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Thread: [Deck] The Gate

  1. #21
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    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    Quote Originally Posted by Yesmilord View Post
    Vs. ANT, it is likely they will opt to win with IGG if given the opportunity. Responding to it by pitching Faerie Macabre is a tech play, especially if they Orim's Chanted you already before going off. If they go off via AdN, well, there's nothing you can really do about that, but saying Faerie Macabre is "pretty much dead" vs ANT is false.
    Heh, Faerie Macabre is tech against Cabal Ritual, too, I love meddling with their numbers.

  2. #22

    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    Quote Originally Posted by Maveric78f View Post
    Checking Honesty: how is your Enchantress MU?

    More seriously, are you sure you want to play wasteland ? Instead you could play more swamps and 2 strongholds (looks good with Faerie Macabre). Seeing your list, I'm quite sure you experience difficulties to kick Gatekeeper. I would also follow the advices concerning your mana base and fitting 1 or 2 more lands.

    About Deathmark, my concern is that you have no instant removal and this can be sometimes kind of a problem. Apart from that, it probably does the job you want it to do.
    Enchantress game one goes like this: You have Duress and Therapy. If your opponent is on the play and plays Wild Growth, name Enchantress's Presence. You have Innocent Blood and Gatekeeper for Argothian Enchantress, and you can just try beat in for the win. Game two, you bring in some board hate for Replenish (or Bog if you want to main deck that), and Nevinyrral's Disk to hit everything they have. You have Wasteland for the Sanctum. I'd say it really depends on who goes first, but I'd give Enchantress a 60-40 to 65-35 match game one, with a potential 50-50 game two. Again, depends on the sideboard.

    God I've never had difficulties kicking him. With solid basics, I don't have to worry about Waste effects, Stifling, Moon effects, Price of Progress, anything. I've never played a game where I couldn't get to three black.

    I don't count Wasteland as a land in the deck for the reasons you just gave, Maveric. I'm considering, however, potentially going up to 18 mana sources and adding two Bogs.
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  3. #23
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    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    While I do think this deck MIGHT benefit from going up to 18 Black mana producers, I would be very leary on using Bog. Its Sorcery speed Graveyyard hate when most graveyard based decks laugh at that idea. Granted, it helps against Goyf, but ya already got maindeck hate for him.

  4. #24
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    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    Ichorid's main weapon to combat graveyard hate is Duress or Thoughtseize. It happened too often I lost my grave removal (in other decks) to those cards, so them not being able to get rid of Bojuka Bog is a plus if you ask me. Against the other decks you have more time anyway.
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  5. #25
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    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    Is there a reason you are not playing Hymn to Tourach in a mono-black deck? Sure, it's random, but 2-for-1 is the definition of card advantage and it has a good chance of wrecking a lot of decks early on. It's utility is limited later-game, but then so is the creature control against combo and a lot of control.

    I also think at least 2 Dark Ritual should be considered for an explosive opening.

  6. #26

    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    Here's a couple ideas lifted from the Contaminated Demons thread. Contamination could be a strong card for a deck like this. It is mana denial against most opponents (preventing them from playing spells) and you should be able to have plenty of creatures to sac for the upkeep cost. Second, you could run a number of black fetches to make room for Bloodghast. You can keep Bloodghast on the board a lot and use it as a sac outlet for stuff.

  7. #27
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    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    Quote Originally Posted by Tao View Post
    I think this should be moved to N&D.
    First off, sorry Tao, I have to agree that this belongs in established. I played a VERY similar deck recently and went 4-0 in matches, soundly defeating both Merfolk and Thresh, WITHOUT a sideboard. I didn't have a side because I had just built the damn thing and had no idea what to board yet. So I said, "F-it. Lets have some fun". The card advantage theory packed into this archtype is so often insurmountably strong I was shocked. Love the deck. Love that someone else is working on it too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    2. Dark Confidant is the deck's primary draw engine, but drawing isn't necessarily what makes the deck ultimately effective; it is generating card advantage that wins you games by depleting their resources while building your own.
    I actually eschewed Dark Confidant in favor of Sword of Fire and Ice and Bloodghast. Both directions generate card advantage but SoFaI/Bloodghast feels more aggressive and stronger against Zoo. SoFaI also makes Merfolk pilots cry...even more.




