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Thread: [Primer/Deck] Belcher

  1. #521

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Belcher

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    I guess it's time to revive Oops All Belch!
    Verry interesting. But can you enlighten me on how Recross the Paths interacts with Belcher? I realy dont see the combo :) I guess the clue is to set up a "perfect" draw?
    Regards

  2. #522
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Belcher

    Oh sure. I can explain it.

    It's old tech that had fringe tournament success a few years ago. There's a more detailed piece about it in #4 of the primer.
    Edit: Apparently there was a separate Source thread made later, and it is seeing playing in Modern now too, but it must be a lot worse without LEDs
    http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/s...-Paths-Belcher
    https://strategy.channelfireball.com...dless-belcher/

    It arose as a way to remove variance from the win conditions after "going off". With 0 lands every Belch is guaranteed to kill. No awkward flipping Taiga after 2 cards. Without relying on Empty, there's also less passing the turn with goblins and having them killed or be too slow. Compared to the newer builds, there's also less randomness from getting unlucky Echoes or drawing the opponent into answers.

    Recross the Paths includes a big mistake Wizards has avoided printing again: "the rest on the bottom of your library in any order". That means if you cast it and reveal 0 lands, you can rearrange your entire library in any order you want! 0-land Belcher can use it as a green Doomsday that doesn't cost life, doesn't limit you to only 5 cards, and has a less restrictive mana cost, which is pretty busted. From there you set up a winning "Doomsday pile" using Belcher cards.

    Like Doomsday, you can win this turn if you have free cantrips in hand, or you can set up a "pass-the-turn" pile that wins next turn.

    BASIC BELCH:
    ----top of library----
    Street Wraith (optional to win the clash)
    *Setup1 (remaining resources needed to cast Meditate)
    Meditate
    Lion's Eye Diamond
    Lion's Eye Diamond
    Any IMS
    Street Wraith
    Goblin Charbelcher
    other cards
    ----bottom of library----

    The plan is to make 2U and cantrip into the 1-of Meditate.
    Cast Meditate and draw 4 cards: LED, LED, mana, Street Wraith
    Cycle Street Wraith, hold priority, then crack the LEDs + other mana source for 7 mana
    Draw Belcher with 7 mana floating.
    Cast and activate Belcher FTW.

    The slot Setup1 is adjusted based on your available resources: cantrips in hand and floating mana available, like how old Doomsday piles worked. Some combinations allow you to win immediately this turn after resolving Recross the Paths. Others involve passing and winning in 1-2 turns.

    Options for setup1:
    1) With 3 mana and 1 cantrip, setup1 = Manamorphose (filter into 2U & cantrip into Meditate)
    2) With 0 mana and 2 cantrips, setup1 = LED (cantrip, hold priority, crack LED for UUU, draw Meditate)
    3) With 2 mana and 2 cantrips, setup1 = Lotus Petal (use Petal for U, save LEDs for other parts of the chain)
    4) With R and Rite in GY and 2 cantrips, setup1 = Rite + Manamorphose (Rite to RRR, Manamorphose to URR and draw Meditate)

    If you have any of these, you can win this turn after resolving Recross.
    The same combinations work with fewer cantrips by passing the turn to draw the top cards. That's useful if you don't have cantrips or need to untap to reuse mana sources.

    Example: you resolve Recross with RRR floating and Street Wraith in hand, set up this pile (#1)
    Manamorphose
    Meditate
    LED
    LED
    Lotus Petal
    Street Wraith
    Belcher

    Cycle Street Wraith, drawing Manamorphose. Cast Manamorphose, filtering your mana to URR and drawing Meditate. Cast Meditate, drawing 4 cards. Play LEDs and Petal. Cycle Street Wraith, hold priority, and crack mana rocks in response for 7 mana. Draw Belcher. Cast Belcher. Activate and win.


