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Thread: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

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    What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    Vintage seems to be currently plagued with a mono brown Ravager Shop deck, as can be seen by the Top 8 of the recent Eternal Weekend,
    where this deck made it five (!) times into Top 8. I think it's accepted that it's one of the best decks in Vintage right now.

    Looking at the decklists, the only huge difference to a potential Legacy deck is Mishra's Workshop (besides Moxen obviously, but every Vintage deck runs them).

    Everything is else is Legacy legal:

    Arcbound Ravager
    Hangarback Walker
    Walking Ballista
    Phyrexian Revoker
    Steel Overseer
    Chief of the Foundry
    Foundry Inspector
    Lodestone Golem
    Phyrexian Metamorph

    Chalice of the Void
    Sphere of Resistance
    Thorn of Amethyst
    Trinisphere

    Ancient Tomb
    Mishra's Factory
    Wasteland


    While other Vintage strategies like Oath or Time Vault combo simply cannot be ported to Legacy because their key cards are banned, Legacy has long since established a strategy which probably comes closest to Workshop strategies, known as Stompy shell, basically replacing Workshop with City of Traitors.

    Sure, City of Traitors is weaker than Mishra's Workshop, but the Legacy metagame is generally weaker than the Vintage one, too.

    Plus, Legacy has more lock pieces available (3Sphere, Thorn, Chalice, Lodestone Golem), which are all restricted in Vintage, but all played as one-offs in the deck.

    That said, I really wonder, why there's neither any success with a similar Ravager deck in Legacy, nor any discussion about it.

    Literally nothing, not even in the Developmental forum, except an old Steel Stompy thread, which comes close, but it's from 2011 and doesn't consider the new Hangarback Walker/Walking Ballista interaction with Ravager.
    There's only 1 deck, which comes close, on mtgtop8.com.

    I've always thought a Tier 1 Vintage deck, which is so dominant must have some impact on Legacy.
    Why there's no interest in a deck like this in Legacy?
    Why isn't it more successful?
    Obviously because it's bad. I am sure, it has been tried. But why is it bad?
    Is it really the 1 mana difference from Workshop to City?

    I'd be curious about your thoughts.

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    Re: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    It suffers from the stompy inconsistency. It may crush most blue decks, but it can't beat a lot of the random shit legacy throws at you which doesn't exist in vintage right now because you can't resolve a fucking 1 drop to have off these decks built around them.
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    Re: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    There was an article that Megadeus posted today in the Vintage subforum that you should read.

    Basically, the reason why Shops is so good in Vintage is because the blue decks have to dedicate too many slots that are completely dead in the Shops matchup just to be able to compete with the rest of the blue stew, and are therefore underprepared for Shops.

    The strategy of artifact stompy is otherwise a very beatable deck without the big mana accel + a million resistors. The thing is, in Legacy, a format which is far more prepared at killing creatures... isn't soft to an artifact stompy deck. Eldrazi Stompy is also much better than an artifact stompy deck in Legacy, since we don't have Workshop but we do have Eldrazi sol lands.
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    Re: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    I think it really does boil down to the moxen and Workshop being completely busted, but I'd be interested to see if this could work too. Ravager does have great synergy with Ballista and Hangarback.
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    Re: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    Because the mana is not there. You don't have the jewellery and losing Shop and replacing it with City is just terrible. Trust me, I have tried. Shops is my Vintage deck of choice. Sadly the lack of consistency with mana is too much of an anchor holding it back.
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    Re: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    In my opinion the reason why this deck doesn't work in legacy is that lands that tap for 2 rather than 3 are not only worse at casting the spells that cost 3 or more (Chief of the Foundry, Foundry Inspector, Lodestone, 3ball, Big Hangarback/Ballista etc) but because your lands tap for less mana you also get punished by your own spheres even harder than you would otherwise.

    Therefore the payoff of playing mono-artifacts Sphere/Chalice in legacy must be to go even bigger with Cloudpost/Metalworker and somebody made top 32 of EW with MUD.

    If you don't like the plan of going big with Metalworker then without Workshop there is nothing else that cares about the spells being artifacts, and when you are playing them off the same manabase TKS/Smasher etc are just better cards than Hangarback Walker and Foundry Inspector. (And as somebody already pointed out you get even better mana by doing this because you also have access to Temple/Eye)

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    Re: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by kombatkiwi View Post
    In my opinion the reason why this deck doesn't work in legacy is that lands that tap for 2 rather than 3 are not only worse at casting the spells that cost 3 or more (Chief of the Foundry, Foundry Inspector, Lodestone, 3ball, Big Hangarback/Ballista etc) but because your lands tap for less mana you also get punished by your own spheres even harder than you would otherwise.

    Therefore the payoff of playing mono-artifacts Sphere/Chalice in legacy must be to go even bigger with Cloudpost/Metalworker and somebody made top 32 of EW with MUD.

