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Thread: Trophy Mage Control

  1. #1

    Trophy Mage Control



    TROPHY MAGE CONTROL

    Introduction

    Trophy Mage is a newly spoiled card from Aether Revolt that is the middle sister of Trinket Mage and Treasure Mage. Trophy Mage's ability let's her search out a wide variety of threat/lockpiece cards at 3CMC which give her the unique advantage of being able to be proactive or reactive depending on the situation and matchup.

    Toolbox decks are always a lot of fun to pilot, and there are a lot of great disruptive and threatening artifacts at 3cmc which let you vary your angle of attack. Possible targets are listed below, but a few more powerful options include Forcefield, Ensnaring Bridge, any of the Swords, Vedalkan Shackles, Trinisphere, Staff of Domination, and Crucible of Worlds, to name a few.

    Core Cards:

    4 Trophy Mage
    1-2 Ensnaring Bridge
    2 Crucible of Worlds
    2+ Sword of X&Y, most likely inclusions being Sword of Fire and Ice and Sword of Feast and Famine
    1 Vedalkan Shackles -- a contentious "core" since its stock has tanked since Abrupt Decay was printed, but it can still win the game on its own and being a searchable silver bullet is valuable

    and that's it -- the focus of the deck is on the toolbox, which leaves a lot of room for innovation to surround it

    Other Playable/Fringe 3cmc Artifacts:

    Forcefield
    Sword of Light and Shadow
    Sword of War and Peace
    Trinisphere
    Shardless Agent
    Etched Champion
    Tangle Wire
    Crawlspace
    Culling Scales
    Damping Matrix
    Loxodon Warhammer
    Master of Etherium
    Metalworker
    Pilgrim's Eye
    Staff of Domination
    Oblivion Stone
    Sculpting Steel
    Skill Borrower

    Sample Decklist(s):

    Stompy Shell by EunB

    Artifacts: 15
    1 Sword of Fire and Ice
    1 Sword of Feast and Famine
    1 Crucible of Worlds
    1 Ensnaring Bridge
    1 Forcefield
    1 Trinisphere
    4 Chalice of the Void
    4 Mox Diamond
    1 Vedalken Shackles

    Creatures: 8
    4 Trophy Mage
    4 Phyrexian Revoker

    Enchantments: 2
    2 Trade Routes

    Instants: 8
    4 Impulse
    2 Warping Wail
    2 Dismember

    Lands: 25
    4 Ancient Tomb
    4 Wasteland
    4 City of Traitors
    10 Island
    1 Academy Ruins
    2 Inventors' Fair

    Planeswalkers: 2
    2 Tezzeret the Seeker

    Sideboard: 15
    2 Padeem, Consul of Innovation
    3 Arcane Laboratory
    2 Propaganda
    1 Chill
    2 Flusterstorm
    2 Submerge
    2 Spatial Contortion
    1 Bribery

    Explanation:

    Three is a good number to pair with the sol lands of the format, so this list takes a couple pages from the stompy decks of the format with its fast mana and lokc pieces.

    Alongside the Trophy Mages, big Tezz makes an appearance and can put in a lot of work tutoring out your silver bullets. Because all artifacts are cmc<3, he will never die searching something out.

    Chalice of the Void and Phyrexian Revoker are two cards that heavily disrupt the opponent and are common turn 1 plays with the numerous moxes and sol lands. The manabase is built around hitting 3 mana as fast as possible, while also being resilient to Blood Moon and Wasteland.

    Stompy lists historically are subpar at obtaining card advantage, but this list attempts to regain some of that with a few unique choices. Impulse has been a mainstay in blue-based stompy and likewise makes an appearance here, but the other spicy addition is Trade Routes which synergizes heavily with our City of Traitors and Crucible of Worlds. Warping Wail and Dismember round out the deck providing much needed removal and some countermagic.

