Page 1 of 36 1234511 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 716

Thread: [DTB] U/G/x Thresh - a.k.a. Not Quite Gro, SuperGro

  1. #1
    Member
    Bardo's Avatar
    Join Date

    Nov 2004
    Location

    Portland, Oregon
    Posts

    3,932

    [DTB] U/G/x Thresh - a.k.a. Not Quite Gro, SuperGro

    by Bardo, Ridiculous Hat and Mad Zur

    Serum Visions? Sleight of Hand? Daze? Werebear? You're joking, right?

    Like Fish, the cards that Threshold/Gro employs appear to be crap. But when you put them all together, you end up with a powerful set of complimentary strategies that is successful in developing a potent aggressive-control plan while simultaneously stunting your opponent's game plan. Seen another way, Threshold is a model of deck-building efficiency: free countermagic, a cheap and robust draw engine, 4/4 mana elf/beaters for 1G, etc. But this isn't apparent just by looking at deck lists.

    What's often missed by a cursory glance at a typical Threshold/Gro deck is the deck's versatility and the subtle inner-synergies between the card interactions.

    Cantrips: find land early; find threats/answers later; allow us to cheat on land count; fills the graveyard for threshold creatures; combo with Predict
    Counters (free): allow us to tap out to play threats while offering defense; create "virtual mana" for an already land-light deck; used offensively in aggro-control mode; fills the graveyard with cards for threshold without spending mana
    Removal: StP used to remove a threat (defense); remove a blocker (offense); disrupt recursion; gain life against burn
    Fetchlands: fixes mana; combos with Brainstorm; fills the graveyard for threshold; virtual "basic land" for a three-color base
    Werebear: accelerant in early game; strong blocker in mid-game; savage beater in late-game
    Meddling Mage: "counters" spells while putting your opponent on a clock

    It is these often overlooked synergies that make the deck so deceptively powerful. Because, let's face it, the decks looks like shit. It also helps that the Threshold/Gro has a highly relevant game plan in the current Legacy metagame.

    Threshold has put up a respectable showing in the past few months (see Appendix II), but its ability to place three people in the Top 8 of GP: Philadelphia has given Threshold a promotion into the LMF.

    I. THE CORE

    The basic skeleton of the deck:

    Draw: 12-16
    Counters: 10-12
    Creatures: 10-14
    Removal: 4-8
    Lands: 17-18

    The archetypal list:

    <Draw>
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Serum Visions
    *4-8 others*

    <Counters>
    4 Force of Will
    3 Daze
    2 Counterspell
    *1-3 others*

    <Creatures>
    4 Werebear
    *6-10 others*

    <Removal>
    *4-8 slots*

    <Land>
    6-8 Fetchlands
    6-8 Dual Lands
    2-5 Basic Land

    The low land count, massive amounts of cheap card-drawing, and undercosted beaters are hallmarks of the deck.

    There are several ways to go with this build and there's a significant amount of unexplored territory remaining in the archetype. The base is always Blue and Green, this gives us our counters, draw engine, and beaters. You can stop there, developing Flores' U/G Threshold build for Legacy, probably adding Wasteland and pondering yet another deck where Life from the Loam can be degenerate. But most people have added a tertiary support color, and this is properly where the discussion begins.

    II. BLUE/WHITE/GREEN
    As in days of yore (2001-02), splashing White into the Blue/Green base has the effect of making our weak match-ups (aggro) strong, while making our already strong match-ups (combo and control) even stronger. At the cost of increasing our exposure to non-basic hate, Thresh/Gro acquires several cards that are hard to replace:

    Swords to Plowshares. Perhaps the most obvious and ubiquitous splash card, this offers a powerful answer not only to the omnipresent goblin threat (and especially Goblin Lackey) but also gives the deck a powerful answer to creatures of any size. This spell is often cited as the most efficient spot removal card ever printed, and after playing with it, one would be hard-pressed to disagree. Further, StP stymies creature recursion (Factory/Crucible, Tog/Genesis, etc.) and can be used as life gain if we're only one attack phase from winning a game. At the cost of a single white mana, you can't beat it.

    Meddling Mage. While this card has fallen out of favor with some players, our experiences tell us that this is still a potent tool in many matchups, especially in the control/combo matchups. It is a proactive disruption card combined with an efficient threat, and has quite a powerful effect on the game state. With a pair of these, many combo decks are without their most necessary engine card and the ability to restore access to it.

    And while some may be skittish about playing maindeck Magi in an unknown field, it's not that hard to read what your opponent is playing from the first few land drops and their opening turns. It's also worth noting that seven maindeck Meddling Magi made it into the Top 8 of GP: Philadelphia (Lam had one in his sideboard) -- and that was hardly a "known metagame". In other words, don't be a pussy.

    And as a skill-tester, Meddling Mage truly rewards those who know what they're doing.