    Example: you resolve Recross with no resources, set up this pile (#2 two turns slower)
    Street Wraith
    LED
    Meditate
    LED
    LED
    Lotus Petal
    Street Wraith
    Belcher

    Street Wraith probably wins the clash, returning Recross to your hand. Pass 2 turns to draw Street Wraith and LED. Cast LED. Cycle Street Wraith, hold priority, crack LED for UUU. Draw Meditate. Cast Meditate, drawing 4 cards. Play LEDs and Petal. Cycle Street Wraith, hold priority, and crack mana rocks in response for 7 mana. Draw Belcher. Cast Belcher. Activate and win. This one's not ideal because you have to pass twice, but it still sets up a winning line in the worst case scenario.

    There are also other piles that can set up a Tendrils storm 10, Grapeshot storm 20, or work in answers, so you can adjust to the game state and play around disruption. I think the storm piles are slightly better, but the Belcher pile is easier to explain. They all start off with the same first few cards though (Setup1, Meditate, LED, LED) and basically abuse the brokenness of Draw 4 + multiple Black Lotuses to get going.

    TENDRILS PILE:
    ----top of library----
    Street Wraith
    *Setup1
    Meditate
    Lion's Eye Diamond
    Lion's Eye Diamond
    Any free spell
    Street Wraith
    Manamorphose
    Manamorphose
    Manamorphose
    Burning Wish
    other cards
    ----bottom of library----

    Set up Meditate as before, drawing 4. Cycle Street Wraith, cracking LEDs for RRRGGG. Chain Manamorphoses for storm count, filtering into something like RRRRBB. Burning Wish into Tendrils of Agony. Starting at the Setup1 spell, that's minimum 10 copies of Tendrils. Even more if you cast Recross and other spells this turn.



    This build was originally designed when Gitaxian Probe was legal. Losing Probe hurts by removing easy cantrips and also removing perfect information to decide how to sculpt piles. But one weakness of the earlier builds was weaker mana without Taiga + Land Grant, and the spell lands really fix that. That should improve the consistency of opening hands and allow easier pass-the-turn piles where you untap with mana sources. It may be correct to use some split of spell lands and Chromatic Sphere so there are more cantrips.
    Last edited by FTW; 01-26-2021 at 11:31 AM.

  3. #523
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Belcher

    I ran this through some goldfishes to test out the deck composition.


    //Initial Mana Sources: 23
    4 Shatterskull Smashing
    4 Turntimber Symbiosis
    4 Elvish Spirit Guide
    4 Simian Spirit Guide
    4 Lotus Petal
    3 Chrome Mox

    //Other mana: 15
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Rite of Flame
    4 Tinder Wall
    3 Desperate Ritual

    //Cantrips: 10
    4 Street Wraith
    4 Manamorphose
    2 Chromatic Star

    //Business: 12
    4 Burning Wish
    4 Recross the Paths
    3 Goblin Charbelcher
    1 Meditate

    //Wishboard:
    1 Empty the Warrens
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Grapeshot
    1 Echo of Eons
    1 Reforge the Soul
    1 Infernal Contract
    1 Cave-In
    1 Hull Breach



    20 goldfishes played. Preboard & on the play.

    1) T1 Belcher, activate T2
    2) T1 Belcher & activate
    3) T1 Recross -> Tendrilsx14
    4) T1 Recross. T2 Tendrilsx12
    5) Mull to 6. T1 Wish -> Echo -> Charbelcher, activate T2
    6) T1 Recross. T3 Tendrilsx10
    7) T1 Recross -> Tendrilsx15
    8) Mull to 6. T2 Charlbelch + activate
    9) T1 Belcher+activate
    10) Mull to 5. T1 Recross. T3 Tendrils.
    11) Mull to 6. T2 Belcher, T3 activate
    12) T1 Belcher + activate
    13) Mull to 6. T2 Wish -> Empty for 12 goblins
    14) T1 Recross. T2 Tendrilsx12
    15) Mull to 6. T1 Belcher + activate.
    16) Mull to 6. T1 Wish -> Echo -> Wish -> Tendrilsx10 *
    17) T1 Belcher. Brick on 3rd mana. Turn 4 activate.
    18) T2 Belcher + activate
    19) T1 Recross. T2 Tendrilsx10
    20) Mull to 6. T1 Wish -> Empty for 10 goblins


    Belcher lines: 10 (50%)
    Tendrils lines: 8 (40%)
    Empty lines: 2 (10%)

    7 of the 8 Tendrils plays were set up by Recross and could have been Belcher too.


