Page 13 of 15 FirstFirst ... 39101112131415 LastLast
Results 241 to 260 of 282

Thread: GB Vengevine

  1. #241
    Bald. Bearded. Moderator.
    Mr. Safety's Avatar
    Join Date

    Nov 2010
    Location

    New Gloucester, Maine, USA
    Posts

    4,791

    Re: GB Vengevine

    Gamble seems cool, I have a couple I can test.

    I was also looking at Ancient Grudge, another strong card.

    I like that looting is another way to dig for lands/Petals/gas. If we are essentially a 'combo' deck, then having 7 cantrips (Once/Looting) we will more consistently hit broken t2's. Busted t1's won't happen as often, but I think lethal by t3 is still at a legacy power level.

    Edit: I'm also perfectly fine discarding looting to a t1 Tribe/Imp to make Hollow One happen. Mid game recharge will be a lot more consistent with Looting, especially if we can cobble together 3 lands .
    Brainstorm Realist

    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

  2. #242
    Etherium is limited. Innovation is not.
    Hanni's Avatar
    Join Date

    Aug 2006
    Location

    Columbus, OH
    Posts

    2,695

    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    Gamble seems cool, I have a couple I can test.

    I was also looking at Ancient Grudge, another strong card.

    I like that looting is another way to dig for lands/Petals/gas. If we are essentially a 'combo' deck, then having 7 cantrips (Once/Looting) we will more consistently hit broken t2's. Busted t1's won't happen as often, but I think lethal by t3 is still at a legacy power level.

    Edit: I'm also perfectly fine discarding looting to a t1 Tribe/Imp to make Hollow One happen. Mid game recharge will be a lot more consistent with Looting, especially if we can cobble together 3 lands .
    Busted turn 1's can still happen with Looting or Gamble with a 1 land + Lotus Petal hand.

    Usually you wouldn't need to dig for another land with Gamble when you can either grab a 1cc discard outlet or a Hollow One/Basking Rootwalla, and it can still grab gas too, but I get what you are saying.

    The flashback on Looting is nice, but I'm never expecting to have 3 lands on the table at the same time.

    The big difference is how much you value 2 random off the top vs 1 specific card, and how much of a drawback 1 random discard is vs 2 specific cards. I can see this being a toss up, with Looting having less risk but less reward.

    Personally, because this deck is essentially trying to combine specific cards together, I value the ability to tutor more than two random off the top.
    Sligh
    Yorion's Intuition
    5c Fiendish Nature

    Quote Originally Posted by MMogg View Post
    In porn terms, Zoo has a 11" shlong and an impressive money shot, but it's over in 4 minutes, whereas Landstill is a good 8" and can go for 30 minutes.

  3. #243
    Bald. Bearded. Moderator.
    Mr. Safety's Avatar
    Join Date

    Nov 2010
    Location

    New Gloucester, Maine, USA
    Posts

    4,791

    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    Busted turn 1's can still happen with Looting or Gamble with a 1 land + Lotus Petal hand.
    I figured as much, it's just adding another layer to it, one more step. That step can sometimes make it go from garbage to good, or from good to amazing. The floor of Looting is pretty high, but the ceiling isn't as high as Gamble. Gamble on the other hand could fetch the enabler and then discard it, doing absolutely nothing. *shrug* I'm slanted towards Looting, if either become obvious that they are good enough to include.

    The flashback on Looting is nice, but I'm never expecting to have 3 lands on the table at the same time.
    I wasn't really thinking about flashing it back, I think that's a pipe dream. I wasn't clear enough: I meant a top-decked Looting with a couple cards in hand and 3 lands could feed a new swarm, definitely better than just using draw-steps in legacy where you could die waiting for them.

    The big difference is how much you value 2 random off the top vs 1 specific card, and how much of a drawback 1 random discard is vs 2 specific cards. I can see this being a toss up, with Looting having less risk but less reward.
    I'm ok with less reward in the main strategy if it makes my sideboard answers more consistent. That's a tradeoff I'm perfectly fine accepting. EDIT: I understand Gamble could tutor for sideboard cards, but the first time I Gamble for Force of Vigor and I discard it I'm going to lose my shit, lol.

    Personally, because this deck is essentially trying to combine specific cards together, I value the ability to tutor more than two random off the top.
    We're combining specific cards, but it isn't 2-3 specific cards like a traditional combo deck. We're still a critical-mass combo/aggro deck like Dredge, or even comparable to something like Sylvan Library in old Zoo lists. Zoo wouldn't play a tutor, but Library was fucking NUTS at feeding cards. (Don't think I haven't considered Library for this deck, I have, it's just too expensive. Maybe sideboard tech.) I think this is just a difference in approach, and I'm definitely going to try both. I'm not married to either, and I'm not advocating for Looting over Gamble, just looking at different templating.
    Brainstorm Realist

    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

  4. #244
    Etherium is limited. Innovation is not.
    Hanni's Avatar
    Join Date

    Aug 2006
    Location

    Columbus, OH
    Posts

    2,695

    Re: GB Vengevine

    It definitely makes sense to try both cards. I can understand the hesitation to try Gamble, since it is definitely a risk vs reward sort of card.

    Digging 2 deep and then waiting to go off until turn 2 actually gives you 3 more cards due to the draw step, which is probably enough to have a strong turn 2. I suppose we also don't need to kill faster than standard Hogaak as long as we can still get under the hate and provide enough pressure to close the game out fast enough.

