don't even run a basic Mountain.

I usually judge hands as keepable as long as they have blue mana and cantrips. Most everything else (including offcolor mana) will sort itself out as you fix your hand and draws.

Of course, my build is significantly different from yours, Wastedlife. I only have 4 red cards in the main. I also play 3 Counterspell, so I find nonblue lands poor in general. But what specifically does your manabase look like with the offcolor dual added?



Edited By Obfuscate Freely on 1135454174

Bryant Cook
12-24-2005, 04:36 PM
My mana base looks like..

3 Wooded Foothills
2 Flooded strand
3 Volcanic Island
4 Tropical island
1 Taiga
1 Mountain
1 Forest
2 Island

It's amazingly stable, I rarely ever get color screwed.

EDIT: opps 4 trop.

Obfuscate Freely
12-24-2005, 11:24 PM
16 lands, and only 13 blue sources? Did you type that out correctly?

Kadishack
12-24-2005, 11:38 PM
Also, the UGr version can't support the taiga because if you are holding an island and a fetch, that fetch HAS TO BE A FOOTHILLS. Where in UGw, all of your fetches can find the savannah, too bad there are no off color fetches...damn wizards...

brolio
12-24-2005, 11:39 PM
16 lands, and only 13 blue sources? Did you type that out correctly?
That is typed out correctly. As I have been playing wastedlife's exact decklist i can attest that the mana base is extremly stable with RR harder to get than any other combination. And RR is only needed later game so you normaly have it by the time you need to cast dragon. Otherwise the manabase is rock solid, along with the decklist as a whole.

Bryant Cook
12-25-2005, 07:08 AM
16 lands, and only 13 blue sources? Did you type that out correctly?
That is typed out correctly. As I have been playing wastedlife's exact decklist i can attest that the mana base is extremly stable with RR harder to get than any other combination. And RR is only needed later game so you normaly have it by the time you need to cast dragon. Otherwise the manabase is rock solid, along with the decklist as a whole.
No, I forgot a tropical island there are 17 lands. I'm just a dumbass.

Lego
12-25-2005, 11:53 AM
too bad there are no off color fetches...damn wizards...
QFT (I've been doing that too much lately)

I've found many situations when I would want a Savannah, but I've never known what to cut for it. Incidentally, Polluted Delta doesn't grab it. My manabase looks like this:

4 Flooded Strand
2 Polluted Delta
2 Windswept Heath
3 Tropical Island
3 Tundra
2 Island
1 Plains
1 Forest

I suppose I'd have to drop a fetch to put it in.

I've been tempted to switch to the red version for some time, but lately I've been playing Meddling Mage and he's just been a house (although I always seem to be a luck-sack and name exactly the cards they have in hand. Maybe I'll bust out those Peeks). How many people have tested the UGrw versions? It seems like you'd have to run exactly 0 non-basics (maybe an Island) and that seems dangerous. Especially when you won't have any room for Pithing Needle ;) Thoughts?

Ridiculous Hat
12-25-2005, 05:36 PM
too bad there are no off color fetches...damn wizards...
QFT (I've been doing that too much lately)

I've found many situations when I would want a Savannah, but I've never known what to cut for it. Incidentally, Polluted Delta doesn't grab it. My manabase looks like this:

4 Flooded Strand
2 Polluted Delta
2 Windswept Heath
3 Tropical Island
3 Tundra
2 Island
1 Plains
1 Forest

I suppose I'd have to drop a fetch to put it in.

I've been tempted to switch to the red version for some time, but lately I've been playing Meddling Mage and he's just been a house (although I always seem to be a luck-sack and name exactly the cards they have in hand. Maybe I'll bust out those Peeks). How many people have tested the UGrw versions? It seems like you'd have to run exactly 0 non-basics (maybe an Island) and that seems dangerous. Especially when you won't have any room for Pithing Needle ;) Thoughts?
I find that eight fetches is too many. They really hinder the effectiveness of Predict, your vulnerability to wasteland, and your life points. I would recommend trying out my manabase from the gp-- I think I was only hurting for a color two games the entire tournament. 4 nonbasics works out fine.

Lego
12-26-2005, 07:16 PM
@ Hat: I've never considered the anti-synergy of Predict and Fetches, but I believe you may have a point there. I'll go ahead and drop my count to three, but would you still recommend playing 17 lands over 18? That would leave me one more slot in the deck, and I don't really know what to do with it. Hmm, maybe I'll include both Mongoose and Meddling Mage main.

Right now I've got 14 cantrips, 10 counters, 4 Mage, 4 Werebear, 3 Mystic Enforcer, 18 lands, 4 Swords, 3 Pithing Needle. What would you recommend I did if I dropped a land, and what do you think about the other numbers?

Ridiculous Hat
12-27-2005, 06:57 PM
@ Hat: I've never considered the anti-synergy of Predict and Fetches, but I believe you may have a point there. I'll go ahead and drop my count to three, but would you still recommend playing 17 lands over 18? That would leave me one more slot in the deck, and I don't really know what to do with it. Hmm, maybe I'll include both Mongoose and Meddling Mage main.

Right now I've got 14 cantrips, 10 counters, 4 Mage, 4 Werebear, 3 Mystic Enforcer, 18 lands, 4 Swords, 3 Pithing Needle. What would you recommend I did if I dropped a land, and what do you think about the other numbers?
That's basically what my list was only -1 land +1 cantrip. I've been pretty happy with 17 lands as long as you have needles for the wastelands.

Bryant Cook
12-29-2005, 11:38 AM
Hi everyone, I tested the mirror match against Mr.Nightmare tuesday. Nightmare was running U/G/w and I was running U/G/r, I ended up winning 13 out of the 16 games. The white version had a hardtime if I went full out aggro, But If I played control too long, I found myself with no cards in grip and not alot of creatures. I even came back and won a game I had no right winning, Nightmare had 2 enforcers and a bear, I had a goose. I took my turn being at 7, played a dragon and said," go." (he had a needle on dragon.) He swang balls out and lost 2 dudes to a fire/ice. I was at 1 and he still had an enforcer, I drew, then predict, double bolt, played goose and won shortly after. I typed this out to prove that this is one scenario where you can win out of enforcer. Many people think that U/G/r gro/ Threshold loses to a single enforcer which is not true. On a different note I'm with Ridiculous Hat oh the fetch lands because, honestly I hate seeing them when I have a predict in my hand. This is why I've never gone up to 6 or 7 fetch lands.

Ridiculous Hat
12-29-2005, 02:56 PM
Wastedlife, you have an extremely burn-heavy list of UGr-- this is probably why you have a potentially easier time against UGw and enforcers. I'm not sure if that approach is correct but it is worth nothing that the normal number of burn spells is 6 or 7.

Bryant Cook
12-29-2005, 03:25 PM
Wastedlife, you have an extremely burn-heavy list of UGr-- this is probably why you have a potentially easier time against UGw and enforcers. I'm not sure if that approach is correct but it is worth nothing that the normal number of burn spells is 6 or 7.
I don't see why everyone says my list is so burn-heavy. Yes it runs 12 burn spells but 8 of them cantrip. In my opinion magma jet is a cantrip, yes cantrips are supposed to draw cards. Magma jet scrys and is card advantage which should qualify for a cantrip. Yes, fire/ice is a cantrip I use Ice just as much as I use fire. My decklist may be different but it is still gro and follows the basic skeleton. It has 11+ cantrips, the 10 creatures, and the removal is higher because it doubles as a cantrip. Sorry if I come off defensive, but people need to see that magma jet, and fire/ice are not just burnspells. They may double as cantrips.
Edit: people shouldn't be afraid to try new things with gro/ threshold. One of the best things about the deck is that there is no solid list for it. Many people on this board are trying to stick to one list which in my opinion brings the deck down.

Bargoth
12-29-2005, 05:28 PM
I really like the design that Wastedlife came up with. The high number of Scry cards makes Predict alot better, and means that you can avoid playing mediocre cantrips. The high amount of burn is great against Goblins and the mirror... which seem to be the most played decks atm.

Given some of the wierd stuff in the GP Lille lists that made it to day two, I think Wastedlife's list looks pretty normal. It's not running 4 colors, or Dryad, or Troll Ascetic, or Meddling Mage as a 2-of, or Vineleasher Kudzu (all of which appeared in various day two decks of the GP)... I think the extra burn in place of mediocre cantrips is fine.

One thing though on your list a few pages back looked like it totaled out to 61 cards- 17 land, 10 creatures, 34 spells... wasn't sure if I miscounted or if you mistyped the list or if you run 61 cards? I've been trying out your list -1 Magma Jet and it looks good.

Ridiculous Hat
12-30-2005, 02:04 AM
I'm not saying your list is bad, I'm just saying that conventional wisdom does not apply to that matchup when you have double the normal amount of burn. Jet is close to a cantrip and I'm not deriding the card, but you can't really say that your list fits to normal conventions. Granted, not a lot is fitting to normal conventions at the moment, considering the format is about as wide open as it's ever been in terms of innovation-- but I'm just commenting on it.

Mulletus
12-30-2005, 04:46 AM
Ok I lost this matchup in the cuse once. So I decided that I might put some insight into the deck. All versions of gro/thresh have at least Blue as a main color and Green as the next splash. But it's really not a splash.... this deck is main Ug with x as the meta goods. I have flirted with a 5 color 'skirt hike' where I include a lil bit of the best BLUE/GREEN (and/or X) components available. This encludes White for stp/enforcer, Red for dragon/bolt, and black for TOG/demise. The deck is filled with 'one of's' like a Survival deck. But with the search lands and draw, it's extreamly viable. I don't have the faith yet to post or play it, but once built, I don't expect the 'Cuse ringers' to turn it down. It seems all decks have Ug as their main idea. The splash is so easy, don't limit yourselves! (I won't post without results)

PS: draw+search= 5 color gro

Zilla
12-30-2005, 05:20 AM
The problem with 5c Gro (aside from obvious mana stability problems) is that the black cards you listed are inferior to the cards in the other colors. Tog is crap in Gro. I could explain why, but it's already been discussed, and this is a widely agreed upon fact. Between Mongoose, Enforcer, Werebear and Mage, you've no shortage of badass threats. Tog is superfluous. As for Demise, it's decent, but it's not better than StP and Bolt at their respective roles. If black deserves splashing at all, it should be for Night's Whisper, and maaaybe Dark Confidant. That's pretty much all. Given that 4c Gro already has a metric fuckpile of viable threats and draw, I don't really see the fifth color as being at all necessary, aside from the "look what I can do" factor.

Lego
01-01-2006, 11:52 PM
I agree with Zilla. The only reason I could see adding black is for Night's Whisper, which is agreeably better than any cantrip we're playing yet. Dark Confidant seems too risky in a deck playing 4 Force of Will, and anything else that black offers seems to be taken care of in the other colors. I wouldn't want to run Duress or Therapy, so I'd shy away from the 5th color.

4 Color Gro provides some nice options, but the question is how the metagame is going to shape up. You seem to either be setting yourself up for Wasteland screw or color screw, neither of which seems to be worth the added power.

Brushwagg
01-02-2006, 12:36 AM
1st I thought the Black splash was kicked out of this thread???

But since it was brought up....

@Dark Confidant:This is the NUTS. It's a free draw, and beats for 2. If your worried about the Life Loss, it's not really a problem with Brainstorm, Serum Visions, and not to mention that your opponent will shoot, stab or remove it ASAP. Just remember the only life point that matters is your last. The other 19 are just resources to use for the WIN.

Bardo
01-03-2006, 02:41 PM
It's been a while since I've posted here, but I thought I'd post my BardoGro 2K6 list, this being a new year and all.

Legacy 3-color Threshold (UWG)
by Bardo

4 Brainstorm
4 Mental Note
4 Serum Visions
2 Sleight of Hand

4 Force of Will
4 Daze
2 Counterspell

4 Swords to Plowshares
1 Engineered Explosives

4 Meddling Mage
4 Werebear
3 Nimble Mongoose
2 Mystic Enforcer

4 Flooded Strand
2 Polluted Delta
2 Windswept Heath
3 Tropical Island
3 Tundra
2 Island
1 Plains
1 Forest

Sideboard
3 Hydroblast
3 Pithing Needle
2 Naturalize
2 Tivadar's Crusade
2 Armageddon / Tormod's Crypt
2 Worship
1 Nimble Mongoose

Out goes AK and Predict for the awesomeness of Mental Note. Why I wasn't running this before, I have no idea. I also upped the Daze count and dropped D Shoal after I lost the blue 2cc spells. EE is still in the deck and still doing its job. Mongeese were added as a 4-of, with 3 Meddling Mages; then I went with the 4 Mage / 3 Mongeese configuration which has been working even smoother. Mongoose #4 is in the sideboard.

Mental Note really has a home here, and is a key card in the mirror. I recommend everyone test it in place of their 2cc drawer.



Edited By bardo_trout on 1136353079

SpencerForHire
01-04-2006, 01:19 AM
I like Mental Note and AK, the combo randomly just nets you more cards. I think that having Cantrips only cost 1 blue can be nice but the extra colorless doesn't hurt those close matches when it nets you a nice half-hand of cards.

Zilla
01-04-2006, 04:54 AM
Mental Note really has a home here, and is a key card in the mirror. I recommend everyone test it in place of their 2cc drawer.
It's about time people started coming around. Mental Note is stupid good in Thresh. It often buys you a full turn or two on building thresh, cantrips into another card, can be pitched to FoW, only costs 1, is an instant, combos with Brainstorm in getting rid of dead cards, lets you go aggro when you need to, and is rock solid in the mirror when your opponent doesn't have it. There's really not much not to like.

Bardo
01-04-2006, 11:53 AM
Mental Note really has a home here, and is a key card in the mirror. I recommend everyone test it in place of their 2cc drawer.
It often buys you a full turn or two on building thresh, cantrips into another card, can be pitched to FoW, only costs 1, is an instant, combos with Brainstorm in getting rid of dead cards, lets you go aggro when you need to, and is rock solid in the mirror when your opponent doesn't have it.
I'd add to your list that it allows you to recover from hate (Crypt/Wretch*/Furnace) better than anything else other than answers to the hate (which are weak cards).

I'll also underscore your point about how valuable Mental Note is in the mirror.

Playing on MWS the other night, I lost my graveyard to Tormod's Crypt with 2 Mongeese and a Werebear on the board. The next turn I sac'd a fetchland and cast double-Mental Note to get back to threshold for two mana.

It's really solid.

* Assuming you've taken care of that dude.



Edited By bardo_trout on 1136393646

KillerWhiteRabbit
01-04-2006, 02:57 PM
http://sales.starcitygames.com/carddisplay.php?product=3429
I came across this a few days ago, searching through some old odyssey stuff. It's utter lack of evasion and/or trample really makes it useless, but if your metagame isn't very creature based, it could maybe be playable.

Now more to the point of my post:

@Bardo: Is the one EE really helping you in there? It seems like something that would hurt just as frequently as help, and only one of them with no way to tutor for it makes me dout it's usefullness.

It seems as though pithing needle has largley come out of mainboards, and I must ask, why is this? Is gobbos seriously on that much of a decline that we can forgoe the defences against them all together?

Bardo
01-04-2006, 04:50 PM
@Bardo: Is the one EE really helping you in there? It seems like something that would hurt just as frequently as help, and only one of them with no way to tutor for it makes me dout it's usefullness.

It seems as though pithing needle has largley come out of mainboards, and I must ask, why is this? Is gobbos seriously on that much of a decline that we can forgoe the defences against them all together?

A couple of observations about Engineered Explosives:

1. I conceive of that slot as an experimental module. And Mongoose #4, Enforcer #3, Misdirection, Stifle, Strategic Planning, and Pithing Needle are all reasonable alternatives to EE.

2. I'm aware of how random and janky it looks. But I could extoll the many ways in which EE rocks until my fingers fell off. Instead I'll just ctrl-c/-v some content from Pt 1 of the Legacy 'Super Gro' Primer and add some new content.

EE [x] nukes:

"x=0: Chalices of the Void, Chrome Mox and Mox Diamond, all morphs (face-down Exalted Angel), and all token creatures (Decree of Justice soldiers/angels, Roar of the Wurm, ZI tokens, etc.), Tormod's Crypt, etc.

x=1: Basking Rootwalla, Cursed Scroll, Disciple of the Vault, Goblin Welder, Grim Lavamancer, mana birds/elves, Savannah Lions, Sligh/Goblin dudes (Jackal Pup, Goblin Lackey, Mogg Fanatic, Skirk Prospector, Kird Ape), etc.

x=2: Arcbound Ravager, Defense Grid, Fish dudes (Cloud of Faeries, Spiketail Hatchling), Ghostly Prison, Gilded Drake, Goblin Piledriver, Isochron Scepter, Madness outlets (Wild Mongrel, Aquamoeba, Waterfront Bouncer), Nantuko Shade, Powder Keg, River Boa (blow it when your opponent is tapped out), Rofellos, Sphere of Resistance, Standstill (proactively), Suppression Field, Survival of the Fittest, White Weenies of all varieties, Withered Wretch

x=3: Back to Basics, Goblin Sharpshooter, Goblin Warchief, Hypnotic Specter, Ophidian, Phyrexian Negator, Psychatog, Stax lock parts (Trinisphere, Crucible of Worlds), Troll Ascetic (when opponent is tapped out), etc."

3. Running it as a 1-of isn't as bad as it looks, since you're running an assload of draw anyhow.

4. As 1-of, it's a surprise and a supplement to your removal package.

5. EE is a proxy for maindeck artifact/enchantment removal, which is often narrow; but EE can blow up d00ds just as easily.

6. EE is a cost inefficient solution to Goblins (I side it out), but it's not like Pithing Needle shuts down Goblins either. They can still Lackey their dudes or just pay the full cost. And it's not like Piledriver for 1R is uncastable...

7. Lastly, it's like my signature card or something. :)



Edited By bardo_trout on 1136411651

SpencerForHire
01-04-2006, 05:29 PM
Engineered Explosives can help you win against random matchups too. Although this wouldn't normally be something to take into consideration. It can cover alot of the sideboarding you just don't have room for with a single card.

AnwarA101
01-04-2006, 05:36 PM
Mental Note really has a home here, and is a key card in the mirror. I recommend everyone test it in place of their 2cc drawer.
It's about time people started coming around. Mental Note is stupid good in Thresh. It often buys you a full turn or two on building thresh, cantrips into another card, can be pitched to FoW, only costs 1, is an instant, combos with Brainstorm in getting rid of dead cards, lets you go aggro when you need to, and is rock solid in the mirror when your opponent doesn't have it. There's really not much not to like.
So is it okay to run a build with no real card advantage? I thought that Predict or AK provided some much needed card advantage that prevented the Gro player from running out of cards given that no other card in the deck creates card advantage.

Bardo
01-04-2006, 06:39 PM
So is it okay to run a build with no real card advantage? I thought that Predict or AK provided some much needed card advantage that prevented the Gro player from running out of cards given that no other card in the deck creates card advantage.
If you asked me two months ago, I would have said: "No; Threshold needs some form of CA so that it doesn't stall out." Now, however, I'll make a mea culpa: card advantage isn't necessary, but momentum is -- which Mental Note, along with the rest of the cantrips -- provide. And part of the problem with AK/Predict was that they actually made you stall out more in the early game.

At this point, we're operating from "deck advantage" with the reduced land count (anywhere from 4-8 less lands and consequently 4-8 more spells than our opponents) acting as virtual card advantage. Though the term "virtual" here has other applications I think.

Note also that the first place deck at Lille didn't run Predict or AK; just the 1cc non-CA cantrips.



Edited By bardo_trout on 1136418387

Zelyon
01-05-2006, 02:49 AM
My current decklist is as follows, I'll explain my card choices and would appreciate guidance in building a sideboard tuned to all strategies that this deck would be weak against. I also want any input you have on improving the main deck if you could suggest which cards to cut in place of the cards you think I should add. But I'm quite certain that this list is very close to the optimal build for a diverse metagame, save for the sideboard.

// Lands
3 [UN] Tundra
3 [UN] Tropical Island
4 [ON] Polluted Delta
4 [ON] Flooded Strand
1 [ON] Windswept Heath
1 [ON] Island
1 [ON] Forest (Could be Plains based on your sideboard)

// Creatures
2 [OD] Mystic Enforcer
4 [OD] Werebear
4 [OD] Nimble Mongoose
4 [PS] Meddling Mage

// Disruption
4 [UN] Swords to Plowshares
4 [AL] Force of Will
3 [7E] Counterspell
3 [NE] Daze
1 [MM] Engineered Explosives
1 [MR] Isochron Scepter
1 [BK] Umezawa's Jitte

// Cantrips
4 [JU] Mental Note
4 [FD] Serum Visions
4 [5E] Brainstorm

//Explanation of Mana Base
I decided to run one Island instead of two (along with the Forest) because fetchlands are incredibly effective at filling the graveyard, making Brainstorm the best card in the deck and getting me precisely the mana type that I need. Even when mana screwed (very rare) and facing Wasteland, one Island on the board and another fetchland to get me the land type I need (or a basic Plains/Forest) in a pinch is often enough to ward off Wastelands. And that Island can meanwhile be used to play cantrips and draw into more lands or Werebears to get over the mana shortage. I've cut the mana base to seventeen because with twelve 1cc Cantrips, you just don't need any more.

//Explanation of Creature Base
I feel more comfortable running atleast fourteen creatures though since more and more decks are boarding tons of pinpoint creature destruction to deal with this deck. The increased number of creatures means that the lone Umezawa's Jitte you run can always find a target and sweep the board of Goblins. The creature base needs no real explanation. While the Mystic Enforcer maybe a bit mana intensive, your Werebears can help out in a pinch.

//Explanation of Spell Base
The only questionable choices are Misdirection, Umezawa's Jitte and Isochron Sceptar. As one ofs that must be anticipated and played around, they employ the same strategy that Fish uses in Vintage. The only real argument against running them is in order to render your opponent's artifact destruction null and void. This is actually a great way to get your opponent to side out their enchantment/artifact destruction in a match up where siding in your Worships would be useful. In such a case, an Enforcer can stand in for Jitte and a Naturalize (or some other card) can stand in for Scepter.

Umezawa's Jitte is definately viable in this build since you run so many creatures. In addition, the card will clear the board of Goblins and will add to your life total against the burn decks. Between this and the Enforcers, the deck has plenty of finishers.

Misdirection is one of the best spells in the format and it boggles my mind that so few decks run it. It's a Counterspell against control decks and a way to redirect their own burn/creature destruction at their own permanents against everything else. With so many mirror matches, being able to redirect their countermagic is a huge boon. At worst it's Brainstorm/FoW fodder. Best of all, running it will force your opponents to play around it. Yes I tried Disrupting Shoal in this slot but it's almost never effective against any spell with a casting cost higher than one, and when it is it can often force you to discard a card that you really didn't want to. This deck doesn't run enough mana to make hardcasting it very likely. Revision: While Misdirection is good, Engineered Explosives has proven itself even more effective in it's slot.

Isochron Sceptar is another card that's very effective as 1 copy. Optimally, you'll be able to stick a Counterspell on it and lock them down completely. If not, Swords on it will terrorize any creature based deck. Even a Brainstorm on it can be an incredibly effective card drawing engine, especially considering the number of fetchlands you run. And with the amount of countermagic you run, resolving is never an issue.

I only advocate running three Daze in this deck. Time has shown three to be the optimal number to not be hindered if your opponent starts playing around the card in Vintage and the same is the case here.

//Explanation of cards that I didn't run

Pithing Needle - It's great against some decks, and close to dead against other. But more importantly, it's just worse than your other disruption options. Countermagic can answer any threat, not just a select few, and can provide that answer when you need it most, rather than forcing you to pay for it ahead of time in place of a threat. Meddling Mage is more versatile than it and comes with a 2/2 body to boot.

Predict /AK- Cantrips are most effective as 1 drops. You play them turn one to get you that extra land that you so often need. You play a threat turn 2, and you can play them again turn 3 in addition to either a threat or countermagic. They smoothen out your mana base so much more effectively as one drops. Besides, AK is just a horrid card in any deck that's designed to win quickly, or in any deck not running Intuition. Predict would take Serum Vision's slots and Predict, even when you rarely do manage to combo it with a Brainstorm, really isn't all that broken.

Splashing Red - The manabases becomes too unreliable at four colors. And there really isn't anything to cut, or anything that red offers that this deck desperately needs. White offers so many more game swinging spells that it was an obvious choice.

//Sideboard Cards Being Considered

Blue Elemental Blast - Hates the most prominent color in Legacy.
Seal of Cleansing/Serenity - The ultimate answer to randomness.
Engineered Explosives - The utimate answer to weenie hordes and randomness.
Worship - Burn, Madness, Goblins and other decks that go for the jugular.

Nightmare
01-05-2006, 07:33 AM
This is almost the exact build that's being discussed in the LMF, minus 2 cantrips, +1 Scepter, +1 Jitte. Why should we play those when the current build is already so strong?

Jander78
01-05-2006, 09:13 AM
Merged Topics

Zelyon
01-06-2006, 02:06 AM
i developed the deck independently. the differences are subtle but significant. i still advocate running 17 land as you are now running 12 1 mana cantrips. Paris wisely and you will never be mana screwed. 18 may have made sense when people were running two mana cantrips like Predict and AK (and even then, several players did fine with just 17). If you run 18, everytime you get mana flooded, just remember that land you just drew could have been a gamebreaking spell. If you wish, you can run a Plains in the sideboard for wasteland.

I advocate 9 fetchlands. People I recall were only running 6 or 7. Testing has found that 8 is even better to avoid wastelands, feed threshold, feed brainstorm, and thin out the deck. More testing I am certain will find that 9 is optimal.

Daze is an excellent card, but people will quickly start to play around it, and if you are running 4, you will often end up with multiple dead cards. If you run 3 Daze, it's often a disadvantage for your opponent to play around it. This holds true in Vintage and I think testing will find that the same is the case for legacy.

The Isochron Sceptar and Jitte are gamebreaking many of the times that you draw them. They also catch your opponent completely off guard since you only run 1 of each. But like I said, running 0 artifacts or enchantments MD is another very viable strategy too.

I suppose the MisD could be replaced with EE when Jitte and Spectar are played as well.

umbowta
01-06-2006, 10:51 AM
I was taking my first peek at the Guildpact spoiler on mtgnews.com and ran across this little beast. I would definitely consider running this over Fledgling Dragon. I hate the double R in dragon's cost.

Giant Solifuge - 2 r/g r/g
Creature - Insect
Trample, haste
Giant Solifuge can't be the target of spells or abilities.
You should respect all forms of life, but some forms of life are best respected from a distance.
4/3
Rare


More untargetability muhahahah. Oh yeah, it tramples. Did I mention haste? Hmmmm ???

:)

Jander78
01-06-2006, 01:24 PM
I was taking my first peek at the Guildpact spoiler on mtgnews.com and ran across this little beast. I would definitely consider running this over Fledgling Dragon. I hate the double R in dragon's cost.

Giant Solifuge - 2 r/g r/g
Creature - Insect
Trample, haste
Giant Solifuge can't be the target of spells or abilities.
You should respect all forms of life, but some forms of life are best respected from a distance.
4/3
Rare


More untargetability muhahahah. Oh yeah, it tramples. Did I mention haste? Hmmmm ???