    Current sideboard is mainly theorycrafting. Padeem for any decay deck since we are ripe with targets, Arcane Lab for storm or Elves, Propaganda for any deck swarming us, Chill for burn, Flusterstorm for combo (still good despite disynergy with chalice), Submerge for Lands and BG decks, Spatial Contortion for Delver decks, and Bribery for S&T decks. Some grave hate probably belongs somewhere in here, with Leyline seeming the most appropriate (also letting us slot in a Helm of Obedience).

    Match Ups to come soon.
    Last edited by EunB; 12-14-2016 at 06:18 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: Trophy Mage Control

    Why not have some artifact creatures as trophy mage targets? Etched champion would be good. The deck is so light on creatures, that I feel you're going to be grabbing a bridge most of the time to stay alive. In which case the swords become almost useless for attacking. What about staff and metalworker? Some combo could be good.

  3. #3

    Re: Trophy Mage Control

    I feel like Trophy Mage could be an interesting chance to revive Faerie Stompy--it's certainly the best piece of technology that deck has gotten for awhile. I feel like your list seems a bit slow and underpowered especially without FoW... it will just roll over to combo, won't it?

    Here's the list I was kicking around... haven't tested yet, though.

    4 Trophy Mage
    4 Misthollow Griffin
    3 Cloud of Faeries
    3 Phyrexian Revoker
    2 Trinket Mage
    1 Phyrexian Metamorph
    1 Hangarback Walker

    4 Force of Will
    4 Chalice of the Void
    4 Chrome Mox
    2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
    1 Misdirection
    1 Vedalken Shackles
    1 Sword of Fire and Ice
    1 Sword of X and Y
    1 Umezawa's Jitte
    1 Tormod's Crypt
    1 Open Slot -- Must be a blue card

    1 Academy Ruins
    4 Ancient Tomb
    4 City of Traitors
    12 Islands

    Perhaps there still aren't enough blue cards--in which case I'd cut the Trinket Mage package (2 Trinket Mage + 2 Trinkets) for 4 blue cards. Not sure what, however...

  4. #4

    Re: Trophy Mage Control

    Patrick Chapin and Mike Flores glimpse some legacy at about 50 min mark in their podcast.

    http://www.toplevelpodcast.com/yahennis-expertise/

    It's a very little glimpse of the podcast itself, but Mike happens to mention 'If I had some combination of exploration and a crucible of worlds with this creature, and ghost quarter... I can't imagine losing'.

    I think it might be good to explore (pun intended) that route. Other artifacts that go well with this dude are Tangle Wire, Etched Champion and Trinisphere. The mage could mean a renaissance of prison decks -maybe even with permission?-, that would be sweet.
    "Ach! Hans, run! It's the Lhurgoat!"

  5. #5

    Re: Trophy Mage Control

    Quote Originally Posted by LMental View Post
    I feel like Trophy Mage could be an interesting chance to revive Faerie Stompy--it's certainly the best piece of technology that deck has gotten for awhile. I feel like your list seems a bit slow and underpowered especially without FoW... it will just roll over to combo, won't it?

    Here's the list I was kicking around... haven't tested yet, though.

    4 Trophy Mage
    4 Misthollow Griffin
    3 Cloud of Faeries
    3 Phyrexian Revoker
    2 Trinket Mage
    1 Phyrexian Metamorph
    1 Hangarback Walker

    4 Force of Will
    4 Chalice of the Void
    4 Chrome Mox
    2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
    1 Misdirection
    1 Vedalken Shackles
    1 Sword of Fire and Ice
    1 Sword of X and Y
    1 Umezawa's Jitte
    1 Tormod's Crypt
    1 Open Slot -- Must be a blue card

    1 Academy Ruins
    4 Ancient Tomb
    4 City of Traitors
    12 Islands

    Perhaps there still aren't enough blue cards--in which case I'd cut the Trinket Mage package (2 Trinket Mage + 2 Trinkets) for 4 blue cards. Not sure what, however...
    I totally agree with LMental on his quick recap of the initial list posted here - it runs quite a few cards that are simply outdated and underperformers in the current Legacy meta (Impulse, even the Vedalken Shackles MD feels really slow to me - you're running 8 Sol-Lands, too).