    Winning turn OTP
    Turn 1: 7 (35%)
    Turn 2: 7 (35%)
    Turn 3: 3 (15%)
    Turn 4: 3 (15%) 2 were Empty lines, the other was basically a fizzle

    I'm counting the turn the deck actually delivered the killing blow, not the turn it plays its spells. Traditional Belcher has a high "turn 1 %" but a lot of that is just creating Goblins and turning them sideways multiple times. These turn 1s and 2s are the time of the Belcher activation or lethal Tendrils. I counted 10 Goblins on turn 1 as a turn 4 win.

    The turn 1 rate should increase OTD with the 8th card.


    Recross & win this turn: 2/7
    Pass 1 turn: 3/7
    Pass 2 turns: 2/7

    Passing twice seems really bad. This is more likely to happen in this build without Probe, and Chromatic Star didn't help enough.



    Card choice notes:
    • Desperate Ritual before Seething Song because, after some other tests, I found the deck needs more help jumping from 2 to 3 than it does from 3 to 5
    • I tried more rituals and down to 5-6 lands, but the lands were better most of the time as unconditional +1.
    • Recross has much more potential off 3 mana than after spending 5 mana and draining your hand, so I brought the 4th copy out of the Wishboard back into the main. Wish has to get Echo or Empty now, which makes Wish hands weaker without LED.
    • Double Charbelcher hands were annoying to cantrip into, so I cut to 3 Belchers. I will also test 3 Wish + 4 Belcher instead.
    • In game 16 I got the last storm for natural Tendrils by casting Shatterskull Smashing for X=0. It isn't just a land. It also has "RR: +1 storm". At X=1 it could also kill Thalia or Revoker. This is just insane value for Mountain in a storm deck!
    • Chromatic Star was garbage. I wanted more cantrips to speed up Recross piles, and thought the flexible cost and filtering would be good, but it's just terrible tempo. It doesn't replace Probe for many of the Recross piles, and it's really bad pre-combo.
    • Reforge the Soul allows a pass-the-turn pile with just 1R (e.g. 1 land + 1 accel) instead of 3 mana. Otherwise hands with 2 mana but no cantrips have to pass 2 turns. It will cost some variance in opening hands, but paying 3RR to reset vs nonblue is not terrible either.


    As bad as Star was, the deck wanted something to reduce passing the turn.

    I'm going to test cutting Stars for Reforge the Soul and Faithless Looting.
    Last edited by FTW; 01-26-2021 at 10:49 PM.

  4. #524
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Belcher

    Ok Faithless Looting is amazing. It solves the cantrip problem and enables many new piles. It's also just good in natural storm chains.

    I tested 20 more goldfishes with small tweaks


    //Initial Mana Sources: 23
    4 Shatterskull Smashing
    4 Turntimber Symbiosis
    4 Elvish Spirit Guide
    4 Simian Spirit Guide
    4 Lotus Petal
    3 Chrome Mox

    //Other mana: 14
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Rite of Flame
    4 Tinder Wall
    2 Desperate Ritual

    //Cantrips: 10
    4 Street Wraith
    4 Manamorphose
    2 Faithless Looting

    //Business: 13
    4 Recross the Paths
    4 Goblin Charbelcher
    3 Burning Wish
    1 Meditate
    1 Reforge the Soul

    //Wishboard:
    1 Empty the Warrens
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Grapeshot
    1 Echo of Eons
    1 Act on Impulse
    1 Cave-In
    1 Hull Breach



    20 more goldfishes. Preboard OTP.