    If you don't like the plan of going big with Metalworker then without Workshop there is nothing else that cares about the spells being artifacts, and when you are playing them off the same manabase TKS/Smasher etc are just better cards than Hangarback Walker and Foundry Inspector. (And as somebody already pointed out you get even better mana by doing this because you also have access to Temple/Eye)
    At which point, you are no longer playing stompy. Big mana + bombs is a different strategy, and one that can and does do well in Legacy.
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    Re: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    Interestingly enough, I'm surprised Cradle isn't leveraged more in a Ravager or MUD-Stompy-esque shell in Legacy more than it should be. With zero-drop creatures, it becomes effectively a Workshop - sometimes better, sometimes worse - but at least it would generate a ton of mana in a hurry. Under those circumstances, powering out equipment like Sword of Fire and Ice, etc. and equipping would be savage.

    I know that Steel Stompy was something that was explored in recent years. Gaea's Cradle in Legacy is incredibly powerful in the right deck, and if you're looking for tons of colorless mana it's something to consider.
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    Re: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    I've seen people play "Affinity" locally to reasonable success.

    But the difference between tapping for and essentially no drawbacks and with a bunch of drawbacks is very significant.

    Also, in general, Legacy decks run a good deal more removal and creatures of their own.

    Further, the combo match-up is vastly different when you can't play through your own Sphere's as easily.

    There is more to it also, like how the fact that a Vintage Workshop deck is running Moxes is not a "push" just because Blue decks do too. Spheres make Moxes worse than Lands, so you can, at times, "blank" somewhere near 20% of their mana base, simply by being on the play.
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    Re: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    There was an article that Megadeus posted today in the Vintage subforum that you should read.

    Basically, the reason why Shops is so good in Vintage is because the blue decks have to dedicate too many slots that are completely dead in the Shops matchup just to be able to compete with the rest of the blue stew, and are therefore underprepared for Shops.

    The strategy of artifact stompy is otherwise a very beatable deck without the big mana accel + a million resistors. The thing is, in Legacy, a format which is far more prepared at killing creatures... isn't soft to an artifact stompy deck. Eldrazi Stompy is also much better than an artifact stompy deck in Legacy, since we don't have Workshop but we do have Eldrazi sol lands.
    Interesting article.

    So basically Workshop is the only strategy which beats Mental Misstep? And Misstep is the only card/strategy, which beats everything else and enables Delve? Boiling down to two strategies only?
    It's weird and complicated and probably the wrong forum to discuss it.

    Thanks for your answers so far.

    @Dice_Box:
    Do you mean consistency issues in Vintage Workshop decks or in Legacy Stompy decks? I could imagine in Vintage these issue are even more grave, because they are more dependant on a single card (Workshop).

    @kombatkiwi:
    The fact that Eldrazi aren't more successful than Workshop aggro in Vintage, makes me think, that really the card Mishra's Workshop alone is responsible for the success and if you would replace it with City of Traitors it would be completely bad. Which kind of explains the lack of the deck in Legacy.

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    Re: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Keller View Post
    Interestingly enough, I'm surprised Cradle isn't leveraged more in a Ravager or MUD-Stompy-esque shell in Legacy more than it should be. With zero-drop creatures, it becomes effectively a Workshop - sometimes better, sometimes worse - but at least it would generate a ton of mana in a hurry. Under those circumstances, powering out equipment like Sword of Fire and Ice, etc. and equipping would be savage.

    I know that Steel Stompy was something that was explored in recent years. Gaea's Cradle in Legacy is incredibly powerful in the right deck, and if you're looking for tons of colorless mana it's something to consider.
    It's been tried in Vintage, but again, that is kind of an apple to oranges case, because Moxes are vastly better than the Legacy options to "jump start" Cradle.
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    Re: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by sco0ter View Post
    @Dice_Box:
    Do you mean consistency issues in Vintage Workshop decks or in Legacy Stompy decks? I could imagine in Vintage these issue are even more grave, because they are more dependant on a single card (Workshop).
    No, I mean in Legacy. Shop is a great card to get, but that is not the only major piece of mana accel you get. The Moxen, Crypt and Sol Ring are massive additions as well and let you punch out broken openings with consistency. Shop is actually almost never my first land drop as I do not want it to eat a Wasteland.

    In Legacy your Mana rocks are limited, always have some drawback and are almost never free. Also to run Sol Lands in Legacy means often that your mana base is committing Seppuku almost any time you play a land. Its not an even close to fair fight. I would take my Vintage mana over the best Legacy could throw, even without Shop.
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  13. #13

    Re: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    Even if the mana base in legacy is far from explosive, the ravager-ballista-hangarback package is great. I'd really like to see if it's possible to play an aggressive artifact deck in legacy with those cards. The "modern" style affinity is just bad and will probably never be competitive and I don't really like the uninteractivity with the board the eldrazi decks suffer.

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    Re: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    Do you realize how big of a difference there is between Mishra's Workshop and Ancient Tomb/City of Traitors?