    LMental - this is a cool start to a list. Some things you'll pick up upon playtesting - I've played decks with 4x Chrome and 4x FoW - you lose your hand mighty fast. It's really putting your decklist at an initial card disadvantage even before you draw your 7, which makes it soooo hard to compete even in those first 2 turns.

    My thoughts on FoW - It's not optimal, but you can run Trinisphere for the fast (ie Storm-based) combo. I know, really you want Crucible/Wasteland or Armageddon with Trinisphere... but consider a permanent-based combo hate instead of the Force. And slot in another permanent-based hate for the Show and Tell combo - permanents like Oblivion Ring (but obv not that) can really shore up your Combo MU's far better than Force ever seems to perform. Especially because your Show opponent will be Forcing to protect their Show. Venser, Shaper Savant? He might want a few slots until you find something better.

    As for numbers (of blue cards) - generally 16 minimum U cards, including Force, is what's recommended to have your opening Force active. But really... it's online about half the time. 18 should be the actual minimum, including Force - but around 20-22 is super safe. This also translates pretty closely into Chrome-imprintable spells - again, you need your Chrome Moxen online T1. So I think 20 should be the minimum U-imprintable (non-Metamorph) count for you, again, without Forces. If you run Force and Chrome... god, I dunno what would be a fair set of numbers to work with... I ditched that deck because it was such a pain to lose against itself, haha.
    Final Ritual: "I was your round 14 opponent with the 3 giant goyfs. I didn't know what the fuck you were piloting."
    Drunken Master strategy. If I don't know what I'm doing, how would you?

  6. #6

    Re: Trophy Mage Control

    Actually, I didn't even consider - 4x Trinket Mage + 4x Chalice is enough to slow down Storm combo. Heck with Trinisphere.
    (T1 Trinket Mage -> Chalice, play Chalice @ 0 to thwart their LEDs.)
    Okay... Trophy Mage can go grab 1 Trinisphere... but I still suspect it's kind of a wasted slot, here.
    Final Ritual: "I was your round 14 opponent with the 3 giant goyfs. I didn't know what the fuck you were piloting."
    Drunken Master strategy. If I don't know what I'm doing, how would you?

  7. #7
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    Re: Trophy Mage Control

    I sort of feel that the best targets for Trophy Mage are Ensnaring Bridge and Crucible of Worlds. One being a lock piece by itself and the other combined with Wasteland. I don't think you'll ever be as good as a pure-stompy deck so instead of going for Sol Lands, I think you should go Mox Diamond route . . . This should also let you play cantrips and what not. So I would start a list like this:

    4 Trophy Mage
    4 "Threat"

    2 Ensnaring Bridge
    2 Crucible of Worlds
    2 Swords
    1 "3 CMC Artifact Creature"
    1 Vedalken Shackles

    4 Force of Will
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder
    4 "Counter/Removal"

    4 Mox Diamond

    4 Wasteland
    6 Fetch Lands
    14 Other Lands

  8. #8

    Re: Trophy Mage Control

    Some good discussion here -- I edited the original post to focus more on the shell of a Trophy Mage tool-box style deck and less on the sample decklist I posted to kick things off which admittedly was thrown together quickly.

    While looking back through the 3cmc artifacts I came across our old friend Shardless Agent. Being able to tutor up a silver bullet or some grindy value seemed like a solid game plan, so I threw the below list together quickly. Trophy Mage and Shardless would love some acceleration, but Shardless plays poorly with Mox Diamond, so Noble Hierarch seems like a good fit to smooth out the curve. Notably, all 3 are human, which let's us play Cavern of Souls. This list approaches Shardless BANT territory, but I'm hesitant to go down that path since SFM is probably just better than Trophy Mage and I'd like to keep the number of basics high. I think with the proper manabase tuning Back to Basics can find its way into the sideboard.