    3. 23 to 24 lands in a mono-colored build is a relatively terrible idea. The cards that cost three or four to play are of no concern because of the setup due to the copious amounts of one-cost removal, board control, and discard. Fact is, your opponent should rarely have a creature out while you do. Calling twenty lands a joke is absurd; I only got mana screwed once against New Horizons in the tournament and I almost ended up pulling that game out because of the one-cost removal I play.

    4. Goblins does not define the Legacy format anymore and sees play once every so often. It is still a good deck, but again: I'm willing to play four Deathmark and take my chances (which are still phenomenal) on the format as a whole than utilize other relegated removal for a deck I can still lock horns with. It's like calling Red Elemental Blast bad in Imperial Painter, which it isn't, and then calling a card which is actually more useful by itself (in some ways) bad, when it really is far from.
    I'm actually running 20 land and four Dark Rits alongside 3 Damnations. Funny thing is, Damnation was rarely generating the card advantage it should because of GateKeeper, Nighthawk, Jitte, and SoFaI keeping the board nice and clear ...or just providing such a strong clock that I could care less about what else is on the board at the moment. I'll be trying your Deathmark plan for sure. Nice call on the Faerie Macabre too...I should've thought of that.

    Thanks for sharing.

  8. #28
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    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    I understand what your deck tries to do and the concept is interesting but still this belongs to N&D. The Established Deck section is for Decks which are optimized and thoroughly tested. Your deck doesn't even have a Sideboard yet, so it is definetely not thoroughly tested by any means because it is impossible to test a deck without testing the games postboard. I assume you have spent more time writing the primer and linking pictures than testing a matchup ot your mana base.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    3. 23 to 24 lands in a mono-colored build is a relatively terrible idea. The cards that cost three or four to play are of no concern because of the setup due to the copious amounts of one-cost removal, board control, and discard. Fact is, your opponent should rarely have a creature out while you do. Calling twenty lands a joke is absurd; I only got mana screwed once against New Horizons in the tournament and I almost ended up pulling that game out because of the one-cost removal I play.
    See this deck list for example: http://www.deckcheck.net/deck.php?id=8384

    This deck can play 20 lands and get away with it. His curve ends at two, he plays 4 free spells and he also plays 4 Dark Rituals, which might be 1-shots but still give a lot of possibilities in such a low curved list. Do you even know what playing only 16 Swamps means? That means that ~40% of times you will only have 1 Swamp or less in your opener. That is flat out awful if your other cards might be Gatekeeper, the 4 Mana Demon or Nighthawk and you want to cast them at an appropiate time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    5. Faerie Macabre won me 75 to 80% of my matches; beating Reanimator and Ichorid, so obviously you have no clue what you're saying. At worst, he's a 2/2 flying creature that gets in there. He's a body for Therapy and Jitte. He's just...that good.
    No, Obviously you don't know what you are saying. I said that in a certain Metagame Faerie might be right to play mainboard and I don't know if you had a good read on your local metagame or if you just got lucky with your pairings but it is a fact that the Faerie is either dead or abysmal against 2/3rd of a normal Meta and so you shouldn't advice to play it maindeck in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    Dead against Zoo? Since when is shrinking Goyf (which is very relevant when you play Nighthawk) or plowing through an opponents' creatures with removal then attacking a bad thing? I think you're just taking the good away and addressing the bad...without understanding how good the good is.
    I really don't think you have tested the Zoo matchup at all if you think that a 2/2 flier is relevant or that "shrinking their Goyf" will be useful more than 1 time out of 20. The same is true against ANT, it may do something relevant in 1 out of 20 games but it will usually suck.