:)
I believe it's the evasion that makes Fledgling Dragon such a powerful asset to this deck. I don't think a ground beater would be a good replacement as Dragon is extremely good in the mirror. Although the untargetability/haste is definately very nice.



Edited By Jander78 on 1136571885

Bardo
01-06-2006, 01:43 PM
There's only a limited number of slots above the 2cc point in this deck and Solifuge will simply be out-competed by the 4cc flyers (Enforcer and Dragon).

Lego
01-06-2006, 02:00 PM
I definitely think that guy has a place somewhere, he's a beat stick. I just don't think it's here. He definitely fits in RGSA, and I think he will be more than stellar there, but the lack of evasion is the real hard part. I often win by stalling the ground and beating in the air for the win.

@ Zelyon: The life loss from 9 fetches is too much. If you discount the life loss, I'd run 12 Fetches, but you just can't do that (I'm exagerating). If you have taken out Predict, they only have good synergy with the deck and make Brainstorm better, but you can't afford to be losing that much life over the course of the game. (IMO).

@ Bardo: It seems like the lack of card advantage shouldn't hurt too much. Play out all the good threats, and then when you get into the topdeck war with your opponent, you A) Will be drawing less land and B) Every time you draw a cantrip, you can just "pitch it" and draw again, so you have a much better chance of drawing into relevant stuff. Is this what you have found?

@ Mental Note: Yay for Ray of Revelation in the side ;) TECH :) (I once ran Ray of Revelation in the side of U/G Madness in Extended against Brain Freeze combo, and I would just randomly win, but unfortunately Solidarity is just too good for that.)

Bardo
01-06-2006, 02:28 PM
Legacy Threshold, Part 5: Reflections on Grand Prix: Lille (http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/article/11103.html), by yours truly


Zelyon: The life loss from 9 fetches is too much.

Nah. You're not going to draw all 9 of them.


It seems like the lack of card advantage shouldn't hurt too much.

It doesn't. The deck actually flows a lot smoother without the 2cc card drawers. CotV=1 is even more of a kick in the junk, but that was true before.


when you get into the topdeck war with your opponent, you A) Will be drawing less land and B) Every time you draw a cantrip, you can just "pitch it" and draw again, so you have a much better chance of drawing into relevant stuff. Is this what you have found?


Yes. This is an amazing deck for topdecking for those reasons: less land + land thinning + cantrips.


Mental Note

'Tis teh fi-shizzle.



Edited By bardo_trout on 1136576196

Bane of the Living
01-06-2006, 07:55 PM
Im not a thresh player by any means but I've played against it countless times.

Can someone from the inside explain to me why the deck plays NO cards with dredge? surely the deck can benifit from the turbo threshold enabling and the ability to recover quicker from crypt/furnace.

And wont the ability to win the attrition war count for something in the mirror/long games? thnx

Bardo
01-06-2006, 08:00 PM
Can someone from the inside explain to me why the deck plays NO cards with dredge?

Like some kind of Life from the Loam/Tranquil Thicket/Lonely Sandbar engine? It would just be too slow. The only thing that quickly comes to mind would be Darkblast in the UGb Thresh decks. But even then UGb is strictly inferior to UGW and URG.

With Mental Note, I hit threshold on turn 2 this afternoon.

Othersider
01-06-2006, 10:22 PM
[quote:post_uid14="bardo_trout"][color=#000000:post_uid14]With Mental Note, I hit threshold on turn 2 this afternoon.[/color:post_uid14][/quote:post_uid14]
[color=#000000:post_uid14]Quite impressive. I wouldn't have thought it possible in Legacy to achieve Threshold on turn 2, except maybe at the risk of destroying your hand. I stand corrected.

On a completely random tangent, your initial post was the impetus for my Blue Armageddon spinoff, which I posted about in the Newbie forum. Thanks for the idea. It probably won't become a Deck to Beat, but it's quite fun so far, even though I have much tweaking to do (several people have been quite helpful already).[/color:post_uid14]

Lego
01-07-2006, 03:53 AM
I was thinking about this in the shower this morning (WOOT for TMI) and I realized that with Mental Note, the red splash can pull off a turn 4 kill. Cool, huh?

Bane of the Living
01-07-2006, 09:06 AM
So has anyone actually tried dredge in the deck? Or is it just outright dismissed? dont confuse my curiosity with ignorance. I just havent seen it done or really mentioned anywhere. excuse me for skimming quickly through 15 pages and missing it tho!

life from the loam is an option but i was thinking thresh lands over cycle ones really. especially coliseum.

Slay
01-07-2006, 10:24 AM
Dredge is card disadvantage. Or at least it acts that way when you try to get threshold with it. This isn't the deck for it.
-Slay

Bardo
01-07-2006, 03:22 PM
I was thinking about this in the shower this morning (WOOT for TMI) and I realized that with Mental Note, the red splash can pull off a turn 4 kill. Cool, huh?
Even without Mental Note, I know that UGW can potentially kill on turn 5.

Turn 2 Werebear.
Turn 3 Mystic Enforcer (using Werebear mana).
Turn 4 Threshold; swing for 10.
Turn 5 Swing for 10.

But that's extremely rare, as you can imagine.

Bongo
01-08-2006, 07:23 AM
With only 10 creatures in the UGR version, I have found that it is sometimes hard to switch to the beatdown-mode.
This is partly because of the low number of creatures and moreso because Werebear and Fledgling Dragon can be targeted and removed (which they are).

I think there are two ways to solve this:

1) Blastoderm in the Fledgling Slot as a difficult to remove fattie.

or

2) Kird Ape as an additional quick beater. Although in the intro-post it was said that there are no red creatures that can compete with Mongoose and Bear at that cost, I tend to disagree. Kird gives you some bang for your buck.


The fact that the winning deck from Lille didn't run any late-game creature, combined with the fact that there isn't a draw engine anymore (no Predicts or AKs) suggest that the deck should probably focus more on the early game and finish off opponents as quickly as possible.
For that purpose, Kird Ape is excellent. Kird allows you to apply more early game pressure and helps to end games faster. It is so much better when you have an early creature in play when you Daze. The 3 toughness also allows it to survive Pyroclasm, which is important against Goblins. It can also block and survive a first turn Lackey unlike Mongoose. It also trades with every other Goblin.


Against combo, Kird allows you to race better while still countering relevant things.
Against control, where you are the beatdown, early threats are crucial, as you can't own the lategame.
Against aggro, Kird helps to blunt the initial assault and helps to ameliorate the problem of too few creatures.

What do you think?

AngryTroll
01-08-2006, 02:25 PM
It is worth noting that Kird Ape also dodges graveyard hate, which could become important with the surge of popularity of the archetype in general. My experience is with the UG/w build of the deck, so I do not know enough about this version to comment other then that.

dsg123456789
01-08-2006, 03:48 PM
While I do not think Kird Ape would be consistant enough to be considered, what about Giant Solifuge? Its the guildpact fatty that costs 2(r/g)(r/g) and is a 4/3 trample, haste, untargetable. It brings the beats, and it would deal one 2 less damage than a Dragon over 3 turns. Perhaps it deserves a slot?

Bargoth
01-08-2006, 04:43 PM
The 3 toughness of the new Guiltpack guy is the only issue I would take with him. The idea of the finisher has been in the past to be big enough that it is out of range of small removal and to have a form of evasion. The Guiltpack guy can't be removed with targeted removal, but he can be killed by a few blockers no problem. Also if the ground gets clogged up in any match, but especially the mirror match the Guiltpack guy is crap. He dies to Werebear and Nimble Mongoose. At least Blastoderm is big enough that he can handle other creatures in combat pretty well. And Blastoderm can't be burned or Swords'd.

I guess I don't see much issue with Kird Ape. He seems under powered, but then again I'm comparing him to 3/3s for 1 and 4/4s for 2... and that's not really fair. The only question I would have is that if you are going to play another ground creature that dies to Lightning Bolt, why not bring back Dryad? He is two mana, but how often are you planning to play Kird Ape turn one anyway. I usually spend a turn or two cantriping and setting up my mana anyway so I don't see much disadvantage in playing Dryad over Kird Ape. They are both susceptible to burn and Swords, it only takes one spell being cast to make Dryad attack for the same amount as Ape, once you have cast two spells the Dryad is just gets better.

Bongo
01-08-2006, 06:23 PM
Dryad requires you to set it up, while Kird Ape does not. Dryad takes this deck into a different direction. More elaborate reasons for its exclusion were mentioned in this thread somewhere.

When you don't have Threshold (usually in the first 3 turns), Kird Ape is the best creature and provides a plan b for graveyard hate. The fact that it eats Meddling Mage makes the mirror even more favorable.

Obfuscate Freely
01-08-2006, 10:42 PM
The problem with Kird Ape is that he'll never be bigger than 2/3 - which is just too small to do what creatures in this deck need to do. He doesn't outclass the creatures of other decks, he doesn't provide a quick clock by himself, and he isn't very burn-resistent.

The other big problem with Ape is that he's vulnerable to manabase disruption. I mean, you wouldn't even play Werebear if Wasteland shut him off as well as Tormod's Crypt does.

And just to counter a specific point you brought up, Ape is terrible against 1st turn Lackey because you don't have access to Taiga.

Bongo
01-09-2006, 09:51 AM
And to counter your specific point, a single copy of Taiga is in my deck. Maybe a second one will find its way in.

Although Taiga can't be fetched on the first turn every game, I don't run into first turn Lackey every game, so the probability is about even.
What matters is a good matchup against Goblins, and Kird helps in that aspect.

What I find more interesting is your comment about Kird's size and vulnerability. While he doesn't outclass as many creatures as a threshed Mongoose will do, he still takes care of most 1cc and 2cc critters. Threshed Goose and Bear coupled with direct damage will pick up what's left.

The Wasteland issue is the one that concerns me the most. Clever use of Fetches helps here. The fact that Zoo and other 3color decks also use Kird says something about its playability even in front of Wastelands.

Obfuscate Freely
01-09-2006, 11:55 PM
And to counter your specific point, a single copy of Taiga is in my deck. Maybe a second one will find its way in.

Although Taiga can't be fetched on the first turn every game, I don't run into first turn Lackey every game, so the probability is about even.
What matters is a good matchup against Goblins, and Kird helps in that aspect.
How many green fetches do you run? Even without getting into an argument over bastardizing the manabase to run a subpar creature, granting you access to Taiga doesn't mean you can get away with saying Ape will block first-turn Lackey and survive. I don't know what you mean by "the probability is about even," but it seems to me that Ape will come out as a 1/1 the majority of the time, and that makes it very poor at dealing with early Lackeys.


What I find more interesting is your comment about Kird's size and vulnerability. While he doesn't outclass as many creatures as a threshed Mongoose will do, he still takes care of most 1cc and 2cc critters. Threshed Goose and Bear coupled with direct damage will pick up what's left.
Some of the more important things Ape loses to include Gro's creatures (he's awful in the mirror match), Mishra's Factory, Troll Ascetic, Watchwolf, and Nantuko Shade (yes, given enough mana Shade will kill anything). Being red also means Silver Knight can block him all day.

That list goes on, but the more important problem with Kird's size is that he is a poor clock. Gro can't protect a single creature for 10 turns. Against control, having a small creature like Ape is almost useless, as it forces you to overextend into their mass removal, for little gain, because a 2/3 on its own just isn't good enough.


The Wasteland issue is the one that concerns me the most. Clever use of Fetches helps here. The fact that Zoo and other 3color decks also use Kird says something about its playability even in front of Wastelands.
Most Zoo decks run ~8 green duals, and 8+ fetchlands that get them. That says nothing about Wasteland's effect on Kird Ape in Gro.

Ridiculous Hat
01-10-2006, 03:16 AM
The NQG decks that have been around forever, probably mainly popularized by cavernninja, have always run 10 creatures. It's not that hard to find a threat and it's not that hard to protect them if you've been holding your counters or naming with mage correctly. A lot of the time when people start to get used to gro they try and counter more things than they need to, and as a result the fatties get removed and they get stomped. Try seeing what it's like to use your fat as a trump and then use counters to protect it.

Bargoth
01-10-2006, 03:46 AM
The fact that Zoo and other 3color decks also use Kird says something about its playability even in front of Wastelands.

A lot of the 3 color decks using Kird Ape, that I've seen on this forum anyway, are based in green though. So if they play Taiga turn one and it gets wasted chances are they were going to play Savannah or to a lesser degree Bayou turn two anyway. In which case there is still a forest in play and the Ape is still a 2/3.

Just to add a bit of a rebuttal to the Dryad statements. In actuality it is Kird Ape that "requires you to set it up". Kird Ape relies on you having both of your splash colors for him to do anything; Dryad has no demand on what needs to be in play outside of mana to cast him. He does demand that you play a spell or two to make him worthwhile creature. I think that including Dryad is completely feasible if one feels so inclined. The deck has tons of cheap spells it wants to be casting anyway. With 10-12 cantrips, one can easily gro the creature without wasting business spells to do so. I think the problem that Dryad creates is when people place too much stress on either keeping him in play or making him huge. If you play him out and cast a Brainstorm, he is a 2/2 for 2 and you cast a cantrip that you should be casting anyways. The issue comes when you start wasting counterspells or throwing around burn when it would be better if held onto. I think as long as one keeps in mind that they are extra creatures and doesn't over commit themselves to the Dryads they are fine.

That's sort of beside the point though. I think that Kird Ape or Dryad can fit in the deck if one feels strongly about adding either of them. They serve as another speed bump against Goblins, or give you another treat against control.

I honestly haven't had many complaints with the deck playing just Werebears, Geese, and a pair of Dragons. I've been playing one of the lists posted in here with relatively heavy amounts of burn and scry with Predict and it has been playing fine.

Bongo
01-10-2006, 07:17 AM
The counterarguments to Kird are more or less valid, and I also know that Kird is not the ultimate creature for UGR.

However, I was not satisfied with the usual Sea Drake or Fledgling Dragon, and 8 creatures were sometimes not enough to finish the game quickly, so I experimented with Kird. UGW is a different story, because there you get to play mages. But in UGR, I have found the low number of creatures to be troublesome. Kird is not the biggest bad-ass, but at least he provides some kind of early clock.

Maybe I'm a bad player, but the lack of permanent threats in UGR is an issue that needs to be addressed in my opinion. Although burn can help somewhat, I mostly use it for creature removal.

If there is a better choice than Kird Ape, let me know.

Ridiculous Hat
01-10-2006, 01:35 PM
If there is a better choice than Kird Ape, let me know.If win conditions are your problem, you could try isochron scepter.

Evil Roopey
01-10-2006, 01:47 PM
If there is a better choice than Kird Ape, let me know.

Seton's Scout is not bad. I have been running him in an aggro version of the deck and he has been working great.

Roop

Lego
01-13-2006, 12:02 PM
I've also seen Seton's Scout used effectively. His first ability rarely comes into play, so he's basically a slightly worse Werebear number 5-8, and can't tap for G. I've seen most of the other Threshold creatures tried as well.

Battlefield Scrounger is basically just worse than Krosan Beast in every way (except for dodging graveyard hate.)

Krosan Beast is a nice 8/8 for 3G, but he has no evasion, and I don't wanna play Aboshan's Desire just for him ;)

Chlorophant can be pretty sick, but the triple Green is just too hard to maintain. Might as well play Vinelasher Kudzu with all these fetches, and I'd have to say he's worse than Dryad in this deck :-P

Nantuko Blightcutter can be a house against certain decks, but again there's the evsaion problem.

Some of the white creatures are interesting, as they have more evasion, but they just don't get big enough for my tastes (and no, I'm not considering Wayward Angel.)

There's obviously nothing to play over 4 Nimble Mongoose, 4 Werebear. In the white splash I'd say nothing beats out Meddling Mage for a smaller creature and Mystic Enforcer for the finisher, so you're really just looking for something for the red version.

Let's check out the Guildpact Spoiler. Wee Dragonauts seems cute, but it might affect the way you play the deck, which I don't think is a good thing. Gelectrode seems like it could deal some damage over the course of a game, but I would love it if he onnly cost two. Seriously though, every time you counter a spell or draw a card, he pings for one. I think the big thing that sets him over the top is that he can help to end ground stalls by pinging away creatures. Seems *TERRIBLE* in the mirror match though. I think he would need testing.

Maybe some of the other Izzet dudes will give you something to look at, or possibly the Simic in Dissension. I'm psyched to see what the Azorius Senate gives us, but I don't hold my hopes too high.

On a random side note (as if this post isn't already large enough) it seems that Giant Solifuge may be a 4/1 Trample, Haste, Untargetable for 4... that tones him down a lot :)

Zelyon
01-15-2006, 04:41 AM
seton's scout isn't bad in a red version, guildpact has that 1GR for a 3/4 that deals a damage anytime anyone uses an activated nonmana ability including fetchlands. That's pretty solid, fat enough to dodge burn and usually deals 4 damage a turn.

But I have yet to hear any good reasons not to run white. So let's all just stick with the...



// Lands
3 [UN] Tundra
3 [UN] Tropical Island
4 [ON] Polluted Delta
4 [ON] Flooded Strand
1 [ON] Windswept Heath
1 [ON] Island
1 [ON] Forest (Could be Plains based on your sideboard)

// Creatures
2 [OD] Mystic Enforcer
4 [OD] Werebear
4 [OD] Nimble Mongoose
4 [PS] Meddling Mage

// Disruption
4 [UN] Swords to Plowshares
4 [AL] Force of Will
3 [7E] Counterspell
3 [NE] Daze
1 [MM] Engineered Explosives
1 [MR] Isochron Scepter
1 [BK] Umezawa's Jitte

// Cantrips
4 [JU] Mental Note
4 [FD] Serum Visions
4 [5E] Brainstorm


variant shall we.

Bryant Cook
01-15-2006, 09:57 AM
No offence or anything, but way to be narrow headed. There are plenty of reasons to run red over white, and white over red. It all comes down to your playstyle, and your preference. With red you can burn your opponent out, red also has fledging dragon. Which will ALWAYS swing for more than an enforcer. Because of it requiring RR it will always atleast be a 7/5. Not to mention Red Elelental Blast out of the sideboard with Flametongue Kavu. Which is bomb in the mirror match by the way. Not to mention if you're looking to beat goblins red's removal is much greater against aggro decks. White has swords to plowshares and enforcer which are huge. Then things like tivadar's crusades SB if you wish. For the goblins match-up, Opps I forgot meddling mage... Mr. Pikula he just happens to be bomb in a combo metagame. Like I said it all comes down to your play style there are pros and cons to each side but don't be soo thick headed on the boards. One sided opinions may change new users opinions without knowing everything about each side.

Lego
01-15-2006, 10:14 AM
Fledgling swings for less when there's a Pithing Needle in play :wink:

We have most certainly not all agreed that the White splash is better than the Red (although I think most people have agreed they're both better than the black.) The red splash has a faster clock and deals better with Aggro, the White splash has a better finisher (I don't care how many times you tell me Fledgling swings for more, he's harder to cast, and requires a mana investment after being cast; plus the pro-black can come in handy) a better combo/control matchup with Meddling Mage, and is able to handle larger threats better with Swords.

A lot of times when I'm taking Thresh to a local tournament, I sleeve up the core of the deck, and then I sleeve up the Red splash/sideboard and the White splash/sideboard, and when I get there I ask all my friends what they're playing, I scout around with the other kids, and I shuffle up one of them. This obviously doesn't work at a larger tournament, but I recommend testing with both versions, and playing them based on metagaming or play style, not because you think one is better than the other. There are reasons to play both.

Zilla
01-16-2006, 12:01 AM
Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of the "let's stick with the variant that hasn't proven itself in a major tournament" plan. The white and red builds posted at the beginning of this thread placed in Top 8 at one of the two largest Legacy tournaments in history. If I'm going to "just stick" to any variant, it will be one of those two.

As for the differences between red and white, it's mostly a metgame call. Their finishers each have their pros and cons, but they're relatively even in terms of power level. Their draw and smaller beaters are comparable as well, as are their mana disruption tools (Winter Orb is roughly equal to Geddon in terms of effectiveness.)

There are two places they differ singificantly: removal and combo matchup. White has the better combo matchup (thanks to Mage), and has an easier time against fat creatures (StP). Red has a better matchup against weenie aggro, and Goblins, thanks to the 4 extra spot removal spells and Pyroclasm. While White has Tivadar's Crusade for Goblins, it is generally less effective than Pyroclasm because it's slower and it's easy for Goblins to keep the Thresh player off WW. Crusade also sucks against everything besides Goblins, which Pyroclasm does not.

White also tends to have a slight advantage in the mirror matchup, because StP is more efficient removal for threshed Werebears and Dragons, but this advantage tends to be relatively minor, in my experience.

The long and short of it is that if you're in an aggro heavy metagame, red will probably be the better choice, and if you're in a combo heavy metagame, white will likely be the better choice. They're roughly even against control.

DerangedHermit
01-16-2006, 07:42 PM
What about the build that won GP: Lille? He was playing both red and white with the better aspects of both colors. There were some things about the deck I don't like though. The mana base seems a little shakey, especialy against wasteland. Also it seems like he didn't put in much for the goblins matchup except for maybe chill in the board, and focused more on the threshold mirror.

dazed and confused
01-16-2006, 08:22 PM
Ok i havent looked at the whole thread, but i have been playing NQG for a while and i have had lots of success in my area and our weekly tournaments.

My NQG list

Land 18

4 trops
4 tundras
4 poluted deltas
3 flodded strands
1 island
1 plains
1 forest

Draw

4 brainstorms
3 serums visions
4 predicts (ill explain )
2 fact or fiction

counter spells

4 force of will
4 counter spell

removal

4 swords to plowshares
3 echoing truth

creatures

4 meddling mage
4 mystic enforcer
4 werebear

unexpected surprize

2 cunning wish

Side board

1 bezerk
1 echoing truth
1 gaea's blessing
1 naturlize
1 stifle
10 meta killers, I use 4 chills 4 BeB's 2 hydro blasts because of my metta but would change 2 chills and 2 hydro blasts for 4 seal of clensing or 4 disenchants or 4 daze, again depending on your meta

I promiced to explain predicts, well here goes. EOT you have 3 lands so you brain storm ( one draw ) then place 2 cards back top being one you dont mind in grave yard, then predict naming top card and boom you get 2 card draw and 2 cards in graveyard for your bears and or enforcer. not to mention the one draw from brainstorm and one in graveyard.

I know i have less counters than other decks but i got more removal for what i wasnt able to counter or for blockers.

Zilla
01-16-2006, 11:21 PM
With regards to the UGRW build that won Lille, it was a solid build, but in many respects it was a highly metagamed deck. It was tuned specifically to beat other Thresh. If that's what you're looking for, then the 4c build is a good way to go. In most instances, I'd prefer the stability offered by one of the 3c manabases, though.

@dazed and confused:

What's up with the basic Forest and no way to fetch it?

Lego
01-17-2006, 12:32 AM
@ dazed and confused: -1 Polluted Delta, +1 Flooded Strand (you're running a plains, and no swamp). And do something about that forest.

Only 3 Serum Visions? In my experience, this is the best cantrip you play. Fact or Fiction? Some games I don't even *HIT* the 4th land. How does this play for you?

4 Counterspell, no Daze? What do you do against early rushes, combo, etc.? I've even considered upping Daze from 3 to 4.

Consider Nimble Mongoose. He's perhaps the most important card in the mirror, and is great in so many situations. And do you find 4 Mystic Enforcer are needed? I'm running 3, and several times I've considered dropping to 2 for other things.

I like the Echoing Truth, but Cunning Wish? How have you found this? Seems to slow to make much of a change in any matchups.

No need to explain Predict, as it has been run for a while in several builds, but I would recommend testing Mental Note, as it speeds you up by a turn. But there is a need to explain Gaea's Blessing, what are these for?

BlindMage
01-17-2006, 03:15 AM
I recently started playing NQG(UGw), and the list I came up with (based on the form for the deck in the origonal post) is almost exactly the same as the list bardo posted a few pages back, only I was using AK, and for some reason disenchant. I think I'll switch to bardo's list, EE and all. (thanks bardo!)

I've read the whole thread, and I find it interesting that nobody has suggested Opt as an alternative to Sleight of Hand. Clearly the effect is not quite as good, but there's alot to be said for it being an instant.

Another question: if gobbos can keep you off double white for tiv's crusade, would Hail Storm be a viable alternative? I believe it was mentioned in passing, but it was in referance to the UGr version.

Also, would someone who knows more about it than me be interested in posting an updated breakdown of matchups? It would be greatly appreciated.

peace

PTBNL
01-17-2006, 07:33 AM
What do you guys think of using Strategic Planning in place of Mental Note? For 1U, Strategic Planning dumps three cards into the graveyard and digs three deep. SP also helps avoid losing a useful card to the graveyard that MT would.

Lego
01-17-2006, 01:41 PM
@ BlindMage: I've considered Opt many times, and it's not a bad choice over the Sleight of Hands. I definitely wouldn't put it in for anything else, but if you find the instant speed being enough of an issue, try it out. I've usually found that I never want to leave UU open in the first few turns when I'm using the Sleight of Hand anyway, that's why I run the slight.

@ PTBNL: The 1 before the U is the reason I don't run it. That's it, simply. At first glance the Planning looks better, but Strategic Planning is a Sorcery that costs more (and therefore can never be used as a combat trick, like Mental Note).

Lego
01-17-2006, 11:36 PM
Sorry for the double post, but it's a new subject.

Assume, hypothetically, that you are taking Threshold with a white splash to a tournament on Friday. You don't expect a highly competitive metagame, you know there will be some 3 Deuce, maybe some Solidarity, and some Relic Barrier/Winter Orb lock combo-ness (you've seen the one, right?). Probably not too much Goblins (you expect 0), and not likely to see a mirror, but you still want to come prepared for good stuff just in case, and you don't want to lose to any scrub decks.

Now the first problem that arises is this. You're playing the White splash, and can't expect to find Meddling Mages before game day (you only have one) so you've got to replace that slot. Other than that, you're basically going to play Bardo's list (except you also can't find Engineered Explosive, so you'll probably play a Pithing Needle or two).

Questions: What do you replace the Meddling Mages with, and what do you board? Maybe go with maindeck Worship for jank, try to play some catch alls in the board, or just prepare for the harder matchups and hope to clean up the jank with the maindeck?

MattH
01-18-2006, 12:59 AM
You can get Needles but not Explosives? Wtf?

Lego
01-18-2006, 01:07 AM
I know, I suck. I've got more than 60 duals, and I just had to trade for Peeks :)

Zelyon
01-18-2006, 08:06 AM
I honestly have no idea what I would run in the Meddling Mage slot. More cantrips or perhaps a couple of Ischron Sceptar and Counterspells.

Here's a breif Threshold primer I wrote up. Tell me what you think.

Threshold is a deck that wins by playing a large amount of disruption, low casting cost creatures that get very large thanks to threshold, and a number of cantrips that draw you more cards and feed threshold. It is perhaps the most effective strategy in Legacy today. It's a rather easy deck to learn, and the best way to understand it is to simply put together the list below on a free program like Apprentice or Magic Workstation and test it out.