    Mystic Enforcer. While Thresh/Gro already has many undercosted threats, this card is about as efficient as you can get at the high end of the mana curve. For a mere four mana investment (which can be played off three lands and Werebear mana), one is rewarded with an extremely powerful evasive creature that can typically end the game in three swings without assistance. The protection from black is just gravy but occasionally makes for near auto-wins -- for example, Lam Phan's game 1 against Chris Pikula in the top 8 of GP: Philadelphia.

    It is also a huge pain in Dredge-a-Tog's ass: 6/6, flying, protection from black is actually pretty good here. ;)

    Disenchant/Seal of Cleansing. Typically Gro has problems with certain non-creature permanents, and sometimes the original answer is the best. Disenchant has always been the very definition of a versatile and efficient answer, and very rarely will this card be completely dead. While not everyone plays with this card, the rise of the white control decks packing Humility, certainly justify it.

    Armageddon. The original disruptive threat, Armageddon frequently steals games against heavy control decks, allowing you to play in classic ErnieGeddon fashion. With Nimble Mongoose and/or Werebear on the table before this spell resolves, many slow reactive decks such as Landstill or Wombat have an almost impossible time recovering. Thresh/Gro's ability to gain a fast advantage with undercosted threats and then protect Armageddon and the rest of its cheap threats with free counterspells, makes the card a perfect fit for the archetype.

    There are other potential options, and one may also note Tivadar's Crusade or Dueling Grounds as Goblin countermeasures, but really these effects are not exclusive to the white splash; Pyroclasm is present in the red splash and serves a very similar purpose.

    Two lists...

    UWG Threshold/Gro
    by Ridiculous Hat
    T8; Grand Prix: Philadelphia

    4 Meddling Mage
    3 Mystic Enforcer
    4 Werebear

    4 Brainstorm
    4 Serum Visions
    4 Predict
    3 Sleight Of Hand

    4 Force Of Will
    2 Counterspell
    3 Daze
    1 Disrupting Shoal

    4 Swords To Plowshares
    3 Pithing Needle

    4 Tropical Island
    3 Tundra
    3 Flooded Strand
    3 Windswept Heath
    2 Island
    1 Plains
    1 Forest

    <sideboard>
    2 Engineered Explosives
    3 Nimble Mongoose
    4 Hydroblast
    3 Armageddon
    3 Tivadar's Crusade


    UWG Threshold/Gro
    by Bardo

    4 Serum Visions
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Mental Note
    2 Sleight of Hand

    4 Force of Will
    3 Daze
    2 Counterspell
    1 Disrupting Shoal

    4 Swords to Plowshares
    2 Disenchant / Pithing Needle
    1 Engineered Explosives

    4 Meddling Mage
    4 Werebear
    3 Mystic Enforcer

    4 Flooded Strand
    2 Polluted Delta
    2 Windswept Heath
    3 Tropical Island
    3 Tundra
    2 Island
    1 Plains
    1 Forest

    <Sideboard>
    4 Blue Elemental Blast
    3 Seal of Cleansing
    3 Tivadar's Crusade
    3 Armageddon
    2 Pithing Needle

    III. BLUE/RED/GREEN
    The primary advantage of splashing red in Gro/Threshold is that it offers the most versatile range of efficient removal. Burn helps a great deal against most aggro decks, primarily Goblins. The biggest disadvantage to red is a vulnerability to larger creatures; Angel Stompy and RGSA, in particular, will give the deck some trouble. Combo and control matchups are affected only slightly; the deck lacks the disruption of Meddling Mage but gains a quicker clock to compensate. Beyond the removal, the red splash also affects your creature choices and sideboard options (Pyroclasm and REB), while the rest of the deck remains relatively unchanged.

    Removal:

    Red's spot removal selection has as much depth as black's, but with the unique advantage that none of it is ever dead. Even in the worst-case scenario where you have large (or pro-red) creatures to contend with, your removal will turn into reach and help you win the race.

    In deciding what removal to run, you have to weigh efficiency (1CC burn) against versatility (2CC burn). This is highly metagame-dependant, but the aggro-dominated Legacy tends to favor the former. Lightning Bolt is the first choice for cheap burn, and other less efficient cards such as Chain Lightning and Shock are available for removal slots beyond the first. However, the versatility of Fire/Ice and Magma Jet is significant - the former replaces itself at worst, and generates card advantage at best. The latter serves as library manipulation and burn at once, and has synergy with Predict. The choice comes down to the metagame; what kind of creatures do you have to deal with, and how much time will you have?

    Creatures:

    Werebear and Nimble Mongoose fill the first eight creature slots, as red doesn't offer anything that competes with them at that cost. The third creature can be Fledgling Dragon or Sea Drake, depending on build and metagame. The former strains the manabase more, generally requiring more Volcanic Islands (and if you see recurring Wasteland often, consider a basic Mountain). However, its ability makes it the fastest finisher available to the archetype; it can reduce an opponent from twenty to zero in three turns. Sea Drake takes five turns to do this (and sets back your land drops), but it's much easier on the manabase and more synergistic with Winter Orb, a powerful sideboard option. Dragon is superior in combat but Drake is easier to cast through mana denial.