  9. #29
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    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    A couple people mentioned smother and smother does kill all of those creatures you listed for deathmark other than blazing archon and sphinx but will also cover goblins and merfolk. I dunno, seems like a good choice.

  10. #30
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    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    I am having trouble believing that noone has compared this deck to the one Craig Wostratzky piloted to a 5th place spot on the SCG 5k tour.

    Here is his list.

    Maindeck:

    Artifacts
    3 Nevinyrral's Disk

    Creatures
    3 Gatekeeper Of Malakir
    3 Nantuko Shade
    2 Shriekmaw
    3 Tombstalker
    3 Vampire Nighthawk

    Enchantments
    3 Phyrexian Arena

    Instants
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Diabolic Edict

    Sorceries
    1 Chainer's Edict
    4 Duress
    4 Hymn To Tourach

    Basic Lands
    7 Swamp

    Lands
    2 Bloodstained Mire
    4 Bojuka Bog
    1 Marsh Flats
    3 Polluted Delta
    4 Wasteland

    Legendary Lands
    2 Urborg, Tomb Of Yawgmoth

    Sideboard:
    3 Chalice Of The Void
    4 Engineered Plague
    4 Leyline Of The Void
    2 Extirpate
    2 Chainer's Edict

    The decks are very similar with a few choice differences.
    Both decks run ~12-15 removal spells.
    Both run ~8 Discard Spells.
    Both are ~20 lands.
    Arena over Confidant.
    Tombstalker over Persecutor.
    Bog over Fairie.

    Major differences are running Dark Rit. to power out a first turn Arena. Hollywood is also running Jitte and Blossom which are better in his more aggro deck.

    I believe we could use Craig's Side as a starting point as well.

  11. #31
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    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    Some clarifications feel needed:

    1) 4th out of 32 is hardly an impressive finish. However, this is a common misunderstanding: tournament success has never been a requirement for a deck being present in the Established forum, though it is welcome. The Established forum is for
    "Decks which are optimized and thoroughly tested". It doesn't really matter how good they are; what matters is how close they are to how good they can be.

    A good example of this are decks like Spring Tide or DreadStalker. Their metagame presence has never been more than negligible, and they're generally agreed to pretty much suck; why, then, are they in Established? Because they are "finished" decks: if one wants to build sorcery-speed High Tide combo, you
    are going to start from the lists presented in the Spring Tide thread. You may have improvements, even significant ones, but the Established lists are unlikely to be completely off the mark.

    Hollywood's deck is a black midrange build. I happen to strongly suspect that there is a pretty low ceiling to the power level of this archetype because of several reasons, mainly the lack of versatility of its threats and answers leading to critical inconsistency. Nonetheless, that is irrelevant.

    What matters here is whether the proposed build is close enough to the "optimal" mono-black midrange that it can become a reference thread for everyone who's interested in the archetype - as opposed to Hollywood's pet project. It is not a judgment I feel confident enough to make on the spot: some cards are shoe-ins (Confidant, Blossom, Jitte), others make me feel sceptical. But not sceptical enough to automatically move it to N&D because of the list in and of itself.


    2) With that said, I agree with Tao. The opening post is currently not up to Established standards. You do a good job, Hollywood, at explaining why each card is in the list, even the more unconventional ones (e.g. Deathmark). But asides from the opening and closing hype paragraphs, there is no indication of the decks's strengths and weaknesses (and it
    has weaknesses. If you can't say what they are, you haven't tested enough).

