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Thread: Introducing: Grinding Station

  1. #1
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    Introducing: Grinding Station

    THIS THREAD IS OUDATED. This post was last updated in January 2012.
    Since we added Infernal Tutors to this deck in late 2012, this deck has gotten much closer to Ad Nauseam Tendrils. You should check out the ANT thread, where this deck is discussed as well. If you have any questions, feel free to pm me. I usually take my time to answer all the questions I get, although I sometimes refer to my articles. You can check them out here: https://theweeklywars.wordpress.com/

    I'll leave the original post intact for now. I think some of it is quite intersting to keep in mind, but most of it isn't accurate anymore.

    //

    Yes, Grinding Station.


    No, not this one.

    Table Of Content:
    1. History
    2. Grinding Station
    3. How To Play
    3.1 Opening Hands
    3.2 A Few Guidelines
    4. Additional Reading



    1. "Brief" History

    First things first, history lesson. I think to understand the deck, and how it works, it's useful to take a look at what the deck evolved from and why it exists.

    Let's go back a few weeks. When my team was preparing for GP Amsterdam, we obviously build a gauntlet. I played pretty much all of the decks a decent amount of time and we were testing them against each other. In particular, I liked this Ad Nauseam Tendrils list:

    Ad Nauseam Tendrils by Team Screw Attack

    2 Chrome Mox
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Lotus Petal
    2 Ad Nauseam
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Duress
    4 Gitaxian Probe
    1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    4 Infernal Tutor
    4 Ponder
    1 Tendrils Of Agony
    3 Thoughtseize
    3 Island
    4 Polluted Delta
    4 Scalding Tarn
    2 Swamp
    2 Underground Sea

    4 Dark Confidant
    4 Xantid Swarm
    2 Chain Of Vapor
    1 Echoing Truth
    2 Sadistic Sacrament
    1 Tendrils Of Agony
    1 Tropical Island

    It was the first time I picked up storm combo in a while, basically since I started playing Team America again in March. So obviously the list is far from perfect. It should probably splash white for Orim's Chant and Silence rather than sticking to the discard spells. In consequence, I should cut the Xantid Swarms from the sideboard, considering how much Canadian Thresh there is right now, as they don't board out their removal against us anyway. At the time we were testing this list though, we did not know how strong Thresh actually was.

    Generally speaking, my list was subpar, but still strong. It could be very explosive with a two Ad Nauseam setup and a lot of protection, but also had the potential to play rather long games (for a combo deck). With all the cantrips, especially Gitaxian Probe, I could often naturally reach storm ten, without resolving a key engine spell. Also, by turn four or five, the opponent often already helped me by fetching at least two times. With a full grip containing one or more cantrips and a protection spell, casting Tendrils Of Agony for eighteen is a cakewalk.

    In those grindy games (yeah, we're slowly getting there) starting a turn with eight cards in hand and casting Gitaxian Probe usually results in a win. You have storm one, know your opponent's hand and still have a full grip. This is so much value just from a single card, it's incredible. You could say that Gitaxian Probe was the backbone of my list.

    I've really been liking the hands with a naturally drawn Tendrils and I added some more. I don't know my exact setup at that point, but I think I actually just cut an Ad Nauseam for the second Tendrils. At the same time, I really wanted to try out Past In Flames.

    In the maindeck, there was no room for Past In Flames, so I went to the sideboard. Cutting Dark Confidant was the obvious move, as they both fulfil similar roles; they're both there to improve the blue matchup. They both let you shoot mini-Tendrils, but Past In Flames does so way more effectively. Past In Flames might cost two mana more, but in exchange it doesn't die to removal, doesn't get countered by Spell Snare, which seems to be everywhere right now and can be recast after it gets countered.

    I boarded out the Ad Nauseam plan against blue decks, bringing in additional Tendrils and some Past In Flames. It puts a lot of pressure on your opponent and works nicely with Lion's Eye Diamond. Also, casting Gitaxian Probes off Past In Flames is pretty sweet.

    My approach for game one usually was "win as fast as possible no matter what they're playing". Often this meant: "go all-in on turn one or two Ad Nauseam". The plan was actually okay. More often than not, the blue player is not going to have the Force Of Will in hand, let alone two active pieces of countermagic on turns zero to two, meaning a single piece of disruption is usually enough. At least this is the case in game one, when they don't really see it coming.