    1) T1 Belcher + activate
    2) T1 Belcher + activate
    3) Mull to 6. T2 Wish -> Act on Impulse. T3 Act -> Reforge -> Recross -> Tendrils x 17. (Slow hand, maybe I should have gone down to 5)
    4) T1 Wish -> Empty for 10 goblins
    5) T1 Recross. T2 Tendrils.
    6) T2 Reforge -> Recross. T3 Tendrils
    7) Mull to 6. T1 Recross. T2 Tendrils
    8) Mull to 6. T3 Empty for 12 goblins = fizzle
    9) Mull to 6. T2 Belcher + activate.
    10) T1 Belcher + activate
    11) T1 Recross. T2 Tendrils
    12) T1 Looting -> Wish -> Empty for 14 goblins
    13) T1 miracle Reforge -> Looting -> Belcher + activate
    14) T1 Belcher + activate
    15) Mull to 6. T2 Looting & brick. T3 Meditate -> Wish -> Echo -> Belcher & activate
    16) T1 Recross -> Tendrils
    17) Mull to 6. T2 Recross -> Tendrils
    18) Mull to 6. T1 Wish -> Echo -> Belcher + activate
    19) T1 Recross. T2 Tendrils
    20) T1 Recross. T2 Tendrils


    Winning Turn OTP:
    Turn 1: 7 (35%)
    Turn 2: 7 (35%)
    Turn 3: 4 (20%)
    Slow Empty or fizzle: 2 (10%)

    Basically the same as the other configuration.

    Win Conditions Used
    Belcher: 8
    Tendrils: 9
    Empty: 3

    I got Tendrils each time with Recross, but I could have Belched or Grapeshotted instead.

    Passing the Turn
    Recross & win this turn: 3/9
    Pass 1 turn: 6/9
    Pass 2 turns: 0/9

    This is the biggest difference. The other build risks more lines where it has to pass the turn twice after Recross, due to the lack of Probes. Faithless fixes that. There are more lines that just pass once or not at all.

    Faithless tech exploits the fact that you often win the clash off Recross the Paths if you stack a Street Wraith on top. That gives you Recross back as a free card to pitch to Faithless. With any other extra card in hand, it becomes "R: Draw 2", letting you dig into both LED + Street Wraith to set up Meditate.


    New lines enabled by Faithless Looting
    These assume you win the clash by putting a Street Wraith on top. If you can't rely on that in the matchup, you just need 1 more card in hand to discard or to pass the turn one more time.

    R + Looting + Street Wraith -> win this turn
    Setup1 = LED + filler card
    Win the clash. Looting into LED, discarding Recross + filler. LED + Street Wraith, cycling with UUU floating, to set up Meditate.

    R + Street Wraith + 1 card -> win this turn
    Setup1 = Looting + LED + Wraith
    Win clash. Cycle into Looting. Looting, discarding Recross + filler. LED + Wraith into Meditate.

    R + Looting + 1 card -> win this turn
    Setup1 = LED
    Win clash. Looting into Wraith + LED, discarding Recross + filler. LED + Wraith into Meditate.

    R + 1 card -> pass the turn
    Setup1 = Looting + LED + Wraith
    Win clash. Draw Wraith next turn. Cycle into Looting. Loot into LED + Wraith, discarding Recross + filler. LED + Wraith into Meditate.

    Tapped red source + Looting -> pass the turn
    Setup1 = LED + filler
    Win clash. Draw Wraith next turn. Cast Looting into LED + filler, discarding Recross + filler. LED + Wraith into Meditate.

    G + Manamorphose + 1 card -> pass the turn
    Setup1 = SSG + Looting + LED + Wraith
    Win clash. Draw Wraith next turn. Cycle into SSG. Cast Manamorphose floating RG, draw Looting. Loot into LED + Wraith, discarding Recross + filler. LED + Wraith into Meditate.

