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Thread: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

  1. #1

    [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    "Spiral Tide"

    1-Long Story Short
    2-Riders in the storm
    3-The Time Spiral
    4-Card Selection
    5-You are not Welcome!
    6-Match ups
    7-For those who are interested

    -------------------------------------------

    1-Long Story short

    In November of 1994 the fifth Magic: the Gathering set was released, Fallen Empires.Very few cards survived from there, but one of those found his moment of glory after Urza’s Saga release. As you all may think I’ m talking about High Tide. Lots of documentation has been made about the decks that made this card shine for the first time, so I won’ t expand on this topic.

    However I’ d like to make a brief talk about the incarnations that appeared later for Legacy.

    Solidarity was the first of them. An Storm Combo deck that, playing only Instant Spells, generates a huge amount of mana in order to play, using Meditate chains and a big set of cantrips, enough spells to make our opponent running out of cards and therfore winning the game by the time he will draw his next card. Typically this deck also played Stroke of Genius, as an alternate win condition, if you could gather 3 + the number of cards in your opponent 's deck +1 (or more), then you would win the game instantly. Playing Stroke was also important to avoid being nerfed by the possible re-shuffling effects (in that moment the starndard was Gaea's Blessing), in the modern builds you will see Stroke replaced by Blue Sun's Zenith, and the new reshuffling standard to battle is Emrakul, the Aeons Torn.

    Later on, with the appearance of Cloud of Faeries and Snap, a faster version was designed: Spring Tide. The main difference with its predecessor is that Spring Tide played “Sorcery Speed” cards, each of those cards having a bigger impact on the game state (Merchant Scroll, Ponder, …). By sacrificing the complete control of the stack and having each card as a potential Counterspell, this deck gained speed and consistency (specially for the addition of more tutoring effects such as Merchant Scroll).

    Let’s travel now to December of 2010. Aftter some moths of Survival of the Fittest supremacy it finally got banned, for pity of some players and joy of some others,. But the hole it left behind was filled by the unbanning of an old card, but new for Legacy, Time Spiral.

    With this jewel unbanned, the Magic community started a brainstorm in order to find the optimal list for it. Some tried to readapt their old fashioned Spring Tide list, trying to fit it somewhere into their main 60 cards (this seemed a good starting point and the most obvious movement). Some other, on the contrary, preferred to revive old lists like the one Kai Bude played in the Grand Prix in 1999, Vienna. Finally another group of thinkers decided that a brand new shell should be found out so the "new" sorcery can display its full potential.

    2-Riders in the storm

    Some of you may wonder why should you play an Storm deck in a Legacy tournament. There is not a certain answer, but I can give you a bunch of reasons:

    -It has better cards than other combo decks, with fewer "dead weights". This is because of Storm’s nature, because playing cards that allow you to find your (only) Victory Condition is already being in the road to Victory.

    -Storm decks have the highest number of “autowins”. The reason for this is that most of decks (specailly those packing no counter magic, nor disruption of any other kind) are not preapred to deal with our strategy. Modern Legacy is mostly ruled by creatures, or strategies that rely on creatures to endure long enough, or win the game.

    -You enjoy solving puzzles, every single game playing storm is a new puzzle to solve.

    O.K., O.K., … I’ll play Storm in my next tournament but why should I play Spiral Tide, isn’t it too slow in compariosn to the "ritual" archetypes?

    If it is true that you cannot win the game in the first turn with Spiral Tide, as other Storm incarnation can (T.E.S, ANT or Belcher, for instance) , it is also true that, in most situations, IT IS NOT NECESSARY, I’d like to remark this because most people argumenting that the deck is slow, don 't realize that a regular typical Lagacy match end in turn 4, or later. Gaining speed is not necessary at any cost, and if that cost is the deck's consistency it may hurt more than benefit us.

    Spiral Tide will offer you a bomb-proof mana base and enough manipulation to win the game just when it should be won (on average), i.e. turn 3-4, even 2 in some given games. This, along the fact that it plays the most efficient counterspells ever printed, make Spiral Tide a soild choice for the modern era of Legacy.

    Comparing with its ancestors (Solidarity and Spring Tide), what makes Spiral Tide “better” is precisely playing Time Spiral. Time Spiral is a “bomb” (a card that once it is resolved it is very likely to give you the game). Time Spiral makes the deck more resilient to mulligans and hand disruption, two of the factors that made the old Tide list weak.

    Obviously, all this benefits have a price. Losing the total control of the stack and being vulnerable to Gaddock Teeg (2 of the 3 most important cards, when comboing, are prohibitted by the legendary Advisor's static ability) is definitely a loss. But, if you test enough with the deck you will see that this flaws can be easily overcome.