    I'd cut the Ruthless Sniper and Gamble for 4 Faithless Looting when I do playtest it, since it's unlikely I'll find Sniper when I need it without the ability to tutor for it, although I do think I'd fit a copy in the sideboard to come in along with Firestorm for the Elves, Infect, D&T, and Goblins matchups.

    Hogaak definitely becomes more consistent on turn 2 with Faithless Looting, so I'm also curious if it would make sense to go back up to 2 copies. Getting Hogaak into play on turn 2 is pretty sick, especially considering it can contribute to triggering Vengevine and Amalgam, and costs 0 mana. 4 creatures on the board + delving 3 cards is all it takes to cast it, which seems pretty realistic with Faithless Looting + Once Upon a Time to feed the yard.

    Something like this maybe?

    Lands (12)
    4 Cavern of Souls
    4 Undiscovered Paradise
    4 Mana Confluence

    Creatures (30)
    4 Tireless Tribe
    4 Putrid Imp
    2 Lotleth Troll
    4 Basking Rootwalla
    4 Hollow One
    4 Bloodghast
    4 Vengevine
    4 Prized Amalgam

    Spells (18)
    4 Once Upon a Time
    4 Faithless Looting
    4 Cabal Therapy
    2 Stain the Mind
    4 Lotus Petal

    Sideboard (15)
    2 Thoughtseize
    4 Force of Vigor
    2 Firestorm
    1 Ruthless Sniper
    1 Big Game Hunter
    2 Faerie Macabre
    1 Silent Gravestone
    1 Pithing Needle
    1 Karakas

    I'm sad to trim down to 1 maindeck copy of Stain the Mind, but the rest of the list should be way more consistent now. It definitely feels way more streamlined.

    I'd rather have Stain the Mind in the sideboard over Thoughtseize once we know what we are playing against. It doesn't help strip graveyard hate out of an opponent's hand prior to going off, but it can absolutely cripple decks, and it only requires a 3-4 creatures and 1-2 lands on the board to be castable and effective. It's also essentially graveyard hate too, which is pretty awesome.

    I've watched some games of standard Hogaak, and sometimes they don't even get going properly until turn 4, so that still gives me hope that getting a slower start (on turn 2) with this deck is still enough to get there.

    Ray of Revelation and Ancient Grudge are still really strong considerations for the sideboard, but I'm not sure that they are better than Force of Vigor. Force of Vigor is free vs 1-2 mana, can hit both artifacts and enchantments, can blow up 2 copies at once (like a double Leyline start), and we have 15 maindeck green cards to give us 19 green cards postboard to sufficiently support the pitch cost.
    Last edited by Hanni; 09-17-2020 at 08:02 AM.
    Sligh
    Yorion's Intuition
    5c Fiendish Nature

    Quote Originally Posted by MMogg View Post
    In porn terms, Zoo has a 11" shlong and an impressive money shot, but it's over in 4 minutes, whereas Landstill is a good 8" and can go for 30 minutes.

  5. #245
    Bald. Bearded. Moderator.
    Mr. Safety's Avatar
    Join Date

    Nov 2010
    Location

    New Gloucester, Maine, USA
    Posts

    4,791

    Re: GB Vengevine

    So it only took about 5 games to see that Hogaak is wrong, not even 1. Looting has been *ok*, still not worth 4 copies. I am cutting Hogaak for maindeck Stain the mind, and finding room for a 2nd. The deck needs just a tad more interaction than just 4 therapy. I will try that first, then try a mix of stain/gamble.

    I don't like less than 14 lands, too risky. Looting might be enough to make it work, but I'm a little hesitant. Once upon a time is excellent, easily the best dig this deck could hope for. It *should* allow for 12 lands, it would need extensive testing to prove out percentages.

    I'm on this list currently:
    4x imp
    4x tribe
    1x lotleth troll
    4x ghastly
    4x Hollow
    4x vine
    4x amalgam
    4x rootwalla
    4x once
    3x looting
    2x stain
    4x therapy
    4x city of brass
    2x gemstone mine
    4x verdant
    2x flats
    1x bayou
    1x godless shrine
    1x Blood crypt

    Troll has been largely unnecessary, having 8 1 mana enablers and Once/Looting to find them has been really solid. I don't like cutting to less than 30 creatures, and cutting a green one at that seems suspect. I might just cut something else for Stain #2, not sure what.

    Edit: we should be looking at Ingot Chewer as well; it gets around chalice and still triggers Vengevine. Wispmare might be ok as well.
    Last edited by Mr. Safety; 09-11-2020 at 06:50 PM.
    Brainstorm Realist

    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

  6. #246
    Etherium is limited. Innovation is not.
    Hanni's Avatar
    Join Date

    Aug 2006
    Location

    Columbus, OH
    Posts

    2,695

    Re: GB Vengevine

    Even with the Faithless Looting, Hogaak wasn't working out? I was hoping it would be more consistent to come into play on turn 2, but if it's not worth it, then it is what it is. I'll cut down to 1 Hogaak in the list I posted for another Stain the Mind instead.

    I think trimming down to 12 lands makes a lot of sense when you run the numbers. Flooding out on mana sources is just as bad as being manascrewed in a critical mass deck like this. Most games only require a single mana source to go off. Bloodghast obviously requires an additional land to trigger, but that's still possible with a single land if it's an Undiscovered Paradise. Hitting 3 mana sources by turn 2-3 is fine, but we really don't want to see any more than that. Especially with Once Upon a Time to dig for lands, I think 12 makes a lot of sense.