This is, in my opinion, the optimal threshold build.

Lands:
4 Polluted Delta
4 Flooded Strand
3 Tundra
3 Tropical Island
1 Windswept Heath
1 Island
1 Forest

Creatures:
3 Nimble Mongoose
4 Werebear
4 Meddling Mage
2 Mystic Enforcer

Disruption:
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Force of Will
4 Daze
2 Counterspell
2 Predict
2 Repeal - This is your toolbox slot. Other possibilites for this slot include Misdirection, Pithing Needle, Isochron Scepter, Umezawaís Jitte, and Engineered Explosives.

Cantrips:
4 Mental Note
4 Serum Visions
4 Brainstorm


Explanation of Tool Box Choices:

When this list was first posted, Repeal was unknown. Now that it is, Repeal is endorsed in the toolbox slot for a number of reasons. There seems to be very little hype about the card despite the Guildpact prerelease being less than a week away. But the card is actually extremely effective in formats like Legacy where casting costs are so low. It can bounce back your own creatures in response to a Swords or Wrath while also drawing you an additional card. It can also bounce back critical cards like Meddling Mage, Survival of the Fittest or a blocker. You can often hold back on having to discard a Meddling Mage to use your Force of Will knowing that you can always bounce the card back to your opponent's hand with Repeal. In addition, running it as the answer to resolved spells over cards like Pithing Needle or Engineered Explosives means that all of your opponent's artifact and enchantment hate is now dead. This also means that they will likely not board in any artifact or enchantment removal while you are boarding in critical cards such as Worship, Pithing Needle or Serenity.

Umezawaís Jitte is one of the best spells in the format and it boggles my mind that so few decks run them. But due to the fact that it can not be equipped onto your Mongooses and the fact that you rarely want to attack with Meddling Mage, along with the fact that it is somewhat slow and mana intensive when compared to your other spells, it may also be largely unneccesary for most matchups.

Isochron Sceptar is another card that can be very effective in certain situations. Optimally, you'll be able to stick a Counterspell on it and lock them down completely. If not, Swords on it will terrorize any creature based deck. Even a Brainstorm or Predict on it can be an incredibly effective card drawing engine, especially considering the number of fetchlands you run. And with the amount of countermagic you run, resolving it is never an issue. But it too is slow compared to the rest of your deck and is probably unneccesary.

Pithing Needle is probably not as worthwhile anymore since the metagame has adjusted for it. It's fantastic against many decks, but close to dead against a few others including the very important mirror matchup. Countermagic can already answer any threat and Meddling Mage is more versatile than it and comes with a 2/2 body to boot. But it's usefulness against certain specific decks makes it a great choice for metagames where the Needle will find multiple targets. Needle would also serve as a great sideboard option to common sideboard slots Withered Wretch and Tormod's Crypt.


Explanation of Mana Base:

I decided to run one Island instead of two (along with the Forest) because fetchlands are incredibly effective at filling the graveyard, making Brainstorm the best card in the deck and getting me precisely the mana type that I need. Even when mana screwed (very rare) and facing Wasteland, one Island on the board and another fetchland to get me the land type I need (or a basic Plains/Forest) in a pinch is often enough to ward off Wastelands. And that Island can meanwhile be used to play cantrips and draw into more lands or Werebears to get over the mana shortage. I've cut the mana base to seventeen because with twelve 1cc Cantrips, you just don't need any more.


Explanation of Creature Base:

The creature base needs no real explanation. While the Mystic Enforcer maybe a bit mana intensive, your Werebears can help out in a pinch to smooth out the mana curve.


Explanation of Sideboardable Cards:

Worship - This is a great sideboard card for decks that try to outrace you like Garv or decks that aim for your dome like Burn.

Serenity - A bomb against decks like Stax that run multiple artifacts and enchantments and a great removal for any artifact or enchantment as well if you decide to run no other enchantments or artifacts in your tool box slot.

Pithing Needle - As already mentioned, it's bomb against a number of decks as well as an answer to the Withered Wretchs and Tormod's Crypts that your opponent will be bringing in.

Naturalize - Multiple decks such as ATS are dependent on a critical artifact or enchantment ). This attacks that strategy. But realistically, this answers nothing that a combination of Swords, Serenity, Needle, Countermagic and, most importantly, Repeal don't already answer. So it's probably not worth running.

Engineered Explosives - This card can be effective against weenie rushes by decks such as Garv. But most of your creatures are low casting cost as well, and Worship can be just as effective in those situations. In short, don't run it.

scott2
01-18-2006, 08:12 AM
i'm about to go off to gp rishmond and play in the 100 dual thingy so i needed a deck. being the great netdecker i am i looked at lille's results. i have a thing about playing 4 colors so i am not playing the deck that won. but then i looked a little further down and i saw Daniel krutil's list. now what sold me on the deck was two things, galina's knight and worship!!!!!

my little 2 cents on the splash issue, meddling mage is good. swords to plowshares is good. enforcer is good. lightning bolt is not as good as stp. fledling is not as good as enforcer. red has a faster clock, but the interactivity and the answers are gone. meddling mage is a house. and you get worship!!!!!!!

don't flame me i am just saying that i'd rather have answers and interactivity in my decks. if you are going for a faster win play the red splash, hey they are both proven decks.

Danial Krutil's top 8 decklist from lille
4 tropical island
4 tundra
4 flooded strand
3 windswept heath
1 plains
1 forest
1 island

18 land-

4 nimble mongoose
4 werebear
4 galina's knight
2 meddling mage
2 mystic enforcer

16 creatures-

3 worship
4 swords to plowshares
4 brainstorm
4 serum visions
3 predict
4 force of will
4 daze

26 spells-

3 stifle
2 seal of cleansing
3 pithing needle
2 meddling mage
3 umezawa's jitte
2 armegeddon

15 sideboard-

this deck has game against gobbos (worship, stp, galina's knight)
this deck has a bomb in mirror (worship, umezawa's jitte)
has answers to combo (meddling mage, pithing needle, geddon?)
and can lay the smack down to control (all critters + geddon)

as you can see white is very important in this meta...

Bardo
01-18-2006, 12:32 PM
Also, would someone who knows more about it than me be interested in posting an updated breakdown of matchups?

Not too much has changed since the time that Part 4 of the Threshold Primer (http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/article/10811.html) was published on Starcitygames. That's still reasonably up to date and not a bad place to start.

As for how I sideboard today, since I don't own Needles, here's my current sideboard and what I bring in and out of my matches:

sb 4 Hydroblast
sb 2 Tivadarís Crusade
sb 2 Naturalize
sb 2 Worship
sb 2 Armageddon
sb 1 Cursed Totem
sb 1 Nimble Mongoose
sb 1 Engineered Explosives


Goblins
+4 Hydroblast
+2 Tivadarís Crusade
+2 Worship (?)
+1 Nimble Mongoose
-4 Meddling Mage
-2 Sleight of Mind
-1 Daze
-1 Mystic Enforcer
-1 Engineered Explosives

Sligh/RDW
+4 Hydroblast
+2 Worship
-4 Meddling Mage
-2 Sleight of Mind

Landstill
+2 Naturalize
+2 Armageddon
-2 Sleight of Hand
-1 Engineered Explosives
-1 Meddling Mage

High Tide / IGGy Pop
+2 Armageddon
-2 Swords to Plowshares

Survival
+2 Armageddon
+1 Naturalize
+1 Cursed Totem / Engineered Explosives
-2 Nimble Mongoose
-2 Sleight of Hand

Psychatog/Madness
+2 Armageddon
+1 Cursed Totem
-2 Sleight of Hand
-1 Nimble Mongoose

Stax
+2 Naturalize
+1 Engineered Explosives
-2 Sleight of Hand
-1 Counterspell

Fish
+2 Armageddon
+2 Naturalize
-2 Sleight of Hand
-2 Meddling Mage

BW Confidant (Pikula.dec)
+1 Engineered Explosives
+1 Cursed Totem (Shade, Wretch)
-2 Sleight of Hand

Affinity
+2 Naturalize
+1 Armageddon
+1 Engineered Explosives
-2 Sleight of Hand
-2 Daze

Re: Sleight of Hand, Here's a snip from my UGW Threshold Report in the Tournament Forum:

"So, yeah, Sleight of Hand is something I side out nearly every game. Youíre of course wondering why itís in the deck at all, right? Good deck design suggests if any one card is so expendable, it should probably be something else altogether. Here I canít really disagree, but Iím always happy to draw it in game 1, since the deck has all of the tools it needs to win most matches anyhow, and Sleight helps you find those tools.

In games 2-3, Iím always happy to have something more specialized for the match than the Sleight since I donít want to compromise the core of the deck. So Sleight is really a tool to make sideboarding easy as modular support for the deck (builds threshold, digs for answers/threats, blue spells to pitch to FoW, etc.). But in no case should you be running less than the twelve core cantrips (Brainstorm, Serum Visions, Mental Note)."


Now the first problem that arises is this. You're playing the White splash, and can't expect to find Meddling Mages before game day (you only have one) so you've got to replace that slot. Other than that, you're basically going to play Bardo's list (except you also can't find Engineered Explosive, so you'll probably play a Pithing Needle or two).
You can go old-skool on their asses and bust out Quirion Dryad. :)

But yeah, I'd test out Worship in the maindeck, and add another Mongoose (up to 4) and another Enforcer (up to 3).


Engineered Explosives - This card can be effective against weenie rushes by decks such as Garv. But most of your creatures are low casting cost as well, and Worship can be just as effective in those situations. In short, don't run it.
:(

Lego
01-18-2006, 01:11 PM
I'm thinking your list, Bardo, -EE and Meddling Mage, 18 lands, 14 cantrips, 11 creatures, and 10 counterspells. With 4 Swords to Plowshares, that leaves 3 Worships maindeck. Is that too many? The creatures I'm running are 4 Nimble Mongoose, 4 Werebear, 3 Mystic Enforcer, and everything else is the same as your deck. I wouldn't mind testing Quirion Dryad, she might not be bad in this meta, but I would hesitate to play her because I think she might fundamentally change the way I play the deck. I'd want to be spending counter magic or Swords or cantrips in bad ways to keep her alive or grow her, which isn't good. So 3 Worship?

Bardo
01-18-2006, 01:53 PM
I wouldn't mind testing Quirion Dryad, she might not be bad in this meta, but I would hesitate to play her because I think she might fundamentally change the way I play the deck. I'd want to be spending counter magic or Swords or cantrips in bad ways to keep her alive or grow her, which isn't good. So 3 Worship?

Honestly, I'm not certain you have enough critters to justify 3 MD Worship. Krutil had 16 dudes. That's a lot of guys and I can see running 3 Worship there. But with only 11, I'd be inclined to be cautious and only run 2 -- if that. More than one will do nothing for you, and you don't want to monkey up your beautiful mana curve.

What's your sideboard?

Lego
01-18-2006, 03:37 PM
I would try to fit more creatures, but I'd end up running things like Seton's Scout, which I don't want to do. The whole list looks like this right now:

4 Mental Note
4 Serum Visions
4 Brainstorm
2 Sleight of Hand

4 Force of Will
4 Daze
2 Counterspell

4 Swords to Plowshares

4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Werebear
3 Mystic Enforcer

4 Flooded Strand
2 Polluted Delta
2 Windswept Heath
3 Tropical Island
3 Tundra
2 Island
1 Plains
1 Forest

Sideboard:
3 Blue Elemental Blast
3 Pithing Needle
3 Armageddon
2 Tormod's Crypt
2 Worship
2 Naturalize

But obviously there are three open maindeck slots. The rest is exactly Bardo's list subbing Mystic Enforcer and cutting the Mages and an EE. I could put in the old Disenchants or Naturalizes, or play a 1-of Meddling Mage, or play Pithing Needle main, I'm honestly just not sure. And if I take anything out of the side, Pithing Needle, Worship, Naturalize, I don't know what to put in its place. Suggestions? If I can find an EE, I will play it, but would you recommend more than one to fill up the space, if I can find them?

dsg123456789
01-18-2006, 07:57 PM
Pithing needle serves some of the roles meddling mage does--they both are speedbumps against combo (but pithing needle can be a speedbump against control and aggro too). Needle is very good against goblins, naming vial, port, and wasteland. It is good against Pikula, Flamevault, 3-deuce, Tog, and survival. You can even needle Solidarity's fetches, which is not as awful as it seems, because if you nail a fetch one in every 4 or 5 games, they can get pretty screwed. Alternatively, you could splash a few Volcanics and add Fire/Ice, Magma Jet, or Lightning Bolt, plus a slightly better SB. Lastly, you could add Predicts back in, since they would basically just cantrip/thin your deck out unless they gave you card advantage.

Ridiculous Hat
01-18-2006, 08:30 PM
Needle is a proactive answer to most of the forms of disruption you'll face. Threshold doesn't have many targets for it, nor does solidarity-- but if you're playing against a lot of aggro decks with wastelands or vials or something, they're quite important. Needle is how you reliably cast tivadar's crusade against goblins most of the time.

Lego
01-18-2006, 08:50 PM
Needles it is then. 3 is the number of slots I have left, so that's what it looks like it'll be. That means the normal 14 Cantrips, 10 Counters, 4 Swords, 11 Creatures, 18 Lands (8 Fetches), and 3 Pithing Needles. I'm going to roll over to Stax and probably lose to Burn, but I suppose that's okay, right?

Incidentally, what is the plan against Burn? Against Stax I know the plan is to lose, but what happens against Burn? Should I board against it? I suppose Worship/Mongrel just wrecks it if you can get it out. My board, with Pithing Needle main, looks like this:

4 Blue Elemental Blast
3 Armageddon
2 Tormod's Crypt
2 Worship
3 Naturalize
1 Cursed Totem

Better suggestions?

dsg123456789
01-18-2006, 11:10 PM
I don't know if there is a specific card/cards you are gunning for with naturalize, but if there isnt, Serenity and Seeds of Innocence could help you not bend over to Stax.

You could also fit in one more Worship into your board, perhaps in place of Totem (again, I don't know what you are specifically hating out with this) in order to shore up the burn matchup more. Because Goose or Enforcer+Worship should buy you time enough to win (they either must point lots of burn at the creature or find a Flamebreak).

Finally, if you really don't love stax, Kataki and Energy Flux are in color, narrow, permanent-based answers to Stax that could hinder their gameplan significantly for little mana.

Bardo
01-18-2006, 11:20 PM
I'm going to roll over to Stax and probably lose to Burn, but I suppose that's okay, right?
Well, you can't win 'em all. ;)

Against Stax: win the die roll. :) If karma or good luck favor you, you have a fighting chance. If you know how to play the match (set your first Mage on "Tangle Wire"), the first game isn't too bad. But if you win the first, you'll lose the second because going against Stax is certain death. But if you win the first (and assuming you lose the second, likely) you'll probably win the match because post-board, going first, you're in a good position. Judicious use of Naturalize and EE goes a long way. But if you lose the match roll, you'll probably lose the whole thing.

Against Burn: I rarely lose the match, so I think you're favored. Price of Progress is brutal but the rest is manageable. 20 damage against all of your counters + post-board BEB/Hydroblast is often too much for them to deal with. And what the hell are they going to do against Worship?

+4 BEB
+2 Worship
-3 Pithing Needle (assuming your opponent doesn't have Cursed Scroll, which are a pain in the ass for most people to obtain)
-2 Sleight of Hand
-1 Mystic Enforcer

If they're completely creatureless:

+4 BEB
+2 Worship
-4 StP
-2 Sleight of Hand


[re: sideboard] Better suggestions?

Not from me, as long as you're not expecting Goblins. Your chances of winning the match go up exponentially if you can get off a Tivadar's Crusade. Good luck.

Zilla
01-19-2006, 12:08 AM
@Stax: If Stax is prevalent in your meta, run Energy Flux and just win. Otherwise, like Bardo said, it's a pretty awful matchup.

@Burn: For some reason, Gro is actually one of Burn's worst matchups. All of Gro's threats are out of Bolt range (excepting Mage if you run him), and you have 9-12 counters to answer their biggest threats. Fireblast and PoP are the only real must counters they have.

Bardo
01-19-2006, 09:38 AM
Yeah, if you're expecting some amount of Stax in your area, you have Energy Flux, Serenity, and Sacred Ground. All are a phenomenal hosing -- much worse than anything they can bring in against you.

Lego
01-19-2006, 11:02 AM
The ability to completely negate Smokestack and Wasteland (and gain mana in the process) is really nice against Stax, I think I'll have to find some Sacred Grounds just in case. For now it looks like Energy Flux, which should be a good hoser (especially if we see lots of Ancient Tombs :wink: )

@ Tivadar's Crusade: I don't have any, otherwise there'd be a couple in there. I'll see if anyone going can lend or trade them to me (and I'll be doing the same thing for Meddling Mage and Engineered Explosives, as well as Fledgling Dragon, yay)

Bryant Cook
01-20-2006, 02:53 PM
So what are people's thoughts on the new Fire/ice ?

Random name I don't know
1UR
Deal 2 damage divided any way. Draw a card.

Could this be played as a 2 of? or is the high casting cost too much? I was thinking of cutting a fire/ice and a magma jet for 2 of them, Thoughts please?

Bardo
01-20-2006, 03:23 PM
So what are people's thoughts on the new Fire/ice ?

Random name I don't know
1UR
Deal 2 damage divided any way. Draw a card.

Could this be played as a 2 of? or is the high casting cost too much? I was thinking of cutting a fire/ice and a magma jet for 2 of them, Thoughts please?

Gro doesn't really want anything that costs more than 1. Lightning Bolt is fine if you're UGR(/w), but even F/I and Magma Jet are contorting the curve in undesireable ways -- not that they're bad, or shouldn't be used. But removal at the 3cc spot just won't do at all.

Zilla
01-20-2006, 07:32 PM
My thoughts exactly, which I expressed in the Developmental thread suggesting this card in "Guildpact Gro". The argument in favor was "you don't understand - it's Fire/Ice that does BOTH things!" My counterargument: "I understand what it does. I also understand that 3cc instants have no place in Gro." That's really the bottom line. The effect is precisely what the deck is looking for. It might as well cost 400 mana though, because anything higher than 2cc for that effect ain't gonna fly in this archetype.

Ridiculous Hat
01-21-2006, 01:02 AM
If intuition isn't good enough for this deck, then electrolyze definitely isn't good enough.

The burn matchup is good because you can go beatdown, counter the big burn spells, and swords your own guys if you're playing white. They generally have a lot of trouble dealing with you gaining 6 life in response to a fireblast or something.

Lego
01-21-2006, 01:04 AM
And if you're Red, instead of Swordsing your own dudes, you win a turn or two faster.

Speaking of, there's been very little discussion as to the Red build. Is this because people don't like it as much, or because it's worse, or what? I'm thinking of playing it, because Fledglings are so much cheaper than Meddling Mages, but I hesitate to start throwing Fire/Ice and Magma Jet in and upping my curve so much. Does anyone have a good build, and thoughts on why to go Red?

Zilla
01-21-2006, 02:31 AM
Does anyone have a good build, and thoughts on why to go Red?

I know it's a little gauche, but I'm going to quote myself from 2 pages back:


There are two places they differ singificantly: removal and combo matchup. White has the better combo matchup (thanks to Mage), and has an easier time against fat creatures (StP). Red has a better matchup against weenie aggro, and Goblins, thanks to the 4 extra spot removal spells and Pyroclasm. While White has Tivadar's Crusade for Goblins, it is generally less effective than Pyroclasm because it's slower and it's easy for Goblins to keep the Thresh player off WW. Crusade also sucks against everything besides Goblins, which Pyroclasm does not.

White also tends to have a slight advantage in the mirror matchup, because StP is more efficient removal for threshed Werebears and Dragons, but this advantage tends to be relatively minor, in my experience.

The long and short of it is that if you're in an aggro heavy metagame, red will probably be the better choice, and if you're in a combo heavy metagame, white will likely be the better choice. They're roughly even against control.

Basically, red is better against weenie aggro (especially Goblins). White is better against combo. Neither of them is a whole lot better than the other at these things, though. What it really comes down to is playstyle and metagame concerns.

As for a good list, the red list in the very first post in this thread is fucking fantastic. I run the very same list (with differences in the SB), except I run a third Dragon over the 4th Daze, and I occasionally run Magma Jet over Fire/Ice. Test it out - there's not a whole lot not to like.

dsg123456789
01-21-2006, 04:46 PM
// Lands
2 [7E] Island (3)
4 [ON] Flooded Strand
1 [ON] Polluted Delta
2 [ON] Wooded Foothills
4 [B] Volcanic Island
3 [B] Tropical Island
1 [RAV] Forest (3)
1 [5E] Mountain (1)

// Creatures
2 [JU] Fledgling Dragon
4 [OD] Nimble Mongoose
4 [OD] Werebear

// Spells
4 [FD] Serum Visions
4 [FD] Magma Jet
4 [5E] Brainstorm
4 [AL] Force of Will
3 [NE] Daze
2 [7E] Counterspell
4 [A] Lightning Bolt
3 [AP] Fire/Ice
4 [JU] Mental Note

// Sideboard
SB: 4 [8E] Pyroclasm
SB: 4 [DK] Tormod's Crypt
SB: 4 [U] Red Elemental Blast
SB: 3 [7E] Compost


This is the build of UGR Gro I play on MWS. The sideboard shows the options that will help you beat some of the most common decks you find. In the maindeck, I am beginning to doubt whether Magma Jet still has a place. If running Predict, there is no question whether you should run Jet--Burn+Enabler is amazing. However, since I cut Predicts for Mental Notes, I am beginning to believe that I should go to 4 Fire/Ice and 3 Needle/Sleight of Hand.

By the way, I am going to dispute that Red gro is less effective against combo than White gro. There are primarily two types of combo in Legacy now: activated ability based inifinite loops and Storm. Salvagers, some builds of Aluren, Flame Vault, and Tog are all vulnerable to Pithing Needle as hate. Really, the only combo that White gro is better against is Solidarity and Nausea. Since Nausea and Solidarity are underrepresented, you can usuallly ignore their meta-presence. If you need to gun for them, however, red offers Pyrostatic Pillar and Sirroco for Solidarity. Although I cannot think of any hosers for Nausea, I'm sure that red ones exist. Since Legacy tends to be vastly aggro-control, red Gro's reach can often let your squeeze those last 5 points of damage past the clogged up ground.

Bryant Cook
01-21-2006, 06:39 PM
And if you're Red, instead of Swordsing your own dudes, you win a turn or two faster.

Speaking of, there's been very little discussion as to the Red build. Is this because people don't like it as much, or because it's worse, or what? I'm thinking of playing it, because Fledglings are so much cheaper than Meddling Mages, but I hesitate to start throwing Fire/Ice and Magma Jet in and upping my curve so much. Does anyone have a good build, and thoughts on why to go Red?

I will not be cocky or arrogant and say my build is "good or fantastic". But there is one good thing about my list, it wins. There are plenty of reasons to play red over white. One is it is alot easier to win after graveyard hate, being able to burn your opponent out is huge. Especially with this draw engine because you are often in top deck mode or on 1 or 2 cards. With my draw engine you more than likely know what you will be drawing. Red also has fledging dragon which IS bigger than enforcer, and I will agrue with anyone over this. In an aggro/contol deck the mana investment doesn't matter if they will be dead faster. Magma jet I cannot express how much I love this card, it has won me games I didn't deserve to win. Now onto the sideboard red has alot of advantages with the SB, 11 of my sideboard cards are red. With FTK, REB, and pyroclasm, why not run red?
Seriously FTK is BOMB in the mirror match killing 2 bears alot of the time. not to mention it's a hellava lot easier to kill mystic enforcers with that bad boy. I honestly don't believe mage and swords is a good enough reason to run white. I will give white that worship out of the sideboard is pretty fucking awesome. Now enough of people ignoreing my post I will be like all the cool kids and post my list.

Not Quite White version (Who the Fuck Cares)

// Lands
4 [R] Volcanic Island
3 [ON] Wooded Foothills
3 [R] Tropical Island
1 [RAV] Forest (3)
2 [7E] Island (3)
1 [5E] Mountain (1)
1 [U] Taiga
2 [ON] Flooded Strand

// Creatures
2 [JU] Fledgling Dragon
4 [OD] Nimble Mongoose
4 [OD] Werebear

// Spells
4 [FD] Magma Jet
4 [AP] Fire/Ice
4 [R] Lightning Bolt
4 [AL] Force of Will
3 [MM] Counterspell
4 [FD] Serum Visions
4 [MM] Brainstorm
4 [OD] Predict
3 [NE] Daze

// Sideboard
SB: 4 [8E] Pyroclasm
SB: 4 [B] Red Elemental Blast
SB: 2 [9E] Naturalize
SB: 2 [WL] Phyrexian Furnace
SB: 3 [PS] Flametongue Kavu

kimberley
01-21-2006, 07:19 PM
I will not be cocky or arrogant and say my build is "good or fantastic". But there is one good thing about my list, it wins. There are plenty of reasons to play red over white. One is it is alot easier to win after graveyard hate, being able to burn your opponent out is huge. Especially with this draw engine because you are often in top deck mode or on 1 or 2 cards. With my draw engine you more than likely know what you will be drawing. Red also has fledging dragon which IS bigger than enforcer, and I will agrue with anyone over this. In an aggro/contol deck the mana investment doesn't matter if they will be dead faster. Magma jet I cannot express how much I love this card, it has won me games I didn't deserve to win. Now onto the sideboard red has alot of advantages with the SB, 11 of my sideboard cards are red. With FTK, REB, and pyroclasm, why not run red?
Seriously FTK is BOMB in the mirror match killing 2 bears alot of the time. not to mention it's a hellava lot easier to kill mystic enforcers with that bad boy. I honestly don't believe mage and swords is a good enough reason to run white. I will give white that worship out of the sideboard is pretty fucking awesome. Now enough of people ignoreing my post I will be like all the cool kids and post my list.

1. Burn is good - i am with you.
2. If you want to know what you draw, i must once again suggest Portent - but let's not start another discussion about that one - we've had enough of them.
3. Dragon is trash imo. I play either Sea Drake (up to 3) or nothing in this place. The point that renders Dragon useless, is that...well it ususally does not resolve against Vial Goblin. And even without help from the op it is pretty easy to get stuck with the thing in your hand. RR is very annoying...as cc4 in general is in NQGr imo. But i concede, that without 8 creatures are not the # we want and that any other solution has its downsides too (i hate Drake - and just hate Dragon a bit more).
4. Jet is huge - i am right with you. Often enough in topdeck-mode it is free damage with card parity/virtual card advantage. Scry -> put down that 4th land, which is useless -> win a turn or two later without seeing a land for the rest of the game -> Scry=CA. I rarely use it as setup for Predict.
5. Can you explain Naturalize > Needle?
6a. In whcih matchups you need having more than 8 creatures the most?
6b. FTK is cc4, which is expensive, has a low life expectency in a NQGr mirror. In a NQGw mirror it has a negative synergy with the beatdown role. After all you want to be the first one with a threshed Bear. None the less it seems like an interesting choice to me.
6c. I recently used Hidden Gibbons SB (against the Mirror, Solidarity, Burn, Landstill - the obvious targets) and did fine with them. What do you think about Gibbons?

http://www.morphling.de/top8decks.php?id=328 <- here you can see my more or less current list. I ranked 5th (loosing to 3rd and id-ing with my mate, who finished 15th or something).