    A sideboard and a honest matchup analysis, at the very least, are required. If you can't provide these because
    " the sideboard right now is in its developmental stages", then the deck does belong in N&D.
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  12. #32

    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    Quote Originally Posted by Tao View Post
    I understand what your deck tries to do and the concept is interesting but still this belongs to N&D. The Established Deck section is for Decks which are optimized and thoroughly tested. Your deck doesn't even have a Sideboard yet, so it is definetely not thoroughly tested by any means because it is impossible to test a deck without testing the games postboard. I assume you have spent more time writing the primer and linking pictures than testing a matchup ot your mana base.
    I have a sideboard that I am currently developing based off what I think are the deck's inherent weak matchups. I will go into that further. As far as linking pictures are concerned, there are newer players who might not be as familiar with certain cards and I prefer to spicen up a primer by advocating certain choices using supplemental visualization as no more than a footnote during the read. If you don't like that method of writing, too bad.

    See this deck list for example: http://www.deckcheck.net/deck.php?id=8384

    This deck can play 20 lands and get away with it. His curve ends at two, he plays 4 free spells and he also plays 4 Dark Rituals, which might be 1-shots but still give a lot of possibilities in such a low curved list. Do you even know what playing only 16 Swamps means? That means that ~40% of times you will only have 1 Swamp or less in your opener. That is flat out awful if your other cards might be Gatekeeper, the 4 Mana Demon or Nighthawk and you want to cast them at an appropiate time.
    This makes absolutely no sense what so ever. With an absolute plethora of one mana removal and discard, the idea isn't to simply Dark Ritual out a creature only to have it get Swords to Plowshared or Path to Exiled. It is meant to systematically dismantle an opponent's early game while preparing for turns three to five with a horde of creatures. This deck doesn't simply quit after the first turn like the archetype of Suicide Black, I'm sorry to tell you.

    Gatekeeper of Malakir is the ONLY card in the deck required to need three black mana in order to be used properly. This deck, as I stated before, doesn't pack it in to Stifle, Wasteland, or other non-basic land hate as you seem to think it does. Getting mana is hardly ever a problem and upping the count of basics even to 18 would be no problem. I don't give even the slightest edge to my opponent, and if we're using percentages as a tool for debate, then you should check to see how many decks in the format currently hate on non-basic lands and come back to me. Then, we'll talk.

    No, Obviously you don't know what you are saying. I said that in a certain Metagame Faerie might be right to play mainboard and I don't know if you had a good read on your local metagame or if you just got lucky with your pairings but it is a fact that the Faerie is either dead or abysmal against 2/3rd of a normal Meta and so you shouldn't advice to play it maindeck in general.
    You're just one of the minority on this point, so I'll dismiss it as invalid because results speak louder than words.

    I really don't think you have tested the Zoo matchup at all if you think that a 2/2 flier is relevant or that "shrinking their Goyf" will be useful more than 1 time out of 20. The same is true against ANT, it may do something relevant in 1 out of 20 games but it will usually suck.
    There is a metric fuckton of decks in the format at this time that currently thrive and abuse the graveyard. I don't even know where to start on this. I don't know what you're talking about, because I actually have tested the Zoo matchup out (pre-board) and determined that this deck has a slight overall edge of a winning margin by time after time after time destroying their creatures while gaining life off Jitte and Nighthawk.

    In case you didn't read this primer carefully, I mentioned already how long I had been testing this for before I even considered playing it in a tournament. Faerie Macabre is never a dead card. Again, one of the minority on this and no one agrees with you based on simplistic results. The card wins games, I'm sorry if you don't want to believe that.

    As far as the sideboard goes, there is a massive tournament approaching in the next few weeks and there are some cards I'd rather not mention because they are secret tech. After the fact, no problem. But basic sideboard options I already stated I will go over and we can all pitch in our two cents to see what works best. If placing the deck in New and Developmental lets people decide for themselves what they can do to better the deck, I'm all for that; whatever works best.

    Nihil: I agree; that's totally fine. But, fourth out of thirty-two in the deck's inaugural event can be an eye-opener of sorts, especially considering the quality of decks that were defeated. We can wait to pass judgement in the coming weeks to months but for now victory is a fantastic starting point to address the deck's weaknesses and strengths under a microscope.