    Sideboard:

    The most important red sideboard card is Pyroclasm - the cheapest sweeper available to the archetype, and more versatile than Tivadar's Crusade. Four will be critical as long as Goblins remains on top, and in the right metagame it may be correct to shift some to the maindeck. If necessary, you can even make use of a plethora of secondary sweepers such as Earthquake, Rolling Earthquake, and Steam Blast. You could also use your sideboard to pack in even more spot removal, from cheap burn that can't fit in the maindeck to the powerful Flametongue Kavu.

    Beyond removal, your red sideboard cards will be mostly color-hosers. Red Elemental Blast and Pyroblast are the next most important sideboard cards, bolstering your countermagic in the control and combo matchups. Once again, there's more than enough possibility for redundancy - you can run any number between zero and eight. These do their part to compensate for the lack of Meddling Mage and Armageddon, though they are more specific. You also have access to Flashfires and Anarchy to combat some of the white decks that tend to be Gro/Threshold's more difficult matchups, but these are quite narrow and thus metagame-specific. Rabid Wombat and Rifter, however, are quickly growing in popularity, so keep Flashfires in mind.

    Here are two contrasting lists of UGR Gro/Threshold that illustrate two basic directions the deck can take (the first being my current list). Alix's list is much like a traditional Gro deck, with 4 removal slots, 15 draw spells, and 10 counterspells, but Pat's utilizes redundancy, running a full 12 counterspells and 8 removal spells. Notice that while the second list has less pure draw (and none that generates card advantage), Ice packs velocity into the removal slot.

    Pat McGregor (Sarcasto), GP Philly, 6th:

    4 Nimble Mongoose
    4 Werebear
    2 Fledgling Dragon

    4 Daze
    4 Force of Will
    4 Counterspell

    4 Lightning Bolt
    4 Fire//Ice

    4 Mental Note
    4 Serum Visions
    4 Brainstorm

    4 Polluted Delta
    4 Flooded Strand
    4 Volcanic Island
    4 Tropical Island
    2 Island

    Sideboard:
    4 Pyroclasm
    3 Winter Orb
    3 Red Elemental Blast
    3 Naturalize
    2 Pithing Needle

    Alix Hatfield (Obfuscate Freely), GP Philly, 43rd:

    4 Nimble Mongoose
    4 Werebear
    3 Sea Drake

    4 Force of Will
    3 Daze
    3 Counterspell
    3 Stifle

    4 Lightning Bolt

    4 Predict
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Serum Visions
    3 Portent

    3 Island
    3 Tropical Island
    3 Volcanic Island
    3 Wooded Foothills
    2 Polluted Delta
    2 Flooded Strand
    1 Forest

    Sideboard:
    4 Pyroclasm
    3 Winter Orb
    3 Red Elemental Blast
    3 Naturalize
    2 Tormod's Crypt

    So you may be asking: should I splash white or red (or black)? A quick review of the options:

    /White

    Maindeck
    - Swords to Plowshares
    - Meddling Mage
    - Mystic Enforcer

    Sideboard Options
    - Armageddon
    - Tivadar's Crusade / Sphere of Law / CoP: Red
    - Serenity
    - Ray of Revelation
    - Sacred Ground
    - Wrath of God

    /Red

    Maindeck
    - Fire/Ice
    - Fledgling Dragon
    - Magma Jet
    - Lightning Bolt

    Sideboard Options
    - Pyroclasm
    - Red Elemental Blast
    - Flametongue Kavu
    - Thoughts of Ruin (?)

    The choice is up to the reader. The red build has a better game against goblins, and is overall easier to play; frequently a slight misstep with the white build will lead to a game loss. However, the white build has better all-around matchups and is generally better-equipped to handle rogue creations, e.x. Orlove Reanimator. UGR is a better choice for some metagames, but UGW has the tools to deal with anything that it faces and is generally better at rewarding high levels of playskill.

    IV. HOW TO PLAY THE DECK
    (All are encouraged to review the first half of Part 2 of Bardo's UWG Threshold primer for general play information. Note: this was written a year ago and is somewhat out of date.)

    Oftentimes when people first pick up this deck, they are greeted by loss after loss against many archetypes. The deck seems to be underpowered and inconsistent upon first inspection, and picking it up without understanding the strategy behind it often is an exercise in frustration. This is almost always due to critical misassignment of the deck's role and ignorance the complicated decision-tree you must navigate, but we are here to explain the basic strategies that are the most effective against the different archetypes. But first, the overarching mission statement...

    YOU ARE NOT A LONG-TERM CONTROL DECK. If you try to play as though you can counter everything and as though you have inevitability, you will lose. You do not have much (pure) card advantage and you do not have the long-game inevitability that Landstill or MWC (Wombat) do. You must apply pressure to your opponent in the midgame and end it before your opponent has a chance to recover from your initial flurry of cheap countermagic and beaters. Nothing is more important than this philosophy to the deck and this is why the deck only has two actual Counterspells; you cannot afford to keep mana open in the midgame when you should be dropping threats to win the game.