    I noticed that what the deck really wanted, rather than Chrome Moxen, which were bad with the cantrip-plan, were additional Rituals. I did not know what else to play besides Dark Ritual and Cabal Ritual though. I once played a Spanish Inquisition-style Ad Nauseam list (no, not successfully, but it was fun and interesting), so I borrowed from that and considered Culling The Weak. As of late, I've really been disliking cute tricks though, so that idea quickly fell out of favour.

    I did not think too hard about it though, as, judging from my testing, the deck was actually strong enough. I consistently beat most decks I tested against. Only Team America was an absolute nightmare. I wanted to test the deck against the other combo decks in the format (mostly the ANT mirror and Reanimator, both of which I expected to be heavily played at the GP), but sadly, I did not have the time since I spent the days leading up to the GP in good old England.

    Flash forward to GP Amsterdam. As I mentioned before, we really liked our Canadian Thresh list, and due to a lack of testing, we settled on playing that. It was really strong, and while I totally scrubbed out, my teammate finished 107th or something. I had the time to play some side events and jam a few games with friends. I continued working on my storm list and tried out Empty The Warrens in the board and maindeck Rain Of Filth instead of Chrome Moxen. Both have proven to be worth running. This was my list at that time:

    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Lotus Petal
    1 Ad Nauseam
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Dark Ritual
    2 Rain Of Filth
    1 Badlands
    3 Island
    4 Polluted Delta
    4 Scalding Tarn
    2 Swamp
    2 Underground Sea
    4 Duress
    4 Gitaxian Probe
    1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    4 Infernal Tutor
    4 Ponder
    2 Tendrils Of Agony
    2 Thoughtseize

    3 Chain Of Vapor
    1 Echoing Truth
    3 Extirpate
    1 Hurkyl's Recall
    1 Wipe Away
    1 Volcanic Island
    3 Past In Flames
    2 Tendrils Of Agony

    I still had the Ad Nauseam plan in the maindeck, but I moved away from that shortly thereafter. A friend of mine, Christian Bien, already told me to not play Ad Nauseam anymore and go for the full four Tendrils Of Agony maindeck instead. With that setup, I also dropped the Infernal Tutors and the Ill-Gotten Gains. At some point, my list had seventeen lands, but often I was flooding hard. Before I get further into detail, here's the current list:


    2. Grinding Station by Team Screw Attack

    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Dark Ritual
    2 Rain Of Filth
    4 Duress
    2 Empty The Warrens
    4 Gitaxian Probe
    3 Past In Flames
    4 Ponder
    4 Tendrils Of Agony
    2 Thoughtseize

    1 Badlands
    2 Island
    4 Polluted Delta
    4 Scalding Tarn
    1 Swamp
    2 Underground Sea
    1 Volcanic Island

    //Sideboard
    1 Ad Nauseam
    3 Chain Of Vapor
    1 Echoing Truth
    3 Extirpate
    1 Hurkyl's Recall
    1 Wipe Away
    1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    4 Infernal Tutor

    I think I said enough about the maindeck already (and will talk about some more), so let's take a look at the sideboard. It's still in progress, but I don't board too many cards most of the time anyway. I think the one thing that strikes out is the Infernal Tutor package. This is mostly for the aggro matchups, when they bring in hatebears (Maverick is still super big in Europe) and sometimes, I board it in in combo mirrors, depending on what they're playing. With this package you're much faster and thus you can more reasonably kill them before they land a bear.

    The bounce spells are somewhat mandatory. With this setup, pretty much everything is covered up. Especially Hurkyl's Recall is very good at bouncing multiple hate permanents and Ethersworn Canonist despite of an active Mother Of Runes.

    The Extirpates are in there because I thought Reanimate was a tough matchup, but it doesn't seem too bad as long as they don't have Iona, Shield Of Emeria too early. They also come in handy against control or other combo decks at times. If I knew what else to play, I would probably go down to two.


    3. How To Play

    So now that we have the list, let's go a little into actual gameplay. In a nutshell, your plan is to drop lands until you have eight spells in hand. At that point, you go off. My experience so far has been that holding onto your cantrips until your combo turn is often the best thing to do. An alternative name for this deck was "Draw, Go, Grind, Tendrils". And this is really all you do with the deck.

