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Thread: [Article] It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

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    [Article] It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    This is the first in what will hopefully be a series of interviews with some of the best deckbuilders and players in the Legacy format. This installment focuses on David Gearhart, designer of Solidarity and most recently, It's The Fear, which has established itself as one of the format's premier control decks.

    It's The Fear

    4 Flooded Strand
    4 Polluted Delta
    4 Tropical Island
    3 Underground Sea
    2 Tundra
    2 Island
    1 Plains
    1 Volrath's Stronghold
    1 Academy Ruins

    4 Swords to Plowshares
    4 Brainstorm
    3 Sensei's Divining Top
    4 Counterbalance
    4 Tarmogoyf
    2 Counterspell
    1 Life from the Loam
    4 Intuition
    3 Pernicious Deed
    1 Vedalken Shackles
    1 Eternal Witness
    1 Etched Oracle
    4 Force of Will
    2 Engineered Explosives

    Sideboard
    4 Tormod's Crypt
    4 Blue Elemental Blast
    4 Krosan Grip
    3 Nevinyrral's Disk

    Thread
    http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/s...ead.php?t=9724
    Other Decklists and notable finishes

    http://www.deckcheck.net/list.php?deck=It%27s+the+Fear
    T8 Report from Syracuse 1k Event
    http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=10350

    It's the Fear focuses on using powerful cards such as Counterbalance/Top, Intuition, Pernicious Deed and Tarmogoyf to gain control of games, while crushing opponents with powerful recursion engines in Volrath's Strongold, Academy Ruins, Life from the Loam and Eternal Witness. So far, the strategy has proven successful. ITF has made seven t8s since April according to www.deckcheck.net, despite seeing limited play due to it's relative youth.

    Anyway, without further adieu, here is the man himself, David Gearhart.



    For starters, Dave, introduce yourself to everyone who might not know who you are.


    Well, my name is David Gearhart. Deep6er on the Source. I've been known in the past for my other creation, Solidarity which helped catapult me to internet niche fame. My success with Solidarity (and recently, It's the Fear) have helped stabilize my name as a "generally good player" amongst the knowledgeable players of the Source.

    So Dave, tell us a little about your latest creation, It's the Fear. Take us through the deck's development and explain some of the card choices.


    It's reasonably simple. Dan (nitewolf9 on the Source) sent me a private message about a month and a half before the Northern Virginia Dual Land Draft. Basically, he said, "I want to play Psychatog". I quickly responded with, "Psychatog sucks." Over the course of many, many private messages we came up with the list that I played at the Dual Land Draft (that I then made top 8 with). However, even from that list there were refinements to be made. Etched Oracle is a very recent addition to the main, while Nevinyrral's Disk has been a superlative answer in the board for the threat of Dragon Stompy. I'm still not convinced the deck is 100% completed, but I like it's current position. I'm also very confident in the current configuration of the deck, and will attempt to convince those who say otherwise (rather vehemently, as has been known to be the case on the Source). I'll run briefly over some of the obvious card choices, and go into more detail about some of the others.

    4 Brainstorm: Reasonably obvious. Excellent card quality and plays very well with fetch lands.

    4 Swords to Plowshares: Hands down the best removal in the format. Absolutely necessary in this deck because you can't afford to have your removal be limited. It's true that it's the only white card in the deck, but it's power remains a legitimate reason for inclusion. While people have argued for cards like Smother and Shriekmaw, I contend that those cards aren't powerful enough to help stabilize the board as quickly and efficiently as Swords does while maintaining it's power throughout the game.

    3 Sensei's Divining Top: Insane card quality that allows Counterbalance to be as effective as it is. Additionally, it's amazing at finding certain cards with the shuffle effects that the deck has (Intuition, fetch lands, and even Life from the Loam to some extent).

    4 Counterbalance: What I would say is the heart of the deck. It's the card that allows you to maintain control of the game, and it's the card that makes your opponent's game plan difficult at best. Absolutely ridiculous.

    4 Tarmogoyf: Remarkably efficient as both a way to block and a way to win, he's too efficient to not play. His strength in comparison to every other creature is absolutely mind boggling.