    A. AGGRO
    Early game (turns 1 through 3 or 4): You are the control. You must protect your face to get to the midgame and reach the point of having threats in the hand and 7 cards in the bin. Use your Dazes against important threats and Swords anything that threatens to take the game away from you in the beginning, especially Goblin Lackey. You must blunt the initial assault so that your superior creatures can end the game. It is also acceptable to blindly Pith Wasteland in this matchup--if everyone's land works just to play spells, your average spell is better than theirs. So it's often helpful to spend a Needle as insurance.

    Goblins: The cards that threaten you most are Lackey (gets Ringleader and other broken goblins into play), Piledriver (due to massive damage potential quickly), AEther Vial (gets Ringleader and other broken goblins into play without the chance to counter them), and Ringleader (lets them outlast your countermagic and removal). Under NO circumstances should you let Ringleader resolve, as that is their key card in the matchup. Your opening hand can typically deal with theirs, especially if you Pith their Vial or Swords their Lackey. Ringleader gives them basically a new hand and you can't allow that. The chief goal in the early game is to stop anything that gets Ringleader into play and keep Piledriver from killing you. An early Meddling Mage on Lightning Bolt is a surprisingly effective Lackey blocker.

    Midgame (turns 3 through 5): You are now assuming the role of the beatdown. You must switch roles now or you will be overrun by a beatdown deck's inevitability. At this point their hand is largely exhausted and you should have a few powerful threats ready to land: a threshed Werebear or Mystic Enforcer. It does not often matter if you have a counter in hand unless your opponent is playing a legitimate threat to your plan. Drop your threat and prepare for the attack.

    Endgame (turns 5 through 8 or so): You should be damning all torpedos forward at this point, using your counterspells to protect your creatures and potentially stop any game-winning threats that they've drawn into. Most decks are incapable of dealing with a couple Werebears or an Enforcer once their initial attack has been stopped, so don't be afraid to just reduce their life to zero.

    B. COMBO
    You are the control for the entire game here, as most every combo deck in this format has a faster win than you, if they can push through your disruption. Luckily, you have several extremely potent disruption tools and better cheap threats than most aggro decks. You can easily stop them from going off if they attempt to do anything in the early game, and by the late-game you slightly shift your role to control with a threshed beatdown creature in play to finish the game while still maintaining your advantage.

    Your first Meddling Mage should name whatever vital combo piece your opponent needs to go off and your second Meddling Mage should name the answer to the firest one (i.e. against Flame Vault, the first Mage names Time Vault (or Fusillade if Vault is in play) and the second one names Burning Wish.) Against Solidarity, name "High Tide" first, then "Cunning Wish." Just set up your hand with cantrips, play a few threats and win while they struggle to get their combo pieces together. Typically Thresho/Gro is regarded as the worst possible matchup for combo decks, and after playing the matchups, one can easily understand why. At times it almost feels like you're the beatdown in this matchup, because you will always drop the first threat-- but this is solely due to the fact that they cannot realistically employ their plan while they sit helpless.

    C. CONTROL
    You are the beatdown here, but this time they have better tools. Typically Pithing Needle and Meddling Mage are very potent weapons here, but you mustn't be afraid to just run single threats out there and start bashing. Daze anything you can and don't be afraid of counterspells-- typically Landstill has a pretty weak counterbase and your spells will resolve more often than you might think, especially if backed by a crucial Daze.

    Landstill: This deck is not favored against you, no matter how tough it may seem. Typically Needles will want to hit Wastelands or Factories, leaving them with very few threats. With a Meddling Mage naming Swords, all you have to do is counter Wrath effects and they have a lot of trouble winning the game before you. Don't be afraid to break Standstill, as typically they'll just draw more inefficient cards that don't affect you that much. After board, Armageddon is a wrecking ball when you have a threshold creature on the board, so just save your free counters to defend it and you should be able to take it home without much trouble.

    Wombat: This matchup is significantly harder for you, but it is far from unwinnable. The main threats in this matchup are Humility and Wing Shards; Humility because it makes it nigh-impossible to win and Wing Shards because it's their only uncounterable removal spell. Mage typically should name Shards because of this. The only spells you really care about countering are Humility and Wrath effects. If they Abeyance through a Wrath, do not try to fight it. They have very few ways to gain card advantage in the matchup, where you will be swimming in card drawing. You will typically have no more than two threats in play at any given time, though obviously this can change late-game if you have a counter and an extra guy will give you lethal damage. Also, an early Pithing Needle on Eternal Dragon can potentially hamstring an opponent with a land-light draw, so don't be afraid to run it out there. Post-board Mongoose and Armageddon are both huge and tilt the matchup in your favor if played properly. Also, if you have Winter Orb in your sideboard, this is the matchup for it. It slows their development down to a crawl while you are less hampered.