Zilla
01-21-2006, 09:11 PM
wasted, a few comments:

1. The current build I'm testing is near identical to yours, with a few minor differences to the manabase: I run 8 fetches for faster thresh; -1 Island, -1 Taiga. This is just a personal preference, perhaps, but I'm into turbothresh.

2. I used to run Predict. I stopped. Despite the fact that you have 12 cards to set up a 2 card draw with it, I ended up switching back to Mental Note in its place. Note's lower cost and its ability to aggressively (re)build thresh makes it better than Predict, imo.

3. I agree with kimberley - there are very few instances where I'd rather have Naturalize than Pithing Needle. I always want 2-3 of them in the board. In metagames where Naturalize might be necessary (e.g., Humility), I occasionally run Echoing Truth in the board. It's more versatile, pitches to FoW, and I often only need to remove a threat for a single turn to win, or to be able to counter it the following turn.

4. What matchups are you bringing in REB for? I used to run it, but then everyone stopped running Solidarity and Dredge Tog, which were the main reasons I ran it in the first place. You don't bring it in for the mirror, do you?

5. You really like Furnace better than Crypt? I understand that it cantrips and all, but I <3 free shit, and Crypt fits that bill. I usually care less about the draw and more about the cost. What's your thinking on this?

6. Aside from the mirror, what do you bring in FTK for? I never ran it, but it makes sense for the mirror. What else have you found it necessary against? Deadguy?

Bryant Cook
01-22-2006, 09:21 AM
wasted, a few comments:

1. The current build I'm testing is near identical to yours, with a few minor differences to the manabase: I run 8 fetches for faster thresh; -1 Island, -1 Taiga. This is just a personal preference, perhaps, but I'm into turbothresh.

2. I used to run Predict. I stopped. Despite the fact that you have 12 cards to set up a 2 card draw with it, I ended up switching back to Mental Note in its place. Note's lower cost and its ability to aggressively (re)build thresh makes it better than Predict, imo.

3. I agree with kimberley - there are very few instances where I'd rather have Naturalize than Pithing Needle. I always want 2-3 of them in the board. In metagames where Naturalize might be necessary (e.g., Humility), I occasionally run Echoing Truth in the board. It's more versatile, pitches to FoW, and I often only need to remove a threat for a single turn to win, or to be able to counter it the following turn.

4. What matchups are you bringing in REB for? I used to run it, but then everyone stopped running Solidarity and Dredge Tog, which were the main reasons I ran it in the first place. You don't bring it in for the mirror, do you?

5. You really like Furnace better than Crypt? I understand that it cantrips and all, but I <3 free shit, and Crypt fits that bill. I usually care less about the draw and more about the cost. What's your thinking on this?

6. Aside from the mirror, what do you bring in FTK for? I never ran it, but it makes sense for the mirror. What else have you found it necessary against? Deadguy?

@Zilla

1.) I myself have been getting annoyed with mana flood lately. Last week in the mirror match (one of my barns copied my list card for card) I had the game won the I drew 4 lands in a row... So I think I will test out 7 fetches today cutting an island and the taiga.

2.) I cannot express how much I hate mental note. If the deck had cards in it like Deep Anylysis and AK in it then yes I would use it, but milling a bear or dragon sucks. Not to mention I am the most unlucky person ever, As for notes cost yea the one casting cost is huge but I usually open 2 lands. I would like to point out somehting interesting Mr.Nightmare has gone down to 16 lands since he runs 11 1cc cantrips, is 16 land to few?

3.) To be Honest I'm not exactly sure why I am running naturalize. I do have RGSA in my meta and flamevault but needle does take care of that. I'll test out needle today instead of my naturalizes, I'll cut 2 naturalize and a REB.

4.) I do have Solidarity in my meta game, there was 3 of them last week since people love copying that horrible player in syracuse who refuses to run Cunning Wish. So I need to keep REB in my sideboard and it depends on what threshold mirror, I don't board it in against NQGr but I do against NQGw because 60% of thier deck is blue. Not to mention it's removal against mage, if they are dumb enough to keep it in game 2.

5.) I love furnace I will run this card every day over crypt. This card houses RGSA and keeps threshold off of threshold. They can recover off of a crypt but if you have furnace going it's alot harder for them seeing as you'll be killing dudes with fire/ice and you'll have 4/4's and 3/3 loose gooses. If furnace costed 0 I would be very very happy but it doesn't :( , that's the one plus side I see to crypt over furnace. Either way at the end of the day they got the job done, right?

6.) There is alot of mono-black in syracuse sadly, sometimes this mono-black has 4/4's and 6/6's that are hard to deal with. FTK is a meta game card, but I like it. I also board it in V.S RGSA since he kills 2 baloths while gaining them 8 life...? or just killing big shit. I also SB in pyroclasm in this match-up, you may be asking yourself, why? But more than 1/2 thier deck dies to it. It even kills multiple FTK's in a bad situation.


@ Kimberley

3. I think dragon is one of the best card's in the deck, I love it a 7/5 flyier that gets bigger is huge! Not to mention sea drake kinda sucks returning 2 lands and being bolted is lame.

5. I already explained up above.

6a. In the mirror match,RGSA, mono-black, and Garv.deq. I need creatures in order to win and trading dudes happens alot.
6b. As I stated earlyier I am very unlucky and I get mana-flooded alot, so I usually have 5-6 lands out. I don't know is it a cost to winning?

7. Hidden gibbons is fairly techy but that does make naturalize/disenchant useful. I don't know, it could be useful. I'll test it out once I pick some up.

Lego
01-22-2006, 01:22 PM
@ Mental Note: I've been playing around with Gro against lots of stuff less standard stuff like 3 Deuce, Garv, Belcher, Trix, R/G Beats, etc. and I can't count how many people have told me, "This matchup became really bad for me when Gro stopped playing stupid stuff like AK and Predict and started playing Mental Note." I see this random stuff a lot more than I see Draw-Go or anything where CA is better than tempo.

MattH
01-22-2006, 03:29 PM
7. Hidden gibbons is fairly techy but that does make naturalize/disenchant useful. I don't know, it could be useful. I'll test it out once I pick some up.
No, it doesn't. If they cast Disenchant at Gibbons, Gibbons triggers and becomes a creature, then Disenchant fizzles. Gibbons doens't remain an enchantment.

Bryant Cook
01-22-2006, 08:25 PM
Alright, well I played NQW/Theshhold/whatever you want to call it today, I ended up being 3-1-1 before going into top 8. Beat Garv.deq then lost to RGSA. I would like to thank Zilla and Kimberley the pithing needle was HUGE! today. It won me the round V.S Turboland naming Factory, then slowed down RGSA long enough for me to recover.Both my loses today were against RGSA could this be a deck that beats threshold? though in all 6 of our games I never saw a dragon once. The last time we played like 2 months ago I won the round because of dragon, is dragon key in this match-up? I would like to say I boared in FTK 5 times today, this guy is majorly busted. I found this guy is still ginormous compared to my 1/1's after a crypt. My list doesn't really care about yard hate as much as white gro which I'm loving right now.

@ Lego Army Man- I still stand by the fact mental note is garbage in a deck that doesn't benefit with the cards going to the grave yard. Yes, it helps to get threshold a turn earlyier but I still say card advantage is better. There was not a case today I would of rather hard a mental note over predict. Ask Getsickanddie how I beat him in swiss I played all 4 predicts in the first 7 turns of our game while setting them up, he never had a creature on the table.

@ MattH- Sorry, I'm a dumass.

Lego
01-22-2006, 08:28 PM
I will say that Predicting those Enlightened Tutors is hot, but I've loved Mental Note as long as I've been playing it. With Magma Jet though, I might consider Predict. I hate it when I can't set it up, and the White splash doesn't have enough ways.

AngryTroll
01-23-2006, 02:06 AM
I keep saying it over in the Survival thread, but RGSA is one of the worst matchups to play against with Gro. I have both built, and I play the two against each other a lot.

Survival and Burning Wish (technically what Wish wishes for) are must coutners. Wish will leave you with either no creatures in play or no land, and recovering from that is nearly impossible. Not completely impossible, but when you have no land and their development is unhindered, you are in trouble. The white version does have Meddling Mage to help out with the counters, but there are 3 different cards that are all instantly game-swinging. Unless there are two mages in play, they can be removed without a lot of trouble (Pyroclasm and FTK).

In addition to the 8 Must-Counters, cards like Rofellos need to be countered or else you lose. Flame Tongue Kavu is amazing, trading for everything in the deck except Enforcer or Dragon. Baloth will trade with Bears, kill Geese, and gain life while doing it. Troll Ascetic is a beating-it will block Werebear all day, negate Mongeese, and can't be touched by any removal. If the deck is packing Wall of Blossoms over Troll, Mongeese are still negated, but it is just a speedbump to the Werebears.

The matchup is very hard. Pithing Needle is a huge help, but it may be neccasary to side in graveyard hate as well. Unfortunately, you have now devoted multiple slots to Survival of the Fittest, but RGSA is favored without Survival on the board. Now, it is true that Needle can name Baloth, Troll, and Wooded Foothills, but the first Needle MUST name Survival. Even with a Mage naming Survival, it is very smart to have the Needle backup.

What can be done to improve this matchup? There is the option of graveyard hate, but that is not game ending by any means. RGSA is not overly popular right now, but that could very well change in the future because of Gro. Gro beats on combo pretty hard, and RGSA loses to combo but beats Gro. I believe that when people realize this, the metagame is going to shift and RGSA will greatly increase in popularity. How can the Gro decks (all three combinations of Red and White) adapt to meet the challenge?

Zilla
01-23-2006, 03:05 AM
I believe that when people realize this, the metagame is going to shift and RGSA will greatly increase in popularity. How can the Gro decks (all three combinations of Red and White) adapt to meet the challenge?
I have doubts. Lots of things beat Gro, and they're not seeing a ton of play. MBC smashes the ever living hell out of Gro, but it has trouble with Goblins and so no one plays it. RGSA is the same, to a lesser degree. It beats Gro, but Goblins has a decent matchup against it. Honestly, I think a deck that does poorly against combo is going to have to consistently beat both Gro and Goblins preboard for it to gain popularity. Angel Stompy almost achieves this, in that it beats Gro and has decent game 1 against Goblins, but it needs to have Tivadar's Crusade from the board to have a consistently strong game against a competent Goblins player. Combine that with the fact that its combo matchup stinks preboard, and it might not get popular either. It's an excellent meta call agaisnt a field of mostly Goblins and Gro, though.

This was just an example, however. Just beating Gro isn't enough; tons of decks do that. They have to consistently beat Goblins and have a decent game against combo as well for people to want to play them, in my opinion.




2.) I cannot express how much I hate mental note. If the deck had cards in it like Deep Anylysis and AK in it then yes I would use it, but milling a bear or dragon sucks. Not to mention I am the most unlucky person ever, As for notes cost yea the one casting cost is huge but I usually open 2 lands. I would like to point out somehting interesting Mr.Nightmare has gone down to 16 lands since he runs 11 1cc cantrips, is 16 land to few?

I feel 16 lands is too few, even with 11 1cc cantrips. You can't afford to be missing land drops int he first couple turns. 17 is cutting it close as it is. As for Mental Note, I'm more concerned with building thresh fast than I am with late game card advantage. The CA is irrellevant if they're dead. As for throwing junk I want to the yard, I don't find that to be a particularly good argument, since you have just as many ways to figure out what you're throwing to the yard as you do to set up a Predict. In other words, Magma Jet, Brainstorm and Serum Visions all let you more or less decide if you want to keep your top 2 card or get rid of them. The 1cc difference here is just huge, as is the speed with which it builds thresh. Turn 2 thresh isn't entirely uncommon for my build, and I dig that shit the most.


3.) To be Honest I'm not exactly sure why I am running naturalize.
Glad to hear it worked out for you.


4.) I do have Solidarity in my meta game, there was 3 of them last week since people love copying that horrible player in syracuse who refuses to run Cunning Wish. So I need to keep REB in my sideboard and it depends on what threshold mirror, I don't board it in against NQGr but I do against NQGw because 60% of thier deck is blue. Not to mention it's removal against mage, if they are dumb enough to keep it in game 2.
Makes sense to me. Thanks for the info. I haven't tested the UGw mirror as much as I'd like, so this is good to know.

quote]5.) I love furnace I will run this card every day over crypt.[/quote]
Hrm. It seems like the slowness could be a liability, but I'll give it a shot. I guess it also has some merit alongside Pithing Needle for the mirror, since most Thresh builds run Crypt in the board. Needle naming Crypt while you're running Furnace could be a real advantage.


6.) There is alot of mono-black in syracuse sadly, sometimes this mono-black has 4/4's and 6/6's that are hard to deal with. FTK is a meta game card, but I like it. I also board it in V.S RGSA since he kills 2 baloths while gaining them 8 life...? or just killing big shit. I also SB in pyroclasm in this match-up, you may be asking yourself, why? But more than 1/2 thier deck dies to it. It even kills multiple FTK's in a bad situation.
Yeah, I side in 'clasm for the Survival matchup as well. Sometimes the ability to healt their early game mana creatures buys you the time you need to just win, and it can be useful as a surprise way to remove Troll, if they're running it. You can also get rid of pesky Walls of Blossoms with it after they chump one of your attackers. More removal = more l33t in this amtchup.


3. I think dragon is one of the best card's in the deck
Heartily agreed. I ran 3 of them for a long time, because they just flat out win games when they resolve.

AnwarA101
01-23-2006, 02:02 PM
@Zilla: I don't want to get to far off topic given that this is a Gro thread, but I don't believe that Angel Stompy is very favorable against Gro. In my experience, Angel Stompy and Gro are pretty close to even. Angel Stompy might be slightly favored, but not by much. My experience with Angel Stompy also seems to show that it is very favored against Goblins without Tivadar's Crusade. Your experience maybe more extensive with the deck, but I still stand behind my observations.

Bryant Cook
01-24-2006, 05:39 PM
I've found they key to winning this match-up is to draw alot of men. Scry and predict away burn, due to Angel Stompy's high number of creatures with pro-red. The must counters are pro-red dudes and jitte/SOFI, don't worry about angel since Angel Stompy's deck has so many pro-red dudes, the second she comes out she gets her ass nuked. The match-up is difficult but I would still say it's 50/50 or 45/55.

@ Angry Troll- Burning wish is not a must counter. You let RGSA get whatever they are getting then counter that. Yes, survival is a must counter unless you have a needle in hand or in play. As for the list playing more than 1 troll asetic, you can always needle naming troll. Then bear knocks that bitch up, rofellos is NOT a must counter, with red gro you could care less about roffelos, because you have so much removal. If roffellos is hasty counter the dude his mana gets into play then nuke it. This is not landstill when you have to swords roffellos or you die during your next turn.

Zilla
01-24-2006, 08:47 PM
I've found they key to winning this match-up is to draw alot of men. Scry and predict away burn, due to Angel Stompy's high number of creatures with pro-red. The must counters are pro-red dudes and jitte/SOFI, don't worry about angel since Angel Stompy's deck has so many pro-red dudes, the second she comes out she gets her ass nuked.
This hasn't been my experience with this matchup. Certainly a morphed Angel will get nuked, but Gro is a relatively slow enough deck that Angel Stompy can afford to stall and hardcast Angel. At that point, it will cost you 2-3 cards to nuke her, which makes for some very very good times for the Angel Stompy player. This is ignoring the possibility of an active Mom on the table as well.

As for must counters, you forgot Parallax Wave, which is some kind of incredible against you. Sure, it doesn't hit Mongooseseses, but it effectively removes the rest of the threats in your deck from the game long enough to seal the deal. You have 10 critters total vs. a deck with 13 removal effects (3 Jitte, 2 SoFI, 4 StP, 3 Wave) and 21-23 creatures. I'm not sure that "just playing dudes" could be considered an effective strategy here.

As far as I'm concerned, there are 12 must counters: the Jittes, Swords, Waves, and hardcast Angels. That's rather a lot. With that said, I'm perfectly willing to accept the validity of your and Anwar's testing; it's difficult to come to real conclusions in this matter, because Gro builds have quite a lot of variance, and playskill is obviously a huge factor in the accuracy of testing results. I don't feel the matchup is unwinnable for Gro by any means, but I do think it's distinctly favorable for Angel Stompy, particularly if it's running Furnace and/or Crypt in the board, which it probably ought to be.

Bryant Cook
01-24-2006, 09:02 PM
The thing is Zilla the verson I tested against didn't run wave. I don't consider a unmorphed angel or swords a must counter. Like I said before with all the pro red dudes, you build up burn into your hand and nuke a unmorphed angel or go to the dome. I agree it is Angel Stompy's favor but not by much.

Zilla
01-24-2006, 09:29 PM
Like I said, matchup results are going to vary wildly for reasons like these. Parallax Wave is absolutely huge in this matchup. I assume your opponent was running Armageddon in this slot, which is clearly subpar against Thresh, which sometimes packs 'geddons of its own. Parallax Wave will make a huge difference here.

James Bond
01-25-2006, 03:42 PM
This is my list, the only problem with it is that I can't decide for the life of me whether to run 2 or 3 Mystics. I've found repeal to work a fair bit better than predict, but I feel the 2 utility slots will always be up for debate.


//NAME: Nqg
1 Plains
1 Forest
1 Island
3 Windswept Heath
4 Flooded Strand
4 Tundra
4 Tropical Island
2 Repeal
2 Counterspell
2 Mystic Enforcer
4 Daze
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Force of Will
4 Brainstorm
4 Serum Visions
4 Mental Note
4 Werebear
4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Meddling Mage
SB: 1 Tormod's Crypt
SB: 2 Naturalize
SB: 2 Worship
SB: 2 Serenity
SB: 2 Tivadar's Crusade
SB: 3 Blue Elemental Blast
SB: 3 Pithing Needle

Bardo
01-25-2006, 04:19 PM
That's pretty much my list. My changes:

- 1 Windswept Heath
- 1 Tundra
- 1 Tropical Island
+ 2 Polluted Delta
+ 1 Island

I think eight fetchlands is as optimal as you're going to get. No, you won't run out of land. No, the life loss won't kill you. But a lot of times the difference between hitting threshold on turn [x] or turn [x+1] is all that it takes to determine the outcome of a match. Why risk it?

But with Mental Note in the deck, I really suggest finding room for a second basic Island. In general you don't want to be too attached to your 1-ofs when playing Note, it's not uncommon to bin them. And the first land to almost always fetch is a basic Island. Again, the risk does not compensate for the marginal utility of an additional dual offers. Shitloads of testing has borne out that 4 of each are not required, and are often a liability.

Other changes:

-2 Repeal (wtf, really? -- maybe I'm missing something...)
+1 Engineered Explosives (not required -- it's a Bardo-thing)
+1 Sleight of Hand (place-holder)

The real debate is on "maindeck metagame" slots, which, of course, will never be conclusively answered, since those slots are naturally flexible. In short, nice list.

I think UGW is settling into a generally uniform "accepted list". :)

Nightmare
01-25-2006, 04:34 PM
Not to point out my build or anything, but hey, it wins games, so here is a contrasting version of UGW Thresh:

4x Nimble Mongoose
3x Meddling Mage
4x Werebear
2x Mystic Enforcer

4x Brainstorm
4x Serum Visions
4x Peek
4x Mental Note

3x Pithing Needle
4x Swords to Plowshares
4x Force of Will
3x Daze
2x Counter Target Spell

3x Trop
3x Tundra
4x Flooded
2x Windswept
2x Island
1x Forest
1x Plains

SB:

1x Mage
5x BEB/Hydro
2x Worship
2x Crypt
2x Sacred Ground
3x Meta - Considering Galina's Knight, cause he replaces Mage vs. Gobs, and UGR can't remove him. Priveledged Position is also getting some testing, and if Black crops up this slot IS Compost.

Thats right, I'm down to 16 land. I was consistently getting flooded with 17, so I cut 1 Heath, and it hasn't been bad since. I think the issue is that all my spells cost 1, so any more than 4 land and I'm seeing too much. Don't tell me it's not enough, I've been testing it a lot, and it's correct where it is. I would maybe, MAYBE go back to 17, but only if it was for a Needle.

Some of you are probably saying "Peek???WTFBBQ??" Peek is the NUTS in my build. But only in my build. With Mages and Needles MD, you always know what to name. My favorite play on the play is land, go, end of your draw step Peek. Your opponent is immediately off his footing, because you know exactly what his game plan is going to be. Just remember to write his hand down before you draw, or he can pick his hand up. Since I don't run that many library manipulators, I cut Predict for Mental Note. Wastedlife runs 4 more scryers than me, so its still solid in his list, but I can't consistently set it up enough anymore.

So now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

Happy Gilmore
01-25-2006, 06:09 PM
Not to point out my build or anything, but hey, it wins games, so here is a contrasting version of UGW Thresh:

4x Nimble Mongoose
3x Meddling Mage
4x Werebear
2x Mystic Enforcer

4x Brainstorm
4x Serum Visions
4x Peek
4x Mental Note

3x Pithing Needle
4x Swords to Plowshares
4x Force of Will
3x Daze
2x Counter Target Spell

3x Trop
3x Tundra
4x Flooded
2x Windswept
2x Island
1x Forest
1x Plains

SB:

1x Mage
5x BEB/Hydro
2x Worship
2x Crypt
2x Sacred Ground
3x Meta - Considering Galina's Knight, cause he replaces Mage vs. Gobs, and UGR can't remove him. Priveledged Position is also getting some testing, and if Black crops up this slot IS Compost.




Thats a very interesting list you got there. I have to admit it really does take advantage of Meddling Mage's ability to block cards. I have a couple of questions though, have you had issues with wasteland? Its seems like bad times for you. I also noticed that your sideboard doesn't have much against control decks, ie. wombat and landstill. Is this because of the meta where you play? If you were going to the duel for duels would you play this list as is or would you modify it a bit?



I've found they key to winning this match-up is to draw alot of men. Scry and predict away burn, due to Angel Stompy's high number of creatures with pro-red. The must counters are pro-red dudes and jitte/SOFI, don't worry about angel since Angel Stompy's deck has so many pro-red dudes, the second she comes out she gets her ass nuked. The match-up is difficult but I would still say it's 50/50 or 45/55.



Regarding the angel stompy matchup, not all pro red creatures are a must counter. The Priest should be feared beyond all others. A resolved priest early is almost a garanteed path to winning the game. Other than that Jitte, SoFI, and Waves need to be delt with. It might also be noted that in the games Anwar and I tested 3 Pithing Needles were in the maindeck. One can infer that I would have lost most of the games if I hadn't had them.

MD Pithing Needles are also a reason why RGSA, Wombat, and Landstill are better matchups pre-board. This is so important against the control decks especially, since its very possible that you might not make it to game three or even game two.

Bardo
01-25-2006, 06:15 PM
I don't like Peak because it's quite awful at searching for land. Brainstorm, Serum Visions, and Sleight are all solid in this slot, and Mental Note is a threshold-building workhorse. But I'll admit, without Peak, you need better instincts; but while playskill can always get better, Peak will always be marginal.

Otherwise, 16 lands seems somewhat suicidal, but rock on, I suppose.

In most other ways, your list is pretty much on target with most of the other UGW builds.

Bryant Cook
01-25-2006, 10:33 PM
I really like peek in NQGw, Because you are already playing 7-8 cards that require you to name a card. Why not mess with thier hand?
@ The Angel Stompy match-up - It doesn't really effect me due to it's lack of presence in the metagame of Syracuse.
@ MD needle in NQGr- In the white list it's fine because the deck is reactive. NQGr is a proactive deck, reactive cards don't belong in the MD because you want to win ASAP.

dsg123456789
01-25-2006, 11:23 PM
@ MD needle in NQGr- In the white list it's fine because the deck is reactive. NQGr is a proactive deck, reactive cards don't belong in the MD because you want to win ASAP.

I would like to point out that both splashes have an identical game plan, and that calling one reactive and one proactive doesn't make sense. Just because red's removal is more flexible than white's doesn't mean the deck suddenly "goes for the throat". Red Gro an white Gro play out the same, except red does better against aggro decks while white tends to edge out combo and control decks.

Zilla
01-25-2006, 11:43 PM
The truth is somewhere in between. The red build can go aggro more quickly than the white build if it needs to, but both can be equally reactive. There's no hard and fast rule that says Needle doesn't belong in the red build. In metagames with a lot of Wastelands or MD graveyard hate, MD Needle can be warranted in both builds.

Machinus
01-25-2006, 11:47 PM
Is it even necessary to run a fatty in the deck? Many at Lille did not, and the deck still dominated. Is enforcer good against competitive decks? Is it just there to help with random fields? Why continue to play something so expensive?

Mad Zur
01-26-2006, 12:00 AM
Fatties are good in the mirror.

Red Gro is not more proactive than white Gro. Red Gro with twelve burn spells might be. Personally, I've been very happy with Needle. I would not be nearly as comfortable in the Goblin matchup without a cheap answer to Vial.

Zilla
01-26-2006, 06:25 AM
Fatties are good in the mirror.
QFT. It's also good against randomness, and there's plenty of that in the format. Particularly in the red build, 8 threats is simply too few to rely upon in my opinion. The white build can theoretically avoid fat because it's also running Mages, but the deck needs more than 8 threats in a varied metagame.


Red Gro is not more proactive than white Gro. Red Gro with twelve burn spells might be. Personally, I've been very happy with Needle. I would not be nearly as comfortable in the Goblin matchup without a cheap answer to Vial.
Even 8 burn spells is more proactive than 4 StP, which is purely reactive. All in all, the two decks are highly similar, but the red build is more proactive, if only slightly so. As for having an answer to Vial, I consider Pyroclasm a cheap answer to it. I don't even bother siding in Needles for this matchup. 8-12 burn spells, counters for key threats, mass removal, and better threats of my own have proven a consistent strategy against Goblins for me. Were I running white, I'd definitely bring in Needles for this matchup, but it hasn't been necessary with the red build, in my experience.

Nightmare
01-26-2006, 08:36 AM
Thats a very interesting list you got there. I have to admit it really does take advantage of Meddling Mage's ability to block cards. I have a couple of questions though, have you had issues with wasteland? Its seems like bad times for you. I also noticed that your sideboard doesn't have much against control decks, ie. wombat and landstill. Is this because of the meta where you play? If you were going to the duel for duels would you play this list as is or would you modify it a bit?
Well, It's pretty tuned to the Syracuse Meta (minus the red mirror, I still have trouble with that.) Wasteland pretty much doesn't exist there. Since I know what every player plays there, and if not, usually scope him out beforehand, if I know Wasteland is an issue, that's Needle Target #1. The thing with them MD is that you can afford a slightly riskier Manabase, because you can answer their Wastes starting from turn 1. As far as Wombat and Landstill, those decks don't exist here. No one has caught on to the fact that Wombat has a decent game Vs. Gro, and they're all still playing bad Solidarity or Sui Black builds. Or, half the fucking people in town play Gro. If I were going to the DfD, I would make the following modifications to my maindeck:

-4 Peek
+2 Polluted Delta
+2 Stifle

I'd have to think hard about what to change in the board, since my meta is so skewed. I'd still have Worship, Sacred Ground, the 4th Mage, Crypts, and the BEBs. I don't know what would fill out the rest.