    2 Counterspell: A slightly questionable choice, it does allow you to contain cards that have managed to elude your Counterbalance soft lock. These, combined with Force of Will ensure that the late game threats are managed well.

    1 Life from the Loam: An integral piece of the Intuition "puzzle", but one that I rarely Intuition for. It helps stabilize your mana base, while allowing you to run singletons of Volrath's Stronghold and Academy Ruins. Plus, the nifty dredge ability allows you to have even more control over the top of your deck.

    4 Intuition: The soul of the deck, it's the glue that manages to make everything work out well. Serving as a tutor, and a general answer to problems, it can help set up positions that are very unfavorable for the opponent too. Extremely versatile while helping to maintain It's the Fear's overall power level.

    3 Pernicious Deed: An extremely potent board control spell, it's the absolute best at what it does. While it may seem like a bad idea to run this card along with all the other permanents in the deck, it's important to note that you would only activate Deed to reset a bad position that got through the other defenses of the deck. Which makes it worthwhile.

    1 Vedalken Shackles: An extremely powerful answer to creature based strategies, it makes for remarkably difficult decisions on the part of your opponent, while freeing removal in your hand. The fact that it can also serve as a secondary win condition is a plus as well.

    1 Eternal Witness: Allows for redundancy and versatility. Because the card allows you to choose from so many potent spells, it serves as a wonderful addition to Intuition that only gets stronger when you have access to Volrath's Stronghold. It is, however, rather mana intensive, which is somewhat of a mitigating factor. Thus, the one.

    1 Etched Oracle: Draw engine plus reasonably sized beat stick. It serves to be a card in the four casting cost slot that is recur-able through either recursion land, while also allowing you to outdraw control decks. It can also serve as an alternate win condition.

    4 Force of Will: A necessity to deal with problematic spells early in the game.

    2 Engineered Explosives: A supplement to Pernicious Deed that also plays well with Academy Ruins. It serves to get around Counterbalance while also being very specific about the cards you destroy. Very useful, but again, mana intensive.

    8 Fetch lands: Useful for finding the appropriate land (this is, after all, a four color deck), while also serving to make Brainstorm and Sensei's Divining Top better.

    4 Tropical Island: Green is an important color to have early, so that you can cast Tarmogoyf to block. Thus, the four.

    3 Underground Sea: It's very important that you hit Pernicious Deed early against some decks, and the reasonable number of Underground Seas should enable that.

    2 Tundra: Since there are only four white cards in the deck, you don't need more than two, especially in conjunction with the Plains. It IS, however, important that you hit that white mana.

    2 Island: Enough basics to make sure that you can cast Counterbalance (which should buy you time) under a Moon effect or recurring Wastelands is definitely an important factor in choosing which and how many basics to run. Additionally, you need to make sure that you have a higher chance of hitting an Island if you do get struck by a Moon effect and two is more than one.

    1 Plains: Helps to ensure that you're capable of using Swords underneath a Moon effect. The only other option for a basic land would be Forest, which would require you to bastardize the fetch lands in order to use. Because that's not worthwhile, Plains is better because removal can mitigate some of the Moon effects (namely Magus of the Moon).

    1 Volrath's Stronghold: Strong utility that allows you to win attrition through the use of recurring Tarmogoyfs or Eternal Witness.

    1 Academy Ruins: Strong utility that plays well with Intuition by setting up an alternate "soft lock" with Engineered Explosives.

    What niche in the format did you expect to fill when you created ITF?



    I felt that Landstill was too slow, and after playing Landstill extensively, I hated Standstill. I also found Counterbalance (with the inclusion of Sensei's Divining Top which I also found amazing) to be extraordinarily strong against many decks in the format. The general idea was to create a Landstill deck that didn't have Standstill that used Counterbalance and Sensei's Divining Top. Intuition was added as a method of generating a positive board position that played well with certain graveyard strategies (like Life from the Loam).

    Primarily, the idea was to create a control deck. However, the control deck needed to be versatile while maintaining the power of a strong late game. That was the idea.