    1 Sword of Fire and Ice
    1 Sword of Feast and Famine
    2 Crucible of Worlds
    1 Ensnaring Bridge
    1 Vedalken Shackles

    4 Trophy Mage
    4 Shardless Agent
    4 Noble Hierarch

    4 Force of Will
    4 Brainstorm
    2 Dismember
    2 Warping Wail

    4 Wasteland
    5 Island
    1 Academy Ruins
    4 Misty Rainforest
    3 Tropical Island
    4 Flooded Strand
    3 Cavern of Souls

    4 Ancestral Vision
    2 Ponder

    If you wanted to get really cute, adding something like Esperzoa to be a beater and bounce Shardless every turn would be a ton of fun

  9. #9

    Re: Trophy Mage Control

    Quote Originally Posted by Cire View Post
    I sort of feel that the best targets for Trophy Mage are Ensnaring Bridge and Crucible of Worlds. One being a lock piece by itself and the other combined with Wasteland. I don't think you'll ever be as good as a pure-stompy deck so instead of going for Sol Lands, I think you should go Mox Diamond route . . . This should also let you play cantrips and what not. So I would start a list like this:

    4 Trophy Mage
    4 "Threat"

    2 Ensnaring Bridge
    2 Crucible of Worlds
    2 Swords
    1 "3 CMC Artifact Creature"
    1 Vedalken Shackles

    4 Force of Will
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder
    4 "Counter/Removal"

    4 Mox Diamond

    4 Wasteland
    6 Fetch Lands
    14 Other Lands
    Wizard Replica is a 3cmc flying artifact beater than can incidentally be a Spell Pierce...Tatterkite in an infect-heavy meta lol. Pilgrim's Eye can grab a land, but it is just a 1/1 flyer.

  10. #10

    Re: Trophy Mage Control

    Would a U/g shell make sense? Being able to tutor for the mage with something like Worldly Tutor or Traverse the Uvenwald might be useful. Also, have you considered Tangle Wire?

    Edit: I see you're already considering UG with Shardless. Still, maybe running 2-3 copies of a creature tutor might make sense.

  11. #11

    Re: Trophy Mage Control

    The 4x "Threat" should be invisible stalker...


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  12. #12
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    Re: Trophy Mage Control

    Some other fringe playables:


    Horn of Greed

    In some Lands Control deck.

    Crystal Shard
    To bounce your own creatures for value.

    Renegade Freighter
    Aethersphere Harvester
    Throphy Mage can crew them.


    I think having Ensnaring Bridge and Swords of X&Y in the same deck is counterproductive as you cannot attack yourself...

  13. #13
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    Re: Trophy Mage Control

    What are you trying to beat with this deck?
    Mono 3 drops is not exactly a strong starting point for legacy decks...

    Are there actually any benefits to this? over miracles for control, shardless for midrange or stoneblade for an equipment package? Or is the point just to be cute?
    The main point seems to be getting swords, so the first question is a pretty obvious why arent you playing stoneforge?

    My main notes:
    - splash for real removal, warping wail isnt good/a playable magic card.
    - you want to have force of will in your blue deck
    - play stoneforge in your equipment based deck

  14. #14
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    Re: Trophy Mage Control

    I agree with all your points (except that I consider Warping Wail a playable Magic card).

    But we are just brainstorming here. I think we can't tell, if it's any good.

    One advantage for Trophy Mage over your other mentioned archetypes is that it fits well into a Sol Lands/Chalice shell.
    Maybe there will be a "Trophy Mage package" at some point, similar to Stoneforge's equipment package.

  15. #15
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    Re: Trophy Mage Control

    Cavern of Souls on Wizard casts Trinket Mage/Trophy Mage/Master of Etherium all. That plus Lodestone Golem, Phyrexian Metamorph and possibly Phyrexian Revoker makes for a pretty solid stompy creaturbase. Add Sigil of Distinction, Welding Jar, Crucible, the Swords and various silver bullets to taste and you should have something approximating playable (plenty of card advantage, locks and large beaters to boot).

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