Page 1 of 262 123451151101 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 5240

Thread: [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

  1. #1
    Insane Anarchists Get Mean
    freakish777's Avatar
    Join Date

    Aug 2005
    Location

    NY State
    Posts

    1,739

    [Deck] UW(x) Landstill

    Before Legacy (then Type 1.5) got it's own Banned List, Mana Drain helped fuel one of the most absurd control decks in the format, pushing it to be able to beat both aggro decks and combo decks simultaneously, pre-board. Even with the ability to Drain into a Nev's Disk gone, many people found the archetype was still viable. The initial port of the deck from the previous format brought it's white splash with it, and this thread is dedicated to discussing, essentially, versions of Landstill that have stuck to a single splash color, opting for consistency over power (where as the originators of BHWC/BHWW Landstill opted for power).

    An important note, is that this thread is not attempting to answer the question of "Which is better, power or consistency?" as (in my opinion) that is really more of a question of your metagame. Instead this thread assumes that there is a particular metagame for which a consistent build of Landstill is the correct choice and attempts to build from that.

    For reference, the definition of power being used here is "The amount of the advancement of your strategy (or the amount of hinderance to your opponent's strategy) divided by the amount of 'work' required for that advancement (or hinderence)." Work, in most cases, is the cost of the spells you're playing, however it's extremely important to note here that it also involves any set up required to make those spells work or any other hidden costs (this is more relevant than it is elsewhere as Standstill needs to be set up and built around, Wastelanding your opponent has the cost of a land drop, Mishra's Factory has a continuous cost as well as a land drop cost, etc).

    If you want more of a history lesson, I'm not going to reinvent the wheel here and I'll let Jander78 and Nightmare do the talking for me:

    The 2005 Landstill Thread by Jander78
    The 2007 Landstill Thread by Nightmare


    Commonly agreed upon card choices (for the White Splash)

    4 Brainstorm
    4 Force of Will
    4 Swords to Plowshares
    3 Counterspell
    2 Standstill
    1 Crucible of Worlds

    4 Flooded Strand
    4 Mishra's Factory
    3 Wasteland
    4 Tundra


    I'll assume that the reasoning behind these cards being a "must" in a white Landstill build is obvious, however if it isn't, feel free to ask the Adepts here as I'm sure their answer will be the most comprehensive.

    Not commonly agreed upon card choices

    0cc spells, and Land:

    Additional Wasteland
    Academy Ruins
    Island
    Plains
    Polluted Delta
    Ghost Quarter
    Faerie Conclave
    Tolaria West
    Mutavault
    Tormod's Crypt
    Quicksand

    1cc spells:

    Sensei's Divining Top
    Enlightened Tutor
    Stifle
    Spell Snare
    Phyrexian Furnace (generally held that this is only playable in conjunction with Academy Ruins)
    Ponder
    Phyrexian Dreadnought (clearly only playable with Stifle)
    Pithing Needle
    Meekstone
    Porphyry Nodes

    2cc spells:

    Addtional Standstills (generally held that 4 is the correct number if you don't have a way to tutor for it)
    Additional Counterspell (generally held that 4 is the correct number if you aren't cramming your list)
    Counterbalance
    Rune Snag
    Mana Leak
    Hoofprints of the Stag
    Seal of Cleansing/Disenchant
    Daze
    Trickbind (generally held that this is only playable with Dreadnought)

    3cc spells:

    Additional Crucible of Worlds (generally held that 2 is the correct number if you don't have a way to tutor for it)
    Cunning Wish
    Vedalken Shackles
    Jace Beleren
    Trinket Mage (clearly only playable with a host of tutor targets)
    Ghostly Prison/Propaganda
    Oblivion Stone
    Oblivion Ring

    4cc spells:

    Fact or Fiction
    Moat
    Wrath of God
    Humility
    Control Magic
    Nevinyrral's Disk

    Other:

    Eternal Dragon
    Akroma's Vengeance
    Engineered Explosives
    Decree of Justice
    Morphling
    Meloku, the Clouded Mirror
    Mindslaver


    I have attempted to be as complete as possible in compiling the information that can mostly be found here. I have intentionally left out cards that are red, black or green as those choices for Landstill builds are less popular (among 2 color builds), as well as sideboard choices. The amount of information presented at this point is substantial, so let's focus on what we want to get out of this thread:

    • For those on the consistency side of the dichotomy of Landstill, what are the most powerful cards and strategies we can run in just blue and one splash?
    • What is the largest acceptable number of colors (defined by the non-basic land hate available in Legacy and the fetchlands available to it)?
    • How can we optimize our power level without compromising our consistency (which colors can we add, and how big or small of a splash can it be without dicking ourselves)?
    • Do Tutors (in the form of Enlightened Tutor or Cunning Wish) and Silver Bullets (Moat, Counterbalance, etc) give us a dominant strategy (Zvi seems to think so as you can see here), or are the tutors themselves unplayable?
    • What's the most powerful win condition?


    While answering all of those questions is something to be focused on, that last one is particularly disturbing to not have a consensus on (aside from Mishra's Factory) considering that as Magic theory develops, it is becoming quickly apparent that the notion of "It doesn't matter what you win with once the game is locked up" is incorrect. Is Stifling Phyrexian Dreadnought legitimately good, or is the work required for this strategy too much (we have to do here is to find a Stifle once we have found a Dreadnought, and the obvious 2 mana to cast it, the pay off is also obvious, and just as vulnerable as every other creature in the format to Swords to Plowshares). If not, do we have time to set up Meloku, Decree of Justice, Eternal Dragon or any other 5+ casting cost win condition, or is something like Hoofprints of the Stag a better option as it can slip in on turn 4 with Counter back up and has synergy with Standstill and Brainstorm? Is going to 6 or 8 manlands with Mutavault and Faerie Conclave better?

    Discuss.

  2. #2
    Trapped inside my embryonic cell
    KillemallCFH's Avatar
    Join Date

    Dec 2006
    Location

    Stoughton, MA
    Posts

    934

    Re: [DtB] UW(x) Landstill

    Here is the current list I've been testing, somewhat metagamed, although I feel with some tweaks it could perform in most metas.
    Code:
    // NAME: UWr Landstill
    
    // Lands
        2 [U] Plains (1)
        2 [U] Island (3)
        1 [U] Plateau
        1 [U] Volcanic Island
        4 [U] Tundra
        4 [ON] Flooded Strand
        2 [ON] Polluted Delta
        4 [AQ] Mishra's Factory (1)
        1 [TE] Wasteland
        1 [TSP] Academy Ruins
        1 [FUT] Tolaria West
    
    // Creatures
        1 [SC] Eternal Dragon
        3 [LRW] Jace Beleren
    
    // Spells
        3 [LRW] Hoofprints of the Stag
        2 [SC] Decree of Justice
        4 [U] Counterspell
        4 [AL] Force of Will
        2 [FD] Engineered Explosives
        2 [U] Wrath of God
        4 [U] Swords to Plowshares
        2 [FD] Crucible of Worlds
        2 [SC] Stifle
        4 [5E] Brainstorm
        4 [OD] Standstill
    
    // Sideboard
    SB: 4 [DM] Pyroclasm
    SB: 4 [PS] Meddling Mage
    SB: 3 [U] Red Elemental Blast
    SB: 2 [U] Blue Elemental Blast
    SB: 2 [FD] Vedalken Shackles
    Some things that have come up:
    EE + Academy Ruins is very powerful. However, it also has dissynergy with all the permanents I run (Hoofprints especially, as EE @ 2 is a common play). I could clean up my manabase a bit and fit in more Wastes if I cut the EE/Ruins package (-2 EE, -1 Ruins, +1 WoG, +2 Waste, maybe?). I'm not sure which is better.