    All right, then. Moved to N&D until the meat shows up. ~NC
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  13. #33
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    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    To me, running Macabre main is similar to running Grip main. Sure, grip is there for CB/Top, but if you pick off a sylvan library or jitte with it against zoo it's still not a "dead" card. Macabre hoses reanimator, which is currently a very popular deck, but also picks up a jitte or just flies over for unblockable damage against the rest of the format; This is not an illegitimate use for a card that has such a massive upswing in other matchups.
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  14. #34

    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    I'd drop Deathmark for Hymn. Its just better.

    I don't really like Faerie Macabre either. With Leyline/Extirpate in the board, you already have Graveyard strategies covered (with the possibility of adding a few Bogs main as well). With Blossom you have enough flyers to carry Jitte. Since I advocated taking out Deathmark for Hymn, if you wanted some targeted removal I'd consider Shriekmaw in this spot. In a pinch has Fear for Jitte-carrying too.
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  15. #35
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    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    I think I watched you test this against a UGB build at Jupiter Games this weekend while we were waiting for the Top 8 to finish. It looked pretty interesting then.

    I agree that Shriekmaw should be in there instead of Deathmark. Also gives you more utility in the late game by swinging with Fear. He fits your CA theme as well by being a late-game 2-for-1.

    I like the maindeck Faerie Macabre too; I would compare it to something like Qasali Pridemage. Ask yourself, why doesn't anyone run Sigiled Paladin? It's a better body on the field than Pridemage, being a 2/2 Exalted, First Strike for 2. It doesn't have the situational utility of Pridemage, so Pridemage gets played because of the possibility of being able to kill enchantments/artifacts (and as a result losing the creature).

    So we can compare Faerie Macabre to something like Kor Aeronaut, which is a 2/2 flyer for 2 mana, the same body as Faerie Macabre, but cheaper. But Kor Aeronaut is unplayable since all he does is swing, no situational utility. Faerie Macabre is less efficient than the Aeronaut but he has a situational grave-hate ability (also resulting in the loss of your creature) which renders him much more playable than Aeronaut.

  16. #36

    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    Innocent Blood and Wasteland makes me think this deck also wants Smallpox.

    On a budget note, I don't have Persecutors - think Tombstalker could fit in that spot (maybe as a 2/3 of)? Obviously with some Tops because of Bob.

    (in b4 turning the list into a typical MBA build...)
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  17. #37

    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    Excellent analysis Nihil Credo. I think you are spot on.

    There is no reason why there can't be a black aggro deck in the Established Forum. But it has to fewer narrow cards than the deck in the OP is.

    I've seen a far more optimized way to use Persecutor that was very impressive (it played Innocent Blood, Small Pox, Pox, Gatekeeper, Bloodghast, Tombstalker and basically no other creatures)

    This list seems more optimized and I love it...

    Quote Originally Posted by SteakKnife View Post
    I am having trouble believing that noone has compared this deck to the one Craig Wostratzky piloted to a 5th place spot on the SCG 5k tour.

    Artifacts
    3 Nevinyrral's Disk

    Creatures
    3 Gatekeeper Of Malakir
    3 Nantuko Shade
    2 Shriekmaw
    3 Tombstalker
    3 Vampire Nighthawk

    Enchantments
    3 Phyrexian Arena

    Instants
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Diabolic Edict

    Sorceries
    1 Chainer's Edict
    4 Duress
    4 Hymn To Tourach

    Basic Lands
    7 Swamp

    Lands
    2 Bloodstained Mire
    4 Bojuka Bog
    1 Marsh Flats
    3 Polluted Delta
    4 Wasteland

    Legendary Lands
    2 Urborg, Tomb Of Yawgmoth

    Sideboard:
    3 Chalice Of The Void
    4 Engineered Plague
    4 Leyline Of The Void
    2 Extirpate
    2 Chainer's Edict
    Referring to the list in the OP,