    Troll still does a lot for this deck. Between Cavern and Lotleth, we have 6 outs to a Chalice on 1, which can both be grabbed with Once Upon a Time, which also dodges Chalice. Having extra initial discard outlets is fine in case the first one eats a Force of Will, and Lotleth is just extremely powerful for the cost. Being non-graveyard dependent is another huge boon.

    If I cut 1 Hogaak for the 2nd copy of Stain the Mind, I'll switch back to Thoughtseize in the sideboard.
    Sligh
    Yorion's Intuition
    5c Fiendish Nature

    Quote Originally Posted by MMogg View Post
    In porn terms, Zoo has a 11" shlong and an impressive money shot, but it's over in 4 minutes, whereas Landstill is a good 8" and can go for 30 minutes.

  7. #247
    Bald. Bearded. Moderator.
    Mr. Safety's Avatar
    Join Date

    Nov 2010
    Location

    New Gloucester, Maine, USA
    Posts

    4,791

    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    Even with the Faithless Looting, Hogaak wasn't working out? I was hoping it would be more consistent to come into play on turn 2, but if it's not worth it, then it is what it is. I'll cut down to 1 Hogaak in the list I posted for another Stain the Mind instead.

    I think trimming down to 12 lands makes a lot of sense when you run the numbers. Flooding out on mana sources is just as bad as being manascrewed in a critical mass deck like this. Most games only require a single mana source to go off. Bloodghast obviously requires an additional land to trigger, but that's still possible with a single land if it's an Undiscovered Paradise. Hitting 3 mana sources by turn 2-3 is fine, but we really don't want to see any more than that. Especially with Once Upon a Time to dig for lands, I think 12 makes a lot of sense.

    Troll still does a lot for this deck. Between Cavern and Lotleth, we have 6 outs to a Chalice on 1, which can both be grabbed with Once Upon a Time, which also dodges Chalice. Having extra initial discard outlets is fine in case the first one eats a Force of Will, and Lotleth is just extremely powerful for the cost. Being non-graveyard dependent is another huge boon.

    If I cut 1 Hogaak for the 2nd copy of Stain the Mind, I'll switch back to Thoughtseize in the sideboard.
    So far my testing has been against Turbo Depths and Pox w/Ensnaring Bridge. Turbo Depths was a pure race, very close pre-board. Pox was fine as long as I kept them off bridge. I played 6 games, 3 each matchup, drew Hogaak 3 times, cast it *zero* times. I could muster up around 5 mana (perfect for Stain!) But not the 7 for Hogaak, not in enough time to count. In standard Hogaak Altar really makes Hogaak playable, it's just a feedback loop that's insane. We can't really delv, we're closer to old style Affinity than Hogaak, we want to just vomit our hand onto the board. I may be wrong, but Hogaak doesn't seem great right now.

    Signal Pest looks interesting, but likely not good enough.

    With the change to 12-13 lands I think I can safely squeeze in 2x stain the mind and keep the 2 trolls.
    Brainstorm Realist

    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

  8. #248

    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    So far my testing has been against Turbo Depths and Pox w/Ensnaring Bridge. Turbo Depths was a pure race, very close pre-board. Pox was fine as long as I kept them off bridge. I played 6 games, 3 each matchup, drew Hogaak 3 times, cast it *zero* times. I could muster up around 5 mana (perfect for Stain!) But not the 7 for Hogaak, not in enough time to count. In standard Hogaak Altar really makes Hogaak playable, it's just a feedback loop that's insane. We can't really delv, we're closer to old style Affinity than Hogaak, we want to just vomit our hand onto the board. I may be wrong, but Hogaak doesn't seem great right now.

    Signal Pest looks interesting, but likely not good enough.

    With the change to 12-13 lands I think I can safely squeeze in 2x stain the mind and keep the 2 trolls.
    12-14 non basic lands? This deck just loses to wasteland right?

  9. #249
    Etherium is limited. Innovation is not.
    Hanni's Avatar
    Join Date

    Aug 2006
    Location

    Columbus, OH
    Posts

    2,695

    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Pittplayer View Post
    12-14 non basic lands? This deck just loses to wasteland right?
    Many games, you only need one mana to go off. You cast Tireless Tribe or Putrid Imp, discard the reanimation creatures, then cast the free Hollow One's and/or Rootwalla, and then reanimate Vengevine which triggers Amalgam. Bloodghast hands require a follow up land drop, but that's usually not a problem.

    I've run the numbers, and it works out just fine. You do need 1-2 mana sources, but you also don't want to flood out. As a critical mass deck, we want as much gas as possible. A hand with 4+ mana sources is always a mulligan.

    There's also 4 Lotus Petal, plus 3 Once Upon a Time which can dig for a land if necessary.

    Getting the initial discard outlet countered and then the opponent following up with Wasteland can sometimes lose the game depending on the rest of our hand, but usually we're pretty resilient to Wasteland. Cavern also deals with countermagic beautifully.

    For reference, Dredge runs 12 non-basic lands and 4 LED, and that works out for them just fine.
    Last edited by Hanni; 09-12-2020 at 09:06 AM.
    Sligh
    Yorion's Intuition
    5c Fiendish Nature

    Quote Originally Posted by MMogg View Post
    In porn terms, Zoo has a 11" shlong and an impressive money shot, but it's over in 4 minutes, whereas Landstill is a good 8" and can go for 30 minutes.