    3-The Time Spiral

    In the introduction, I ‘ve already stated that the early lines of developement of the deck were diverse, this ended up in the appearance of two families of lists, one more comboish and the other more controllish. I’ll post both versions for reference, but only the first one will be explained with detail.

    Spiral Tideby Iņaki Puigdollers

    Main Deck (60)

    Lands (18)

    4x Polluted Delta
    14x Island

    Protection (7)

    4x Force of Will
    3x Pact of Negation

    Cantrips (12)

    4x Brainstorm
    4x Ponder
    4x Preordain

    Tutor (8)

    4x Merchant Scroll
    3x Cunning Wish
    1x Intuition

    Bussiness (15)

    4 x High Tide
    4x Time Spiral
    3x Turnabout
    3x Retraced Image
    1x Brain Freeze

    Sideboard 15

    4x Spell Pierce
    2x Wipe Away
    2x Snap
    1x Brain Freeze
    1x Blue Sun's Zenith
    1x Meditate
    1x Turnabout
    1x Rebuild
    1x Echoing Truth
    1x Slaughter Pact

    CAB Neon Blue Skyby Carsten Kotter

    Maindeck (60)

    Lands (19)

    4x Flooded Strand
    4x Scalding Tarn
    2x Misty Rainforest
    8x Island
    1x Tropical Island

    Protection (8)

    4x Force of Will
    3x Counterspell
    1x Pact of Negation

    Cantrips (11)

    4x Brainstorm
    4x Ponder
    3x Preordain

    Tutor (6)

    4x Merchant Scroll
    1x Cunning Wish
    1x Intuition

    Bussiness (16)

    4 x High Tide
    4x Time Spiral
    4x Turnabout
    3x Cloud of Faeries
    1x Blue Sun's Zenith

    Sideboard (15)

    3x Krosan Grip
    3x Snap
    3x Spell Pierce
    2x Pact of Negation
    1x Bound // Determined
    1x Brain Freeze
    1x Dispel
    1x Rebuild


    As time passed there appeared a third type of lists that settled as optimal, the first to show it was Alix Hatfield, here you have his list:

    Spiral Tideby Alix Hatfield

    Main Deck (60)

    Lands (18)

    2x Polluted Delta
    2x Flooded Strand
    2x Misty Rainforest
    12x Island

    Protection (4)

    4x Force of Will

    Cantrips (10)

    4x Brainstorm
    4x Ponder
    2x Preordain

    Tutor (8)

    4x Merchant Scroll
    3x Cunning Wish
    1x Intuition

    Bussiness (20)

    4 x High Tide
    4x Time Spiral
    3x Meditate
    3x Turnabout
    4x Candelabra of Tawnos
    1x Mind Over Matter
    1x Blue Sun's Zenith

    Sideboard 15

    3x Pact of Negation
    3x Repeal
    1x Wipe Away
    1x Snap
    1x Brain Freeze
    1x Blue Sun's Zenith
    1x Meditate
    1x Turnabout
    1x Rebuild
    1x Echoing Truth
    1x Intuition

    4-Card Selection

    Main Deck:

    The manabase:

    At the begining the mana base looked a bit different, with a green splash to play Explore, basically.The reasoning behind that was that Time Spiral needed as many lands as you can play (to a maximum of 6) to work at full potential and playing one land each turn for the 6 first turns was not a realistic plan, and Explore speeded the process up. Green also provided Krosan Grip for the sideboard, very useful against Counterbalance, which is our hardest match up, and Autumn's Veil, that worked as a nice "chant effect" (further replaced by Pact of Negation). Nevertheless, playing a non-mono color version seemed very week for a High Tide deck , because Wasteland is a very relevant card in Legacy and we need our Islands fresh and ready to do what they know.It was at this point that Kagehisa, a user of The Soruce, suggested including Retraced Image, and then everything was in its right place. Due to Retraced Image I’ve been forced to minimize the number of fetchlands (keeping the number on 4, being all of them of the same name is the only real requirement), and the mana base established as it is today.

    Protection:

    *Force of Will: the best counterspell ever printed, or as Brian de Mars said one of the Legacy Power 9. It is necessary for both, protecting the combo and preventing opponent’s hate cards (it 's the most relevant card we have in the main deck against Counterbalance). And all of this at a very low cost (card disadvantage is easily solved with Time Spiral).

    *Pact of Negation: Time Spiral is a symetrical card, just like Standstill is, and like Standstill players do we should play cards that break this simetry, the most relevant thing we should break was the Force of Will symetry. In the Splash color builds this symetry was intended to be broken by chant effects (which had the problem of costing one, or more, and this made the deck even slower) but we have no chants in blue, nevertheless a zero cost counterspell is a very solid card, sometimes even better.The testing showed that 3 was the right number.