    My testing has proven that opting to draw is the right choice most of the time. Even against Hymn To Tourach decks you should not be afraid to let them play. They're only going to have the turn two Hymn to Tourach (which you can barely play around anyway, turn two kills don't happen too often) in slightly more than 40% of the games. If they're going to cast a cantrip on turn one, the percentage goes up by some points. You're definitely going to get the extra card though, and that's quite important.

    3.1 Opening Hands

    As for opening hands, I almost never take mulligans with the deck. As long as there's mana and some kind of business - even cantrips do the job - I keep my hands. Since this deck is not much of a "big spell deck", you're not as reliant on disruption as other combo decks are. Given you have enough rituals, countermagic is usually not much of a hindrance. Let's go through a few hands.

    Polluted Delta
    Polluted Delta
    Polluted Delta
    Ponder
    Thoughtseize
    Gitaxian Probe
    Dark Ritual

    This is a clear keep. Unless you sense combo at the other side of the table, you're going to play draw, go for at least three turns. If there actually is combo, you can fetch for an Underground Sea and cast Thoughtseize on turn one or two to slow them down a bit. Also, Counterbalance seems to make a comeback and you might want to try to strip your opponent's hand of that card if they're playing it. Otherwise, just wait until your hand is all business (or you draw into Brainstorm) and start the turn with Gitaxian Probe. You're going to see what you need to play around and then act accordingly.

    Rain Of Filth
    Tendrils Of Agony
    Gitaxian Probe
    Ponder
    Badlands
    Underground Sea
    Polluted Delta

    This hand is a bit worse than the first one since you're holding more than one nonbasic, which opens you up to Wasteland, but you have the Tendrils, which is very nice. Again, play draw, go until you have enough spells to go off. It's really that simple. Just make sure you're not running headfirst into Stifle, so you might want to dig for a discard spell if your opponent has it.

    Tendrils Of Agony
    Gitaxian Probe
    Duress
    Past In Flames
    Dark Ritual
    Underground Sea
    Scalding Tarn

    One of the best hands you can possibly get, outside of turn one or two kills, which this hand might actually produce if you happen to draw a Lion's Eye Diamond or additional Rituals. You should lead with the Scalding Tarn to play around Wasteland. Since you have Past In Flames alongside a protection spell, you don't need to wait until your hand is full, you can just rush it out. If your opponent counters any of your spells, you're very likely to still reach the necessary spell count, despite not having a boatload of cantrips.

    Past In Flames
    Past In Flames
    Brainstorm
    Lotus Petal
    Rain Of Filth
    Island
    Scalding Tarn

    While this hand might not be as strong as the hands above, it's still a keep. You have Brainstorm to shuffle away excess copies of Past In Flames and if you draw any kind of Ritual or a Lion's Eye Diamond, you should be able to go off easily. Keep in mind that you're going to see at least five additional cards. But also keep in mind that a Past In Flames hand needs some form of protection, so make sure you get some before you go off.

    3.2 A Few Guidelines

    Since the gameplay is so super simple, I'm not going to talk anymore about that. Most of the things you need to do have already been explained in the opening hands discussion, but here are a few guidelines:

    3.2.1. You always opt to draw.
    This way you kill about one turn faster. You're opponent gets the same amount of turns, but you deny them the extra card they would get if you chose to play. Without combo engines, every single card counts.

    3.2.2. Almost every hand is a keep.
    You rarely need to mulligan with this deck. As long as there's some business and mana in your hand, you don't need to mull. Business is everything that's not mana or disruption. Past In Flames only works as business if you have a lot of mana and cantrips though.

    3.3.3. Protection is often unnecessary.
    Yes, that's right. Due to the storm mechanic and the amount of rituals this deck has, you rarely care about countermagic. Unless you go for Past In Flames, there are pretty much only three cards outside of discard you care about: Stifle, Flusterstorm and Counterbalance. Sure there are more, but these are the only ones that actually see play.

    3.3.4. Lead with Gitaxian Probe, don't get your Rituals countered.
    Leading with Probe is probably obvious. It's your strongest card in almost every single matchup. After that, you're going for additional cantrips, then discard (if you need it), then rituals. If that plan works, you win. Most of the time, it does.

    Additional Reading

    Past In Flames In Legacy: Grinding Station
    -An article on the deck by me

    Being On Fire: 7-0 with Grinding Station/
    -a tournament report by me

    Grinding Station discussion over at the Storm Boards


    If you have any questions, just let me know. I'm most likely going to expand this in the future, with some matchup analyses, card choice discussion and so forth. I know there are several things I left out, but I don't feel like writing a ton about a deck only I play. If people show interest in the deck, you can expect me to write some more.
    Last edited by Jonathan Alexander; 07-10-2015 at 06:19 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Introducing: Grinding Station

    Reserved for future edits.