@ 16 Lands: I honestly don't know how I get it to work. Like I said above, in a long tournament, I'd go back to 18. I tested with Wastedlife for about 3 hours one day though, and got flooded every game till I cut down to 16. I'll probably end up at 17.

@ Peek being bad: I wholeheartedly agree it sucks at drawing cards. But so does Predict in my build, and at least peek has utility. It's not a compensation for playskill, it's an advantage that your opponent isn't used to you having. Hell, if it weren't card disadvantage, I'd run Telepathy.

@ Fatty: It's EXTREMELY important. I can't tell you how much so. Sometimes, you need to win NOW, and swinging for 15+ a turn is how you do it.

Mad Zur
01-26-2006, 10:33 AM
Even 8 burn spells is more proactive than 4 StP, which is purely reactive. All in all, the two decks are highly similar, but the red build is more proactive, if only slightly so.
No, your build is more proactive. It's easily possible, and in my opinion optimal, to build the deck to have the exact same strategy as white Gro (possibly more reactive because it lacks Mages).

As for having an answer to Vial, I consider Pyroclasm a cheap answer to it. I don't even bother siding in Needles for this matchup. 8-12 burn spells, counters for key threats, mass removal, and better threats of my own have proven a consistent strategy against Goblins for me. Were I running white, I'd definitely bring in Needles for this matchup, but it hasn't been necessary with the red build, in my experience.
If I felt that maindeck Pyroclasms weres as useful against the field as maindeck Needles, I would play them, but they aren't really comparable. In game one, the deck needs a way to answer Vial. I don't know what kind of Goblin players you've been playing against, but uncounterable card advantage beats one-for-one removal. Your "counters for key threats" plan doesn't work against a resolved Vial, and in game one when you don't have access to mass removal, you should have an extremely difficult time winning.

Bryant Cook
01-26-2006, 11:15 AM
@ MD needle in NQGr- In the white list it's fine because the deck is reactive. NQGr is a proactive deck, reactive cards don't belong in the MD because you want to win ASAP.

I would like to point out that both splashes have an identical game plan, and that calling one reactive and one proactive doesn't make sense. Just because red's removal is more flexible than white's doesn't mean the deck suddenly "goes for the throat". Red Gro an white Gro play out the same, except red does better against aggro decks while white tends to edge out combo and control decks.

Yes, they both have the same game plan I'll give you that but they way each deck reaches that game plan is different. White gro is usually on defense most of the game until it can slam down a few bears or enforcer. Red gro normally isn't of defense at all, if anything it is the offensive deck. That is what I ment by reactive and proactive decks. Because of white gro's inability to deal with creatures it has to stay on defense. Where as red gro can shrug it off, that is what I ment.

@MadZur- Don't get me wrong I like needle I play it too, but I just don't think it should be maineck that's all.
@Fatties- Gotta love the big ones right? I mean C'mon they're HUGE!11!1! Gro without Dragon or Enforcer would seem like it has a harder time winning.

EDIT: @ MadZur- That's the thing alot of red's removal is not just 1 for 1. With Pyroclasm, Fire/ice, and FTK you are 2 for 1'ing or more.

Bardo
01-26-2006, 12:24 PM
[Mr Nightmare]I'd have to think hard about what to change in the board, since my meta is so skewed. I'd still have Worship, Sacred Ground, the 4th Mage, Crypts, and the BEBs. I don't know what would fill out the rest.

I really suggest finding room for Mage #4 in the maindeck. I've had to cut to 3 MD Mages because of card shaving, but there are so many games when they're a house of bricks. Also, the more you draw they better they become in limiting your opponent's options. Two+ Mages makes for a lot of dead draws.


Peek being bad: I wholeheartedly agree it sucks at drawing cards. But so does Predict in my build, and at least peek has utility.

"Suck[ing] at drawing cards" isn't the real problem, but sucking at drawing early lands is. Running only 16-18 land, you're far more likely than any other deck to get stuck playing one land hands. But those are usually playable as long as you can reliably make your early land drops and keep up the deck's momentum. Peak helps some, but isn't better than say Sleight of Hand.


@ Fatty: It's EXTREMELY important. I can't tell you how much so. Sometimes, you need to win NOW, and swinging for 15+ a turn is how you do it.

Word. Fatties are tech for the mirror and randomness, both of which are common.

Mad Zur
01-26-2006, 12:55 PM
If Goblins has an active Vial in game one, they're going to gain massive inevitability on you. That means you have to take the role of beatdown. Their card advantage, through free and uncounterable Ringleaders, Matrons, Siege-Gangs, and Kiki-Jikis allows them to fill their board with more creatures than you can remove. Thus, not only do you need to play beatdown, you need to do so with Gempalm Incinerator taking down your targetable creatures, and the threat of Warchiefs, Piledrivers, Pyromancers, and/or Kings coming into play at instant speed for an alpha strike.

But that's game one. In game two, you get Pyroclasm, which means you can beat the sort of Goblin players that overextend whether they resolve Vial or not. However, if the Goblin player plays intelligently, and uses the card advantage Vial gives him access to in order to play around Pyroclasm, you'll still be in trouble. FTK won't help a whole lot because it costs four, gets killed very easily, and only gets rid of one threat. Going down to eight draw spells doesn't exactly help any of this. Predict is better than FTK because it costs half as much for the same card advantage, and gets you closer to Pyroclasm.

Whether or not to maindeck Needle depends largely on the metagame; I'm just arguing that it's good against Goblins. Certainly if you see as much of the mirror match as is supposedly present in Syracuse, boarding them is defensible.

Bryant Cook
01-26-2006, 01:09 PM
If Goblins has an active Vial in game one, they're going to gain massive inevitability on you. That means you have to take the role of beatdown. Their card advantage, through free and uncounterable Ringleaders, Matrons, Siege-Gangs, and Kiki-Jikis allows them to fill their board with more creatures than you can remove. Thus, not only do you need to play beatdown, you need to do so with Gempalm Incinerator taking down your targetable creatures, and the threat of Warchiefs, Piledrivers, Pyromancers, and/or Kings coming into play at instant speed for an alpha strike.

But that's game one. In game two, you get Pyroclasm, which means you can beat the sort of Goblin players that overextend whether they resolve Vial or not. However, if the Goblin player plays intelligently, and uses the card advantage Vial gives him access to in order to play around Pyroclasm, you'll still be in trouble. FTK won't help a whole lot because it costs four, gets killed very easily, and only gets rid of one threat. Going down to eight draw spells doesn't exactly help any of this. Predict is better than FTK because it costs half as much for the same card advantage, and gets you closer to Pyroclasm.

Whether or not to maindeck Needle depends largely on the metagame; I'm just arguing that it's good against Goblins. Certainly if you see as much of the mirror match as is supposedly present in Syracuse, boarding them is defensible.

I think you over-exagerate vial. I've played the goblin match-up plenty of times and haven't lost. Vial isn't that big of differance, let goblins sit back and not play spells. Let them just vial out creatures, thier clock is alot less scary then. If they are playing spells counterspell what they are playing and let them vial. Kill whatever you need to and trade with the others.
Don't get me wrong I'm aware of what vial can do, but it's not that broken of a card. Ask Brolio, I was testing against him last night he vialed out all 4 ringleaders and a kiki. I still won that game, Vial goblins ability to gain card advantage isn't always 4 or 3 goblins. 1/2 the time it's goblins you don't care about like late game lackeys, fanatics, and prospectors.
Flametongue kavu is taking the place of another 4cc card (dragon) so you're at the same curve as you were game 1. I know he is balls ass expensive but he does get the job done.

@ Needle - I do board it in for goblins but I'm not going to say the first thing I name is going to be needle if they have port action going on, I will deal with that first.

I think Mr.Nightmare is over-exaggerating on how many people play Gro/Threshold. Last sunday we had 18 people and I was the only Threshold player. On occasion when kadilak feels like not being a bitch and playing he plays gro. Nat (Brushwagg) plays gro a few times a month, sometimes other stuff. Mr. Nightmare plays gro or turboland it's a coin toss. We have 4 people that play gro it's not all that grand.

Nightmare
01-26-2006, 01:49 PM
The meta in Syracuse has shifted a little, true, but there was a week where there were 6 Gro decks of varying splashes out of 16 people.

Happy Gilmore
01-26-2006, 08:31 PM
NQGr is a proactive deck, reactive cards don't belong in the MD because you want to win ASAP.

If you are trying to win as quickly as possible you are playing the wrong deck. Grow is not designed to Goldfish faster than Goblins or the combo decks. Building the deck for speed will Severly hurt you in practically every matchup.

Regarding going to 16 lands: In the build I play (Mad Zur's list practically) I don't have issues because my draw spells allow me to draw the cards I need, rather than a random card three cards down(ie mental note). I believe the correct build of grow is one that creates the greatest amount of answers in any given matchup. Draw that isn't selective doesn't contribute to generating answers. That is why you see most of the red builds playing huge amounts of redundancy, which is good, but the deck can give you the wrong answers sometimes (creatures when you need removal, removal when you need counters, etc). I Like the hand sculpting that Predict allows. However, it goes withought saying that the strategy is slightly different.

Bryant Cook
01-26-2006, 08:39 PM
NQGr is a proactive deck, reactive cards don't belong in the MD because you want to win ASAP.

If you are trying to win as quickly as possible you are playing the wrong deck. Grow is not designed to Goldfish faster than Goblins or the combo decks. Building the deck for speed will Severly hurt you in practically every matchup.

I'm not saying I want to goldfish faster than goblins. The draw engine that supports this deck doesn't support a long lasting game. After you are done playing cantrips and killing shit you are often down to a few cards. Which won't lead to a long game. If you have a deck that wins at a decent speed you won't have to worry about the long game. I'm not saying white gro can't win at a decent speed but it takes longer, and by then the draw engine is done because you are on fewer cards or top deck mode.

Bardo
01-26-2006, 08:45 PM
I Like the hand sculpting that Predict allows.

How in the world is Predict a "hand sculpter"? This is true for Serum Visions and Brainstorm of course, but I don't see how that applies here.

Zilla
01-26-2006, 09:01 PM
No, your build is more proactive. It's easily possible, and in my opinion optimal, to build the deck to have the exact same strategy as white Gro (possibly more reactive because it lacks Mages).
We may be arguing symantics at this point, but I'd say that any build with 8 or more MD burn spells is more proactive, if only slightly so. Burn can always be proactive; StP never can be. And while Mage is inherently proactive, neither it nor StP can be used to build thresh a turn sooner in a vacuum like burn can. Proactive vs. reactive may be the incorrect focal point to the discussion; what we're really talking about is aggressiveness, and in this sense, UGr has the ability to play more aggressively than UGw, both because it can send damage to the dome, and because it can build thresh more quickly if it needs to. I'll reiterate, though, that I don't believe this makes MD Needle an unviable option in UGr builds.


I don't know what kind of Goblin players you've been playing against, but uncounterable card advantage beats one-for-one removal.
Clearly. Pyroclasm isn't one-for-one removal, though.


Your "counters for key threats" plan doesn't work against a resolved Vial, and in game one when you don't have access to mass removal, you should have an extremely difficult time winning.
If countering key threats were my only plan, I would agree with you, but it is only a smaller portion of a larger strategy, as I indicated in my earlier post. As for game 1, it's not nearly as difficult as you suggest. It's certainly much closer to 50-50 than post board, but it's by no means unwinnable or even significantly unfavorable, in my testing.

This line of discussion perhaps belies the point, however. You're speaking as though I suggested that Pithing Needle is an unacceptable maindeck inclusion, which I never did. In an extremely Goblins heavy meta, I might run it, or I might run maindecked Pyroclasms, depending on which is better against the rest of the field. Certainly Needle is a strong choice in the modern metagame, and I absolutely advocate at least 3 of them between the maindeck and the sideboard. Whether they belong in the maindeck at all is quite clearly a metagame choice, no?

Machinus
01-26-2006, 09:12 PM
Fatties are good in the mirror.
QFT. It's also good against randomness, and there's plenty of that in the format. Particularly in the red build, 8 threats is simply too few to rely upon in my opinion. The white build can theoretically avoid fat because it's also running Mages, but the deck needs more than 8 threats in a varied metagame.

I was actually referring only to the white build. Is there a compelling reason to continue running Enforcer? Dealing with randomness isn't a good reason to run maindeck cards. Helmut won the threshold mirror all day without them, as well. I still think his creature base is superior to all others.

Happy Gilmore
01-26-2006, 09:29 PM
How in the world is Predict a "hand sculpter"? This is true for Serum Visions and Brainstorm of course, but I don't see how that applies here.

Sorry for the missunderstanding. The reason I see Predict as a way of sculpting your hand stems from the fact that it gets rid of cards you don't want to see, and generates card advantage. I would argue that card advantage, by drawing multiple cards, is one way of making a better hand and creating answers. I hope that cleared up what I meant.


I was actually referring only to the white build. Is there a compelling reason to continue running Enforcer? Dealing with randomness isn't a good reason to run maindeck cards. Helmut won the threshold mirror all day without them, as well.

The reason for running Enforcer is still the same as it was in Super Grow. Without it the white build has no reach at all. Reach is extremely important to the overall strategy. It can break stalemates and win games that would otherwise be lost. You might be able to make an arguement for simply running 4/4/4 (mongoose, bear, mage). Though it might be important to point out that the winning build at Lille had reach as well, in the form of burn.

Bryant Cook
01-27-2006, 10:15 PM
I was actually referring only to the white build. Is there a compelling reason to continue running Enforcer? Dealing with randomness isn't a good reason to run maindeck cards. Helmut won the threshold mirror all day without them, as well. I still think his creature base is superior to all others.

He was also playing 4 color and couldn't afford to mess up the manabase even more by having a card with 2 off colors. I Honestly have been getting quite angry at my deck lately, I never F'ing draw Dragon. I mean, I want to but I won't. I should start wanting to draw lands so I can quit being flooded all the time. As for big dudes I agree with what Happy Gilmore said on the beef. I was testing against Kaddyshack tonight in the NQGr Mirror and whoever drew dragon won, if it resolved.

Getsickanddie
01-27-2006, 11:47 PM
I think Mr.Nightmare is over-exaggerating on how many people play Gro/Threshold. Last sunday we had 18 people and I was the only Threshold player. On occasion when kadilak feels like not being a bitch and playing he plays gro. Nat (Brushwagg) plays gro a few times a month, sometimes other stuff. Mr. Nightmare plays gro or turboland it's a coin toss. We have 4 people that play gro it's not all that grand.[/QUOTE]

Hey don't forget about retard Jeremy!

But yeah, there really aren't that many other players that matter that show up on a regular basis in our meta game.

Bryant Cook
01-28-2006, 10:18 AM
I think Mr.Nightmare is over-exaggerating on how many people play Gro/Threshold. Last sunday we had 18 people and I was the only Threshold player. On occasion when kadilak feels like not being a bitch and playing he plays gro. Nat (Brushwagg) plays gro a few times a month, sometimes other stuff. Mr. Nightmare plays gro or turboland it's a coin toss. We have 4 people that play gro it's not all that grand.

Hey don't forget about retard Jeremy!

But yeah, there really aren't that many other players that matter that show up on a regular basis in our meta game.

He was playing Springtide BTW, which is a very easy match-up for gro I found out, I played a few games in between rounds with him.

EDIT- LMFAO at Baby Killer Adept.

Lego
01-28-2006, 01:18 PM
I don't agree that Spring Tide is a very easy matchup for Gro, and if you found it such, than the Spring Tide player wasn't a very good player. I've played Gro several times, and I've found that Spring Tide has a heavy advantage in the matchup. Just like Solidarity, Spring Tide can go off through two or three permission spells, and Gro can't muster anything more than that on their second or third turns. After board Defense Grid comes in to kick your ass. If that resolves the game is over, and even if it doesn't you've wasted one or two permission spells, and it becomes simple to go off next turn.

Bryant Cook
01-29-2006, 09:59 AM
I don't agree that Spring Tide is a very easy matchup for Gro, and if you found it such, than the Spring Tide player wasn't a very good player. I've played Gro several times, and I've found that Spring Tide has a heavy advantage in the matchup. Just like Solidarity, Spring Tide can go off through two or three permission spells, and Gro can't muster anything more than that on their second or third turns. After board Defense Grid comes in to kick your ass. If that resolves the game is over, and even if it doesn't you've wasted one or two permission spells, and it becomes simple to go off next turn.
You're kidding right? The Spring Tide match-up is the same as the Solidarity match-up. You beat both of them, I'm not saying they're a cakewalk, however you don't need to worry about them. Gro is just too hard for them to beat, with a fast clock and counters. I don't see how you see it as a bad match-up at all. Board defense grid turn 2 huh? Gro runs 7-8 counters that can counter that turn 2 no need to fret about that. As for Solidarity/Springtide yes, they can go through 2 or 3 counterspells but not on turns 1-4. Often a Daze completly wrecks them, I've done it to solidarity. Daze Hightide, counter,counter. That's enough about the Solidarity match-up.
What do people think of the 4 color list? I know some people trying to scrap up a list for it. What would be some pros and cons to it?

Lego
01-29-2006, 04:40 PM
You're confusing Solidarity and Spring Tide a lot here. The matchups are a lot different for Gro. Solidarity can't go off until turn 4, ever, and often it doesn't go off until turn 5 or 6. By that point you've got a threat or two on the board and counters in hand. Spring Tide can go off as early as turn 2, and highly consistantly on turn 3. It can't whether quite as many counterspells as Solidarity, but on your first or second turn, when Spring Tide goes off, you'll only have one or two counters and Tide can easily play around that. Grid from the board is just another must counter, and if it resolves you've lost.

While Solidarity may be heavily in your favor because you can drop a Meddling Mage and back him up with a few counters, that just doesn't work with Spring Tide. It is faster, more consistant, has more draw and untap, and it plays maindeck bounce for the Mages.

Zilla
01-29-2006, 04:42 PM
What would be some pros and cons to it?
The Pros are that you get Meddling Mage and Burn. The cons are that you destabilize an already unstable manabase. Simply put, it's not particularly worth the tradeoff. If you're playing red and you find you're not beating combo without Mage, run SB specific cards to beat that combo. An example would be REB or Stifle for the High Tide matchup, particularly since these cards are good against a bunch of other decks as well.

The main reason a 4c build won GP Lille is because it was heavily metagamed to win the mirror match. In doing so, the deck is able to run Meddling Mage, naming things he knows his opponent is playing and that he is not (e.g., StP). It was a ncie strategy, and in a Gro heavy meta it would probably work again. But beyond that, I don't see any valid reason to stretch the manabase to support 4 colors; there's isn't much offered by it that is needed.

Happy Gilmore
01-29-2006, 06:52 PM
I don't agree that Spring Tide is a very easy matchup for Gro, and if you found it such, than the Spring Tide player wasn't a very good player. I've played Gro several times, and I've found that Spring Tide has a heavy advantage in the matchup. Just like Solidarity, Spring Tide can go off through two or three permission spells, and Gro can't muster anything more than that on their second or third turns. After board Defense Grid comes in to kick your ass. If that resolves the game is over, and even if it doesn't you've wasted one or two permission spells, and it becomes simple to go off next turn.

I don't understand how this could be. All the testing we have done against Solidarity and Springtide has shown a 70-30 or better matchup pre-board (to be fair, most of the testing was against solidarity). SpringTide should be an even easier matchup since the creature removal becomes relevant. Not to mention that SpringTide can't go off in response to lethal damage or in response to a crucial spell.

Regarind defense grid:
One game against Anwar playing SpringTide he drew 3 Grids and I still won that game. It happened exacly the way you said, I used my permision spells, 3 hard counters out of 7 on them. The second grid resolved and i was still able to beat him because I bolted a snaped creature. I don't know where you got your info, but SpringTide does not have the advantage. You could argue that it has better post board game than Solidarity but not that its favored.



You're confusing Solidarity and Spring Tide a lot here. The matchups are a lot different for Gro. Solidarity can't go off until turn 4, ever, and often it doesn't go off until turn 5 or 6. By that point you've got a threat or two on the board and counters in hand. Spring Tide can go off as early as turn 2, and highly consistantly on turn 3. It can't whether quite as many counterspells as Solidarity, but on your first or second turn, when Spring Tide goes off, you'll only have one or two counters and Tide can easily play around that. Grid from the board is just another must counter, and if it resolves you've lost.


Never in my life have I seen SpingTide successfully go off turn two in tournament play. By going off turn two you open yourself up to a plethora highly effective countermagic, including Daze for god's sake. Swords or Bolt wreck you, and since you have to play a High Tide Counterspell is relevant. Are you honestly saying that you have the capablility of beating through disruption going off turn 2? Maybe I'm mistaken, and if so I appoligize, but have you ever tried going off that early agianst grow before (red or white) and did so successfully?



What do people think of the 4 color list? I know some people trying to scrap up a list for it. What would be some pros and cons to it?


Umm versitility is a big bonus I think, I would argue that in a varied metagame a 4 color list might have the advantage over the three color lists. What worries me about the Lille winning list is the inability to deal with the huge fatties of the format. Burn is really bad against Enforcer and Dragon and some of the other larger creatures. A 4 color list like the one in Lille make me wonder what he was metagaming against. Mage isn't all that amazing in the mirror match nor is it an efficient creature against the aggro decks. That is the only downfall I can see, running burn and mages leave you vulnerable to fat.

AnwarA101
01-29-2006, 08:05 PM
I don't understand how this could be. All the testing we have done against Solidarity and Springtide has shown a 70-30 or better matchup pre-board (to be fair, most of the testing was against solidarity). SpringTide should be an even easier matchup since the creature removal becomes relevant. Not to mention that SpringTide can't go off in response to lethal damage or in response to a crucial spell.

Regarind defense grid:
One game against Anwar playing SpringTide he drew 3 Grids and I still won that game. It happened exacly the way you said, I used my permision spells, 3 hard counters out of 7 on them. The second grid resolved and i was still able to beat him because I bolted a snaped creature. I don't know where you got your info, but SpringTide does not have the advantage. You could argue that it has better post board game than Solidarity but not that its favored.



Just to clarify a little bit the game that you were discussing did involve me drawing 2 Defense Grids one of which resolved and the second didn't. You are correct that bolting your own Werebear (no Threshold) so that I could not use Snap as my untap method prevented me from continuing the combo and thus costing me the game. But I have to agree here with Happy Gilmore that while Spring Tide may have a better post-board game against Gro, the matchup is not very favorable pre-board and post-board is still difficult. Defense Grid does help in that it like a must-counter but that doesn't mean that you will be able to go off through their counterwall especially if Grid hasn't resolved.

Lego
01-29-2006, 09:15 PM
I'm not sure if I'm reading this correctly, but you said "3 hard counters out of 7"... that's either telling me that you played 3 hard counters and 4 Daze, or just that among the counters you cast, 3 of them were hard.

This makes me wonder how good the Spring Tide player you were playing against was. That he waited long enough for you to be able to resolve 7 counters is a huge problem. The reason Spring Tide has a better matchup than Solidarity vs. Gro isn't just the Defense Grids, it's the speed and consistancy. One to two turns makes a world of difference. It is true that your creature removal becomes relevant, but I would still say that the matchup isn't as bad as you say it is.

If I said it was positive for Spring Tide, I retract that statment, because it certainly isn't, but in my testing it has been much closer to 50/50 than you've said. The trick is to press your advantage and go off as soon as you possibly can. Sometimes they'll have the double daze, double Force hand, but otherwise you should usually be fine. Often I've let a counter war ensue over High Tide, passed the turn, untapped and won with a Merchant Scroll or another Tide.

Bryant Cook
01-30-2006, 02:41 PM
I'm not sure if I'm reading this correctly, but you said "3 hard counters out of 7"... that's either telling me that you played 3 hard counters and 4 Daze, or just that among the counters you cast, 3 of them were hard.

This makes me wonder how good the Spring Tide player you were playing against was. That he waited long enough for you to be able to resolve 7 counters is a huge problem. The reason Spring Tide has a better matchup than Solidarity vs. Gro isn't just the Defense Grids, it's the speed and consistancy. One to two turns makes a world of difference. It is true that your creature removal becomes relevant, but I would still say that the matchup isn't as bad as you say it is.

If I said it was positive for Spring Tide, I retract that statment, because it certainly isn't, but in my testing it has been much closer to 50/50 than you've said. The trick is to press your advantage and go off as soon as you possibly can. Sometimes they'll have the double daze, double Force hand, but otherwise you should usually be fine. Often I've let a counter war ensue over High Tide, passed the turn, untapped and won with a Merchant Scroll or another Tide.

You're kidding right? In the first 2-3 turns gro has gone through almost 11 cards. The deck will find dazes and forces to mess up spring tide. Spring tide is even a better match-up for gro then solidarity is, atleast solidarity can consistantly win through counters springtide can't especially turns 2-3 like you have been saying. Soldarity is 60/40 for gro, so springtide is more than likey 65/35 or 70/30, It's a highly positive match-up. So for you're calling Anwar a bad player? You need to quit calling people bad players. Thats 3 times in the last 3 pages, that you have called someones testing in accurate because of playskill. I've never seen your name in a top 4 or 8. So calm down a little bit on that.

calosso
01-30-2006, 02:52 PM
I agree with wastedlife. Solidarity has never been a good match-up gro. Have you ever tested the Gro VS Springtide match-up Lego. Please don't insult people that are better than you.
I also disagree with the statement that springtide is a better match-up for gro than solidarity. Because of Deep6ers new list I have ssen a great improvement in the list. Because of remand he can survive more counterspells,and peek allows the solidarity player to play around all the counterspells the gro player may have.

Sorry for my misrepresentation of your post wastedlife.
Agains sorry for all the grammatical errors.

Bryant Cook
01-30-2006, 02:55 PM
I agree with wastedlife. Solidarity has never been a good match-up gro. Lego what relevant testing have you done with either deck. You are trying to tell everyone that springtide/solidarity can beat gro more than 50% of the time. How many games have you tested the match-up. Please prove all of us wrong and all the relevant testing people have done. Please be more specific Lego Army Man.

Sorry one and all for the Bad grammer.

I said it was a positive match-up as in 60/40 Gro's favor.

Nightmare
01-30-2006, 03:00 PM
I'm not sure if I'm reading this correctly, but you said "3 hard counters out of 7"... that's either telling me that you played 3 hard counters and 4 Daze, or just that among the counters you cast, 3 of them were hard.
If I had to guess (and I don't, because I have mastered the English Language), I would say he meant he cast 3 Hard Counters in the game, out of the 7 hard counters in the deck. Those being 4 Fow, 2/3 Counterspell, and 0/1 D Shoal. As for the matchup, I actually think UGr has a harder time than UGw, but even so, It's pretty much what you want to face all day. Gro is the essence of aggro-control, the archetype which was developed to smash Combo's head in. Your choice is to go off quickly and lose to Daze, or to go off slowly and lose to Werebear.

If you're having a lot of difficulty in the matchup, it's time to re-evaluate your testing partner's, and your own playskill.

On another note, is this going to be another FEB/Wombat debate?