  10. #250
    Bald. Bearded. Moderator.
    Mr. Safety's Avatar
    Join Date

    Nov 2010
    Location

    New Gloucester, Maine, USA
    Posts

    4,791

    Re: GB Vengevine

    Yeah, the first land is awesome, the 2nd land is useful, the 3rd land is dissapointing. The best use after the initial push is to pump Rootwallas and maybe cast a Troll. Wasteland can be annoying, but it isn't lights out. I do feel more comfortable with 14 lands.

    I tested 4 games against UB Shadow, ended up going 3-1. Lotleth Troll went way up in my esteem, the regenerate in a non-Swords to Plowshare matchup is pretty damn awesome. The trample is really great, too. He's bigger than everything except a late game Shadow, and honestly I was just jamming my stuff against it to push through damage.

    I have yet to play a Stain the Mind...I think right now I'm leaning towards sideboard tech. I kinda want some removal in the maindeck, some kind of 1 mana hard removal, or maybe even Lightning Bolts. So hard to squeeze it in, but it answers Delver, Arcanist, Death&Taxes.dec, Stoneforge (batterskull can be hard to race if they get it onboard fast enough), and most other early creatures. So I'm thinking of jamming Bolts in the main or side. And they go to the face.
    Brainstorm Realist

    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

  11. #251
    Etherium is limited. Innovation is not.
    Hanni's Avatar
    Join Date

    Aug 2006
    Location

    Columbus, OH
    Posts

    2,695

    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    Yeah, the first land is awesome, the 2nd land is useful, the 3rd land is dissapointing. The best use after the initial push is to pump Rootwallas and maybe cast a Troll. Wasteland can be annoying, but it isn't lights out. I do feel more comfortable with 14 lands.

    I tested 4 games against UB Shadow, ended up going 3-1. Lotleth Troll went way up in my esteem, the regenerate in a non-Swords to Plowshare matchup is pretty damn awesome. The trample is really great, too. He's bigger than everything except a late game Shadow, and honestly I was just jamming my stuff against it to push through damage.

    I have yet to play a Stain the Mind...I think right now I'm leaning towards sideboard tech. I kinda want some removal in the maindeck, some kind of 1 mana hard removal, or maybe even Lightning Bolts. So hard to squeeze it in, but it answers Delver, Arcanist, Death&Taxes.dec, Stoneforge (batterskull can be hard to race if they get it onboard fast enough), and most other early creatures. So I'm thinking of jamming Bolts in the main or side. And they go to the face.
    I think Ruthless Sniper is the best removal option for the maindeck, but Fiery Temper or Dark Withering could be cool non-creature options since they discard with Madness to reduce the cost of Hollow One and synergize well with Faithless Looting.

    I'm still of the mind (pun intended) that maindeck discard with sideboard removal is the better plan overall, but I'm sure it is also metagame dependent.
    Sligh
    Yorion's Intuition
    5c Fiendish Nature

    Quote Originally Posted by MMogg View Post
    In porn terms, Zoo has a 11" shlong and an impressive money shot, but it's over in 4 minutes, whereas Landstill is a good 8" and can go for 30 minutes.

  12. #252
    Bald. Bearded. Moderator.
    Mr. Safety's Avatar
    Join Date

    Nov 2010
    Location

    New Gloucester, Maine, USA
    Posts

    4,791

    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    I think Ruthless Sniper is the best removal option for the maindeck, but Fiery Temper or Dark Withering could be cool non-creature options since they discard with Madness to reduce the cost of Hollow One and synergize well with Faithless Looting.

    I'm still of the mind (pun intended) that maindeck discard with sideboard removal is the better plan overall, but I'm sure it is also metagame dependent.
    That's probably correct. I find myself always trying to shoehorn Bolts into any deck that plays red. Old habit.

    Edit: I think there is an argument for Bolts over Firestorm in the sideboard. It leaves it more flexible, that way we are controlling the tempo of the game rather than opponents. We really won't ever play the control role very well. Bolt still deals with Priest and other hate bears, clears blockers, and gives reach.

    I'm looking for something to break this wide open, something that pushes this over the top. Right now it's good, but I really think it could go to another level. Something that gives everything flying (maybe Wonder), unblockable, an Overrun effect, something that is more than just vanilla beaters.
    Last edited by Mr. Safety; 09-12-2020 at 08:05 AM.
    Brainstorm Realist

    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

  13. #253
    Etherium is limited. Innovation is not.
    Hanni's Avatar
    Join Date

    Aug 2006
    Location

    Columbus, OH
    Posts

    2,695

    Re: GB Vengevine

    Firestorm is a pretty strong card in the matchups we want it for, where Lightning Bolt doesn't do enough, like against Elves. It's still really strong against Infect, D&T, Goblins, etc. I'm not sure that we need to bring it in against Delver, but it's still pretty strong there too if it doesn't eat a Force of Will. Firestorm can also go to the face as reach. I definitely think it's the strongest removal option we have access to. It can kill multiple creatures for a single mana.

    I can't run Anger or Wonder with my manabase, but I had considered it before, especially in the Gamble list.