    Cantrips:

    *Brainstorm, Ponder and Preordain: all 12 with no discussion. The first is an instant and helps fixing disastrous hands (being helped by Preordain and the fetchlands). The second one is the best if you are searching for a single card, specially important if this is a land. And the last one is a very solid choice, it allows you to keep the good card and send the bad one to bottom, despite the good sinergy that it has with brainstorm (it works in a similar way to Impulse in Solidarity).

    Tutors:

    *Merchant Scroll: I’m afraid it needs no introduction. Fetches for protection if needed, High Tide, Turnabout, or the other tutors. Never forget that Brainstorm is an instant and can be fetched by Merchant Scroll too.

    *Cunning Wish: multiplies the number of threats in your deck, while provides flexibility pre and post board. Pre board permits you to grab bouncers, while post board allows you to get cards that you sided (like High Tide if your opponent is playing Extirpate, for instance).

    *Intuition: Kind of weird card, since it’s excellent pre board (Demonic Tutor instant speed is rock and roll, a very regular play against aggro is on turn 2: Merchant Scroll -->Intuition, and turn 3: Intuition--> 3x Time Spiral, so you can go off on turn 4), and kind of awful post board in some matches (losing 2x Time Spiral due to Graveyard hate is not very good, most people won’t have any better cards against us, so they will board in their Relic of Progenitus/Tormod's Crypt. If they play Extirpate, Intuition is a terrible card).

    Bussiness:

    * High Tide, Time Spiral: no comments.

    *Turnabout: this card is more versatile that it may seem at first glace. A part from the obvious use of untapping our lands after one (or more) High Tide are resolved, you can use it as a weapon against heavy counter wall decks, playing it at the end of the turn of your opopnent to tap their lands the turn before you ‘ll go off, so you don ‘t have to worry about the extra mana your opponent will produce because of our High Tide (remember: High Tide make ALL island produce an extra blue mana, not only yours). By doing this the number of counter magic you 'd have to fight against will be harshly reduced.

    *Retraced Image: this card, after lots of testing and debating, has become essential. The biggest flaw of the card is the card disadvantage inherent to it, and this is the most regular argumnet people tell me when talking about R.I. The thing is that most of people say so because they don’t play it properly. Essentially, this card covers two important functions in the deck: accelerating the mana against aggro and giving critical mass (in terms of lands) when comboing (I’d like to see Retraced Image as my “Cloud of Faeries”). The problem is that, when I ask them how do they play the card, the answer was: “I play it as soon as I have the chance”, while this is good against aggressive strategies, it is very bad against cnotrollish (or combo) ones, where card disadvantage may hurt you harder. So as a “general rule”, for those who start with the deck, I will give you the following advice: use it as soon as you draw it, as an accelerator, against aggressive decks, but keep it only for being used while going off against control or combo decks (obviously you should also use it while going off against aggro).

    *Brain Freeze: it went out, then back in, and now it’s here to stay. I’ ve won too many games palying double freeze on low storm count with Merchant and Cunning or Merchant and Freeze or Cunning and Freeze. Keep in mind that it’s also a nice card against blue decks (after a counter war) and against Counterbalance (messing the top of the deck when they are short on mana, or after an Enlightened Tutor --> Counterbalance/Sensei's Divining Top/Ethersworn Canonist/...).

    Sideboard:

    *Spell Pierce: the natural substitute for Pact of Negation in some pairings (those that play hand disruption/Chalice of the Void/Pyrostatic Pillar/…). And a must have against CB-Top decks. I normally side 3 in and keep one in the board for wish puropses.

    *Wipe Away: This is striclty Counterbalance hate, the best on color card to deal with a resolved Counterbalance. I’m playing two so I can side on in and keep the other in the board to have “nine” Wipe Away post side.

    *Snap: the best bouncer against aggro and hate bears. Same idea as Wipe Away, side one in and keep the other in the board.

    *Brain Freeze: “nine” freeze in the deck makes difficult to fizzle.

    *Blue Sun's Zenith: first we had Braingeyser, then Stroke of Genius, and now the last and improved version. The reshuffling effect permits us to play one for drawing a big bunch of cards and then anohter one for the win. It is the only win condition against decks packing re-shuffling effects (like Emrakul).

    *Meditate: it may seem unnecessary, or a reminiscence of the old lists, but it is very good in the long term games and is also a natural substitude for Intuition when it is boarded out.