Happy Gilmore
01-30-2006, 06:00 PM
Just to clarify a little bit the game that you were discussing did involve me drawing 2 Defense Grids one of which resolved and the second didn't. You are correct that bolting your own Werebear (no Threshold) so that I could not use Snap as my untap method prevented me from continuing the combo and thus costing me the game. But I have to agree here with Happy Gilmore that while Spring Tide may have a better post-board game against Gro, the matchup is not very favorable pre-board and post-board is still difficult. Defense Grid does help in that it like a must-counter but that doesn't mean that you will be able to go off through their counterwall especially if Grid hasn't resolved.


Thanks Anwar for clarifying that. The example aside, Tide based combo is most definitly a positive matchup for grow.



I'm not sure if I'm reading this correctly, but you said "3 hard counters out of 7"... that's either telling me that you played 3 hard counters and 4 Daze, or just that among the counters you cast, 3 of them were hard.

This makes me wonder how good the Spring Tide player you were playing against was. That he waited long enough for you to be able to resolve 7 counters is a huge problem. The reason Spring Tide has a better matchup than Solidarity vs. Gro isn't just the Defense Grids, it's the speed and consistancy. One to two turns makes a world of difference. It is true that your creature removal becomes relevant, but I would still say that the matchup isn't as bad as you say it is.

If I said it was positive for Spring Tide, I retract that statment, because it certainly isn't, but in my testing it has been much closer to 50/50 than you've said. The trick is to press your advantage and go off as soon as you possibly can. Sometimes they'll have the double daze, double Force hand, but otherwise you should usually be fine. Often I've let a counter war ensue over High Tide, passed the turn, untapped and won with a Merchant Scroll or another Tide.


Now I am really confused. First off, when I say hard counter I mean "unconditional" such as counterspell. The reason Anwar did not go off early, as I understand it, is that he was looking for a hightide or a scroll to find the hightide.

You mention that in order to win against grow you have to go off very quickly. In order to do so requires an extremely specific hand, consisting of atleast one untap affect, one substancial draw effect, and one high Tide. And if you are facing disruption you need either a force of will or reduncancy up the wazu. And besides, your chances of going off turn two can't be very good at all. That requires a very very specific set of cards. And even then you might fizzle. Going off on the second turn leaves you extremely vulnerable to creature removal on the CoFs as well.


To be honest I think this thread has gotten a little off track. What I think should really be discussed is how to best prepare for the Dual for Duals. What build is best? red? white? black even? Whats the SB Tech in the mirror? Do we agree on MD Pithing Needles?

Here is the list of UGr Grow that I plan on bringing to the Dual for Duals:

4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Werebear
2 Fledgling Dragon

4 Predict
4 Brainstorm
4 Serum Visons
3 Portent

4 Lightning Bolt
1 Pyroclasm
3 Pithing Needle

4 Force of Will
3 Counterspell
3 Daze

4 Volcanic
3 Tropical Island
1 Forest
2 Island
3 Wooded Foothills
2 Polluted Delta
2 Flooded Strand

SB:
3 Naturalize
3 Phantom Centaur
3 Tormod's Crypt
3 Winter orb
3 Pyroclasm

The Creature base should be self explanitory. The Sea Drakes were removed because they are absolutely shit in the mirror match.

The draw Contingent:
I am a real big fan of Predict and draw in general. Mental Note gets to threshold quick but that isn't the rout I wanted to take. Running 11 1cc cantrips that can successfully find lands on turn 1 is key.

Non-counter disruption:
The Bolts are the best red can offer in 1cc removal. Bolt gives me more answers to a turn 1 lacky, a meta call to be sure but a neccessary one.

The one maindeck Pyroclasm is a personal preference. When all was said and done I had one slot left over. I chose Pyroclasm over Jet and Fire/Ice because it freed up the sb somewhat. I could be running 8 removal spells but I wanted to run the Pithing Needles instead.

Pithing Needle has done nothing but impress me since it made its way into the main. Every matchup I felt I was suffering was miraculously better. Much much better. Goblins, Wombat, Landstill, Salvager, ATS, RGSA all improved in varying amounts.

Counterspells:
No changes here other than running 3 counterspells.

Manabase:
This is about as stable as possible. The two and two set up is so I don't get shafted by Pithing Needle as much. A very minor point but since it doesn't hurt the deck why not.

Disclaimer: Most of the maindeck was designed by Jesse and Alix Hatfield, so I won't take the credit for it. Thanks guys :smile: .

I wanted a SB for every situation, we (The Frogers) have tested many different configurations and are still testing them.

Against agro:
Pyroclasm (Goblins/Other agro deck when needed)
Phantom Centaur (Multicolor Agro/Angel Stompy/ Random agro)
Naturalize (if needed)

Against Control:
Naturalize (Wombat/ Landstill/NoStick)
Winter Orb (Wombat/ Landstill/Jack Black/NoStick/etc.)

The Mirror:
3 Crypt
3 Phantom Centaur

Against Combo:
Crypt
Naturalize

Every slot is debatable, I hope. Which is the purpose of posting the list. I do want to point out one thing though. Phantom Centaur is really good at filling in the gaps. It kills 1-3 creatures in the grow mirror before it dies (sans Swords), is a huge roadblock against random agro, a 4/4 under Humillity, and another card that can nullify Jitte (oh yea, damage is prevented sucker :cry: ).

Plz discuss.

thenick2000
01-30-2006, 06:14 PM
People, are we talking about matchups?

I am to do something that I don't normally do, and that is talk about the evil enemy in Grow, particularly G/U/W version of Grow.

In my testing I have developed this particular decklist:

4 Flooded Strand
3 Windswept Health
4 Tropical Island
1 Forest
2 Island
1 Plains
3 Tundra
4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Wearbear
3 Meddling Mage
4 Force of Will
4 Daze
2 Counterspell
4 Accumulated Knowledge
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Serum Visions
4 Brainstorm
3 Predict
2 Mystic Enforcer

I've been considering cutting the AK's in the deck and replace them with mental note. Other than that I believe the list is solid.

I believe the Goblins matchup for this version is 55/45 game 1 and then 60/40 post sideboard in games 2 and 3.
Solardity is and easier matchup for the fact that I run Meddling Mage which is very bad for them. 60/40 game 1, 65/35 games 2 and 3.
Affinity since I play the deck, is an unfavorable matchup in game one, say 45/55, then it becomes about 50/50 in games 2 and 3.
RGSA, is a positive matchup for the fact you have mage maindeck and pithing needles to bring in sideboard. 60/40 ratio of win/loss in this match.

I'm not even going to meantine spring tide, because its just a great matchup in general. I do believe in playtesting, but what good is it if your testing against bad decks or bad partners.

Time to time I heard that I know what I'm talking about.

One of my quotes:

"What, these are cards?"

Lego
01-30-2006, 11:07 PM
I'm not calling people bad, I'm just saying that maybe they don't have a lot of experience with the deck, which can be key. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree, because I see Gro as a much better matchup for Tide than you do, and Spring Tide has had a better matchup every time I've tried it. That's why I play it over Solidarity.

As for not seeing my name in T8s, that's because A) You're not checking and B) I've lived in Italy for the past year (refer to A) The metagame isn't amazing there, but I never finished lower than 2nd place, including the 100+ people tournaments. This really isn't the place to talk about this though, I just didn't appreciate being called an idiot. We have differences in testing, and I'm not sure why that is, but it'll have to stay that way. I'll probably come back in a couple of weeks and retract my statement, but until then, let's just agree to move on.

As for actual discussion, are you guys going to bring the White Splash or the Red Splash to the D4D? I would assume that the White Splash has a better overall matchup, taking Combo and Control better, but that the Red Splash is more easily able to handle jank. I'm not sure if that assessment is correct though, what does everything think?

thenick2000
01-30-2006, 11:27 PM
I'm sorry, but T8's do not mean your a good player. You have to focus on the megagame and the quality of players that play there. Another thing, is it me or does Lego Army Man think he is a master at any deck under discussion? Weren't you the one with the whole Lava Dart thing? Enough said there.

Please post with actual insight into the deck construction or actual advise on matchups than ramble. I believe the white splash is better, but I haven't tested enough to know for sure. When will people stop playing spring tide, it isn't as good.

Why doesn't Lego Man come here to syracuse and we can show them what a real megagame is all about?

Nightmare
01-31-2006, 08:48 AM
Why doesn't Lego Man come here to syracuse and we can show them what a real megagame is all about?Because our metagame sucks too.

The White splash is better suited for an unknown meta, as it has answers for random crap (see: combo). The red splash is probably the better deck for a known meta where you know your matchups and how each player plays. It also has (if you're running Wastedlife's build) the better mirror match.

Lego
01-31-2006, 01:40 PM
I don't claim to be a master of any decks, let alone every deck. There are hundreds of people who have more knowledge of this format than I do. The difference between my "random testing" and other people posts are that I do testing, where a lot of people don't. If I had a car, I'd come to Syracuse any day and smash you guys. I wouldn't call what you have a "Real Metagame"

As for the splash, I've been running White because I love Meddling Mage, but I think it does suffer in the mirror match. I find a lot of times Worship can win, because people aren't playing Enchantment hate in great numbers these days, but it's possible to lose before that ever resolves. If White had a better mirror match, I think it would be the better choice, but right now I'm not so sure.

Mad Zur
01-31-2006, 02:50 PM
Because our metagame sucks too.

The White splash is better suited for an unknown meta, as it has answers for random crap (see: combo). The red splash is probably the better deck for a known meta where you know your matchups and how each player plays. It also has (if you're running Wastedlife's build) the better mirror match. That comment confuses me. Could you go into a little more detail on why the mirror match is positive for wastedlife's build of UGr? In all my experience so far, the mirror has been about creatures, so removal that trades one-for-one with your opponent's and draw spells that find more of your own would seem superior to burn spells. I'll try to test it when I get the chance, but an explanation would be helpful.

(However, I will say that if any build that is better against the mirror and against Goblins, it is definitely the better choice for an unknown meta.)

Nightmare
01-31-2006, 02:55 PM
It's simple really. He runs a ton of burn. Any time we played, he was able to win the damage race, because he greatly ignored me, and sent flames at my head. It's funny, his deck is basically Counter-Burn, with a splash for green creatures that are better than Jackal Pup and Lavamancer. His creatures traded with mine, and Swords only put me further behind. This happenned in many games, so I feel like his build is better suited for the mirror than mine. As for the unknown meta vs. Goblins and the mirror, well, if you expect a lot of Goblins and the mirror, then the meta isn't really unknown. The fact is, Mage and Needle clean up a lot of dirt, and Worship from the board solves a TON of problems. These are advantages (assuming MD Needles) that the red build doesn't have.

Mad Zur
01-31-2006, 03:09 PM
Wait, didn't we already spend a page talking about how the UGr can run Needles? Also, I think its combo and control matchups tend to be better than people expect. REB is really good.

But I will test out that build and see if it goes the same way. Thanks!

Zilla
01-31-2006, 03:49 PM
Wait, didn't we already spend a page talking about how the UGr can run Needles? Also, I think its combo and control matchups tend to be better than people expect. REB is really good.
QFT. The main thing is that UGw has a better pre-board game against some combo. If you know your meta, red has most the options it needs to deal with any combo it needs to with the board.

As for the MD Needles, that's certainly a metagame call. Like I said though, if the main reason you're running it is for Goblins, I wouldn't bother. They should definitely be in the board at least, but for goblins, 10-12 Burn spells is all you really need to have a decent game against them. Bring in Pyroclasm from the board, and it's strongly favorable, in my experience.

I've been running something very similar to wastedlife's build with minor differences to the manabase, favoring Note over Predict, and running only 60 cards. Beyond that, our lists are basically the same. You ought to give it a shot and see how it plays out for you.

Nightmare
01-31-2006, 03:56 PM
It's funny, his deck is basically Counter-Burn, with a splash for green creatures that are better than Jackal Pup and Lavamancer.You know, the more I think about this, the more it seems true to me. I know there's been a post or two in the N&D about UR gro, but is there any real reason to smash apart your manabase just for the bear and goose? Are there any other red/blue creatures you could run to accomplish the same idea of the deck and not have to run a third color? Particularly, with the advent of the izzet guild, I'm curious to see if there's any merit behind solidifying your manabase and going 2c rather than 3c. The white build doesn't have this luxury, since Enforcer forces you into green.

Evil Roopey
01-31-2006, 04:17 PM
You know, the more I think about this, the more it seems true to me. I know there's been a post or two in the N&D about UR gro, but is there any real reason to smash apart your manabase just for the bear and goose? Are there any other red/blue creatures you could run to accomplish the same idea of the deck and not have to run a third color? Particularly, with the advent of the izzet guild, I'm curious to see if there's any merit behind solidifying your manabase and going 2c rather than 3c. The white build doesn't have this luxury, since Enforcer forces you into green.

The Wee thingys from Guildpact come to mind. You mentioned yourself, Pup and Mancer. Mancer seems especially good. I'm not sure if this sort of deck will be viable, but it seems that anything that uses the graveyard as a tool, such as Mancer, or is helped by playing spells, such as the Wee shits, seems very strong.

Zilla
01-31-2006, 04:23 PM
If I felt that the manabase was a significant problem I might be with you on this one, Nightmare... but the bottom line in my mind is that the current formula is working. You have a highly robust ground force that can hold off Goblins and other aggro long enough to establish dominance. Further, you have reusable damage sources that aren't vulnerable to shit like Rune of Protection: Red.

To use an analogy, this is the same reason that 3c Zoo is thriving in the format where Burn is faltering. Reusable damage sources with burn as a finisher is simply more reliable than burn with burn as a finisher.

Bryant Cook
01-31-2006, 10:31 PM
If I felt that the manabase was a significant problem I might be with you on this one, Nightmare... but the bottom line in my mind is that the current formula is working. You have a highly robust ground force that can hold off Goblins and other aggro long enough to establish dominance. Further, you have reusable damage sources that aren't vulnerable to shit like Rune of Protection: Red.

To use an analogy, this is the same reason that 3c Zoo is thriving in the format where Burn is faltering. Reusable damage sources with burn as a finisher is simply more reliable than burn with burn as a finisher.

Yeah, what he said... The only thing that my build has going for it is, it's extremely consistant at bashing face. I mean alot of gro variant's I've watched or have seen being played stall out mid-game due to the draw engine. To qoute Mr. Nightmare from tonight's testing " What the fuck! You draw like double the amount of cards I do!" I think this is due to my high amount of scrying effects and draw spells, this has alot to do with how the deck performs.

thenick2000
01-31-2006, 11:28 PM
I've been working on the white splash of Grow for the moment. I do think combo/control decks are a better matchup for it, but against aggro and maybe the mirror I think its at a disadvantage. Again, it comes down to sideboarding and playskill.

I would like to defend the use of mental note, I believe in the mirror especially its very important to get threshold first, and I can't find a better way than mental note. One mana for 3 cards in the yard and you get to draw a card, thats a pretty good deal to me. My assortment of draws spells is the typical 4 visions, 4 brainstorms, 3 note, 3 predict.

I have to tell you I do fear mental note in the mirror, I don't know why, but I do.

Adding worship into the sb is a big plus that white adds.

How does the crowd feel about mental note and is AK another good card drawer?

Zilla
02-01-2006, 12:53 AM
How does the crowd feel about mental note and is AK another good card drawer?
I know it's long, but if you're interested in the answer to this question you ought to read the entire thread. Both cards have been discussed extensively. The consensus tends to agree that Mental Note is hot, and AK is not. Some people prefer Predict to Note, but Note is seemingly the most popular of the tertiary cantrips in both builds of Gro.

Bardo
02-01-2006, 01:33 PM
How does the crowd feel about mental note and is AK another good card drawer?

AK isn't needed any longer. (Pure) card advantage just isn't what it used to be in 1996. Mental Note is a much better tempo card, and this is a tempo deck. Moreover, Mental Note is also correctly cost (AK was always one too many colorless mana more than you really want to pay), and it has a much more relevant effect on the deck, effectively taking a turn off the deck's fundamental turn.

In short, AK = :frown: / Mental Note = :smile:

thenick2000
02-01-2006, 06:46 PM
Thanks for the quick answers guys. I'm going to try 3 mental note and 3 predict as my draw engine in addition to the staples of 4 visions and 4 brainstorms. I do think mental note is better, because with predict you need a card to set it up to become effective.

The beatdown version of the Grow with the white splash that I've been running includes 4 werebear, 4 mongoose, 4 meddling mage, and 2 mystic enforcers. Is there another good creature for the white version of Grow to consider that I haven't thought of? I did try the quirion dryad, but I wasn't satisfied with it. I was wondering what your thoughts are?

Bardo
02-01-2006, 06:52 PM
The beatdown version of the Grow with the white splash that I've been running includes 4 werebear, 4 mongoose, 4 meddling mage, and 2 mystic enforcers.

That's pretty much it, but I don't know what you're complaining about. Those are all incredibly efficient and powerful threats and they're all crammed in a deck designed to abuse them.

I suppose if you wanted to be even more aggressive you could drop the Magi for Serendib Efreet. You're giving up your advantage against combo, but there you go.

thenick2000
02-01-2006, 07:06 PM
I was just wondering if there was another good creature to conisder. I do believe the 14 creatures I play is as good as it gets, but I'm always looking for ways to help improve the deck if thats possible. The reason I like the white version is because of the great matchup against combo and other control decks. I do believe Landstill could be a problem, but thats why we use a sideboard.

Is exalted angel anything worth considering in the deck, or does that just make the deck worse?

Bardo
02-01-2006, 07:17 PM
I do believe the 14 creatures I play is as good as it gets, but I'm always looking for ways to help improve the deck if thats possible.

As a metagame call, you might fit in Galina's Knight. That's worked for others (e.g. GP: Lille second place deck).

The Landstill match isn't as hard as you think. You're the aggro deck in that match. And they're removal is slow (Wrath, Disk) and you have more counters than them, and most of yours are free (Daze rock here). Only fetch non-basics if you need to, otherwise, go for the basics to keep an aggressive tempo. Set your first mage to "StP"; it's academic from there.


Is exalted angel anything worth considering in the deck, or does that just make the deck worse?

As someone who loves Exalted Angel, I have no idea what you'd gain other than distorting your curve for something unncessary. But honestly, I've never tried her in Gro, and for good reason, I think.

thenick2000
02-01-2006, 07:45 PM
It was just a thought, but I would probably agree it doesn't belong in there. I orginally had Galina's Knight in the MD, but didn't feel like it added enough firepower. I haven't played the landstill match, but meddling mage helps out a lot I would assume and then sb gives you pithing needle which is very bad for them.

Bryant Cook
02-01-2006, 07:48 PM
Funny you mention Ms. I win games all on my own Angel. When I first made gro after Ninja won big arse 2, I played her over Enforcer. I found her to be too much mana for gro. It's giving your opponent 2 timewalks in theory. 14 creatures is alot for U/g/w gro, put it does give the deck an aggressive edge which can be good for it. Let us know how you like it.

thenick2000
02-01-2006, 08:20 PM
I'm an aggro deck player, so I believe I have to stay aggressive in order to win. Damn control decks. I guess aggro with control as back up is a pretty good mix, why haven't I thought of this before?

Bryant Cook
02-05-2006, 07:54 PM
After winning the GAGG tournament several people there asked me,"What do you play Magma jet over?" How do I answer that? Several people said, "Wow, magma jet I never considered that before." The guy who I beatr in top 2 was one of them. Does magma jet make a differance? There was 2 other red gro players there and neither of them played jet, neither of them made top 8. I'm not saying that they didn't make it because of jet, but could they of not made it due to not having answers or too many cantrips? Also people after the top 2 match-up were asking me how I sideboard for certain match-ups. Does sideboarding make a differance? Do people lose with this deck because failure to know how to sideboard in different match-ups? I took 1st at altered states again today. Is it me carrying the deck or is the deck carrying me? Getsickanddie said why arn't other gro players running jet over f/i? I think people need to start questioning other peoples choices in cards and test out somemore. Sorry that this post is pointless but I wanted to necro this dead thread.

thenick2000
02-05-2006, 08:57 PM
I would just like to state a point. If you run predict over mental note in the red splash of Grow, then I do believe having visions, jet, and brainstorm to be very useful in the deck.

I ran 3 notes and 3 predicts with the standard 4 bolts and 4 fire/ice in Grow. As I look back I should of ran just 4 mental notes and maybe if I had them the other 2 spots with magma jets.

I'm going to focus on the white splash for now with 4 mental notes and a beatdown of 14 creatures and I'll let the thread know how that does throughout time.

Congrads on the win Wastedlife. Maybe next tournament I'll be playing something I'm more confortable with. :)

Getsickanddie
02-05-2006, 11:37 PM
Honestly....Magma Jet is insane. I love fire/ice, don't get me wrong. But a lot of the time it is sending both damage to a dude, or one to a dude and a player. Sure it is hot when you get to two for one with it, but the quality of draw Jet sets up for gro is insane. At the Running Gagg tournament I dominated the other U/G/r gro player who was not running magma jet. Did I beat him solely because of his lack of magma jet? Of course not. But he did have less answers to my threats.

Binary Star
02-06-2006, 12:42 AM
Running 4 mental notes should never in any way shape or form be compromised. Mental note is your quickest way towards thresh, never cut the 4th one for anything.

As for AK I strongly advise not to ever run it. Predict in nearly all cases is a better card.

Bardo
02-06-2006, 02:35 PM
Running 4 mental notes should never in any way shape or form be compromised. Mental note is your quickest way towards thresh, never cut the 4th one for anything.

As for AK I strongly advise not to ever run it. Predict in nearly all cases is a better card.

I don't care for either, personally. And you already have 12 dedicated cantrips slots:

4 Serum Visions
4 Brainstorm
4 Mental Note

It's debateable if you really need any more than that. I don't think so, though I'm still running 2 Sleight of Hands beyond these 12 until something else comes along. However, SoH is almost always the first card I'll sideboard out against about everything (except for pure combo).

Lego
02-06-2006, 07:22 PM
So Thresh finished 11th place, with no more in the Top 20 at the Duel for Duals. If you haven't seen the build, it's here:

http://sales.starcitygames.com/deckdatabase/displaydeck.php?DeckID=15667

Things to note:

-Both Red/White splash
-No creature finisher
-Standard Brainstorm (8 Fetches), Serum Visions, Mental Note cantrip package
-2 Maindeck Pithing Needle
-Fire/Ice over Magma Jet
-Only 3 Lightning Bolt
-No Swords to Plowshares
-*NO* BASIC LANDS

Some of these issues are remedied in the board with 2 Swords and the 4th Lightning Bolt, but there are some more interesting choices there as well, with Chill and Hydroblast making the cut.

So it begs a few questions: Are both splashes the way to go? Do we need a finisher? Are Basics overrated?

thenick2000
02-06-2006, 07:29 PM
This is The Nick's opinion on the archtype know as Grow.

I believe both the red splash and the white should have a big creature, being either Fledging Dragon, or Mystic Enforcer.

I like the draw package of Brainstorm, Mental Note, and Serum Vision.
Pithing Needle main is not just a good idea, but I feel is necessary in the deck.

I believe the white version is better for a known metagame and far superior in control and combo matchups.

The red may have an advantage game 1, but I believe white gains the advantage back in games 2 and 3 if the proper sideboard is built.

Grow not making Top 8 at Duel of Duals is a bit surprising, but be aware this is still a tier 1 deck along with Goblins.

I believe basics should be included in a decklist for Grow, unless you decide to play 4 colors which basics shouldn't be included.

Can someone shut up Lego Man?

No, he's free to have his opinions as long as he presents them in an organized and civil manner. You, however, have chosen to violate those precepts, so it is YOU who has been silenced---Frogboy

Nightmare
02-06-2006, 10:18 PM
At Running Gagg's Mox Tournament, I played Gro/w to a top8 finish, losing in the t8 to the only other competent (no offense Nick, you're still learning the deck) Gro player, Wastedlife, running Gro/r. I lost game three due to a terrible play mistake, although Bryant will probably say otherwise. Game 1, White Gro loses. Plain and simple. There is little chance of you being able to compete in the damage race. Games 2 and 3, you get all kinds of fun things from the board. I have finally begun to board for the Red mirror, as it seems prevalent enough now, and the Red hate works vs. Gobs, as well. Here is my updated board, which is two cards off my board for the Gagg:

1x Pithing Needle (2 main)
2x Naturalize (Bryant didn't put these in, and would have lost game 3 because of it, if I played the right sequence of threats)
2x Tormod's Crypt/Phyrexian Furnace Still can't decide.
4x BEB effects
2x Absolute Law House against the mirror, goblins, etc.
2x Worship Game Winner.
2x Chill This makes UGr's life VERY difficult.

Zilla
02-07-2006, 12:18 AM
2x Tormod's Crypt/Phyrexian Furnace Still can't decide.

Why not one of each? Or if most people are running Crypt, run Furnace so you can hit Crypts with Needle, or vice versa.

Binary Star
02-07-2006, 03:14 AM
Running both crypt and furnace has really served me well. It truly does provide excellent defence against needles. This is what I've been using, if anybody sees any way of improving it please tell me.


1 Plains
1 Forest
1 Island
3 Windswept Heath
4 Flooded Strand
4 Tundra
4 Tropical Island
2 Predict
2 Counterspell
2 Mystic Enforcer
4 Daze
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Force of Will
4 Brainstorm
4 Serum Visions
4 Mental Note
4 Werebear
4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Meddling Mage
SB: 1 Worship
SB: 1 Compost
SB: 1 Phyrexian Furnace
SB: 1 Tormod's Crypt
SB: 2 Chill
SB: 2 Blue Elemental Blast
SB: 2 Seal of Cleansing
SB: 2 Tivadar's Crusade
SB: 3 Pithing Needle

TheInfamousBearAssassin
02-07-2006, 04:22 AM
Can someone shut up Lego Man?

No, he's free to have his opinions as long as he presents them in an organized and civil manner. You, however, have chosen to violate those precepts, so it is YOU who has been silenced---Frogboy


I remember when we had a warning system, and bannings based on consistent assholocity rather than one mildly snarky comment. Fuck, look how long it took Grah to get banned.


I'm awaiting a reversal with some thumb-twiddling and pleasant humming.

Zilla
02-07-2006, 04:59 AM
I remember when we had a warning system, and bannings based on consistent assholocity rather than one mildly snarky comment. Fuck, look how long it took Grah to get banned.
Strike one. (http://mtgthesource.com/forums/showpost.php?p=60830&postcount=438)
Strike two. (http://mtgthesource.com/forums/showpost.php?p=60846&postcount=55)
Strike three. (http://mtgthesource.com/forums/showpost.php?p=60833&postcount=619)

In the future, please keep complaints about moderation confined to PM where it belongs.

Mad Zur
02-09-2006, 07:43 PM
This is the list of Gro I played at the Duel for Duals:

4x Brainstorm
4x Serum Visions
3x Portent
4x Predict

4x Nimble Mongoose
4x Werebear
3x Mystic Enforcer

4x Force of Will
3x Counterspell
3x Daze

4x Swords to Plowshares
3x Pithing Needle

4x Tundra
3x Tropical Island
3x Windswept Heath
2x Flooded Strand
2x Polluted Delta
2x Island
1x Forest

Sideboard:
4x Tivadar's Crusade
3x Meddling Mage
3x Naturalize
3x Nantuko Monastery
2x Tormod's Crypt

I'll start with saying that I'm very happy with the maindeck, although it may be correct to play more draw spells in place of the third Needle, Enforcer, and/or Counterspell (obviously a metagame call).