    (Specific sideboard details are covered in Part 4 of Bardo's Threshold primer.)

    The most important thing is to playtest matchups and realize what the most important threats are for you in each match. You only have a limited amount of permission so learning how to stop the most dangerous threats is of paramount importance. You don't have much actual card advantage, so do not act as though you can own the lategame.

    Also, a special note on Predict. You will set up this card less often than you might think. While in the control matchups you have the time and the necessity to make Predict a potent engine, a lot of the time in aggro matchups when you need to quickly assume the beatdown role, Predict will target yourself and name a 4-of that you haven't seen yet. Getting early threshold is very important and putting three cards in your bin is not to be underestimated. Don't be paralyzed by the possibility of a cool play when a simple one will do.

    Appendix I: The Legacy UWG-Threshold Primer
    by Bardo (parts 1 - 4) and Strick09 (parts 1 & 2)

    Part 1: Design and Construction
    Part 2: Strategy and Matchups
    Part 3: Tuning the Maindeck and Sideboard
    Part 4: Strategy and Sideboard Guide

    Appendix II: Recent successful builds

    Dortmund (GPT) (19 November 2005): First Place UWG), 3rd and 4th place (URG)
    Bremen (24 November 2005): First Place (UWG), Seventh Place (URG)
    Grand Prix: Philadelphia (12-13 November 2005): 3 in the Top 8 (!)
    Bremen (27 October 2005): Third & Fourth Place
    Hamburg (16 October 2005): Sixth Place
    Louisville: (10 September 2005): First Place
    Dortmund: (20 August 2005): Second Place
    Fairfax (14 August 2005): Eighth Place (Blue/Green/Red)
    Bremen (04 August 2005): First Place
    Syracuse (Big Arse II, 17 July 2005): First Place
    Aurich (25 June 2005): Fourth Place
    Vancouver, BC (early summer 2005): First Place

    Appendix III: The (original) "Super Gro" Thread in the Open Forum

    Appendix IV: Further Reading

    Building a Legacy - GP: Philadelphia *Top 8* [with Threshold/Gro] by Ben Goodman (aka Ridiculous Hat)
    Legacy Gro: A Tournament Report (by Paul Burke aka TheAntar)
    The Evolution of Miracle Gro (by Alex Shvartsman)
    Learning From the Flaws Of Aggro Decks in Vintage A Look At Bird Shit (by Josh Silvestri aka Artowis aka Vegeta)
    UB Trippin' (by Mike Flores)
    The Lands that Almost Weren't (Randy Buehler)




    Edited By bardo_trout on 1134278796

  2. #2
    Member
    Machinus's Avatar
    Join Date

    Jun 2005
    Location

    Knoxville, TN
    Posts

    1,564

    I've thought for some time now that UGW deserved Tier-1 status. I look forward to finally seeing people adopt and play this deck.

  3. #3
    Member

    Join Date

    Sep 2005
    Location

    Florida, U.S.A.
    Posts

    87

    Damn, now I have to test against a deck that actually scares me. :(

    Is Gro-a-Tog a deck that could be discussed in this thread? It's a little unclear for me as a GAT thread still exists in the Open forum, but the UGb Gro list doesn't use Dr. Teeth.

    Is the Goblins- UGW Gro matchup favorable assuming both players play perfectly? I've wondered for a long time about this, and all I need to hear is yes as long as no mistakes are made and my ego will take over from there. :)

  4. #4
    Member
    Bardo's Avatar
    Join Date

    Nov 2004
    Location

    Portland, Oregon
    Posts

    3,932

    (Vimes) Is Gro-a-Tog a deck that could be discussed in this thread? It's a little unclear for me as a GAT thread still exists in the Open forum, but the UGb Gro list doesn't use Dr. Teeth.
    I don't think so. The power of Tog pulls the deck in a different direction, and it certainly makes it play differently. Personally, I would keep discussion of Tog-based strategies to another thread.

    Is the Goblins- UGW Gro matchup favorable assuming both players play perfectly? I've wondered for a long time about this, and all I need to hear is yes as long as no mistakes are made and my ego will take over from there. :)
    It depends on the build. The ones with Mongeese certainly have an easier time than those without, but I think Goblins is generally better overall, even though you'll occasionaly smash it to bits with Threshold and wonder what the big deal is all about.

    In my experience, Goblins is slightly favored in game 1; but the match is about even (or even slightly in Threshold's favor) in games 2-3.




    Edited By bardo_trout on 1132778291

  5. #5
    Combo King Pommes
    Lukas Preuss's Avatar
    Join Date

    Aug 2005
    Location

    Germany
    Posts

    415

    I just wanted to tell you that this was one hell of a summary of the deck. You did a very fine job! :)
    Oh, and thanks for putting those German T8 results into your posting... it's nice to see that our German results from over the ocean spark some interest... :D
    Sometimes you have to read between the minds.