  3. #3
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    Re: Introducing: Grinding Station

    Very interesting deck. Since I played against it today, I am really amazed by the huge consistency of this Deck.
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  4. #4

    Re: Introducing: Grinding Station

    What exactly does this deck have anything to do with the card "Grinding Station?"
    The Night HE Came Home.

  5. #5
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    Re: Introducing: Grinding Station

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    What exactly does this deck have anything to do with the card "Grinding Station?"
    Yeah, I'm really confused I read the opening post and looked through the decklists... and no Grinding Station. You might want to change the name. :P
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  6. #6
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    Re: Introducing: Grinding Station

    Quote Originally Posted by Amon Amarth View Post
    Yeah, I'm really confused I read the opening post and looked through the decklists... and no Grinding Station. You might want to change the name. :P

    I think the idea with grinding station is to mill yourself to put rituals into your yard, then past into flames for extra mana. With lotus petal and LEDs untaping it would be easy enough. But yeah, its omission in the deck lists is glaring.

    On another note, wouldn't brain freezing yourself be strictly better? Assuming my understanding is correct.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Introducing: Grinding Station

    Interesting list. This is my analysis of how the deck works in comparison to TES and ANT. These decks rely more on resolving AdN or BW/IT for the win, while your team's deck relies more on PIF --> Tendrils. These other decks that rely on BW and IT are therefore putting all their eggs in one basket, often trying to ride a LED + Tutor into IGG or a kill condition. Your deck can afford to get the first attempt countered because the second attempt can resolve from the graveyard. In this sense, Rain of Filth makes absolutely no sense to me. It completely cuts you off from this option. I really think you should play Rite of Flames or something, even if you lack Burning Wish. Past in Flames and Empty the Warrens are red business spells so why not play a few red rituals? Further, Rain of Filth makes Wasteland that much stronger against you. I'd consider Bubbling Muck if you don't want to play any red rituals. Imagine you could drop it with Lotus Petal instead of a land, and then tap all your swamps for an additional black.

    I like that you have the IGG loop hidden in the board. Thats pretty tight.


    I'd recommend throwing down some sample hands though just so its easier for people to follow your logic. Not just the opening hands but how you go about playing the deck itself. Those are only good, consistent hands because of how the deck is built but the layman can't see that.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Introducing: Grinding Station

    The idea with this deck is to 8 vs 7 your opponent, drawing into the rest of the storm count via cantrips or going for double tendrils, Past in Flames is just gravy. This deck has nothing to do with the card grinding station that's just a euphemism.

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    Re: Introducing: Grinding Station

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    What exactly does this deck have anything to do with the card "Grinding Station?"
    What did Solidarity have to do with the Solidarity?
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    Re: Introducing: Grinding Station

    Quote Originally Posted by Sims View Post
    What did Solidarity have to do with the Solidarity?
    I was going to say this as well. The deck is called Grinding Station because it grinds out games. Also, Grinding Station is an awesome card. I'm definitely going to stick with the name, we don't need more decknames like RUG Tempo or BUR Tendrils. Boring.

    As for how the deck plays, John Cox is right. It's really that simple. Most often, you don't even cast your cantrips early (unless you need to make landdrops) but hold onto them until you can go off with 3+ lands in play. That way you can cast two cantrips or more when you go off and easily reach storm ten without casting storm engines.

    What Past In Flames does is mostly just destroy blue decks even more. If you go off once and then fizzle or get stopped or whatever, you can go off with Past In Flames again as soon as you have a ritual in hand (assuming you didn't throw all your lands into Rain Of Filth).

    The Past In Flames route is also faster and easier to execute, so it's pretty good against non-blue decks as well. For potsboard games you bring in the Infernal Tutor package.

    It seems the opening post is somewhat confusing, so I'm going to edit that later today, chopping some of the history which noone reads anyway.

    Also, opening hands are pretty hard with this deck, as you often don't do anything during the first few turns of the game and how you play depends heavily on what you're playing against. Against most blue opponents for example, I opt to draw and play land, go for at least three turns, unless I'm forced to dig for lands.