    I think I'm pretty okay with the overall power level of the deck right now. The deck has the speed and disruption to race other combo decks, and the threats are sticky enough to out grind the fair matchups where we may get slowed down due to their interaction. I think Stain the Mind solves a lot of problems too.
    Sligh
    Yorion's Intuition
    5c Fiendish Nature

    Quote Originally Posted by MMogg View Post
    In porn terms, Zoo has a 11" shlong and an impressive money shot, but it's over in 4 minutes, whereas Landstill is a good 8" and can go for 30 minutes.

  14. #254
    Bald. Bearded. Moderator.
    Mr. Safety's Avatar
    Join Date

    Nov 2010
    Location

    New Gloucester, Maine, USA
    Posts

    4,791

    Re: GB Vengevine

    I didn't like being 1-2 damage short in some races, especially against Depths. Karakas and maybe Edicts in the board might solve that.

    Curious about flamewake Phoenix, have you tried it?

    Also Shared Discovery seems good, going with the theme of using the creatures for added value a-la-Stain the Mind.
    Last edited by Mr. Safety; 09-13-2020 at 03:43 PM.
    Brainstorm Realist

    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

  15. #255
    Etherium is limited. Innovation is not.
    Hanni's Avatar
    Join Date

    Aug 2006
    Location

    Columbus, OH
    Posts

    2,695

    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    I didn't like being 1-2 damage short in some races, especially against Depths. Karakas and maybe Edicts in the board might solve that.

    Curious about flamewake Phoenix, have you tried it?

    Also Shared Discovery seems good, going with the theme of using the creatures for added value a-la-Stain the Mind.
    I have quite a bit in the board for Depths. Aside from the obvious Tomak and Karakas, I also have Thoughtseize and Firestorm. Being able to discard/exile Crop Rotation and Vampire Hexmage slows them down a lot, as does killing Elvish Reclaimer. They can still assemble natural Marit Lage, but that plan is slower, and we should be capable of racing if we can interact. I used to have Pithing Needle in the board too, but I cut it for Ruthless Sniper. I'd probably bring in the Ruthless Sniper against Slow Depths, although that matchup is much less dangerous.

    Flamewake Phoenix has the same problem that Gravecrawler has; it costs 1 mana. It's better than Gravecrawler at being a better body, but it also doesn't trigger Vengevine the same. It's also continually, wear Gravecrawler can be cast from hand. I had considered Flamewake, but the mana cost is why I'm uninterested.

    Shared Discovery could be good, but we do need to limit the amount of "Convoke" cards we are running, because we don't want to be tapping instead of attacking multiple turns in a row. Right now my Looting list has 2 Stain the Mind and 1 Hogaak; I think 3 is probably the most of those effects that we would want to run. I might ultimately just move back to 3 Stain the Mind and 0 Hogaak, but I just don't know yet. I do think I would rather run Stain the Mind over Shared Discovery, at any rate. Not to say that drawing 3 cards isn't good, but if we have 4 creatures to tap, we probably don't need to draw more cards as much as we would like to disrupt our opponent so that the creatures we do have can seal the deal.
    Sligh
    Yorion's Intuition
    5c Fiendish Nature

    Quote Originally Posted by MMogg View Post
    In porn terms, Zoo has a 11" shlong and an impressive money shot, but it's over in 4 minutes, whereas Landstill is a good 8" and can go for 30 minutes.

  16. #256
    Bald. Bearded. Moderator.
    Mr. Safety's Avatar
    Join Date

    Nov 2010
    Location

    New Gloucester, Maine, USA
    Posts

    4,791

    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    I have quite a bit in the board for Depths. Aside from the obvious Tomak and Karakas, I also have Thoughtseize and Firestorm. Being able to discard/exile Crop Rotation and Vampire Hexmage slows them down a lot, as does killing Elvish Reclaimer. They can still assemble natural Marit Lage, but that plan is slower, and we should be capable of racing if we can interact. I used to have Pithing Needle in the board too, but I cut it for Ruthless Sniper. I'd probably bring in the Ruthless Sniper against Slow Depths, although that matchup is much less dangerous.

    Flamewake Phoenix has the same problem that Gravecrawler has; it costs 1 mana. It's better than Gravecrawler at being a better body, but it also doesn't trigger Vengevine the same. It's also continually, wear Gravecrawler can be cast from hand. I had considered Flamewake, but the mana cost is why I'm uninterested.

    Shared Discovery could be good, but we do need to limit the amount of "Convoke" cards we are running, because we don't want to be tapping instead of attacking multiple turns in a row. Right now my Looting list has 2 Stain the Mind and 1 Hogaak; I think 3 is probably the most of those effects that we would want to run. I might ultimately just move back to 3 Stain the Mind and 0 Hogaak, but I just don't know yet. I do think I would rather run Stain the Mind over Shared Discovery, at any rate. Not to say that drawing 3 cards isn't good, but if we have 4 creatures to tap, we probably don't need to draw more cards as much as we would like to disrupt our opponent so that the creatures we do have can seal the deal.
    I ended up taking out 4x Faithless Looting for 2x Gamble, 1x Shared Discovery, 1x Stain the Mind. In the testing I evaluated when I drew either Discovery/Stain which one would be better in the given situation, and without fail Stain was always a better option. If we aren't attacking we need to be winning on a different axis; Stain does that, Discovery doesn't. If we somehow were able to swing a mid-range, blue-based Hollow-Vine plan then Shared Discovery could be a split set with Stain 2/2, but I don't think that's good enough ATM. We would need a lot of things to make that work, like a metagame where the only hate is Surgical Extraction or it's slow enough give time for that kind of value. We don't play control very well, so we need to be racing in almost every matchup. Gamble was frustrating, for 2 reasons: I discarded the first card I tutored and I actually didn't need anything specific at the time because I already had an enabler on the battlefield. I didn't have enough gas to grab a Vengevine and get it back so the only good options were a Hollow One (and hope to keep it), Cabal Therapy, or Bloodghast. Bloodghast would help to trigger the Amalgam in my hand, but I didn't have a land drop to trigger it. It was R: get some dudes in the next few turns. Gamble does give an automatic -2 to the cost of Hollow One, so that's a big point in it's favor. Therapy could have been useful if I needed disruption, but do we need more than 4 Therapy? Gamble is a nuanced card, for sure. There aren't directly correlated uses that I have learned yet, the patterns are just too foreign to me. Looting is so much more direct, without any real guessing. It doesn't mean Looting is bad, it means Looting is easier to play. Hogaak may be a missing element here because if that were available I 100% would have gotten him with Gamble. One red mana for a potential 8/8 trampler the next turn is an awesome back-up plan.