    You definitely have a lot of exceptionally strong cards here such as Counterbalance, Sensei's Divining Top, Tarmogoyf, and Pernicious Deed. Is the deck simply chase-rare control, or is there something more to It's the Fear?


    There is definitely more to It's the Fear than just a hastily cobbled together pile of cards. There's a great deal of synergy, and it's pretty easy to see. The obvious ones are Intuition and Life from the Loam (plus the singleton lands). However, the harder to see ones are the utility lands and Counterbalance (if you have a dead Tarmogoyf or a Vedalken Shackles in the graveyard, with Counterbalance, you have a way to automatically counter those casting cost cards even without a Top in play). Additionally, Sensei's Divining Top and Life from the Loam are strong tools that allow you to burn through your deck to search for a particular card.

    The synergies make it apparent that there is more to It's the Fear than just expensive/powerful cards. The numbers have been tweaked again and again to make it what it's become now.

    What are the most common lines of play with the deck?



    That's difficult to say. The deck is designed to be versatile, so your plays will generally depend on your opponent. Obviously, the later the game goes, the more you have available, so it's hard to just say what you should and shouldn't do for a particular occasion. I know it's a maddeningly vague answer, but it's an answer that I can't honestly tell you. The cards in your hand, graveyard and in play, combined with the knowledge of what your opponent is playing and has played already are all vitally important.

    I apologize, but I don't think I should answer that question.

    You should also probably explain some of the things you don't play as well, that seems to be an issue of controversy when some people see ITF for the first time.



    Well, there's a laundry list, but here goes:

    Wasteland: This is probably the number one card that people ask me to play. Basically, I feel that it's inefficient. In order to run a single Wasteland and effectively Waste-lock your opponent, your series of plays will involve you milling three cards, paying 1G, and skipping a land drop to destroy a SINGLE land. It would only be effective if you were playing multiple Wastelands, but that would destroy the mana base consistency. Additionally, there's no real way to set up Waste-lock early with this deck. That means your opponent will probably have plenty of lands out by the time this happens. That means that in a deck that relies on Counterbalance, you're messing with the top three cards of your library every single turn. That's not a good plan. It also means that he has plenty of time to find an answer.

    Shriekmaw: Expensive, sorcery speed, and limited. You can't afford your removal to be limited because it's your best answer to get rid of single permanents. Your other answers (Deed and Explosives) will force you to reset the board. Sometimes, you don't want to do that.

    Those are the two biggest ones. Other people have brought up cards like; Fact or Fiction, Standstill, Raven's Crime, Dust Bowl, and the list goes on and on. Those are bad for particular reasons but most of them just don't have the synergy with the deck that the rest of the cards do. If you really feel the need to look into the reasons behind why I don't like those cards, I would recommend reading the thread on the Source.

    What matchups do you usually want to see when you bring It's the Fear to a tournament?


    Threshold primarily, followed by Landstill and Goblins. Goblins is a bit difficult pre board, but I really enjoy the match because it involves a lot of thinking on my part. I enjoy playing against Landstill because I love control mirrors and the thought that goes into them. It's the Fear is an intensive deck to play (just like every other deck in Legacy), but it also has other elements (like Intuition) that add to that. I would say that it's no more difficult to play than Threshold (optimally), but it's far more enjoyable for those who like to have options and versatility while maintaining the capability of playing powerful cards.

    By the same token, what would you like to avoid?



    Ichorid. Winning game one is just about an impossibility, and game two and three are gambles to not get mana screwed/flooded while also finding enough relevant cards (Crypt primarily) to stop them from winning. Also, Dragon Stompy (for obvious reasons, although, with the sideboard as it's currently constructed, games two and three are rather difficult for them) and I'm generally wary of decks like TES and Belcher. Even though I play Force of Will, I don't have additional disruption in the form of Thoughtseize and Daze to make that match up as comfortable as it is for Threshold. Counterbalance is really strong if it comes into play though.

    How do you try to make those matchups better?


    Not much I can do about Ichorid aside from playing the Crypts, and Dragon Stompy has been answered already, but TES and Belcher you only have the blasts. Have to kind of hope for the best there. If you get to turn two, then maybe you can drop Counterbalance, otherwise, hope you have Force in your hand.