    I might make some videos if I find the time to record some. Sadly there are no feature matches in the events I usually play in, otherwise I could link those.

  11. #11

    Re: Introducing: Grinding Station

    Quote Originally Posted by Sims View Post
    What did Solidarity have to do with the Solidarity?
    There's a difference. I opened the thread to this page and all I saw was a giant image of the card in my grill. I thought it had something to do with it.

    Shame.
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  12. #12

    Re: Introducing: Grinding Station

    Well ok, I've been trying this deck out for a couple of days now, and in my very modest and humble not-at-all-pro opinion, it's Total Freakin' Bonkers!!

    I would be very keen on hearing of any updates you may have done to your list. My only comment on the list above is that I felt the 1-of rain of filth rather unnecessary, while also giving no added value when flashbacked. The STD on the other hand has been gold every time I've seen it, so yeah a single -1 rain + STD would be my only changes for now.

    Also, I haven't really used the sideboard at all. I just didn't need to =)
    So what are your thoughts on that, have you prepared any concrete SB-plans for specific matches, or do you just make it up as you go? As for now, I guess all I really want my SB to do is protect my grave and bounce dorky hatebears.

    Anywho, well done, I'm a fan.

  13. #13
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    Re: Introducing: Grinding Station

    At first this deck looks like UBR ANT or Tendrils with PiF, but goldfishing and reading your explanation saw a clear deviation on your approach to storm-combo i.e. having the ability to draw a god-hand and go nuts or simply slowly building multiple mini-tendrils (if failed) and eventually killing your opponent.

    It's the same way as how lifelink and many other mechanism (involving prison) buys tempo and turns, which is used as resource. Impressed, keep up the good work. I have always been interested in UR PiF/Intuition/Brain Freeze engines playing similarly with a strong consistent mid-game plan, but the issue has always been running into the stage where you lost due to life-loss, but the UBr approach to such a playstyle makes much more sense, since mini-tendrils really buy you another 2-4 turns, which builds up into another mini-tendrils (or usually a lethal one if you top deck PiF or ANT).

    I personally think that as much as ANT is going to be awkward with so many high costed spells, it's still an insane topdeck (just as topdecking PiF but without being prone to Surgical extraction/GY hate). The main weakness of this deck that I can see is Extraction on non--lethal Tendrils (because part of the appeal of the mid-game consistency is the ability to buy turns with the lifegain from tendrils). Any strategy to fighting extractions against Canadian Thresh?
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  14. #14
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    Re: Introducing: Grinding Station

    Quote Originally Posted by Metalwalker View Post
    At first this deck looks like UBR ANT or Tendrils with PiF, but goldfishing and reading your explanation saw a clear deviation on your approach to storm-combo i.e. having the ability to draw a god-hand and go nuts or simply slowly building multiple mini-tendrils (if failed) and eventually killing your opponent.

    It's the same way as how lifelink and many other mechanism (involving prison) buys tempo and turns, which is used as resource. Impressed, keep up the good work. I have always been interested in UR PiF/Intuition/Brain Freeze engines playing similarly with a strong consistent mid-game plan, but the issue has always been running into the stage where you lost due to life-loss, but the UBr approach to such a playstyle makes much more sense, since mini-tendrils really buy you another 2-4 turns, which builds up into another mini-tendrils (or usually a lethal one if you top deck PiF or ANT).

    I personally think that as much as ANT is going to be awkward with so many high costed spells, it's still an insane topdeck (just as topdecking PiF but without being prone to Surgical extraction/GY hate). The main weakness of this deck that I can see is Extraction on non--lethal Tendrils (because part of the appeal of the mid-game consistency is the ability to buy turns with the lifegain from tendrils). Any strategy to fighting extractions against Canadian Thresh?
    That's why you run ETW and why I would recommend running Grapeshot SB. A lethal Grapeshot is not particularly hard with PiF
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  15. #15
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    Re: Introducing: Grinding Station

    This reminds me of Spanish Inquisition, which used to be quite decent before they printed Ad Nauseam. It simply used all free mana plus cruel bargain/infernal contract to get up to the lethal 10 storm.

    I love the idea of using 6 storm spells in the main and not relying on any particular bomb spell like Ad Nauseam. This lets you beat countermagic, which is the only real weakness for typical storm decks.