Now, about the individual card choices: The reason I went with white over red this time was that I was expecting a fair bit of the mirror match (more than was actually there, but that's beside the point), which I feel that this build is very good in. After testing the mirror with several different builds over the previous weeks, I (and several of the other NoVA Gro players) came to a few conclusions.

First of all, the mirror is always about creatures. No matter how many burn spells you have, the guy that gets more creatures to stick wins. The difference between Lightning Bolt and Swords to Plowshares doesn't make for a blowout, but it is noticable.

Secondly, if a card doesn't give you a creature or get rid of an opponent's creature, it had better draw you into cards that do. Card quality is important; a draw spell was almost always better than a burn spell in our testing. This is why I played 15 draw spells and considered adding more, as well as why I opted to run Predict and Portent over Mental Note. We've found no correlation between Mental Note and winning the mirror in our testing of builds with and without it. However, I didn't get to test against Goblins with Crypt, which is one of the few places where Mental Note may be desirable (and ended up being one of my losses).

Goblins was still a top priority, obviously, hence the Pithing Needles. The lack of Meddling Mages is because of Goblins and the mirror, and I believe it is correct. Because of that, I didn't try to fit a Plains in the deck (with only seven white spells in the maindeck, there's no reason other than Tivadar's Crusade to want one).

As for the sideboard, in the (unfortunately limited) testing I did against Goblins, I liked Tivadar's Crusade more than the permanent options. Cards like Worship and Dueling Grounds make for creature stalemates, which means you need Enforcer to break them. However, that means you have to take out draw and counters, which leaves you more vulnerable to their Disenchant or Anarchy (especially if you need to ramp up to four mana). There's no comparable answer to Crusade, and no reason you can't board out Enforcer for it, so that's what I went with. (Also, while writing my decklist, I said to CavernNinja, "Hey, what's the best sideboard card for UGW Gro against Goblins?" and he said "Tivadar's Crusade".)

As for the sideboard, I'm not sure about every card choice. Three Naturalizes could be one too many, but in this case it worked out because there was a decent amount of Rifter/Wombat/Landstill. I'm always less comfortable with two; running out against those decks really sucks because it can leave you unable to deal with Humility, Rift, or Moat. Mages are also debatable, but three REBs have served me well as combo hate in the past, so I decided to do a direct swap. Some or all of those slots could be BEBs or something else that's good against Goblins.

Nantuko Monastery is pretty ridiculous. I didn't get to test it a whole lot in the mirror, but uncounterable creatures that beat Werebear are pretty cool. It's really good against control too; particularly Wombat (extra threats you can take out Forest for that also beat Humility and Wrath), but it isn't bad against Landstill if you Needle Wasteland. In lieu of actually being able to test how it stands up to stuff like Needle and Crypt in the mirror match, I decided to play it because I knew it was going to be good if they didn't see it coming and probably wouldn't be horrible even if they did. Crypt was sort of a default anti-mirror card, and may be incorrect. I'm not sure if it's even worth it to board five cards for the mirror anyway (I want to be able to take out the Needles and one Counterspell, but beyond that it's fairly tough).

Would I play this list again? Assuming I played Gro, it would be either this or a nearly identical red build, simply because Pyroclasm is good against several of the creature-based decks that were around, most notably Deadguy Ale. The deck may have been a poor choice for the metagame, however; a lot of people were expecting it. I would want to test more of a couple matchups and against sideboard hate to be confident in my choice.

As to how I actually did, I went 1-2-1 before dropping. I didn't get to play the mirror, and my losses were to Tom Smart with Goblins (partially due to the aforementioned Crypt in game two) and Antonino De Rosa with Landstill (which I do actually believe is a very tough matchup against the right build and a good player).

kimberley
02-09-2006, 11:33 PM
I am a bit puzzled about your list. Why didn't you play Geddon? In my experiece Landstill is a bad matchup even with Geddon...and i consider Monastery strictly inferior.
In my area everbody prefers Worship (instead of Crusade) but i guess that's just reflecting the kind of Goblin builds we have.

I would like to replace Naturalize with Repeal once it is legal - what do you think about it?

btw: Nice avatar... ;)

Mad Zur
02-10-2006, 12:14 AM
Monastery may be worse than Geddon against Landstill, but that wasn't the primary reason it was there. Geddon doesn't kill Werebears. If I had expected a lot of control I may have tried to fit Geddon in, but there were only two copies of Landstill, three of Wombat, and one of Rifter in the tournament. As for other options for the mirror, I know there are a lot out there, but I only got to test a few of them before the tournament, so I just went with the build that had the best maindeck removal. Like I said, I'm not sure about the sideboard (and most of it is metagame-dependant anyway).

I don't like the sound of Repeal because most of the time, Naturalize is there for something that I can't allow to stay on the table, even a turn late. Bouncing a Humility isn't enough; I can't win with it in play (without Monastery, anyway) and I can't set up a win in one turn without overextending. Against Wombat, Rifter, or Landstill, it seems like it couldn't be as good as Naturalize without a counter to back it up. In what matchups would Repeal be better?

btw: Nice avatar... ;) Thanks, it seemed appropriate. ;)

Lego
02-10-2006, 01:17 AM
I don't think there are any circumstances in which I would play Repeal. This deck has a cap of 2CC, with one card that costs 4. Repeal will usually cost 3, and often 4 or 5. That's way too much to fit this deck.

kimberley
02-10-2006, 03:49 AM
We already play a 4cc finisher. So is it that problematic to play a 5cc spell on the next turn?
You can bounce Worship in the mirror (if some jerk brings it in) and just win - you don't have to do that in advance. You can bounce Humilty too. The whole issue about Humility is Abeyance imho. Counter the thing when they recast. What do you have to do at this point in the game? FoW hardcast? Well...most of the time you have not much to do anyway.

There is an obvious synergy with Geddon as well as Mage. I don't think i have to point this out (or reveal the secret knowledge of both cards CC).

And...hey just think about the mirror. What's the problem about bouncing a Bear?
2U: Prevent the next 4 damage dealt to you or deal 4 damage to target opponent. Draw a card.
This is bad?

Obfuscate Freely
02-10-2006, 10:20 AM
2U: Prevent the next 4 damage dealt to you or deal 4 damage to target opponent. Draw a card.
This is bad?
It isn't great. Why the hell do you want to play Repeal over Naturalize? The card draw certainly isn't worth the loss in efficiency and permanence of effect.

Remember that this deck gives you a lot more control over how many lands you draw then other decks. Cards that stretch the curve will force you to actually choose to draw lands instead of spells in lots of situations, and that is a form of virtual card disadvantage. So, again, why play Repeal, which requires you to actively search for lands 5, 6, and beyond, instead of Naturalize, which fits the curve and actually answers the cards you'd be bouncing?

kimberley
02-10-2006, 10:45 AM
It isn't great. Why the hell do you want to play Repeal over Naturalize? The card draw certainly isn't worth the loss in efficiency and permanence of effect.

Remember that this deck gives you a lot more control over how many lands you draw then other decks. Cards that stretch the curve will force you to actually choose to draw lands instead of spells in lots of situations, and that is a form of virtual card disadvantage. So, again, why play Repeal, which requires you to actively search for lands 5, 6, and beyond, instead of Naturalize, which fits the curve and actually answers the cards you'd be bouncing?

1. I concede that Naturalize is better at getting rid of ...let's say Humility - conceded.
2. None the less i have to point out that you ignored some factors. Repeal is flexible. You can pitch it to FoW and Shoal. You can bounce a creature. You can often just cycle it and so it may be chosen for a MD slot and/or boarded in against randomness (sometimes your opponent may or may not board an Artifact/Enchantment that can ruin your day).
3. Your argument does not fit the quote very good. I do not want to choose to search for a 3rd land?
4. And i consider the argument itself a bit burocratic. Yes, we play low on lands. Yes we have all that CQ. And still (maybe i am just a lousy player) the deck insists on not believing that equals a resolved Mana Severence and gives me a 5th or 6th land late game despite i did not search for them at all (=doing the opposite)...
...which is exactly the time when you want to bounce things that cost more then 3 mana.
5. Did you test it, or are your concernes of pure theoretical nature?

Bardo
02-10-2006, 12:06 PM
I don't think there are any circumstances in which I would play Repeal. This deck has a cap of 2CC, with one card that costs 4. Repeal will usually cost 3, and often 4 or 5. That's way too much to fit this deck.

Yes! It's a huge tempo-sucker for a deck that's usually land-light to begin with (which is actually one of the deck's strengths, since it can operate perflectly with very little mana in play).

I'd also second the suggestion Armageddon > Monastery. I've tested Monastery and it's also a huge mana sink; and against Landstill + Rifter (+ combo), 'Geddon is so much better. For the mirror, Tormod's Crypt and Worship are my sb cards of choice. EE is also something I've flirted with, since I get a lot of mileage out of the one I have in the maindeck.

(edit - Post #451. Damn.)

Bryant Cook
02-10-2006, 02:50 PM
First of all, the mirror is always about creatures. No matter how many burn spells you have, the guy that gets more creatures to stick wins. The difference between Lightning Bolt and Swords to Plowshares doesn't make for a blowout, but it is noticable.

Secondly, if a card doesn't give you a creature or get rid of an opponent's creature, it had better draw you into cards that do. Card quality is important; a draw spell was almost always better than a burn spell in our testing. This is why I played 15 draw spells and considered adding more, as well as why I opted to run Predict and Portent over Mental Note. We've found no correlation between Mental Note and winning the mirror in our testing of builds with and without it. However, I didn't get to test against Goblins with Crypt, which is one of the few places where Mental Note may be desirable (and ended up being one of my losses).

Goblins was still a top priority, obviously, hence the Pithing Needles. The lack of Meddling Mages is because of Goblins and the mirror, and I believe it is correct. Because of that, I didn't try to fit a Plains in the deck (with only seven white spells in the maindeck, there's no reason other than Tivadar's Crusade to want one).
@ The mirror- I disagree with you completely, you couldn't be more wrong. What good does running 4x bolt do you? In the mirror match I understand that it's good to cycle through your deck, but don't bash people for running more than 4x burn spells. Running more than 4x Burn spells allows you to actually deal with threats and for you to have answers. Cycleing though your deck to find 1 of 4 bolts is pointless. As for creatures I think you are misunderstanding of course having creatures helps, but you are solely basing your testing off of just men is ridiculous. Playing men and swinging then start throwing burn at your opponents dome causes them to play very differently. You also won't have the time to play all of your cantrips to find those 4x answers to men or burn.
@ The goblins match-up- You spend alot of time searching and playing men, They'll just overrun you with goblins. You need fast answers and a quick way to threshold that is were alot of cantrips helps out. But you are lacking fast answers. Do you really want to trade a mongoose for a lackey turn 1? or a bear for a fanatic? I think not. White had mage MD as a blocker game 1 to answer cards like lackey and fanatic, let them 2 for 1 you.

Mad Zur
02-10-2006, 03:47 PM
@ The mirror- I disagree with you completely, you couldn't be more wrong. What good does running 4x bolt do you? None. Bolt isn't good in the mirror.

In the mirror match I understand that it's good to cycle through your deck, but don't bash people for running more than 4x burn spells. I'm not bashing you, I'm explaining my reasoning behind preferring white in the mirror match.

Running more than 4x Burn spells allows you to actually deal with threats and for you to have answers. Cycleing though your deck to find 1 of 4 bolts is pointless. In the mirror match, no burn spell is an answer.

As for creatures I think you are misunderstanding of course having creatures helps, but you are solely basing your testing off of just men is ridiculous. Playing men and swinging then start throwing burn at your opponents dome causes them to play very differently. You also won't have the time to play all of your cantrips to find those 4x answers to men or burn. Even with 12 burn spells, you have to get several swings in with creatures to kill the opponent. If he stops the creatures, the burn won't be enough to kill him. You lose some of the ability to protect your creatures for a slightly faster kill if they go unanswered. In my opinion, the tradeoff is not worth it.

@ The goblins match-up- You spend alot of time searching and playing men, They'll just overrun you with goblins. You need fast answers and a quick way to threshold that is were alot of cantrips helps out. But you are lacking fast answers. I did not say that fewer removal spells is a good idea in the Goblin matchup.

Do you really want to trade a mongoose for a lackey turn 1? Yes.

or a bear for a fanatic? No, which is why it is incorrect to play Bear before reaching threshold. I'm not really sure why it's relevant, anyway.

I think not. White had mage MD as a blocker game 1 to answer cards like lackey and fanatic, let them 2 for 1 you. I'm not sure what you're saying here. Are you suggesting that the opponent will attack with Lackey into the Mage and then kill it with Fanatic? Against a Goblin player like that, I don't think Gro would be in much danger, regardless of the number of removal spells.

Zilla
02-10-2006, 04:19 PM
(edit - Post #451. Damn.)
Is this a Bradbury reference?

Bryant Cook
02-10-2006, 04:23 PM
@ Burn spells not being an answer- I can't disagree with you more. Burn spells are very much an answer. Killing a enforcer or a bear with a mongoose is good by me. You're trading up the foodchain, which is never bad by me. Also burn fries many creatures and gro only play's so many. Also after SB after furnace comes in enforcer is a 3/3 which is in bolt range. So could you please explain why burn doesn't count as an answer? Yes, burn spells are answers. Magma jetting away cards and brainstorming so you went 5 cards deep instead of 3 looking for a force is finding an answer. Or using fire/ice to draw an answer or tap a permanent qualifies as an answer.

@ Goblins match-up- I wasn't saying that you thought that fewer answers helped out the goblin match-up. I was saying you're lacking them and that may need to be changed.

@Trading mongoose- Trading a goose for a lackey is not a good deal by me, maybe we play the deck differently but I think there should be a better way than trading a future 3/3 untargetable/unkillable dude against goblins.

@ Fanatic - Are you saying if you don't have a swords for lackey you won't play a bear and try and block the lackey?

Obfuscate Freely
02-10-2006, 04:49 PM
@ Burn spells not being an answer- I can't disagree with you more. Burn spells are very much an answer. Killing a enforcer or a bear with a mongoose is good by me. You're trading up the foodchain, which is never bad by me. Also burn fries many creatures and gro only play's so many.
Realize that the other option is to play Swords to Plowshares, in which case you aren't trading 2 cards for 1 of your opponent's, and you keep your Mongoose. The argument that "gro only play's so many [creatures]" works both ways; why do you want to sacrifice creatures just to make your other cards relevant, when you don't have to?


Also after SB after furnace comes in enforcer is a 3/3 which is in bolt range.
If you are successfully keeping the opponent off of threshold, you're probably ahead anyway. If you aren't, Bolt & Co. are ass.

So could you please explain why burn doesn't count as an answer? Yes, burn spells are answers. Magma jetting away cards and brainstorming so you went 5 cards deep instead of 3 looking for a force is finding an answer. Or using fire/ice to draw an answer or tap a permanent qualifies as an answer.
Burn spells are not answers in the mirror match because they do not trade with the opponent's cards. Yes, Jet and Ice are bad draw spells, too, but running good draw spells in place of them can only be better.

@ Goblins match-up- I wasn't saying that you thought that fewer answers helped out the goblin match-up. I was saying you're lacking them and that may need to be changed.

@Trading mongoose- Trading a goose for a lackey is not a good deal by me, maybe we play the deck differently but I think there should be a better way than trading a future 3/3 untargetable/unkillable dude against goblins.

@ Fanatic - Are you saying if you don't have a swords for lackey you won't play a bear and try and block the lackey?
The Goblin matchup is the only real theoretical advantage of a build with 12 burn spells. Zur decided focusing on the mirror match was important for the D4D tournament, but in an aggro-heavy field things might have been different.

Bane of the Living
02-11-2006, 02:05 PM
So guys, no top 8 spots.. Not that I'm gloating. What kind of changes could take place to help out? I think maindeck Needle seems the way to go. It handles alot of random crap thats been showing up.

Lego
02-11-2006, 06:12 PM
I think most of the changes are just elementary, and the big work needs to be done in the side. There's pretty much a standard Red list and a standard White list, in which you can make a few changes if you'd like, but basically you're going to be running the same type of stuff. The differences come when (if) you run both splashes, and I think there's a lot more discussion that needs to happen about the viability and proper build therein.

As for not T8ing, I don't think that's because the deck isn't standardized or poor choices were made, I think it's because there weren't a lot of Gro players, and there was a lot of Deadguy. Correct me if I'm wrong here. This may indicate a shift in the metagame (meaning Thresh might now keep it's top spot) or it may simply be a fluke.

That begs the question: Can Thresh have a positive matchup versus Deadguy? I think the Red version would do a better job, especially when packing Pyroclasm.

dsg123456789
02-11-2006, 08:12 PM
I exclusively play UGr.

I have never had a problem with Deadguy if I expect it, because of the 3-4 cards in the board that ruin them: Compost. A single compost virtually negates all of their disruption. Two composts and you can utterly outpace them--and with all the cantrips you run, that isn't very hard. Pyroclasm just seals the deal, because when you can 3-1 their threats and make every one of their disruption spells card disadvantage for them, you are the winner.

Getsickanddie
02-11-2006, 11:51 PM
I exclusively play UGr.

I have never had a problem with Deadguy if I expect it, because of the 3-4 cards in the board that ruin them: Compost. A single compost virtually negates all of their disruption. Two composts and you can utterly outpace them--and with all the cantrips you run, that isn't very hard. Pyroclasm just seals the deal, because when you can 3-1 their threats and make every one of their disruption spells card disadvantage for them, you are the winner.

YES. Syracuse had this problem with black decks for a while, until everyone started boarding compost. It has now been virtually hated out of the format.... That said Teferi's Response is an amazing sideboard card against land hate.

Bryant Cook
02-12-2006, 08:30 AM
Realize that the other option is to play Swords to Plowshares, in which case you aren't trading 2 cards for 1 of your opponent's, and you keep your Mongoose. The argument that "gro only play's so many [creatures]" works both ways; why do you want to sacrifice creatures just to make your other cards relevant, when you don't have to? I'm aware of what swords to plowshares does, but you saying that bolt is irrelevant is ridiculous. Burn spells force your opponent to play differently when they are on a faster clock, not to mention that I wasn't saying I'll sacrifice my guys so I can burn my opponent out.



If you are successfully keeping the opponent off of threshold, you're probably ahead anyway. If you aren't, Bolt & Co. are ass. Not really, you have to protect furnace in Syracuse. From naturalize and needle which means you have to waste counters on not letting them have threshold. Not to mention killing 2 bears with a fire/ice isn't bad, burn is relevant. I'm aware it's not outstanding but it deserves more credit than you give it.


Burn spells are not answers in the mirror match because they do not trade with the opponent's cards. Yes, Jet and Ice are bad draw spells, too, but running good draw spells in place of them can only be better. Fire/Ice a bad draw spell?! I'm sorry, but it's a great draw spell. It has the option of killing something or cycleing and taping a dude for your team to enter the red zone.


The Goblin matchup is the only real theoretical advantage of a build with 12 burn spells. Zur decided focusing on the mirror match was important for the D4D tournament, but in an aggro-heavy field things might have been different. That statement is ridiculous my build with 12 burn spells happens to win, because of it's ability to deal with everything currently in the format. 12 burns happens to win the mirror also for your information, Ask Mr.Nightmare be has to board red hate cards just for me.


That begs the question: Can Thresh have a positive matchup versus Deadguy? I think the Red version would do a better job, especially when packing Pyroclasm. Threshold has has always had a positive match-up against dead guy. All you have to do is withstand the first 3 turns of them rushing you with disruption and after that it's cake. Play a goose and ride the bitch to victory, Deadguy's only way to deal with goose is shade which shouldn't resolve and if it does kill it.

brolio
02-13-2006, 04:55 PM
I'm aware of what swords to plowshares does, but you saying that bolt is irrelevant is ridiculous. Burn spells force your opponent to play differently when they are on a faster clock, not to mention that I wasn't saying I'll sacrifice my guys so I can burn my opponent out.

Threshold has has always had a positive match-up against dead guy. All you have to do is withstand the first 3 turns of them rushing you with disruption and after that it's cake. Play a goose and ride the bitch to victory, Deadguy's only way to deal with goose is shade which shouldn't resolve and if it does kill it.

I can attest to both these facts. The deck can switch to playing burn if need be or if the situation is correct, like positions where you want the fastest clock possible. It also makes your opponent second guess his plays against you, should he block and risk you having the burn spell to kill their dude or not block and risk you just killing him after damage. The ways burn can be played in the deck are limitless.

As for the deadguy match-up: just slam goose down game 1 and keep shade off the table = you win the game, game 2 compost is just nuts, in Rochester I had 2 in the sideboard, I played 1 and recovered. Then the second one was just mean, he played something I either countered it and drew 2 or killed the creature then drew another 2 for the next threat. It got to the point where I wasn't drawing because my had was so full of good cards and my library was almost gone.

Zilla
02-13-2006, 05:37 PM
Is it fair to assume that you'll have sideboard measures against Deadguy and they won't have any at all for you? Perish wrecks the 'goose plan and Dystopia wrecks the Compost plan. And "I will just counter everything" is hardly a fair assumption, either. Has anyone tested Thresh against a prepared Deadguy opponent?

Lego
02-13-2006, 06:28 PM
@ Zilla: Yes, I have, and that's what I based my assumption on. A good Deadguy player will see Thresh as the deck to beat (or at least one of two), realize they don't have amazing game against them, and put in Perish and Dystopia. They're not dead against other decks (RGSA, WW, etc.) and that still leaves half your sideboard to deal with Goblins and other threats. These wouldn't be hard to deal with on their own, but when you're hit with a barage of must-counters (a good portion of the cards in their deck) and then these, it wears you down pretty quickly. I've tested from both sides of the issue, and I'd say with proper sideboarding on both sides, the matchup is still in their (Deadguy's) favor.

Nightmare
02-14-2006, 08:40 AM
I That statement is ridiculous my build with 12 burn spells happens to win, because of it's ability to deal with everything currently in the format. 12 burns happens to win the mirror also for your information, Ask Mr.Nightmare be has to board red hate cards just for me.Although I do board red hate cards, and mostly, they are for you (because I know I'll play you in t8 eventually) Chill and BEB aren't exactly bad cards to board in UGw Gro. In fact, I think Chill should be a staple in the board, as it hoses Goblins in conjunction with Needle on Vial.

Obfuscate Freely
02-14-2006, 06:49 PM
I'm aware of what swords to plowshares does, but you saying that bolt is irrelevant is ridiculous. Burn spells force your opponent to play differently when they are on a faster clock, not to mention that I wasn't saying I'll sacrifice my guys so I can burn my opponent out.
I've tested the matchup (UGw vs. your build of UGr) from both sides, and the burn was flat-out awful. Nobody was forced to play any differently, because a handful of Bolts and some 2-damage spells do not create a significantly faster clock. Even with 12 burn spells, Gro cannot operate under the Philosophy of Fire; trading cards for 2 points of the opponent's life total is almost always going to be a bad idea.


Not really, you have to protect furnace in Syracuse. From naturalize and needle which means you have to waste counters on not letting them have threshold. Not to mention killing 2 bears with a fire/ice isn't bad, burn is relevant. I'm aware it's not outstanding but it deserves more credit than you give it.
If you can't protect your grave-hate, they will have threshold and the burn spells will be terrible. If you are 2-for-1ing a Gro player with Fire-fucking-Ice, you are in a winning position.


Fire/Ice a bad draw spell?! I'm sorry, but it's a great draw spell. It has the option of killing something or cycleing and taping a dude for your team to enter the red zone.
Yes, 1U for "draw a card" is a very bad draw spell. Since paying 1R to deal 2 damage is usually going to be even worse, Fire/Ice is a poor card in the mirror match. I'd rather have a better card manipulation spell than the ability to tap a Werebear for a turn.


That statement is ridiculous my build with 12 burn spells happens to win, because of it's ability to deal with everything currently in the format. 12 burns happens to win the mirror also for your information, Ask Mr.Nightmare be has to board red hate cards just for me.
Like I said, my testing showed otherwise. UGw didn't have a large advantage, but STP was better than burn. It may still be true that your build is the best to play, because of its game against Goblins, but I think you are wrong if you think it is optimal in the mirror match.


Threshold has has always had a positive match-up against dead guy. All you have to do is withstand the first 3 turns of them rushing you with disruption and after that it's cake. Play a goose and ride the bitch to victory, Deadguy's only way to deal with goose is shade which shouldn't resolve and if it does kill it.
I imagine your build also has a much better matchup against Deadguy Ale, since all 12 of the burn spells kill any one of their ~11 threats.

Ridiculous Hat
02-15-2006, 03:52 AM
When exactly 0 of your burn spells kill an opposing creature without help, I just don't understand how you expect to continually 2-for-1 yourself and keep up with their threats. Your build lacks draw and instead plays a lot of small burn spells, 4 of which apparently you use for draw fairly often-- how do you expect to kill someone with those when they have a similarly fast clock and 4 maindeck lifegain spells? I think you should test against UGw more, because I'd be inclined to agree with Zur and OF.

Bryant Cook
02-15-2006, 06:28 AM
When exactly 0 of your burn spells kill an opposing creature without help, I just don't understand how you expect to continually 2-for-1 yourself and keep up with their threats. Your build lacks draw and instead plays a lot of small burn spells, 4 of which apparently you use for draw fairly often-- how do you expect to kill someone with those when they have a similarly fast clock and 4 maindeck lifegain spells? I think you should test against UGw more, because I'd be inclined to agree with Zur and OF.


In the mirror, the deck plays either 2 ways. You save up burn for enforcer or you don't worry about it and go for the throat. I rarely try and kill a bear with burn, I can always trade with another bear. I was just saying it is possible to kill off men with burn, and that burn is relevant.
@ killing someone with 4 MD life spells- Keep bashing? I mean I do run 10 creatures too.

TheInfamousBearAssassin
02-15-2006, 06:46 AM
I'm missing something here. What are these four maindeck lfegain spells?

Because if you mean StP, you get a free punchtotheface.

Obfuscate Freely
02-15-2006, 10:33 AM
Calling Swords to Plowshares a lifegain spell isn't much worse than calling Fire/Ice or Magma Jet a draw spell.

Using STP as lifegain could easily have merit, if an opposing UGr player has been confused into playing the deck as a burn deck. You know, if they just "go for the throat." In that case, you can set up a 'bear trade, and then STP your own 'bear with damage on the stack. Instead of trading the STP for a creature, you trade it for 2 of the opponent's burn spells. STP is a better Philosophy of Fire card as well as a better removal spell.

Ridiculous Hat
02-15-2006, 09:36 PM
I'm missing something here. What are these four maindeck lfegain spells?

Because if you mean StP, you get a free punchtotheface.It's entirely possible for them to kill your enforcer or whatever when you have a window of opportunity to swords and gain some life at relatively little cost. Generally, yes, they are better on the opponent's creatures 90% of the time-- but if you're at a low life total the potential to gain 6 out of nowhere isn't something to be denied.