    ++ T8ing all over Europe since 2005 ++
    ++ Team aYb - all your base (are belong to us) ++

  6. #6
    Member

    Join Date

    Sep 2005
    Location

    Florida, U.S.A.
    Posts

    87

    Quote Originally Posted by bardo_trout
    (Vimes) Is Gro-a-Tog a deck that could be discussed in this thread? It's a little unclear for me as a GAT thread still exists in the Open forum, but the UGb Gro list doesn't use Dr. Teeth.
    I don't think so. The power of Tog pulls the deck in a different direction, and it certainly makes it play differently. Personally, I would keep discussion of Tog-based strategies to another thread.

    Is the Goblins- UGW Gro matchup favorable assuming both players play perfectly? I've wondered for a long time about this, and all I need to hear is yes as long as no mistakes are made and my ego will take over from there. :)
    It depends on the build. The ones with Mongeese certainly have an easier time than those without, but I think Goblins is generally better overall, even though you'll occasionaly smash it to bits with Threshold and wonder what the big deal is all about.

    In my experience, Goblins is slightly favored in game 1; but the match is about even (or even slightly in Threshold's favor) in games 2-3.
    So, why should we play a deck that doesn't beat the most played and only real aggro deck? Not a rhetorical question.

  7. #7
    Member
    bigredmeanie's Avatar
    Join Date

    Apr 2004
    Location

    Texas
    Posts

    440

    So, why should we play a deck that doesn't beat the most played and only real aggro deck? Not a rhetorical question.
    The deck can and does beat goblins. Bardo did not say that it cannot beat goblins. In fact he said

    the match is about even (or even slightly in Threshold's favor)
    I will admit game 1 is rough, but not impossible, but it gets tremendously easier game 2 and 3.

    Learn to read.

    Also to answer your non rhetorical question, this deck has a favorable matchup against just about everything. That was clearly shown when 3 lists made top 8 at Philly.

    hope that helps.

    p.s. I knew I should have played Gro in Philly.
    A good friend of mine once said:

    >Pron w/sound FTW... Actually, Porn FTW. Yep. Fixed.

  8. #8
    Old Dirty Bastard Unicorn
    overlord95's Avatar
    Join Date

    Jan 2004
    Location

    Arlington, VA
    Posts

    260

    Quote Originally Posted by bardo_trout
    IV. BLUE/BLACK/GREEN
    The power of Psychatog and Life from the Loam pulls us strongly toward Loam/Dredge Tog, but Scott Scheurer (overlord95) has been playing a UGb version of Gro for quite some time now to respectable success. Most recently he made day 2 at GP: Philadelphia with a 7-1 record.

    Ghastly Demise replaces Swords to Plowshares as the targetted removal of choice and Night's Whispers is supplements the already robust draw engine of the deck. Splashing Black you also gives us powerful sideboard options: Duress for combo and control and Engineered Plague for Goblins and other tribal strategies.

    Blue/Green/Black ********/Gro
    by Scott Scheuer

    4 Werebear
    3 Nimble Mongoose
    2 Possessed Aven

    4 Brainstorm
    4 Serum Visions
    4 Accumulated Knowledge
    4 Night's Whisper

    4 Ghastly Demise
    3 Engineered Explosives

    4 Force Of Will
    3 Daze
    2 Stifle
    1 Counterspell

    4 Tropical Island
    3 Underground Sea
    4 Polluted Delta
    3 Flooded Strand
    3 Island
    1 Swamp

    sb 2 Benthic Djinn
    sb 4 Engineered Plague
    sb 3 Blue Elemental Blast
    sb 3 Naturalize
    sb 3 Duress
    I would like to point out that my list actually plays 3 stilfes and 2 flooded strands. Also I switched the Djinns for Phyrexian furnaces. But dont get me wrong the Djinns are most definitly amazing. But I wasnt expecting to play alot of the mirror (all denominations of grow) or landstill at the GP.
    Proud Member of The Unicorn Mafia
    Once your in the only way out is in a wooden box.
    Quote Originally Posted by URABAHN View Post
    So, I got this massive hard-on after overlord95 placed (cheated?) well at the Running GAGG tournament and I wanted to be like him, too.

  9. #9
    Member
    Bardo's Avatar
    Join Date

    Nov 2004
    Location

    Portland, Oregon
    Posts

    3,932

    Quote Originally Posted by Vimes
    So, why should we play a deck that doesn't beat the most played and only real aggro deck? Not a rhetorical question.
    At the GP, about 25% of the players played Goblins, that's more than 100 goblin decks. That's a whole lot of fucking Goblins. But of more than 100 Goblin decks, only 2 made top 8 (and one won the whole thing at the hands of a pro). On the other hand, not more than a dozen people played threshold and 3 of those players made top 8. So, to answer your question (why play threshold): because it's really freaking good.