    I'm really enjoying the deck with Faithless Looting, but I don't think it's enough to feed Hogaak. If we were miraculously able to work in a set of Street Wraith it would be easy. When I was testing Gurmag Angler/Death's Shadow/Daze I would often have a Gurmag and a Shadow by turn 2, about 60-65% of the time. I had one or the other by turn 2 in almost every game. I didn't worry so much about getting free Hollow Ones because the tradeoff instead of a Hollow One was a 5/5 or better with Angler or Shadow. I was much more vulnerable to spot removal but more consistently putting pressure. In that setup, Daze was *incredibly* good, but it was essentially UB Shadow with extra steps and less interaction. I liked having sideboarded Forces and the lower dependency on the graveyard. However, it didn't have the explosive nature that our current setup provideds. Giving up Tireless Tribe was probably incorrect, I was leaning on Wraith/Careful Study/Imp which is a slower approach than having Imp/Tribe/OUaT (to find Imp/Tribe.) That's a long-winded way of saying that Daze performed exceptionally well in the deck if it can be supported, but it's incredibly difficult to get in there without compromising some aspect. I would never be able to squeeze in Daze plus Shared Discovery, there just isn't enough room. At that point I would have to cut Lotus Petal, and I don't think that's smart. So to justify Daze, I would need fetch/duals and another payoff (because mana gets worse.) With Careful Study, Prized Amalgam, and Daze x3 that's 11 maindeck blue cards. To me, that's borderline enough to justify 3x Force of Will, especially if I can work in some additional utility blue cards in the board to feed it like Chain of Vapor, Mindbreak Trap, or Misdirection. The blue angle is appealing, for sure, it's just a lot less reliable than the rainbow lands and having more explosive options open. In magical Christmas-land I would have my explosive Vengevine deck with 10 power on turn 1 with Daze backup and a fallback Shadow in the mid-game. EDIT: If I make sure to have 5-6 fetches in the deck, I could always sideboard a blue dual land alongside Daze. Adding a land to the sideboard is something on my mind already, just for the Delver/D&T/Wasteland matchups.

    After all that word salad, this is where I'm at currently: I want to try Hogaak with Gamble. So -4 Looting, +2 Gamble, +1 Hogaak, +1 Stain the Mind. Gamble's ability to tutor for disruption (stain/therapy) really puts it in contention for the deck. I need to connect the dots on lines of play, learn how to use it properly to see if it's good enough. As you mentioned earlier, having access to silver bullets could be good (Sniper, Vengeful Pharoah, Hogaak come to mind.) It sounds counterintuitive, but Gamble *may* be better at enabling a 1off Hogaak better than Looting. In the mid-game it isn't hard to assemble 2 creatures and enough graveyard fodder to feed Hogaak, which can strain opponent's resources after dealing with the first wave. Sideboard cards get a little tricky, just because discarding them randomly with Gamble could be an auto-loss unless we actively want it in the graveyard (or have mana to pull off a trick like Big Game Hunter.) We wouldn't be able to cast Hogaak multiple times, but that wouldn't be our goal anyways.
    Brainstorm Realist

    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

  17. #257
    Etherium is limited. Innovation is not.
    Hanni's Avatar
    Join Date

    Aug 2006
    Location

    Columbus, OH
    Posts

    2,695

    Re: GB Vengevine

    I really want Hogaak to work in here, but it never makes sense over Stain the Mind. It's a midrange finisher in a deck that doesn't need a midrange finisher. We don't have the graveyard resources to delve 5, so we're almost always tapping down a board of creatures that could be attacking to add another creature to the board.

    Hogaak is bad in the combo matchups. In the matchups where you would think you would want it, where the ground can get stalled and you'd want a big trampler, like Elves and D&T, I'd still rather cast Stain the Mind. Against Elves, we'd like to attack their hand or remove Craterhoof. Against D&T, we want to deal with Swords to Plowshares and Stoneforge Mystic/Batterskull, and they have Karakas for Hogaak.

    I'm not sure if 2 or 3 Stain the Mind is correct, but I just cannot justify Hogaak over Stain the Mind, so if nothing else, I need to cut Hogaak.

    As far as Gamble vs Looting is concerned, I really think it needs a lot of playtesting. Gamble is higher risk but higher reward. Gamble can turn bad hands into good hands and good hands into great hands, but it can also discard the wrong card and ruin everything. Looting only grabs randoms off the top, but it draws two cards, which does actually do a lot for assembling a critical mass. Gamble let's you tutor for silver bullets. It's really a toss up.