No, I am not advocating it as a regular strategy, but I think it is a relevant point against a deck with 12 burn spells.

Bryant Cook
02-15-2006, 10:06 PM
It's entirely possible for them to kill your enforcer or whatever when you have a window of opportunity to swords and gain some life at relatively little cost. Generally, yes, they are better on the opponent's creatures 90% of the time-- but if you're at a low life total the potential to gain 6 out of nowhere isn't something to be denied.

No, I am not advocating it as a regular strategy, but I think it is a relevant point against a deck with 12 burn spells.

How is it relevant if you are one of the people saying, burn isn't relevant in the mirror match?

Ridiculous Hat
02-16-2006, 02:06 AM
How is it relevant if you are one of the people saying, burn isn't relevant in the mirror match?I'm saying that even if burn is relevant at all, UGw has 4 cards that can easily counteract 2-3 burn spells if used in desperation. No, I don't think that burn is generally a big deal, but even if it is, UGw has the tools required to be able to handle that.

BlindMage
03-11-2006, 08:55 PM
Why are we arguing about the relevance of burn? Clearly, burn is relevant in a general sense, since you can kill your opponent with it. The reletive virtues of each splash color can and have been talked to death, and ultimately come down to a metagame choice, as well as a playstyle preferance. But before I give new life to an argument that should be dead, I'll change the subject. Why don't we talk about a matchup that could be improved? For instance, the position of tier 1 blue-based control is unlikely to remain vacant for long. Has anyone tested Gro against UR Landstill (for instance)? How has that gone? Also, a few weeks ago, while testing a TheRock(with Pox) varient I've been working on, on and off; I found that Gro seems to have an outrageously bad matchup with this type of control. Has anyone else tested a similar matchup? Clearly, TheRock is not a major metagame concern at the moment, but the deck certainly has potential in this format, even if it has not yet been fully realized.

Cheers, and I hope people can leave that dead horse alone (for a little while, at least). Hasn't it suffered enough?

kimberley
03-11-2006, 09:11 PM
Also, a few weeks ago, while testing a TheRock(with Pox) varient I've been working on, on and off; I found that Gro seems to have an outrageously bad matchup with this type of control. Has anyone else tested a similar matchup? Clearly, TheRock is not a major metagame concern at the moment, but the deck certainly has potential in this format, even if it has not yet been fully realized.

I don't see any sence in adding Pox to TheRock, but anyways:
You are rigth about it: It is close to an auto-loss for NQGw (with NQGr you can be lucky with burn at times). I put some thoughts into this, cause at least at one of my usual tournament sites (Bremen) i always have a good chance to meet TheRock.
Well....i tested the Matchup, but did not include additional choices (their are not many things you can do apart from boarding Needle and Geddon).
I met TheRock there twice during December/January...and were slaughtered 0-2 & 0-2 without even the slightest chance for a win.
It is just pure horror. There is no bigger hate for this matchup than Geddon imo. To win a game (not to talk about a match) we would have to change half the deck (as i said: Ugr does far better, but still not very good).
I have no idea what to do about it, but cross the fingers and pray that TheRock will never enter the upper Tiers...

BlindMage
03-12-2006, 08:18 PM
I have no idea what to do about it, but cross the fingers and pray that TheRock will never enter the upper Tiers

Didn't you start the thread on TheRock?

Anyway, I didn't start playing Gro until after Landstill was caput, so I don't really have any experiance playing against Blue based control. How is the Landstill matchup for Gro? What about UWBS type stuff?

Citrus-God
03-12-2006, 10:33 PM
UW Landstill tends to have a decent match-up versus Gro post-board, due to Wastelands, 6-8 Board Sweepers, and as well as 4-8 removal spells (Swords + Fire // Ice if they are smart enough to play Red). Pre-Board gives you a better chance to wreck Landstill due to Geddon'/Winter Orb, Naturalizes, Needle, and more Expolsives, but at the same time, they have Chalice and Crypt. Red IMO think is best against Landstill, because of it's insane clock and counters.

UW Angel Control should give you an easy win pre-board, but post-board, they have B2B and Crypt. I think UWb Angel Control is far more deadlier, as it runs a better draw, Moat/WoG, and Perishes.

kimberley
03-13-2006, 06:10 AM
UW Angel Control should give you an easy win pre-board, but post-board, they have B2B and Crypt. I think UWb Angel Control is far more deadlier, as it runs a better draw, Moat/WoG, and Perishes.

Well...i want to claim the opposite: WUBS is far more fit for an endgame in this matchup. And with about 12-16 permission spells they will enter it.
Post board you have Geddon, pre board you don't.
One of my team mates has studied WUBS intensively - our results are more along the lines of:
NQGw pre: 35%, post 60%
NQGr pre: 55%, post 50%

@BlindMage: Yes, i started that thread, but the teams work on TheRock was surrendered some time ago. But i am very happy with the development of that thread...and despite my limited ability to judge it, i beleieve most of the decklists posted there are valid... and innovative, too.

Citrus-God
03-13-2006, 08:36 PM
ehh... I guess. Around my area, it's more like 11 Counters max for UW Angel Control, and weird crap like 4 WoGs/Moats, and some Stifles/Needles.

Mirrislegend
03-14-2006, 12:56 PM
Wait. So it's been generally decided that magi are not longer MD viable?!? Since when? Why?

The Magi are never dead. Early game, if you don't have an absolute certain read on them, or are uncertain about which card needs to be kept out of play, pick a card that they might play that you don't want to be bothered countering. Late game, shut down the removal or win conditions that you know they are holding.

While he IS a relatively small body for an aggro filled meta, I cannot see how he could be relegated to the SB. Anyone care to explain?

Mad Zur
03-14-2006, 01:38 PM
He could be relegated to the SB because Legacy is an aggro-filled format. Mage is great against combo, but it can only improve your chances so much if they're already 80%. Goblins, however, is not only harder to beat than any deck Mage is amazing against but more popular at major tournaments than all of them together. That's not to say Mage is good against everything except Goblins - what about any other aggro deck, or the mirror match?

I might consider swapping out Pithing Needle for Meddling Mage in a metagame with very little Goblins and a considerable amount of combo, but I would not do so in a major tournament because I can expect Goblins to be considerably more of a concern than whatever Mage would help against.

I think most people disagree with me on this issue, however.

BlindMage
03-14-2006, 02:13 PM
Wait. So it's been generally decided that magi are not longer MD viable?!? Since when? Why?

Where does it say this? Are you sure you didn't just mis-read something? I certainly would not drop my magi from the maindeck.

Mirrislegend
03-14-2006, 02:31 PM
Reading the more recent pages of this thread, I keep seeing stuff about mages SB, that are brought in for mongeese against combo and certain control. This seems to be repeated many a time, so it seems reasonable to think that people had generally decided (the way archetype developments go) to put the magi in the SB.

Mad Zur
03-14-2006, 02:57 PM
If Mage is in the board, you should take out StP, Enforcer, and Pithing Needle long before Mongoose against most combo.

CavernNinja
03-15-2006, 12:01 AM
Putting mages in the board is a choice you can make. For me I always started the mages and would board them out in matches where they weren't overly useful and I had something better in my board. I would think that mage would be more useful now than before with less goblins and more of everything else. Against Life From the Loam the only real answer you have is Meddling Mage naming life, counterspells don't work very well and their clock is faster.

Rambo
03-25-2006, 11:55 PM
I am having immense trouble dealing with troll and out of control mongrels (especially rancored, jitte'd and sword of fire and ice'd one's) Even when I do counter troll, they just trop slum or iwamori the beating fist and its out of range of my bur (i run red) Any suggestions on how to deal with big fatties (other tha stick and fire/ice

Lego
03-26-2006, 02:52 AM
That's one of the weaknesses this deck has. Zoo decks with bigger creatures are really hard matchups, because basically all they play is threats, and you can't hope to counter them all. Short of going white for StP, you're looking at trying to figure out which creatures are real threats, and keeping them off the board. You don't need to take care of Troll Ascetic as long as they leave him the size he is, because you can block him all day with your Bears. My plan against these types of Zoo decks has always been to lock up the ground and beat for the win in the air, but then again, I've always played more finishers than most builds.

I would recommend allowing more of the smaller threats to resolve, trying to tangle up the ground, and then winning in the air. Also consider White if these types of decks are big in your area, as StP is a good answer to a lot of these guys.

MattH
03-26-2006, 01:59 PM
Play Winter Orb or Geddon to punish them for using expensive, 3+mana threats. Daze is good with those, too (I've Dazed my own Geddon and paid, just to save the land).

Aquaschaf
03-26-2006, 02:12 PM
Their mana cost might be the killer argument against using them but has anyone ever tried to use Silver Knight as a sideboard card? They potentially own any kind of red aggro and it can be nice to have some more threats postboard that don't get hit by graveyard hate.

Mad Zur
03-26-2006, 02:30 PM
I am having immense trouble dealing with troll and out of control mongrels (especially rancored, jitte'd and sword of fire and ice'd one's) Even when I do counter troll, they just trop slum or iwamori the beating fist and its out of range of my bur (i run red) Any suggestions on how to deal with big fatties (other tha stick and fire/ice Of the cards you've mentioned, I'd say Jitte and SoFI are the biggest threats by far (unless you have a Pithing Needle). Rancor is probably the next best because it means your creatures won't beat his anymore, and it won't die. If they play a Troll, leave a Werebear open. If they play a Slum or Iwamori, leave two creatures back - trading a Werebear or Mongoose for a 5/5 is acceptable. Mongrel isn't much of an issue because it's only going to survive combat damage with a Werebear if they discard three cards. You'll gladly stalemate on the ground while you dig for more creatures and eventually a Dragon. You may need to counter Slum if you're at very low life, suspect they have burn, and/or can't see a quick end to the stalemate. Otherwise it can be dealt with. Basically, while anything enchanted or equipped is going to be a problem, if you counter the enchantments and equipment, your creatures can take care of the rest. The big creatures are annoying, and you don't really want them on the board, but they are not the most threatening cards. If you're finding yourself without enough counters, I'd recommend letting the creatures (starting with Troll) resolve.

Lukas Preuss
03-26-2006, 02:48 PM
Their mana cost might be the killer argument against using them but has anyone ever tried to use Silver Knight as a sideboard card? They potentially own any kind of red aggro and it can be nice to have some more threats postboard that don't get hit by graveyard hate.

Well, the double white could be kinda hard to support for the mana base, since you will never have two white mana on turn two. You want to have Tundra, as well as Tropical Islands on the table to cast stuff like Mongoose and Werebear. You do not want to fetch a second Tundra on turn 2...

Nightmare
03-30-2006, 03:51 PM
If it's the pro:Red you want, then go with Galina's Knight. If it's the First Strike you want, then find another creature, because it's going to be tough to get WW on turn 2, or even later.

Obfuscate Freely
04-10-2006, 11:58 PM
What better way to revitalize this thread than with a success story? I'll even spice it up with some controversial card discussion!

Report

I used UGw Gro to make the finals at Kadishack's Dual Land Draft on April 8th. I didn't take notes during the tournament, so I'm just going to give a basic recap with a few comments:

Round 1: Solidarity (Brian AKA Ewokslayer) 1 - 1 - 1

Game one I beat him with a Force and 2 Dazes. Game two I mulled into a poor hand that he eventually fought through. Game three we ran out of time and turns.

A classically inauspicious start.

Round 2: Rifter (Nick) 2 - 0

Humility never stuck, so I won.

Round 3: UGw Gro (Jesse AKA Mad Zur) 2 - 0

Getting paired against my brother always sucks, and we weren't in a position to draw. I won the match because I drew better than he did.

Round 4: Solidarity (David AKA Deep6er) 2 - 0

I got (much) better draws than I did in round 1, and things went like they usually do. I ended both games with superfluous counterspells in hand.

Round 5: Deadguy Ale (? - I apologize for forgetting your name) 2 - 0

Game one, he scooped to lethal damage on my turn 5. Silly black players giving Mystic Enforcer threshold.

Game two was slightly more interesting, but he didn't play anything on turn 1. I admit that I don't respect Deadguy very much, but it seems awfully hard to lose against them if they don't open with Dark Ritual.

Round 6: Solidarity (Mike AKA Herbig) ID

Quarterfinals: Train Wreck (Jack AKA InfamousBearAssasin) 2 - 0

In my limited experience against this deck and it's precursor Jack Black, I have learned to fear the matchup above all others. I won the die roll, but then I mulled down to 5. At least he went down to 6. And then I won the game. When Jack scooped, he had a Chainer's Edict in the yard to answer my lone creature, but his 6th and 7th lands were fetches, and he was at 2 life.

The second game had something to do with Pithing Needle on Deed and Meddling Mage on the Putrefy Jack Witness'ed back. He resolved a Haunting Echoes while at 9 life, but the Mage and a trio of puny 'bears did him in, anyway.

Jack didn't draw a Cabal Coffers in either game, which I think made a big difference.

Semifinals: Angel Stompy -or- The Deoxygenation of Tokyo Bay (Evn AKA LegoArmyMan) 2 - 0

This isn't a matchup I relish, exactly, but after beating Jack I figured a cool head and a little luck could pull it out. And it did. Evn's draws could have certainly been better, although he did draw 3 Parallax Waves in game 1. Thank you, Pithing Needle.

As a side note, Evn is a cool name. Vowels are for pussies.

Finals: Solidarity (Mike AKA Herbig) Split

The Tundras are all German, which is awesome, so we arranged a split in which I ended up with said Tundras and a few small perks to make up for the difference. Why play it out when there's another solution that leaves everyone happy?

This is only the beginning of this post, though. I really just want to discuss my build of Gro and why it looks like it does.

Decklist Analysis

//draw (16)
4x Brainstorm
4x Serum Visions
4x Portent
4x Predict

//counters (10)
4x Force of Will
3x Counterspell
3x Daze

//other answers (7)
4x Swords to Plowshares
3x Pithing Needle

//guys (10)
4x Nimble Mongoose
4x Werebear
2x Mystice Enforcer

//lands (17)
3x Polluted Delta
3x Windswept Heath
4x Tundra
3x Tropical Island
3x Island
1x Forest

//sideboard (15)
4x Tividar's Crusade
3x Meddling Mage
3x Nantuko Monastery
3x Naturalize
2x Blue Elemental Blast

I'll start off by discussing my color choice, which was the biggest decision I had to make in the last few days before the tournament. I considered all three splashes (red, white, and black). I even considered splashing two colors, like Summersberger did for GP: Lille, but I'm reasonably sure a fourth color isn't worth the sacrifices. Each option has advantages and disadvantages, of course. I actually pretty much dismissed red early on, in both light- and heavy-burn forms. Pyroclasm is probably the strongest anti-Goblin sideboard card, but Lightning Bolt is the worst removal spell in the mirror match, which has become a much greater concern since GP: Philly. I was leaning towards black for some time, because Ghastly Demise is insanely good, Confidant is strong, and there are some great board options for black, like Engineered Plague, Diabolic Edict, and Haunting Echoes. However, I was a little worried about playing Demise without knowing if Deadguy would be popular. The next choice, of course, was white, which has both good removal (STP) and a good flyer (Enforcer). White also offers Nantuko Monastery, which is ridiculous. UGw was my choice.

Now, I'd like to touch on each of the atypical card choices and counts, as they appear in the list. This deck is the current incarnation of the Gro decks Mad Zur, me, and several other NoVanites have been tweaking for the past year+. Thus, these conclusions are based on months of testing and development, and can be inferred to apply to each of the color splashes, at least when possible.

Portent: This card has yet to get the respect that it deserves. Zur and I have been playing it over Sleight of Hand for quite some time (since before GP: Philly), and it's almost certainly better. Portent digs deeper than any other cantrip, and is much closer to Brainstorm's power level than even Serum Visions. The ability to "lock" your opponent out with Portent is relevant, as well. The fact that Portent is a slowtrip very occasionally comes up, but not nearly as often as the extra manipulation wins games.

Equally important is the increase in draw spells from 15 to 16. Winning with Gro is a matter of chaining cantrips until you have overwhelming card quality advantage. I've found that most of the games Gro loses are games in which chaining cantrips is impossible for some reason, and squeezing one more cantrip into the list is an obvious way to improve the deck in this regard.

(lack of) Mental Note: Mental Note is abyssmally bad at chaining into more cantrips, or digging for threats, or finding answers. It can occasionally get you threshold a turn or two earlier, but getting seven cards into the graveyard happens plenty quick enough without sacrificing your midgame advantage. I think the card is awful in the deck.

Predict: I guess some people still aren't sold on Predict, but it's been consistently solid, even when there are only 8 enablers for it. Having 12 setup spells only makes the card better.

Counterspell: I've tried going down to two Counterspells, but the deck always feels light on hard counters when I do. I think three is the way to go.

Pithing Needle: The only strike against maindecking Pithing Needle is that it is poor in the mirror match. However, access to this card significantly improves almost every other matchup, with the exception of Solidarity, which is heavily favorable regardless. Since you have plenty of time in the mirror match to Brainstorm Needles away or simply avoid drawing them in the first place, I don't think there is any compelling reason not to run them.

The manabase: Nothing too techy going on here. I like the fetchland configuration because it maximizes Pithing Needle's "usefulness" in the mirror (where the card is at its worst), since you can name Flooded Strand.

The Plains didn't make the cut because going below 16 blue sources is poor and so is going above 17 lands in total. The basic forest is important so you can deploy beats through multiple Wastelands, and the basic Islands are there in case you want to play a basic land on turn one.

Tividar's Crusade: Worship is more versatile, but Tividar's Crusade is cheaper and less conditional. Note, however, that if I were to try to fit a basic Plains, it would be almost solely because of this card. Sideboarding the Plains is always an option.

Meddling Mage: My Mages are still in the board because they are terrible in a lot of matchups. They are also still in the board because Mage is an amazing tool to have access to.

Naturalize: It seems like a lot of people are cutting down to 2 Disenchant effects, or even axing them altogether, but I'm sticking with three. There are several tough matchups, like Rifter, Angel Stompy, and Landstill, that play out dramatically differently depending on how many Disenchant effects you have access to.

Nantuko Monastery: For me, this card was a significant factor in my deciding to splash white this weekend. Monastery is a huge threat in the mirror, and against any white or blue control deck. It simply beats any opposing threat short of an Enforcer or Dragon, and is uncounterable to boot. It can get Needled in the mirror match, but that requires the opponent to keep an otherwise dead card in the deck after sideboarding.

Most decks that Monastery is good against don't run Wasteland, so I generally get to side out the Forest to fit one in. I'd never take out blue sources for the other two, but it helps the deck's threat density, nonetheless.

Blue Elemental Blast: This slot could have been Tormod's Crypt, but I'm comfortable with the list's mirror match without it. BEB shores up the Goblin match a little bit more, and is also strong against other random aggro decks, Rifter, and Burn.

(lack of) Armageddon: Armageddon is strongest against control decks, with Rifter being the most prominent in the format right now. However, it is fairly situational against a deck so capable of answering Gro's threats. I think outdrawing white control is a better strategy than going for the flashy 'geddon plan. Armageddon also has poor synergy with Monastery, which is great in the same matchups, and then some.

I truly think that a Gro deck built off of this skeleton or one like it is the best deck in the format right now. Goblins is being harassed by several developing decks capable of beating it. Conversely, a lot of decks that supposedly beat Gro, like Deadguy Ale, Rifter, and Angel Stompy, actually struggle to maintain an even record against the deck. Gro isn't unbeatable, but as long as people are focusing on Goblins, Werebears will be difficult to beat.

threetonsflax
04-11-2006, 06:49 PM
I don't want to turn this into a rehashing of old arguments, but...
I chain draw spells with Mental Note all of the time. Don't forget the nice synergy with Brainstorm (or Portent if you're running that). The mirror match against a Gro deck running Note puts you at a serious disadvantage.

Predict on the other hand I've actually been warming up to. One of the problems I've found in some matchups (I run UGr) is that I run out of answers. With Zoo/WW/Goblins I'm usually ok because the burn and card selection gives me enough until a drop a beater. But with a beatdown deck (as has been discussed) the threats keep coming at a size that my critters can't take care of. Trading one for one (or worse with Force) only works so long. We have card selection but no real card advantage. I can't simply hold out until I drop a bomb like Humility or Wrath. 12 deck stacking spells (Brainstorm, Magma Jet, Serum Visions) make it a useful mid-lategame play. Early game it helps get threshold and cantrips so its not totally useless (although yes it is expensive for a cantrip, but you don't really want the Dragon or Enforcer in you're opening hand do you?). What do other people think about running it as a 2-of?

Alfred
04-11-2006, 07:36 PM
Portent: This card has yet to get the respect that it deserves. Zur and I have been playing it over Sleight of Hand for quite some time (since before GP: Philly), and it's almost certainly better. Portent digs deeper than any other cantrip, and is much closer to Brainstorm's power level than even Serum Visions. The ability to "lock" your opponent out with Portent is relevant, as well. The fact that Portent is a slowtrip very occasionally comes up, but not nearly as often as the extra manipulation wins games.

This is 100% true. I actually just switched from Sleight of Hand to Portent in my Lock Fish deck after playing with it in my Ice Age Turbo Xerox deck for BYOB (It's Bring Your Own Block, which I must say is a fantastic format). It's basically like a delayed Impulse, with the benefit of being able to shuffle your deck if you don't see what you need. It's great in decks with reactive instant answers because it's drawback doesn't matter, so I guess that it would be great in this deck too.

I notice you're also running the 3 Daze 3 CS setup instead of the usual 4/2 setup. How has this been working out for you? Have you found the sorcery-speed cantrips in the early game restrict your ability to cast Counterspell, or was it ever a problem?

Nantuko Monestaries look pretty techy in the SB, but no offense, I would much rather keep a solid manabase and add some other sort of answer than bastardize the manabase, even in the mirror. I would imagine that it would lead to more mulligans, and perhaps even game losses due to the need to get those colored mana sources in play and start cantripping.

Everything else looks solid and the match report was great, congrats.

Obfuscate Freely
04-11-2006, 09:01 PM
The mirror match against a Gro deck running Note puts you at a serious disadvantage.
I think it's time everybody stops repeating this ridiculous assertion. Mental Note is awful in the mirror match because it's a poor manipulation spell. The Gro mirror is a battle of attrition that is won be whomever draws more creatures and removal spells. Rushing to threshold might let you get a few free hits in, but life totals are only marginally relevant until they're under 10. The midgame sacrifice is not worth it.


Predict on the other hand I've actually been warming up to. What do other people think about running it as a 2-of?
What's wrong with running four?


This is 100% true. I actually just switched from Sleight of Hand to Portent in my Lock Fish deck after playing with it in my Ice Age Turbo Xerox deck for BYOB (It's Bring Your Own Block, which I must say is a fantastic format). It's basically like a delayed Impulse, with the benefit of being able to shuffle your deck if you don't see what you need. It's great in decks with reactive instant answers because it's drawback doesn't matter, so I guess that it would be great in this deck too.
Good to see some love for Portent.


I notice you're also running the 3 Daze 3 CS setup instead of the usual 4/2 setup. How has this been working out for you? Have you found the sorcery-speed cantrips in the early game restrict your ability to cast Counterspell, or was it ever a problem?
When it is so early in the game that the cantrips are interfering with Counterspell mana, you have to decide whether your opponent has a likely play that you can only answer with Counterspell. If he does, you then have to decide if you can afford to pass the turn without playing any cantrips. This has not been a problem in my experience, since situations in which you need Counterspell's protection but can't afford to pass the turn are very rare.

Incidentally, I've never liked running 4 Daze because its a situational card that a lot of people play around. In my mind, the next contender for the third Counterspell's slot is Mystic Enforcer #3.


Nantuko Monestaries look pretty techy in the SB, but no offense, I would much rather keep a solid manabase and add some other sort of answer than bastardize the manabase, even in the mirror. I would imagine that it would lead to more mulligans, and perhaps even game losses due to the need to get those colored mana sources in play and start cantripping.
I like to swap out a Forest for a Monastery, but the other two come in in place of spells. This change hardly bastardizes the manabase. You have to realize that Monastery plays like another threshold creature, not a land. It's a free, uncounterable threshold creature that eats the other threshold creatures for lunch.


Everything else looks solid and the match report was great, congrats.
Thanks!

kimberley
04-12-2006, 01:52 AM
Good to see some love for Portent.

I would join a campain pro Portent anytime (as i did several times before). As you know (likely) i am playing it over Visions for about half a year now. Nice to see you and MZ still using and advocating it. :)

Alfred
04-12-2006, 02:50 PM
I like to swap out a Forest for a Monastery, but the other two come in in place of spells. This change hardly bastardizes the manabase. You have to realize that Monastery plays like another threshold creature, not a land. It's a free, uncounterable threshold creature that eats the other threshold creatures for lunch.

I actually thought that you took out a forest AND two blue sources. If that is the case, it seems like a good idea, though threshold would become even more of a priority.

Also, have you thought about running Engineered Explosives in the sideboard or the maindeck? I have found that to be one of the best removal spells that a UWG threshold deck can take advantage of, being great against a lot of different decks and threats.

Also, about the Meddling Mage being in the SB, I agree completely. It's best matchup is against Combo, and to some extent, Control decks. However, Control decks will usually have multiple types of removal to kill it. Also, it isn't half as useful first game as it is second and third, unless you know your opponent's deck thoroughly.

Nightmare
04-12-2006, 03:18 PM
//draw (16)
4x Brainstorm
4x Serum Visions
4x Portent
4x Predict

//counters (10)
4x Force of Will
3x Counterspell
3x Daze

//other answers (7)
4x Swords to Plowshares
3x Pithing Needle

//guys (10)
4x Nimble Mongoose
4x Werebear
2x Mystice Enforcer

//lands (17)
3x Polluted Delta
3x Windswept Heath
4x Tundra
3x Tropical Island
3x Island
1x Forest

//sideboard (15)
4x Tividar's Crusade
3x Meddling Mage
3x Nantuko Monastery
3x Naturalize
2x Blue Elemental Blast
This list is incredibly saucy. In particular, I love the # of cantrips, as well as the land configuration. I would still run -1 Island, +1 Plains, but I think I could be swayed from that argument. i just feel its important to be able to cast Enforcer from Basics alone.

I still Like Mentl Note, but there are pros and cons to it, just like Portent. In a meta filled with the Mirror, I think I would cut Note, simply because you ned card selection, not speed. In a Goblin meta or a Solidarity one, I think Note is better than Predict.

I run my Mages MD, but I've actually been less than impressed with them lately. I also have MD Engineered Explosives (I've been testing them) but those could easily come out as well. The Explosives used to be cantrips, and I can see them becoming them again. I agree that they're better in the board.

Monestary is nuts. I'm ashamed I never thought of it. How difficult has it been for you to keep GW up to activate it?

Lego
04-12-2006, 04:06 PM
I would join a campain pro Portent anytime (as i did several times before). As you know (likely) i am playing it over Visions for about half a year now. Nice to see you and MZ still using and advocating it. :)

You're running Portent over Serum Visions? What does your cantrip base look like? Personally, I would never drop Serum Visions from the deck, I think it's the strongest cantrip after Brainstorm, and Serum Visions helps to chain cantrips better.