    A land that taps for THREE MANA with NO DRAWBACKS vs. lands that only tap for two mana and have significant drawbacks...

    The difference between three mana and two mana is the difference between Counterspell and Cancel. It's a HUGE CHASM Of difference and the drawbacks are severe on the Sol-lands.

    Mishra's Workshop is one of the single most broken lands ever printed and it honestly should be restricted in Vintage. If it were legal in Legacy the format would be 80% Shops decks but as it is with the land banned, a Shops strategy is inferior.

    So in summary, yes, it's all because the Workshop is not available in Legacy. Otherwise the deck would be Tier 1 and dominate the format.
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    Re: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by MGB View Post
    Do you realize how big of a difference there is between Mishra's Workshop and Ancient Tomb/City of Traitors?

    A land that taps for THREE MANA with NO DRAWBACKS vs. lands that only tap for two mana and have significant drawbacks...

    The difference between three mana and two mana is the difference between Counterspell and Cancel. It's a HUGE CHASM Of difference and the drawbacks are severe on the Sol-lands.

    Mishra's Workshop is one of the single most broken lands ever printed and it honestly should be restricted in Vintage. If it were legal in Legacy the format would be 80% Shops decks but as it is with the land banned, a Shops strategy is inferior.

    So in summary, yes, it's all because the Workshop is not available in Legacy. Otherwise the deck would be Tier 1 and dominate the format.
    Agreed. Mishra's Workshop would be more oppressive for Legacy than most of the other cards on the banned list.
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  16. #16

    Re: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    MUD would also be busted in Legacy if everyone played 4 Mental Misstep, 2 Pyroblast, 1 Flusterstorm MD.
    (And only 1 Brainstorm to shuffle all those dead cards away!)

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    Re: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drzed View Post
    Even if the mana base in legacy is far from explosive, the ravager-ballista-hangarback package is great. I'd really like to see if it's possible to play an aggressive artifact deck in legacy with those cards. The "modern" style affinity is just bad and will probably never be competitive and I don't really like the uninteractivity with the board the eldrazi decks suffer.

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    The difference is that Legacy variants can't drop their whole hand turn 1.

    I feel some people here are underestimating the amount of T1 mana available via SoLoMoxen + Crypt + Vault in addition to Workshop
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  18. #18

    Re: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    [Nostalgia]
    Many many years ago, when everybody and their mother was playing vintage, and the format was comparable, playerbase-wise, to today's legacy, there was a part of the community that couldn't afford buying p9's and was constantly struggling to find a competitive unpowered archetype. I recall this italian player developing a weird version of what was then called "Stacker". This deck originally a P9 deck but it was quickly transposed to unpowered due to most of its cards being cheap and cost efficient.
    This archetype was packing 4 workshop, 6 to 8 other sol lands, waste, strip, factories, 16 lock pieces, 3 crucibles, Metalworkers, Triskelions, Karns and most importantly 6-8 Arcbound Ravager+Myr Retrivier.

    It was busted. It put up an incredible number of results against an unprepared field. Ravager synergized so well with the prison strategy it was unbelievable. Set smokestack to 3, pass the turn, make you cry and then sac it eot to give +1/+1 to ravager and avoid the sac effect, then untap, draw, attack, play retriever, recast smokestack? Just too good.
    [/Nostalgia]

    That being said, I think the stax/ravager aggro idea is hardly transposable in legacy, because we need 28-30 mana sources to do what an equivalent unpowered vintage deck can do with 22. Also, if we consider p9's, we notice they have little to no drawback, as opposed to monoliths not untapping and dinamos costing three and much other unlucky stuff. Stompy decks in legacy are indeed powerful but extremely clunky, and that's mainly due to lack of workshops.

  19. #19

    Re: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemnear View Post
    The difference is that Legacy variants can't drop their whole hand turn 1.

    I feel some people here are underestimating the amount of T1 mana available via SoLoMoxen + Crypt + Vault in addition to Workshop
    Yeah i know. It's just that I'd love to play the package in some competitive legacy deck (and I don't think it's unresonable power level wise). What makes the vintage version broken is the fact that every 3 drop in the deck is actually a 1 mana drop and your jewelry manabase makes for a fling like finish with your ravagers without having any drawback.

    We can probably use the old "slam chalice and win with an ham sandwich" and just play a bunch of aggressive artifact creatures


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    Re: What's wrong with Ravager Shops in Legacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemnear View Post
    The difference is that Legacy variants can't drop their whole hand turn 1.

    I feel some people here are underestimating the amount of T1 mana available via SoLoMoxen + Crypt + Vault in addition to Workshop
    Maybe. But it's not that easy. Saying a Vintage-like Ravager aggro is not viable in Legacy because it lacks the power of Moxen and Workshop is like saying, blue control is not viable in Legacy because it lacks Mana Drain, Recall and Mental Misstep. Or Combo is not viable because it lacks Moxen and restricted tutors. Or Dredge is not viable because it lacks Bazaar of Baghdad.

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