    *Turnabout: “eleven” Turnabouts in the main deck. You will normally Cunning Wish --> Turnabout before casting the first Time Spiral (if it is the only piece you are lacking), once going off you will have better wish targets.

    *Rebuild: autowin against some pairings. It 's specially important to deal with an Ethersworn Canonist that has Mother of Runes Backup, or an Aether Vial on two.

    *Echoing Truth: versatilty is the best word to define this card. I’ ve lost some important matches that I ‘d have won otherwise, for not playing it. It is also the best way to deal with Leyline of Sanctity. Must include.

    *Slaughter Pact: irrelevant most of time. But is the only way to deal with Iona, Shield of Emeria, that otherwise will screw us badly. Being a 0 cost removal can be useful in some situations. This slto maybe flexible (but dedicated to the Legendary Angel), if your metagame is full of Dredge you can Change it for Ravenous Trap.

    5-You are not Welcome!

    Some cards fought to enter the maindeck but for differents reasons (after testing) didn’t made the cut, if you wonder why any of those are not in the deck just ask in the thread: Spell Snare, Remand, Explore, Blue Sun's Zenith, Meditate, Counterspell, Candelabra of Tawnos, Cloud of Faeries, Snap, Impulse, Personal Tutor, Spell Pierce, Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Sapphire Medallion, Trade Routes, Muddle the Mixture, Mana Severance, Misdirection, Vision Skeins, Foil, Mind Over Matter, Palinchron, Sensei's Divining Top.

    In general lines some of them have been cut for making us vulnerable to cards that we should not be vulnerable (for instance Candelabra of Tawnos makes us vulnerable to Qasali Pridemage, Krosan Grip, Pithing Needle, …), for being Win More cards (such as Palinchron, infinite mana is not really needed, trust me, and it make the opponent’s removal relevant), or for bad sinergy with some deck staples (for instance, Emrakul, the Aeons Torn has bad sinergy with Pact of Negation and Meditate).

    6-Match ups

    *Zoo: very easy match pre and post board. Even if they pack hate bears, their card manipulation is almost zero, so you will be able to handle their threats with comfort thanks to your Force of Will and pack of bouncers. Retraced Image shines specially in this pairing as an accelerator, due to their fast clock.

    Boarding tips:

    -3x Pact of Negation
    -1x Intuition

    +1x Snap
    +1x Echoing Truth
    +1x Wipe Away
    +1x Meditate

    *Golbins: another easy match. Pre board you only have to take care of the Goblin Lackey first turn, otherwise they will have enough speed to become a problem. Post board you should take care of their Pyrostatic Pillar, and some times Red Elemental Blast, Pyroblast and Mindbreak Trap.

    Boarding Tips:

    -3x Pact of Negation
    -1x Intuition

    +2x Spell Pierce
    +1x Echoing Truth
    +1x Meditate

    *Merfolk: even if doesn’t seem so at first glance, this pairing is fairly easy, being the Cursecatcher our worst enemy. Pact of Negation is exceptional against them. You may have problem if they can curve properly (with Cursecatcher as their first drop).

    Boarding Tips:

    -1x Retraced Image
    -1x Cunning Wish

    +2x Spell Pierce

    *Tempo Threshold (Canadian, Fatestalker, Team America, …): I’ve not lost a round yet against this kind of decks (but I’ ve lost some matches), so it seems not a bad match-up.Their clock is medium, and this is good for us. The easiest way to handle their huge counterwall is using the Turnabout as suggested above, if you do so you’ll face an unfair battle (in your favor) of 4x Force of Will against 4x Force of Will + 3x Pact of Negation.

    Boarding Tips:

    -3x Retraced Image

    +3x Spell Pierce

    If they play black (Fatestalker, Team America, ...):

    -1x Intuition
    -1x High Tide

    +1x Meditate
    +1x Spell Pierce

    *Counter-Top: our black beast, the worst match-up possible. During the pre board matches you have to fight to go off before the soft lock in on table, if they can assemble it you should try to resolve a Cunning Wish --> Wipe Away to deal with the Enchantment, Brain Freeze and Turnabout are relevant too. Post board the things get easier.

    Boarding Tips:

    -3x Pact of Negation
    -2x Retraced Image

    +4x Spell Pierce
    +1x Wipe Away

    *Landstill: a deck with no clock at all is all you need to have an eternity to sculpt the perfect hand. Just make them waste their counters by bluffing you are going off and the Pact of Negation and Force of Will should do the rest.