  16. #16
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    Re: Introducing: Grinding Station

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrik View Post
    Well ok, I've been trying this deck out for a couple of days now, and in my very modest and humble not-at-all-pro opinion, it's Total Freakin' Bonkers!!

    I would be very keen on hearing of any updates you may have done to your list. My only comment on the list above is that I felt the 1-of rain of filth rather unnecessary, while also giving no added value when flashbacked. The STD on the other hand has been gold every time I've seen it, so yeah a single -1 rain + STD would be my only changes for now.

    Also, I haven't really used the sideboard at all. I just didn't need to =)
    So what are your thoughts on that, have you prepared any concrete SB-plans for specific matches, or do you just make it up as you go? As for now, I guess all I really want my SB to do is protect my grave and bounce dorky hatebears.

    Anywho, well done, I'm a fan.
    For me, the ninth ritual has been necessary. I don't consistently get enough rituals to go off, and that can really be an issue. Smart players will counter your rituals and thus only having one of them when you plan to go off can really suck. But I agree on Divining Top being incredible. Starting your turn with nine cards in hand is sick.

    As for the sideboard, I posted boarding plans on my blog, the article is linked in the OP now. The sideboard is certainly the weakest aspect of the deck, but to be fair, it isn't much needed anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by Metalwalker View Post
    Any strategy to fighting extractions against Canadian Thresh?
    Just don't get Tendrils into your graveyard. They should never have priority while you have a Tendrils in your graveyard. Generally, using mini-Tendrils over multiple turns is not too strong a strategy.

    By the way, Grapeshot is not that good either. I tested it several times and I just didn't like it. And yeah, I noticed the similarity to SI as well. In fact, this is actually very similar to QSI. As far as maindeck storm spells go, I'm only running five right now. Not sure if that's the way to go though.

  17. #17
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    Re: Introducing: Grinding Station

    Given how important land drops are to this storm variant, do you feel comfortable with just 15?

    I have experience playing ANT (both with and without the red splash). With 16-17 lands and 10-11 cantrips, I sometimes get flooded or am unable to get hellbent quickly enough, but occasionally, I have to mull my hands because I don't have enough land. That deck is much faster than Grinding Station, so I'm typically looking for fewer land drops anyway.

    It seems like with Grinding Station, I have 8 "real" cantrips (Brainstorm and Ponder), Sensei's Divining Top (which is even better at digging for land, but more mana intensive), and 4 Probes which don't really help you dig. I'm a bit skeptical that you can always reliably hit your land drops with just 15 land, even if you do choose to play second (thus getting an extra card each game).

  18. #18
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    Re: Introducing: Grinding Station

    Actually I have way more problems with flooding than with manascrew. Only hitting three land is not an issue at all, whereas drawing two additional lands when you already kept two or three can easily cost you the game. On top of that, Lotus Petal is even better than an actual landdrop most of the time, as it makes rainbow mana and adds to the storm count. Assuming you only have one Gitaxian Probe and one other cantrip, you can't reliably win the game without casting Past In Flames as you can't cast nine spells before you cast Tendrils.

    Regarding cantrips, I'm currently testing a version with only two Ponder and three Preordain so I have some cantrips that are good before I go off. Only a slight difference but I think it does make the deck a bit more consistent.
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  19. #19

    Re: Introducing: Grinding Station

    I'm usually fine with flooding out and getting 5 lands in play. It makes rain of filth a champion and on the combo turn I want as much mana as I can get generally, especially with the cantrips since there are no blue rituals aside from petal. I only have a problem with land flood in games where I don't need the land i.e. I'm on the ad nauseam plan and I want to get hellbent for infernal but cannot due to land and lack of LED. But with this deck you typically don't get flooded what with 15 land being a lowish land count.

    I vastly prefer ponder to preordain in combo decks. I always max out ponder before I even consider preordain; at the moment I'm just running 4 probe, brainstorm, and ponder for cantrips. I've considered SDT but there's always the question of what to cut. Top does seem like it would be incredibly unfair in here to play it out turn 1 and get to pick which of the top 3 you want each turn since you're generally playing draw go. And then you get to start out with 9 cards in hand on the combo turn, something that is quite invaluable.
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  20. #20
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    Re: Introducing: Grinding Station

    Your recommendation is to play draw-go until you're ready to go off, saving your cantrips even for the go-off turn (usually).

    In what situations would you fire off your cantrips earlier (i.e. to dig for land, for instance, if you're stuck on two)?

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