    And I didn't say Threshold doesn't win against Goblins. Ridiculous Hat, for instance went 3-1 against the deck at the GP. I said Gobbos has a slight advantage in Game 1; but it's at least even or in Thresh's favor for games 2-3. And apart from the Goblin match, it's a very good deck against so many other things.

    edit - @overlord - I updated your list in the original post.




    Edited By bardo_trout on 1132813786

  10. #10
    Old Dirty Bastard Unicorn
    overlord95's Avatar
    Join Date

    Jan 2004
    Location

    Arlington, VA
    Posts

    260

    Quote Originally Posted by bardo_trout
    Quote Originally Posted by Vimes
    So, why should we play a deck that doesn't beat the most played and only real aggro deck? Not a rhetorical question.
    Think about it. At the GP, about 25% of the players took Goblins, that's more than 100 goblin decks. Of more than 100, 2 made top 8 and one won the whole thing at the hands of a pro. On the other hand, probably not more than a dozen people played threshold and 3 of those players made top 8. To answer your question (why play threshold): because it's freaking good.

    And I didn't say Threshold doesn't win against Goblins. Ridiculous Hat, for instance went 3-1 against the deck at the GP.
    I also went 3-1 against goblins at the GP. The only goblins player I loss to was Tom Smart(the guy who made top 8). I would have been 4-0 but I didn't draw a basic land. So im going to chuck that one up to bad luck.
    Proud Member of The Unicorn Mafia
    Once your in the only way out is in a wooden box.
    Quote Originally Posted by URABAHN View Post
    So, I got this massive hard-on after overlord95 placed (cheated?) well at the Running GAGG tournament and I wanted to be like him, too.

  11. #11
    Asshole

    Join Date

    Jan 2004
    Location

    Chickenango
    Posts

    562

    What does this deck do against RGSA? I payed 3 NQG decks at Philly and never even lost a game to them. One was at table 5 in round 6, against overlord95. This consisted of me just casting creatures, and attacking. Then finally getting a Tsunami off for about 6 lands. Then during day two, I played Obfiscate freely. This was somewhat comical because I never got Survival down. I actuallt did the majority of my beating with a hard cast Anger, that he couldn't counter or kill or risk the hand full of creatures I had have haste. It might have just been me, but these weren't even much of games for me.
    Survival will be good forever... kinda like a maraschino cherry.

  12. #12

    There's a lot of 3c Thresh inmy environment. Which build do you guys think would have the biggest advantage in the mirror? Of course they are different decks and one may be favored versus another and not favored against the other kind. So what I'm asking is for like a breakdown or the mirror matches. Right now I'm thinking that:
    UWG(creatures won't die to reds removal) > URG =(?) UBG >(?) UWG

    Of course I'm notwhere near sure of this. What do you guys think?

  13. #13
    Member
    bigredmeanie's Avatar
    Join Date

    Apr 2004
    Location

    Texas
    Posts

    440

    @t3h.swarm I would say that the UGW version would have a better mirror match. The reason being is because Enforcer has pro black, and is just bigger than Fledging Draon. Also swords and Meddling Mage is really good against those decks.
    A good friend of mine once said:

    >Pron w/sound FTW... Actually, Porn FTW. Yep. Fixed.

  14. #14

    Ahh...I forgot about the por black ability. Makes the UBG matchup much better since if you get one out its pretty much game. Do you guys have any advice on what to call with Mage vs the URG version? Or does it not matter much since they'll kill it anyway.

  15. #15
    Member

    Join Date

    Sep 2005
    Location

    Florida, U.S.A.
    Posts

    87

    Quote Originally Posted by bigredmeanie
    @t3h.swarm I would say that the UGW version would have a better mirror match. The reason being is because Enforcer has pro black, and is just bigger than Fledging Draon. Also swords and Meddling Mage is really good against those decks.
    Generally, the red Gro player will have pump mana for the Dragon, but the other points are still very valid.

    @t3h.swarm: Name burn. That will strand the opponent with dead cards in your hand, and if they only run 4x of a single burn like they should, the next mages are free to name Werebear, as their Mongeese outclass your Mages, but your 'Bears are bigger than the Mongeese. After that, name whatever big flier they run; Fledgling Dragon usually.

  16. #16
    Sweet Sixteenth
    Happy Gilmore's Avatar
    Join Date

    Jul 2004
    Location

    Fairfax City, VA
    Posts

    1,533

    For anyone who wants to pick up this deck and start playing it I would also strongly advise reading Mike Flores' article: who's the beatdown. Grow (or threshold if you will) is one of the most unforgiving decks in Legacy. Mistakes aren't neccessarily related to bad play but to making the wrong judgment based on the situation. Another thing to think about is which cantip to play when. Don't kid yourself, its much more complicated than you would think.

    On a side note,
    Take advantage of the fact that there are three viable variants, all of which have different strengths and weaknesses. If you have the cards metagaming becomes loads of fun. The number of cards available to the architype is quite staggering.
    Quote Originally Posted by Krieger View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Getsickanddie View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Parcher View Post
    Looks like Team Unicorn has about sixteen coming to this.