    Boarding Tips:

    -3x Retraced Image

    +3x Spell Pierce

    If they play black you should aslo side:

    -1x Intuition
    -1x High Tide

    +1x Meditate
    +1x Spell Pierce

    If they pack Meddling/Canonist:

    -1x Cunning Wish

    +1x Echoing Truth

    *Monoblack with Spalsh (Eva Green, Pikula, Junk,…): this can be a tough match but still very favorable. The idea is to use the cantrips so you can hide the Time Spiral on Top, and when you have enough mana, simply cast it for the win.

    Boarding Tips:

    -3x Pact of Negation
    -1x High Tide

    +3x Spell Pierce
    +1x Snap

    *Storm Combo (T.E.S., ANT, …): this is more or less like a mirror the one who draws the nuts wins the game. If they can draw enough disruption in the early stages you are done, otherwise you have good chances.

    Boarding Tips:

    -3x Pact of Negation
    -1x Retraced Image

    +4x Spell Pierce

    *Show and Tell (Emrakul Decks): Treat this as a slow combo deck with some countermagic, that must be killed with Blue Sun's Zenith. So center your efforts in drawing countermagic and generating lots of mana.

    Boarding Tips:

    -1x Cunning Wish
    -1x Retraced Image
    -1x Pact of Negation

    +3x Spell Pierce

    7-For those who are interested…

    Some extra reading can be found here:

    Eternal on the other side of the Ocean. Combo Control Rising - Mon, Goblin Ghief
    Time Spiral Storm! - Drew Levin
    Espiral del Tiempo en Legacy - Jaime Cano (Spanish)
    Original (mtg The Source) Thread

    Tournament winning decklists:

    Tournament Winning Decks (@ TC Decks)

    Reports:

    Over 100 players:

    Paulinia - 01/05/2011 5-2 - 104 Players - ScatmanX

    51 to 100:

    LCL - 05/03/22 Top 8 Exaequo (10th due to Tiebreak Points) - 88 Players - egosum

    26 to 50 players:

    4th Place - 30 Players - ScatmanX
    2nd Place - 36 Players - ScatmanX

    Less than 25 players:

    Greetings,

    Iņaki.-

    Note for reporting Spiral Tide Results:

    -Please tell the attendace to the event (do it in the report if possible).
    -Post the Report in the Tournament Reports Forum (if it is from an external source this is not needed) and a link in this thread.
    -Write the Decklist you played in the tournament report.
    -Be as much detailed as possible.
    Last edited by egosum; 05-03-2011 at 04:12 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    Great Primer!

    As a new player of Spiral Tide, I will try to represent this deck well :D

    Thanks Egosum

  3. #3

    Re: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    Why is my list not in there?
    Quote Originally Posted by GoblinSettler View Post
    Jesus H Cardsheet died for your NFC sins.

  4. #4

    Re: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    I'm sorry man but I can't add all the list variant that are out there, otherwise the Primer will be too long, so I decided 2 representative lists, for the two differents lines of playing. I encourage to add your updated list here so everyone can dicuss on it aswell.

    Greetings,

    Iņaki.-

  5. #5

    Re: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    Just kidding.

    Great primer. Kudos!
    Quote Originally Posted by GoblinSettler View Post
    Jesus H Cardsheet died for your NFC sins.

  6. #6
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    Re: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    Great work Iņaki,

    But you have Blue Sun's Zenith in both lists and in the "You're not welcome" section.
    Perhaps you missing remove it from this section.

  7. #7

    Re: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    Thank you all guys for the good input, this is very encouraging.

    If you read it carefully, the you are not welcome section is for maindeck cards. But thanks for reading the whole thing!!

    Greetings,

    Iņaki.-

  8. #8

    Re: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    Great primer Egosum!

    As I said on the other thread, I'm testing a list similar to the second one and I think one Blue Sun's Zenith in the maindeck is a must. Is so easy to win with that card that I almost never go for the Brain Freeze route.

    Off topic: maybe you should revise some orthographic mistakes

  9. #9

    Re: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    Nice primer, solid work. I think you might want to explain the going-off process itself a little more for those not familiar with the deck at all.
    The primer also needs some proof-reading and editorial work, though. I'll try to go over it when I find time during the next days and send you a corrected version if you don't mind :)

    Also, in case you're interested, this is the version of NBS I'm trying out currently:


    CAB - Neon Blue Sky

    Maindeck (60)

    Lands (18)

    4x Flooded Strand
    4x Scalding Tarn
    1x Misty Rainforest
    8x Island
    1x Tropical Island

    Protection (8)

    4x Force of Will
    3x Counterspell
    1x Pact of Negation

    Cantrips (12)

    4x Brainstorm
    4x Ponder
    4x Preordain

    Tutor (7)

    4x Merchant Scroll
    2x Cunning Wish
    1x Intuition

    Bussiness (15)