    Like I need to ask, but if there was a GP tomorrow, what would you bring?


    I would definitely bring It's the Fear. In fact, I'm planning on bringing it to the Source tournament (barring Ad Nauseam being as ridiculous as I hope it isn't).

    Besides ITF, have you played anything else lately?



    I've actually been going through quite a few decks recently. The usual Ad Nauseam decks, reworks on Solidarity (I'm never going to completely give up on it), and an aggro control deck that I'm calling "Team America" (yet another collaboration between Dan and I that I'm going to keep under wraps until I finalize the deck and testing processes).

    What's in your gauntlet right now?


    Threshold
    Ichorid
    Goblins
    Belcher/TES
    (soon to be) Ad Nauseam (if we ever find a good build of it)

    Anything surprise you in terms of testing results?



    Not really. Most of it has followed the expected routes. I was a bit surprised to find the combo match up weaker than I had hoped. Just having Force is sometimes not enough. Plus, since you don't always know what your opponent is playing, it makes it harder to justify mulliganing to Force.

    On that note, has anything dissappointed you lately?


    I am beyond despondent about Aggro Loam. After testing the decks for so long (before and after Countryside Crusher), I never found one that operated how I liked. I always see people playing lists close to the last one that I was playing before I gave up on it do well with that list, which gives me hope. Then, after testing it to death again, I find that nothing is solved, and I still hate it.

    On that note, Ad Nauseam is frustrating to build. I've tested quite a few incarnations of it and still haven't found something satisfying.

    Landstill too. I've been irked by control decks that lack Counterbalance for awhile now. Counterbalance is amazing at fulfilling the traditional role of control in the past (which is keeping the status quo while you build resources), and Landstill's trademark card (Standstill) is irksome in certain match ups, while Counterbalance is only really dead against Ichorid (although, it still has some uses against that deck post board).

    What do you think the most over and underrated decks are right now?


    Obviously, I would say It's the Fear (for the underrated category). Quite a few people are taking it in drastically different directions, or just dismissing the deck altogether.

    For the overrated category, I would say that Goyf Sligh comes in at number one. I think the deck is a poor choice and my testing has confirmed it. It boggles the mind that it sees so much play in Syracuse while almost none in other metagames. People are adamant about it's strengths in certain match ups, and maintain that the difficult match ups are either not played or they have a strong sideboard for it.

    I would also submit that Painter is overrated. I have yet to find a Painter list that intrigues me, and it's relative fragility vexes me. I understand (and agree) that a two card combo is very strong, but when both of those cards are artifacts in a format that sees an almost universal addition of Krosan Grips (in sideboards of decks where it fits the primary strategy) makes me question it's strength. Without a strong way of protecting it, you're going to commit too much mana and too many cards to be defeated by a single card.

    I would argue that TES is underrated. With the addition of Ad Nauseam, that deck could certainly become more consistent, but I will agree that the deck won't become more resilient. It has the same problem that it used to have (for the early win, you usually have to go "all-in" on a certain card which leaves you dead to a Force of Will, while the late win means that they could drop Counterbalance), but it seems that fewer people are playing decks that capitalize on Force of Will's strengths. With the rise in Goyf Sligh, Ichorid, Aggro Loam, and other non-blue, non-Counterbalance decks, I would suspect that (in certain metagames) TES is an absolutely stellar choice to take home the gold.

    What's your take on the state of the format as a whole?


    Extremely diverse, while maintaining a reasonable power level. If I were to define it in one word, I would say, "healthy." I will grant you that the word there does not necessarily go into much detail, but it's connotations and denotations (in the Legacy format) both indicate the answer I mean to say, and the answer that can be inferred from my words.

    Does anything out of Shards of Alara interest you?



    Ad Nauseam. I am interested in testing that card in a variety of decks, not all of which are combo. I'm interested to see it's impact on traditional control strategies as well.

    What are your thoughts on the banned list?



    I can't even begin to describe how fast I would go back to Solidarity if they unbanned Frantic Search. I don't even care if there were other "strictly better" decks.