    What's the term for a plural group of Unicorns? Y'know, like a murder of crows. Well that's what's on it's way.
    ******s?
    While this is close it's still wrong. Every one knows it's an orgy of unicorns.
    Team Unicorn is too hetero for me.
    TeaM NOVA for life.

  17. #17
    Member

    Join Date

    Nov 2005
    Location

    Italy
    Posts

    0

    I'm testing a sort of ******** but with a different approach.
    If NotQuiteGro works..why NotQuiteThreshold shouldn't work? [glare]
    I'm going to explain myself.

    Green offers Werebears. And Enforcers if playing with W.
    Nothing else.

    Why not switching Green with a better color but maintening the same approach to the game, putting in the deck "intelligent" creatures instead of beasts? :D

    I love Dark Confidant and I think it could work in an aggro-control deck packing Blue and counterspells.
    Black also offers EngPlague in SB and other great removals and discard effects.

    So here it is what I'm testing:

    NotQuiteThreshold V1.0
    ---------------------------
    4 Flooded Strand
    3 Polluted Delta
    3 Underground Sea
    3 Tundra
    2 Island
    1 Swamp
    1 Plains
    --------------------------
    17

    4 Brainstorm
    4 Serum Visons
    4 Predict
    3 Sensei's Divining Top
    --------------------------
    15

    4 StP
    3 Pithing Needle
    --------------------------
    7

    4 Dark Confidant
    4 Meddling Mage
    2 Psychatog
    2 Exalted Angel
    --------------------------
    12

    4 Force of Will
    3 Daze
    2 Counterspell
    ---------------------------
    9

    SB Under Construction:
    ? Engineered Plague
    ? Ghastly Demise
    ? HydroBlast
    ? Seal of Cleansing
    ? Winter Orb/Armageddon
    ? Duress/Cabal Theraphy
    ? DarkBlast

    After many matches I can say that Confidant is amazing with Visions,Brainstorm and Divining Top..
    And there's the possibility to regain life with angel, important even if angel is quite slow in its actions.

    Other interesting creatures are:
    Stormscape Apprentice, good in an environment full of aggro decks;
    Kira, Great Glass Spinner..huge in matches against ********, and controls but even against goblins.

    I'm really interested in your opinions and suggestions!

  18. #18
    Member
    bigredmeanie's Avatar
    Join Date

    Apr 2004
    Location

    Texas
    Posts

    440

    @ AJ your list looks ok. It seems like exalted angel doesnt need to be there. Though angel is good, she is way outside of the curve. Also drawing one off of confidant is harsh. I think if you are going ot cut green you need something to fill that efficient beater role.

    Sea Drake fits that role nicely.

    Also I think you will find that Top is very mana intensive. It's a nice card and combos well with confidant and predict, but your deck only runs 17 lands. Hardly enough to support Top and something like Exalted Angel. I would add at least 2 more lands to your deck. Removing the Angels is where you could fit them.
    A good friend of mine once said:

    >Pron w/sound FTW... Actually, Porn FTW. Yep. Fixed.

  19. #19

    Can somebody explain to me the 1x Disrupting Shoal in the decks posted in the main post?

    About the NQThresh, 4x Tog seems like it would be great in the deck as it gets huge with the cantrips and you don't need your graveyard for threshhold anymore.

  20. #20
    Member
    Bardo's Avatar
    Join Date

    Nov 2004
    Location

    Portland, Oregon
    Posts

    3,932

    Wow, lots of stuff here. :)

    re: the mirror. UWG > URG because URG needs multiple cards to take down any of UWG threats, other than Meddling Mage who can chant against burn anyhow. As efficient as Lightning Bolt is, it's not better than StP.

    (Happy Gilmore) For anyone who wants to pick up this deck and start playing it I would also strongly advise reading Mike Flores' article: who's the beatdown. Grow (or threshold if you will) is one of the most unforgiving decks in Legacy.
    Quite true. A lot of players will pick up this deck and think it sucks because they're playing it wrong, but they don't realize it. It is quite unforgiving, and if you're playing the wrong role, you're going to lose.

    @Aj3j3 - If you're going with Black, you really ought to try Darkblast; Dredge is an extremely efficient threshold builder. But looking at your deck again, it doesn't really belong in this thread. Anything called "NotQuiteThreshold" that doesn't even run any threshold creatures doesn't have a place in a threshold thread. And those two-of Angel/Togs look really random...

    Can somebody explain to me the 1x Disrupting Shoal in the decks posted in the main post?
    :) It started out as anti-Goblin tech: Force of Will #5 for a turn-1 Lackey/Vial. But it's proven its usefulness in other matches, countering a turn-2 Survival when you're on the draw, etc. At a certain point you can just hard cast it. But it's job is to protect Thresh/Gro when it's most vulnerable, the first couple of turn, or when you're tapped out after having played an early threat. Try it.




    Edited By bardo_trout on 1132895546

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

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