    4 x High Tide
    4x Time Spiral
    3x Turnabout
    3x Cloud of Faeries
    1x Blue Sun’s Zenith

    Sideboard (15)

    1 Turnabout
    1 Tolarian Winds
    3x Krosan Grip
    3x Snap
    3x Spell Pierce
    2x Pact of Negation
    1x Brain Freeze
    1x Dispel/1x Bound/Determined
    1x Rebuild

    Not sure yet what the last card to cut from the SB for the Wish-targets will be (at 16 atm). I wanted the additional cantrip - I always want to open with one - and I don't see anything to cut other than the 19th land. The extra-Wish (and SB Winds) are there because finding business after Spiraling was sometimes a little to inconsistent for my liking. Having additional access to KGrip game 1 and being able to safely board out a Tide are additional benefits.

    As a sidenote, we clearly play the deck very differently, I could care less if they remove Spirals from the game with GY-hate, I'd be much more annoyed losing Tides as I don't want to cast more than one Spiral anyway if I can avoid it. Just Spiral, make a bunch of mana, get a Zenith and draw half your deck, make a ton more mana, get the Zenith again and stroke them out. Sure, I sometimes kill with Brain Freeze for convenience's sake or to spare my opponent another five minutes of watching me play with myself but actually needing to Freeze is exceedingly rare with Zenith MD outside of suboptimal Spiral-hands when going of turn 3.
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  10. #10

    Re: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    Mon, my list is almost identical to yours (and I really enjoyed your article on the deck by the way) with the exception of one Meditate maindeck over the Pact of Negation. In your article you talk about how Spiral Tide should stay combo control, and that's precisely why I don't like Pact of Negation. I would much prefer something that lets me do something outside of the combo. I like Meditate because it sets you up for the big turn but it also provides a mass draw spell off of a Merchant Scroll in the early stages of the combo when you have less mana available and helps you rebuild after a fizzle/hand disruption. However, I can see where it makes me weaker against Merfolk, so I'm not devoted to the idea yet.

    I'm also contemplating Spell Snare in place of Counterspell in the list. I'm noticing that I'm generally countering Counterbalance/Chalice on 1/hatebear/Daze, etc. and all of those can be countered with Spell Snare. Spell Snare also lets you cantrip on turn 1, and then cantrip again on turn 2 while still being able to counter a hate card, as well as catch a turn 1 Chalice on the play. The downside of course is being a weaker counter midcombo when you're avoiding Force of Will and Mindbreak Trap. Thoughts?

  11. #11
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    Re: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    Mon: Why so many fetches?
    The deck thinning effect is negligible, and especially after you Spiral, you increase the odds or drawing more lands if you have lots of fetches in your graveyard. I don't think the extra shuffle effects are needed if you are running spells like Merchant Scroll and Intuition. I also can't get behind Counterspell, because you'll want to use that mana to cast cantrips and other business spells.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Only posts when drunk.

  12. #12

    Re: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    The shuffle effects are invaluable with Ponder and Brainstorm, though. The life loss is pretty negligible and Stifle isn't very popular right now. I don't want to have to cast Merchant Scroll just to shuffle away chaff with Brainstorm and Ponder.

    Also, Counterspell is really really good. Basically, Spiral Tide is never going to be as fast as TES/ANT. However, the deck does have the advantage of being able to play the control role until it combos out. Counterspell helps you play that control role.

  13. #13
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    Re: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    I might be missing something, but why would you not play Retraced Image early against control? It's card advantage, but if you save it up while comboing, you'll have to eventually pay the U anyway, and you miss out on any mana the land could have generated earlier, plus the extra High Tide mana you could have had by not paying U on your combo turn.

    The only reasons I see for holding it are 1) to pitch to Force of Will, 2) to shuffle back with Brainstorm, and 3) you don't have extra lands to cheat in after accounting for land drops anyway. But (3) is irrelevant because you'll eventually have to play draw spells (Meditate, Time Spiral) anyway, and the former leaves you with no further chances to drop your extra lands after your combo turn, while the latter replenishes your hand anyway.

    I'm not saying I'm correct, because I've never piloted this deck, but it would be cool if you could explain this further.

  14. #14

    Re: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    This are precisely the reasons:

    1-Pitching for FoW
    2-Extra cards for brainstorm, into more bussiness or protection.

    Plus:

    3-The psychological factor of having a grip full of cards is very important when facing the control match up.
    4-You don't need to hurry against a control deck, they have an slow to null clock, so there is no reason for that.

    In the primer I give this as an advice for begginers because it is "not always" optimal to play R.I. as soon as you can, nevertheless when you become more experienced this may change, it was only a loose guide to make starting with the deck easier.