    These requirements are so light that I may not even need to bother with Reforge the Soul. I never used it for any piles.

  5. #525
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Belcher

    it's a fun deck, but is unfortunately still weak to surgical extraction. normally if it would dodge the graveyard hate, there's an objective reason to play this over oops. with surgical extraction the only reason i can see is because it's "more fun".

    still nice to see people are trying it, but it does seem worse than oops, which can run maindeck veil + pact of negation + sometimes chancellor.
    -rob

  6. #526

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Belcher

    Quote Originally Posted by mistercakes View Post
    it's a fun deck, but is unfortunately still weak to surgical extraction. normally if it would dodge the graveyard hate, there's an objective reason to play this over oops. with surgical extraction the only reason i can see is because it's "more fun".
    Why is it weak to SE? It does not use the graveyard much, and if you reference to forcing a library shuffle after Recross the paths, recross is often still in hand (with 5 or 7, clash is often won), and with 33 manasources including 11 stable ones, replaying a 3-mana spell is not the end of the world. A surgical in response to meditate leaves you with your lands/moxes in play, 3 manas in pool, some storm and 4 random draws. There's worse for a storm deck playing 11 business cards.

    I am not saying surgical is a blank, far from it, but it isn't great either. FoW + FoN would be more my concern. When I see the number of potential gobs on T1, I wonder if it would not be worth it to play more EtW main. Considering 12 gobs T3 the worst fizzle is maybe misrepresenting a hand that has a game against counterspells. There are not that many decks that handle 10 gobs T1, but there are quite a few that play 4-7 foW/FoN. Just seeing Empties can bait them into forcing manasources.

  7. #527
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Belcher

    I'll admit the main reason I revived this was after thinking about t000's spell land comment (they're much better here than in regular Belcher), not because I thought Belcher is the next broken thing to dominate a fair blue Oko meta. I long ago wrote off Recross as dead with Probe's banning, but it's gotten significantly better by adding the spell lands and Faithless Looting, so it's been fun to revive and tinker around with green Doomsday.

    Still, I wouldn't write this off as just a worse version of Oops. Oops is much more vulnerable to graveyard hate.

    First, Surgical isn't the only gravehate played. Leyline, Faerie, Crypt, Cage, Relic, Bog, etc do nothing here. Oops has to deal with them before it can do anything.

    vs Surgical, you can often just Recross again (winning the clash is common). Pay 2G again is easier now than it was before with 8x Land in the deck. Also, since you mainly see Surgical postboard in fair blue decks, there's Xantid Swarm to shut it off. Swarm's easier to cast now with lands. If you're really worried about it you can even stick Xantid Swarm on top (below Wraith) and slow down a turn. They have no idea what order you stacked the cards in.

    Also this deck doesn't have to use Recross, while Oops has only one line to play. Oops has to remove the hate. Over 50% of my 40 goldfishes didn't even use Recross the Paths, and in others I had a choice between more than one line. Recross is just one of multiple lines the deck can take. The other lines ignore Surgical and are happy if opponent spends cards mulliganning/cantripping into it. Just like a Needle @ Belcher, you can often go off around hate instead of removing it. Opponent has to commit to what hate to keep without knowing your hand. That alone has won me many games with Belcher, even when the opponent objectively has all the answers in their 75.

    FoW/FoN is a much bigger problem. But that has always been the Belcher philosophy. It's a glass cannon deck that wants to obliterate hands without Force.

    @dte: Good point about Empty. It's quite good against decks like RUG, full of counters but with no Terminus. When I worked on Song of Creation/Echo Storm, my tech against blue was to board in 2-3 Empty to overwhelm their counters. I might do that here too. Overwhelming disruption with too much business and confusing their hate is a good proactive direction for red storm.

    Another advantage this deck has is 4x maindeck removal for hatebears built into the manabase. The red land kills hatebears. And taps for R. And imprints on Mox. I can't get over how busted this card is for a land slot. It's better than the green and black lands.

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