    Jace vs FoF: I've tested both, and even had a split at one point, and I'm definitely going in favor of Jace here. Continuous CA has been much better than one-shot. I recently had 3 Jace/2 FoF but cut the FoFs for utility in Stifle. I could go back to FoFs though, or another card, as I'm not completely sold on Stifles usefulness.

    Regarding the SB: My meta has a lot of blue (Thresh and Dreadstill, mostly), as well as a decent amount of Goblins, hence REB and Pyroclasm, respectively. I'm not at all sold on the Shackles in the SB, and they could easily be anything else (esp. since they do not effect Dreadnought, who is a presence in my meta).

    I'd write more, but I'm on my way out. Let the discussions begin.
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg 'IdrA' Fields
    good sir, you appear to be somewhat lacking in intelligence. please refrain from posting until this is remedied, since it renders your opinions slightly less than correct and has a tendency to irritate more informed forum-goers.

  3. #3
    Member
    Ironstickman's Avatar
    Join Date

    Mar 2008
    Location

    Madrid,Spain
    Posts

    27

    Re: [DtB] UW(x) Landstill

    It is nice to have a thread dedicated to Uw /x landstill exclusively.

    To develop the thread I will start posting a uw decklist and discuss some of the points freakish777 has made.
    It will probalby look strange at first since it is quite different from the traditional builds, however i will explain how de deck answers the metagame:

    23 lands

    4 flooded strand
    2 polluted delta
    4 tundra
    4 Mishra's factory
    4 Wasteland
    2 Island
    1 Academy ruins
    2 plains

    37 spells

    4 FoW
    4 Swords to the plowshares
    4 Brainstorm
    2 Wrath of god
    3 Enlightened tutor
    2 Sensei diving top
    3 Stifle
    3 Daze
    3 Counterbalance
    4 Standstill
    1 Crucible worlds
    1 Powder keg
    2 Hoofprints of the stag
    1 Jace beleren

    sideboard

    3 Hydroblast
    2 pulse of the fields
    1 E.flux
    1 Cop red
    1 Cop green
    3 Spell snare
    2 Exalted angel
    1 Tormod' Crypt
    1 E.explosives

    Yes daze in landstill. It was not played in other buils since it had high mana win conditions and sweepers and it was antisynergistic. However when mana costs are reduced and win conditions or sweepers no longer cost 5+ it becomes a useful piece of disrution (if you add mana denial in the form of stifle +wasteland it becomes quite powerful aswell). It works great with top (look and draw) and the opponent will not think you are playing it.

    As for the win condition the tribal enchantment will provide you 4/4 flying elementals that can handle almost any creature of the format (except goyf or stalker). It`s synergy with brainstorm/landstill/Jace is worth trying it.

    For the counterbalance disruption i dont need to add anything more that hasn't been said on the previous landstill thread save perhaps that you might not wan`t to reveal daze with counterbalance but if you do, that 'll mean that you are already winning. plus the mana costs have been improved with this addition:

    1 CMC ; 16
    2 CMC ; 12
    3 CMC ; 2


    On the sideboard, exalted angel as an alternative win con. (if you believe the oponent will needle your tribal enchantment), standard wishboard and utility against goblins,burn and threshold (blast,pulse, s.snare)

    just a note on powder keg over explosives since it doesnt break our enchantments.