    Greetings,

    Iņaki.-

    P.S. Sorry for the orthographic mistakes. When I finished the Primer I was so excited that I can't wait to post it, I tried to correct them, but if you find any please send me a P.M. (so we can keep the thread on topic) and I'll fix it ASAP.

    P.S.2 @Mon: I'll try to give more detailed information for the process of going off when I had a little more time. Thanks for reading.

  15. #15

    Re: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    @Roman Candle: Good grasp of the deck, happy you seem to enjoy it! Thanks for the props concerning the article :)

    I would never remove the PoN from the MD as long as Fish is around, though. You quite often need an additional 0-mana counter against them but don't have the handsize to support double Fow, at which point Scroll->Pact saves your bacon. I also hate losing to that deck with a passion so I'm a little biased when it comes to beating Folk.

    @Scordota: Fetching to shuffle is so much better than needing to Scroll at inopportune moments... Roman Candle explained the reasoning quite well but let me demonstrate: You enter turn 2 with an Island in play, Brainstorm and any other cantrip - lets say Preordain - in hand. If you only have an Island, you see a maximum of 6 new cards after drawing for your next turn and still have a dead card on top, meaning you need to Scroll that turn or draw it (you could also have gone Brainstorm->Preordain, but that way you'd see even fewer cards). If you have a Fetch, you can go Brainstorm, shuffle some crap away and Preordain to see six cards this turn alone while having a fresh library to draw from for next turn. This works the same way with Ponder. Ponder, take the best card, crack a fetch, get new cards to look at with your other cantrips. Over the course of the game all those extra-cardsyou see add up significantly.
    The land-thinning is irrelevant, I agree, especially because Spiral reshuffles the Fetches. That doesn't mean I suddenly have a higher chance of drawing lands than a version running Islands only - instead Spiral just makes it so that I have exactly the same number of lands in the deck a pure-Island version would have.

    @both of you:
    On Counterspell:
    Spell Snare is an option, I suppose, but I prefer the unconditionality of Counterspell. There are quite a number of spells you'll want to counter that don't cost two (REB and FoW being the most prominent but also things like Orim's Chant, Duress, Breakthrough, Ad Nauseam, Natural Order, Show and Tell, Geddon, etc). Remember the deck wants to control other combo-decks not race them. Counterspell is actually better against aggro than you all seem to think, too.I've countered my fair share of Goblin Warchiefs, Knights, Nacatls etc gaining the one turn more I needed to win because my draw was disruption-heavy. If you win on turn 4, Counterspell is actually pretty good in control, it's only too slow if you need to build up true control of the game against aggro.
    Cantrips interfering with CS: If you have a Counterspell and a slow hand just trade your turn for his using CS, than Cantrip a turn later. If you're fast just ignore that there's a CS in your hand. Those slots would be PoN otherwise, which are completely dead vs aggro (the matchup you have to cantrip aggressively in) anyway, so I don't see how having CS there matters aside from giving you the option to slow them down instead of just being completely useless.
    Against control or combo, why would you ever cantrip on turn 2 instead of keeping CS open? Not to mention PoN is just as bad as a Counterspell you have in hand while being tapped out at that point of the game - if you cast it you die.

    @lordofthepit: I suspect your reasons 1) and 2) are why you should hold them back. You don't need the speed- boost as much against control (because you'll get the opportunity to play those lands naturally anyway) but you might very well need the card-advantage. Never played egosumi's version, either, but that's how I feel about my Cloud of Faeries against control - FoW-food - and I suspect it's the same for him.

    /edit: egosum was faster *g*
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  16. #16
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    Re: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    Cool primer. I got 1st in a local with ~20 people. List was almost identical to Inaki's - only 3 cards different.

    Aggro Elves (w/ maindeck Thorn of Amethyst and Mindbreak Traps out of the SB) 2-0
    Dredge 2-0
    Death and Taxes 2-0
    Supreme Blue 1-1

    Ravenous Trap was MVP against Dredge (orly?). The matchup gets much harder without it, so I think it's worth the 1 slot in the SB.

    edit: also prefer the Meditate over Intuition because making my opponent's graveyard hate actually matter = sad panda.

  17. #17

    Re: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    I'm of the opinion that ravenous trap should be a one of in every SB if the MD runs cunning wish but that's just me. One time I ran without the ravenous trap when playing solidarity and lo and behold I face dredge and I would've wrecked him if I had had it in the SB. And getting to 3 mana game one against dredge is possible especially with retraced image on turn 1 working wonders and while the dredge player plays with themselves we wish for trap and blow them out then we have all day to win. I also love how little storm it takes to brain freeze them out and how you can stroke/zenith them for 20 cards and win the game usually. Don't forget that we can also become solidarity like since we run turnabout, high tide, and brain freeze we can go EoT make lots of mana/storm, brain freeze you FTW kind of thing. Just be sure you do it EoT cause doing that main phase 1 will get you killed if they run FKZ.