    Other than that one little thing, I think it's fine. I'd really rather not look into why cards like Land Tax are on the banned list, and can only assume that there is a reason (whatever it's strengths of reasoning may be) that it remains on there.

    Last but not least, leave us some parting thoughts, thanks and other randomness.



    First off, I'd like to thank you for helping me to spread the word on It's the Fear, while also thanking all of those people who helped me with it (Dan comes to mind here, definite props there) and contributed.

    It occurs to me that my word has risen in value correspondent to my winnings. However, I feel that I have been vilified in some areas due to multiple things. If possible, I'd like to address some of these topics now.

    1) Stubborn. I will admit to that. However, in many respects, I have a right to be. If I reject your contribution seemingly out of hand, it's likely because I've tested it before. This was clearer when it concerned Solidarity, but the conclusions are similar with It's the Fear. Many cards that have been suggested, I've played. Generally, it's because I really like those cards and wish to include them in the deck. After concluding that they weakened the deck overall, I dismissed them. Thus, when I tell you that a card is bad, it's (generally) because I have testing to back it up.

    2) Arrogant. I will admit to parts of this. It's likely that I'm less arrogant than you have been led to believe simply because of the method of posting that I've used in the past. People who have read my tournament reports can attest to this. People who have met me in real life (especially recently) can tell you that I'm not as arrogant as I seem to come off online. As I stated in my other interview with Finn, it was a persona used to make tournament reports more fun to read and as an inside joke to the rest of my friends on the forum. It's (generally) not an actual indicator on how I feel about a subject (e.g. when I say there should be more David Gearhart in an article, it's because I expect it from myself), nor an indicator on superiority (e.g. when I say there is more David Gearhart in thus making David Gearhart better). If you don't like it, I honestly don't care. It wasn't meant for you. It was meant for me, and my friends. In some cases, those I personally dislike are also the intended recipient. Therefore, complaining about it is guaranteed to get more of it. Simply because needling people is what the internet is known for.

    Those are the big two. My other vices and foibles are less noticeable upon casual contact through the internet. Mainly, I just want to let people know that those things are what I'm known for, to let them know both sides of the story before considering the words and ideas that I bring up. I feel that it helps for other people to understand more than the accomplishment the person is known for. Knowing the person behind the deck can sometimes help in determining exactly what he was thinking when he created the deck giving you greater insight into the deck itself. Of course, it's definitely possible that that's just wishful thinking, but I like the sound of it.

    End.

    Thanks for reading, feedback will be much appreciated. I'd also like to thank Dave for taking the time to participate and everybody at the Source for giving me a place to host this. I also plan on expanding this to cover the things that people want to see in Legacy articles such as in depth deck coverage, in-depth matchup analysis and the occasional tournament and format report when I can get out to an event. Feel free to PM me any suggestions or email me at struckbyaparkedcar@gmail.com due to the fact that my PM box is getting full.
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    Re: [Article]It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    Thanks, this was cool. Definitely giving you a high five the next time I see you.

    Incidentally, why are there two "David's" in the title?

    EDIT: Ah, thanks for clearing that up.
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    Re: [Article]It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    *masturbates furiously*
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    Re: [Article]It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    Very well done. I liked it.

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    Re: [Article]It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    dr;Needs more Jack Elgin.

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    Re: [Article]It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    Isn't Wasteland really important in the mirror if your opponent gets to the legendary lands first? I thought it was key for pretty much that exact reason.
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    Re: [Article]It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    Not really. A better strategy is to just play your own legendary lands in order to split second Wasteland them. Then, get Loam active. Pre board, dealing with the legendary lands is going to be a bit difficult. Optimally, you have Counterbalance and Life from the Loam, but sometimes it just doesn't work out like that.

    Wasteland would allow them to activate it again. With the "split second" ones, you force them to either miss an activation, or to do it at inopportune times in order to try to deal with it. It's definitely better that way.
    For the foreseeable future, expect to see less of me. I've lost my internet connection, and so I'll only be able to get on by siphoning free Wi-Fi from the surrounding areas. Which isn't always consistent.