    Deathmark is way too narrow for a maindeck card. What does it do against goblins, merfolk, dragon stompy, fairie stompy, Dreadnought/Lodestone/Metalkworker, sligh and tons of other decks, including the mirror matchup. I would much rather play Snuff Out, esp since you're playing Vampire Nighthawk. Red, Artifacts and Blue (stuff like merfolk, vendilion clique, sower of temptation) have more creatures in the format than white and green do. You should play something that hits a ton more colors like Snuff Out, Smother, Smallpox or Edict.

    Also, black aggro staples like Dark Ritual and Hymn to Tourach are staples for a reason, they're ridiculously powerful. IMO, it's a mistake not to play them over a few of the weaker threats this deck runs (Fairie Macabre, Bitterblossom etc). Fairie Macarbre is not good enough for the MD. It doesn't really hate the graveyard like Bog does. Bog greatly hurts Goyf and Tombstalker, which see a lot more play than Ichorid and Reanimator (the only things Macarbre hurts) And Duress seems weak compared to both Thoughtseize and Hymn.

    Otherwise the rest of the deck looks very strong.

    You're off to a great starting point, good job.

  18. #38
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    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    You wouldn't run snuff out for the same reason that you don't run thoughtseize. The deck runs Vampire Nighthawk, but the lifegain from Nighthawk and jitte is to allow you to use dark confidant. Doomblade costs 2 but is at least an instant and has slightly higher utility in being able to also hit the decks which you mentioned, however, it is also dead in the mirror and costs 2. I think that smother would be a better choice as it still hits a lot of creatures but can still target black creatures at 2 mana. But snuff out would definitely be more life loss than you want to deal yourself - not to mention additional lifeloss from flipping it with Confidant. If anything, I would play Doomblade or Smother in that slot over Deathmark.

    Arguing that a card is dead against merfolk and goblins is one thing, but stating that something is dead against Dragon Stompy is a bit of a joke. Dragon Stompy is certainly not Tier one, and is something you might see once per tournament - if someone even shows up with it.
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  19. #39

    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    Going back to Craig's list...

    Disk seems unneccesary. You play tons of creature removal, and too many creatures to be playing sweepers. Discard should be enough to deal with problem artifacts/enchantments.

    Which brings me to...

    Thoughtseize > Duress is it not

    Smother > Edict. Smother hits 95% of the creatures out there. Plus it's targeted, which is nice for when there's a creature you really want to take out since you're playing so much removal that isn't targeted.

    The exception to Smother being better is if you're playing Abyssal Persecutor. The card seems like it could be a natural fit in this deck.

    Also, with wastelands, you could instead play Smallpox and Pox to support them.

    Here's my sample list.


    4 Gatekeeper Of Malakir
    4 Abyssal Persecutor
    4 Tombstalker
    2 Bloodghast

    4 Smallpox
    3 Pox

    2 Phyrexian Arena

    4 Dark Ritual
    3 Duress
    4 Hymn To Tourach
    2 Innocent Blood

    8 Swamp
    2 Bloodstained Mire
    4 Bojuka Bog
    2 Polluted Delta
    4 Wasteland
    3 Urborg, Tomb Of Yawgmoth
    1 Phyrexian Tower

    I wish it had room for Crucible.

  20. #40
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    Re: [Deck] The Gate

    Yeah, I wasn't trying to argue that Deathmark was too narrow, just that the proposed alternative wasn't the best proposed alternative. I personally really like Deathmark on paper when I think about all the different decks I've seen in the past two events i've attended that it hits. There was an abundance of Merfolk at the most recent Jupiter Games event, which is the main reason that I'm thinking of alternative spells that have the added benefit of slightly more flexibilty.
    Will says I'm in BZK. I don't know what is going on.

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