    I do appreciate the increased consistency that both Looting and Gamble add to the deck, so I do believe that either (or even a combination of both) are worth it. We're not sacrificing any core components that enable the broken turn 1's, and in lieu of options that do, they seem totally worth it.

    I do still wish I had access to Ruthless Sniper in the maindeck, so right now I'm torn between cutting Hogaak for either the 3rd Stain the Mind or 1 Ruthless Sniper. I guess another option could be running a 3/2 or 4/1 split of Looting and Gamble (or vice versa). I'm still undecided.

    EDIT: Daze does sound amazing, but I'm only running 12 lands, and 4 Cavern + 4 Undiscovered Paradise is pretty much non-negotiable for me, so I just don't think I could make it work. Chancellor of the Annex would be easier to run, but I don't think it makes sense in here, as we've already discussed before.
    Sligh
    Yorion's Intuition
    5c Fiendish Nature

    Quote Originally Posted by MMogg View Post
    In porn terms, Zoo has a 11" shlong and an impressive money shot, but it's over in 4 minutes, whereas Landstill is a good 8" and can go for 30 minutes.

  18. #258
    Member

    Join Date

    Sep 2011
    Posts

    2,344

    Re: GB Vengevine

    I think Faithless Looting is a lot better than Gamble for this strategy

    It's basically "R: Draw 2 cards. You may cast 1-2 creatures from hand without paying their mana cost." That's extremely strong value.
    Then it flashes back for 2R, which means you can either use it twice or you can pitch it to a discard outlet and still have the spell to use later.

    Gamble is better in combo decks that abuse a specific degenerate combo piece, e.g. Echo of Eons or Underworld Breach, with highly skewed power level, where getting one engine card strongly outweighs any risk of losing anything else in your hand. I tested Gamble heavily in many combo decks. It performs best when it has <25% chance to do anything harmful to your hand (i.e. you don't care about discarding most of the cards as long as you get the card you wanted) and does something broken the rest of the time. It's much weaker in decks where there are certain cards you want to discard and others you want to keep in hand, since you have no control over the discard. It can backfire too often and just lose games. It's just bad in fair strategies, as card disadvantage and an unreliable tutor. This isn't quite a "fair" deck, and there are multiple cards we want to discard, but it's a bit of a hybrid between aggro and combo, and the power level is much flatter than engine-based decks like Echo or Breach.

    Looting won't always find the exact card we want, but it digs into 2 new cards to increase the selection of cards we have access to. It can put 2 new useful cards in hand, something Gamble can never do, and performs better when the deck's average power level is flatter (i.e. there is no one broken card we want, and many draws are roughly equivalent in power). It doesn't excel at either digging for an answer or as a discard outlet, but it does a good job of playing a hybrid role for more grindy potential. It gives us the option to play slow through graveyard hate, and it can flashback to help us recover if the first wave is stopped.

    There's a reason Faithless Looting is in almost every competitive Red GY-based deck in Modern and Legacy and was eventually banned from Modern. It's like the Brainstorm of these strategies, not degenerate or explosive but increasing card selection and consistency.

    It could come down to player style. Some people prefer playing the lottery for the fastest explosive goldfish, accepting variance happens. Others prefer running card selection to reduce variance, at the cost of some explosiveness. Even with my combo decks, I usually end up running Xerox cantrips for card selection, so I'm biased. Others may try to run more explosive mana for turn 1 goldfishes. I run Brainstorm in any deck I can sneak it in. I like the dynamic decision trees offered by cantrips in real interactive games, but others enjoy the thrill of luck and explosiveness.

    Edit: I guess you could run Gamble for PImp/Tribe, with that as the engine piece, willing to discard any other card (1 rainbow land is already in play). Is OUAT + Looting + London Mulligan already enough to find PImp/Tribe though? (without having the dead draw of Gamble when you already have an outlet). Needs testing.

  19. #259
    Etherium is limited. Innovation is not.
    Hanni's Avatar
    Join Date

    Aug 2006
    Location

    Columbus, OH
    Posts

    2,695

    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    I think Faithless Looting is a lot better than Gamble for this strategy

    It's basically "R: Draw 2 cards. You may cast 1-2 creatures from hand without paying their mana cost." That's extremely strong value.
    Then it flashes back for 2R, which means you can either use it twice or you can pitch it to a discard outlet and still have the spell to use later.

    Gamble is better in combo decks that abuse a specific degenerate combo piece, e.g. Echo of Eons or Underworld Breach, with highly assymetric power level, where getting one engine card strongly outweighs any risk of losing anything else in your hand. I tested Gamble heavily in many combo decks and ran odds on it. It performs best when it has <25% chance to do anything harmful to your hand (i.e. you don't care about discarding most of the cards as long as you get the card you wanted) and does something broken the rest of the time. It's much weaker in decks where there are certain cards you want to discard and others you want to keep in hand, since you have no control over the discard. It can backfire too often and just lose games. It's just bad in fair strategies, as card disadvantage and an unreliable tutor. This isn't quite a "fair" deck, and there are multiple cards we want to discard, but it's a bit of a hybrid between aggro and combo, and the power level is much flatter than engine-based decks like Echo or Breach.