    Plus, the guy that I used to leech off of has now instituted password protection. This means that I effectively do not have internet at home. :(

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    Re: [Article]It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    No, like, you play Wasteland go and then on your next turn you Waste theirs and play your copy so that you can activate it or ensure that they won't be able to activate theirs.
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    Re: [Article]It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    I liked it, and I think this is a cool idea. Plus, e-props are always appreciated.

    PS. The world is not ready for Team America...hide your children.
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    Re: [Article]It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    The best interview-article I've read so far this year. In fact, probably my favorite free article this year.

    Also, for some questions I would like to ask Monsieur Gearhart himself;

    How was your brief playtesting on Fact or Fiction so far? I'm quite interested in it's inclusion before being replaced by the awesome and realistic amazing Etched Oracle. I was thinking that I could run 1-2 copies of FoF in the board for control mirrors.
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    Re: [Article]It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    Thanks a ton guys, I'm glad you all liked it.

    I'm really want to keep it feedback-driven, so I'm wondering a few things:
    Should I keep up the interview thing?
    If so, who should I interview?
    What else would you guys like to see?
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    Re: [Article]It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    Quote Originally Posted by Whit3 Ghost View Post
    Thanks a ton guys, I'm glad you all liked it.

    I'm really want to keep it feedback-driven, so I'm wondering a few things:
    Should I keep up the interview thing?
    If so, who should I interview?
    What else would you guys like to see?
    I think this is a good idea, that should continue. This is much like Bardo's Unlocking Legacy, which was a huge hit. You should do it on new cards, decks, or ideas. As for people, I guess do it with people who know what they're talking about.

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    Re: [Article]It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    Quote Originally Posted by Whit3 Ghost View Post
    Thanks a ton guys, I'm glad you all liked it.

    I'm really want to keep it feedback-driven, so I'm wondering a few things:
    Should I keep up the interview thing?
    If so, who should I interview?
    What else would you guys like to see?
    This was really great; you should definitely keep it up if you have the time. It's always great to hear the deck designers tell their stories themselves, and the interview style is good because it helps to break up the article into distinct parts.

    I'd like to see the following people interviewed:
    Di (Survival)
    emidln (FT/DD)
    Konsultant (Uwb Landstill, specifically the list with Vindicates)

    I also think it would be cool if more than multiple designers were featured in an article. They would both reply to the questions and give different perspectives, etc. Like Anwar and Parcher on Ichorid or something.

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    Re: [Article]It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    Bryant and TES/emidln and FT would be ones that I would like to hear, from a combo player's perspective.

    On the article: I liked it alot, and after pming Dave about some lists, I have to say that in the end, he was right all along. I think a certain stubborn quality is needed in a deck designer (but not too much) if you don't want to be mired down by endless suggestions from everyone. It's a good read, and thank you Whit3 Ghost for doing this interview, hoping to see more.

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    Re: [Article]It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    Quote Originally Posted by frogboy View Post
    No, like, you play Wasteland go and then on your next turn you Waste theirs and play your copy so that you can activate it or ensure that they won't be able to activate theirs.
    But then you come to the problem that Wasteland is still bad against most other match ups. Plus, without Counterbalance, you won't have a very effective way of stopping them from using Life from the Loam. Instead of focusing on using Wasteland to stop the legendary lands, a better strategy would be to use Counterbalance to stop Life from the Loam and then use your own legendary lands to destroy them.

    Additionally with the example you mentioned, they can activate the land at the end of the turn you play Wasteland, getting an extra activation off of it. If you instead play one of yours, they can't.

    @Citrus: Fact or Fiction wasn't awful when I played it, but it was difficult to keep it on top for the control match. It's usefulness against control is undeniable, but I also needed to keep a four on top to counter their Fact or Fictions. It was a real problem. Oracle helped that out a lot by being capable of sitting in play, jumping into the 'yard, then jumping on top of the library (through the use of the recursion lands).

    There is a possibility that Fact or Fiction could be a good board card for the control match, but I also think that Echoes might be better for them. Or, more Witnesses. There are a large number of cards that are astoundingly useful in the control match up, but I don't know what or how many I want to devote. With the base board of: Grip, Crypt, and Blast that means that you can only fit in three cards. Fact or Fiction would be rather narrow at a match up that isn't terribly popular right now. Therefore, it seems to me that Fact or Fiction would not be the best choice.