    I'm running 1 spell snare and 2 counterspell's in the pact slots and so far it's worked good. Considering going up to 2 spell snares though to better combat counterbalance.

    Wow Kikoo MD thorn of amethyst in elves? Just wow. They must hate combo lol. How did the supreme MU go for you? That's the MU I'm most concerned about since it is probably the worst especially if they land CB + Top. And they have just as many counters as we do if not more since they generally play 3 MD counterspells, 4 FoW, and at least 2 spell snares and probably red elemental blast's out of the SB. Along with CB obviously.
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  18. #18
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    Re: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    Quote Originally Posted by Roman Candle View Post

    I'm also contemplating Spell Snare in place of Counterspell in the list. I'm noticing that I'm generally countering Counterbalance/Chalice on 1/hatebear/Daze, etc. and all of those can be countered with Spell Snare. Spell Snare also lets you cantrip on turn 1, and then cantrip again on turn 2 while still being able to counter a hate card, as well as catch a turn 1 Chalice on the play. The downside of course is being a weaker counter midcombo when you're avoiding Force of Will and Mindbreak Trap. Thoughts?
    You counter Daze with Counterspell/Spell Snare? You realize that you can just pay 1 and it is countered without having to lose a card?
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  19. #19
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    Re: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Ritual View Post
    I'm of the opinion that ravenous trap should be a one of in every SB if the MD runs cunning wish but that's just me. One time I ran without the ravenous trap when playing solidarity and lo and behold I face dredge and I would've wrecked him if I had had it in the SB. And getting to 3 mana game one against dredge is possible especially with retraced image on turn 1 working wonders and while the dredge player plays with themselves we wish for trap and blow them out then we have all day to win. I also love how little storm it takes to brain freeze them out and how you can stroke/zenith them for 20 cards and win the game usually. Don't forget that we can also become solidarity like since we run turnabout, high tide, and brain freeze we can go EoT make lots of mana/storm, brain freeze you FTW kind of thing. Just be sure you do it EoT cause doing that main phase 1 will get you killed if they run FKZ.

    I'm running 1 spell snare and 2 counterspell's in the pact slots and so far it's worked good. Considering going up to 2 spell snares though to better combat counterbalance.

    Wow Kikoo MD thorn of amethyst in elves? Just wow. They must hate combo lol. How did the supreme MU go for you? That's the MU I'm most concerned about since it is probably the worst especially if they land CB + Top. And they have just as many counters as we do if not more since they generally play 3 MD counterspells, 4 FoW, and at least 2 spell snares and probably red elemental blast's out of the SB. Along with CB obviously.
    Yea, Retraced Image works well with Cunning Wish. It helped me power it out 1 turn faster vs Dredge. He dredged via Breakthrough -> Narcomoeba triggers on stack -> trap. He then had a 15 card library and a 1/1 in play, so he just scooped.

    In g1 against Supreme Blue I FoW 2 Counterbalances and then refill with Meditate. He tops and fetches like crazy but he only has a Counterspell when I go off the next turn, and it's easy to win through. During the combo it is helpful to apply Poszgay tactics: Supreme Blue players are at a big disadvantage on a low clock, so when you're winning it's best to keep them in the game for as long as possible by chaining cantrips, tutors and untappers (Note that this isn't the same as stalling). Most people won't concede in this situation, even though they probably should. Since I'm not going to potentially throw the win away, I stop when the only way to keep going is by playing a Time Spiral that will shuffle away the tutor that finds the lethal Brain Freeze.

    g2 when they board in Spell Pierces and Pyroblasts is almost impossible. I spell Pierce the 1st Counterbalance, but he has Pyroblast backup for the 2nd copy. Eventually I use Turnabout just for +1 mana and then cast Time Spiral through his 2x FoW, but it doesn't accomplish much since he has CB+Top in play and I die to Goyf. Would have scooped earlier to get a shot at g3 if I had known there wasn't much time left in the round.

  20. #20

    Re: [PRIMER] Spiral Tide

    Quote Originally Posted by lorddotm View Post
    You counter Daze with Counterspell/Spell Snare? You realize that you can just pay 1 and it is countered without having to lose a card?
    My bad, I'm not sure what I was thinking when I typed that out. I don't counter Daze obviously.

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