    Looting won't always find the exact card we want, but it digs into 2 new cards to increase the selection of cards we have access to. It can put 2 new useful cards in hand, something Gamble can never do, and performs better when the deck's average power level is flatter (i.e. there is no one broken card we want, and many draws are roughly equivalent in power). It doesn't excel at either digging for an answer or as a discard outlet, but it does a good job of playing a hybrid role for more grindy potential. It gives us the option to play slow through graveyard hate, and it can flashback to help us recover if the first wave is stopped.

    There's a reason Faithless Looting is in almost every competitive Red GY-based deck in Modern and Legacy and was eventually banned from Modern. It's like the Brainstorm of these strategies, not degenerate or explosive but increasing card selection and consistency.

    It could come down to player style. Some people prefer playing the lottery for the fastest explosive goldfish, accepting variance happens. Others prefer running card selection to reduce variance, at the cost of some explosiveness. Even with my combo decks, I usually end up running Xerox cantrips for card selection while others may try to run more explosive mana for turn 1 goldfishes. I run Brainstorm in any deck I can sneak it in. I like the dynamic decision trees offered by cantrips in real interactive games, but others enjoy the thrill of luck and explosiveness.
    I tend to agree with you. Consistency is absolutely the intent of that card slot. However, this deck needs to assemble specific combinations of cards to make the hands work, so Gamble does add a ton of value in here for that. Discarding the wrong card is definitely a concern though, so it's probably correct to run Looting over Gamble. Whether or not to run both is still a legitimate question, IMO.

    I'm perfectly fine with what Looting brings to the table. We are usually relying on our opening hand to be enough, and drawing 2 additional cards just makes it better.

    I'm not ever expecting to have 3 mana available in a given game, but when it can be cast for the flashback cost, that is certainly a nice bonus.

    I'm still not sure if my final flex slot should be a Ruthless Sniper, Stain the Mind, or Gamble. I'll think about it some more to try and figure this out. I'm leaning toward the 3rd Stain the Mind, but we'll see.
    Sligh
    Yorion's Intuition
    5c Fiendish Nature

    Quote Originally Posted by MMogg View Post
    In porn terms, Zoo has a 11" shlong and an impressive money shot, but it's over in 4 minutes, whereas Landstill is a good 8" and can go for 30 minutes.

  20. #260
    Bald. Bearded. Moderator.
    Mr. Safety's Avatar
    Join Date

    Nov 2010
    Location

    New Gloucester, Maine, USA
    Posts

    4,791

    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    I tend to agree with you. Consistency is absolutely the intent of that card slot. However, this deck needs to assemble specific combinations of cards to make the hands work, so Gamble does add a ton of value in here for that. Discarding the wrong card is definitely a concern though, so it's probably correct to run Looting over Gamble. Whether or not to run both is still a legitimate question, IMO.

    I'm perfectly fine with what Looting brings to the table. We are usually relying on our opening hand to be enough, and drawing 2 additional cards just makes it better.

    I'm not ever expecting to have 3 mana available in a given game, but when it can be cast for the flashback cost, that is certainly a nice bonus.

    I'm still not sure if my final flex slot should be a Ruthless Sniper, Stain the Mind, or Gamble. I'll think about it some more to try and figure this out. I'm leaning toward the 3rd Stain the Mind, but we'll see.
    I am not convinced that 4x Faithless Looting is correct. I think it really shines on turns 3+, and I don't want to ever draw more than one. I really like 3x Faithless Looting, so that opens up a slot for Gamble if you're interested.

    Here's another question: we accept that Lotleth Troll is a necessary part of the deck, but does it need to be maindeck? I have not had any issues finding a 1-mana discard outlet in about 30 games so far. I have had slower hands with Faithless Looting, but in those games I would rather Looting turn 1 than risk firing off a Petal/Troll into a Force (or Daze on the draw.) Could Troll be our sideboard beater in the mid-range matchups? Our enablers would be 4x Pimp/Tribe and 4x OUaT/Looting to find them or sculpt explosive t1-2's. I have the occasional hand where I play t1 Therapy into a t2 Troll, and that is much more resilient in the mid-rangey matchups, but it's definitely slower. I'm proposing that we find a way to shift Troll to the sideboard but actually play more of them, maybe even a full set. We could cut some number of the worst enabler in our deck given the matchup (Pimp or Tribe) and get a beefy trampler that dominates combat against non-StP decks. It slows us down, but we'll be going slower already, likely with more hand disruption. Post-board we don't necessarily need to play around hate with troll either; we can discard to make him beefy, even if we lose some value, and even Rootwalla still hits play (because Madness discards to exile, not the graveyard.)

    So in the maindeck that frees up a couple slots to play around with, possibly to add silver bullets for Gamble or to add additional Stain the Mind.

    Something like this:

    13 Lands (I just can't cut to 12, sorry!)

    4x Tribe/Pimp/Bloodghast/Vine/Hollow/Rootwalla/Amalgam
    4x OUaT/Looting/Therapy/Petal
    3x Stain the Mind

    Sideboard (just a rough pass)
    3x Force of Vigor
    3x Lotleth Troll
    2x Silent Gravestone
    2x Firestorm
    2x Surgical Extraction
    1x Big Game Hunter
    1x Thoughtseize

    Additionally, if Stain the Mind isn't completely necessary in the maindeck it could be in the sideboard, opening up 3 slots for Daze (if we can somehow make this work I think it will bring a lot to the table.) EDIT: We could actually cut to 3x Looting and still cram in a maindeck Troll.
    Brainstorm Realist

    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)