    @White_Ghost: I think it would be cool if you interviewed Bryant. I'd like to hear about how Ad Nauseam has changed his list, and how that list evolved. I like hearing from the deck's designer about new impacts and the thoughts that went into it.

    Also of interest would be Parcher about Ichorid. That guy is the stone nuts with that deck. Of course, he might get "grumpy old guy" on you and just say no, but I figure it doesn't hurt to ask, you know?

    I also think that Dave Price about Survival would be cool. He's had quite a bit of success with that deck, while playing it for forever. Seems like he would be a knowledgeable sort.

    Nitewolf9 about Eva Green would be cool too.
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    Plus, the guy that I used to leech off of has now instituted password protection. This means that I effectively do not have internet at home. :(

  16. #16
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    Re: [Article]It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    FWIW, back when I ran a single Wasteland in UBG Landstill, I randomly won a ton of games by drawing the single Wasteland, using it, and blowing up my opponent's nonland mana with Deed, thereby blowing my opponent out of the game. Totally random, but it happened often. Mana denial is really powerful.
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  17. #17
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    Re: [Article]It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    But then you come to the problem that Wasteland is still bad against most other match ups. Plus, without Counterbalance, you won't have a very effective way of stopping them from using Life from the Loam. Instead of focusing on using Wasteland to stop the legendary lands, a better strategy would be to use Counterbalance to stop Life from the Loam and then use your own legendary lands to destroy them.

    Additionally with the example you mentioned, they can activate the land at the end of the turn you play Wasteland, getting an extra activation off of it. If you instead play one of yours, they can't.
    If you have Counterbalance going and the other guy doesn't, you are probably way ahead anyway, and most of the lands are irrelevant anyway except for EE/Ruins interactions. In situations where nobody has the lock or where you don't have a two, they can keep Loaming and activating their land. With Wasteland you give them one extra turn, but without it they get to activate it every turn. I'm actually not being theoretical, this has been relevant for me in at least three matches that I can recall.
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  18. #18
    Tom MacDonald
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    Re: [Article] It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    Excellent interview, really was worth reading, kudos! I'd love to see more of these in the future.
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  19. #19
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    Re: [Article]It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    Quote Originally Posted by frogboy View Post
    If you have Counterbalance going and the other guy doesn't, you are probably way ahead anyway, and most of the lands are irrelevant anyway except for EE/Ruins interactions. In situations where nobody has the lock or where you don't have a two, they can keep Loaming and activating their land. With Wasteland you give them one extra turn, but without it they get to activate it every turn. I'm actually not being theoretical, this has been relevant for me in at least three matches that I can recall.
    Counterbalance is the defining factor for that match up. I'd rather focus on that than the off chance that I could theoretically screw him off of a legendary land activation by drawing two of my one-of lands (one of which has to be a very specific one of land).

    @Illisius: Plus, for a deck that has color requirements as steep as this one does, playing Wasteland opens you up to nonbasic hate even more. All it does is weaken the mana base for little return. Randomly screwing over somebody is not something that you can count on reliably, hence the term "randomly". I'd rather trade the ability to randomly screw somebody out for the opportunity to not get randomly screwed out by my own mana base.

    I'll admit, there's been one game where I wished I had Wasteland. But every other time, I've been pretty happy without it. When I was testing it, I was pissed as all hell about it just about every time I drew it. It was just so rare that it was useful, that it may as well have been something like Hypnox.
    Last edited by Deep6er; 10-12-2008 at 06:44 PM. Reason: Tags.
    For the foreseeable future, expect to see less of me. I've lost my internet connection, and so I'll only be able to get on by siphoning free Wi-Fi from the surrounding areas. Which isn't always consistent.

    Plus, the guy that I used to leech off of has now instituted password protection. This means that I effectively do not have internet at home. :(

  20. #20

    Re: [Article] It's the Fear! An Interview With David Gearhart

    Out of curiosity, why 3 Deed/1 Shackles. They're 70% the same card, so would you ever consider changing that mix, and in what metagames?
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