    Matchups:

    Goblins- stop that vial! preboard : slightly unfavourable (counterbalance is not very useful if the goblin player has developed)

    post board: slightly favourable watch for krosan grips if the opponent plays taigas

    Key cards: Daze, Fow ,Stp

    threshold Ugr and Ugw preboard favorable. attack their manabase. basically they have the same disruption as you have, but you can create a lock quicker

    postboard (depends on hoy many needles and krosan grips come in, the matchup becomes slightly unfavorable, if they have seen the dazes, the spell snares might come in for them)

    key cards wasteland,stifle and counterbalance-top

    Other lanstill ( you control the tempo of the game but i haven't tested thorughfly

    Big mana
    Faerie stompy. hard matchup. daze really helps early game This is a really played deck in my meta and i'm thinking of running control magic instead of crucible
    Dragon stompy. Fortunately the deck plays 4 basic lands which must be looked for directly. wasteland + daze is often tough for them

    Burn Counterbalance + top =win

    Combo (Iggy-Belcher)
    Every piece of disruption helps, keg for tokens, stifle for storm + daze and Fow is too much (belcher is easier)

    Loam. the counterbalance works well for me , stoping recurring loams and other menaces. If you are able to answer their goyfs you musn`t worry to much

    Sui black, eva green, decks with a lot of potential, usually depends on the hands you draw. spell snare is brilliant post board

    Well if i have time i will add other matchups afterwards. In the meantime it will be nice to see some big mana Uw builds or Uw/x cunning standstill's

    If you have any suggestions / opinions I'll be glad to hear them

    For more information on the UW counterbalance build take a look at the other landstill thread

  4. #4
    awesomeness
    Ch@os's Avatar
    Join Date

    Jul 2007
    Location

    Germany
    Posts

    160

    Re: [DtB] UW(x) Landstill

    Hm... i play those UW builds for years now and this build is inconsequent.

    DAZE!?!! in a controlldeck? Powder Keg over EE?
    This list looks like an white NQG without Goofy's

    Whats about Moat to safe Jace, push Hoofprints & force your opponent to destroy Moat instead of Hoofprints.
    Or Humility, and replace Hoofprints with DoJ.
    I understand that you want to lower the manacurve but thats not the way to go for LS.

  5. #5
    100%

    Join Date

    Nov 2007
    Location

    Berkeley, CA
    Posts

    332

    Re: [DtB] UW(x) Landstill

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    • For those on the consistency side of the dichotomy of Landstill, what are the most powerful cards and strategies we can run in just blue and one splash?
    If we assume that one splash is White, which is probably correct, the most powerful cards are Swords to Plowshares, Hoofprints of the Stag, Humility and Porphyry Nodes. The first is the default best removal spell in the game, no one's arguing that. Hoofprints is an extremely solid long term wincon that, while vulnerable to Grip, is something that generally has to be dealt with by an opponent for them to be able to win the game, assuming your deck works and you stall out for a long time. Humility makes that stalling happen, though I can't say I'd run it and Hoofprints in the same list. It's raw power is undeniable, however, 4CC isn't cheap and it is vulnerable to a lot of hate cards. Most aggro decks are prepared for it post board. Porphyry Nodes is the last card I want to bring up. It's extremely strong against Threshold, punishing a player for overextending, though in general it just takes down a single Mongoose and dies. That's not at all bad for 1CC, though.
    Cards not on this list are Wrath of God - Slow, and not very strong against Threshold or Goblins (against Thresh it will at most hit one creature, against Goblins it will hit more, but it won't stop their CA engine); Moat (The card should be broken, but I just can't make it work); Enlightened Tutor (Card Disadvantage in Landstill. I guess it isn't bad in the right build, but I dislike it).
    Cards that for me, are borderline, include Decree of Justice and Eternal Dragon - They're strong, I just never have room for them.

    • What is the largest acceptable number of colors (defined by the non-basic land hate available in Legacy and the fetchlands available to it)?
    3 Seems to work. Maybe 4 does again with the decline of Dragon Stompy, but I'm not about to play that in a tournament. Light splashes are usually stronger than heavy splashes, as black generally just gives you tools out of the wishboard, or Vindicate, and Green gives you Tarmogoyf and Grip in the board. However, I'm playing straight UW right now, because of it's resilience to all forms of hate, and it's consistency.

    • How can we optimize our power level without compromising our consistency (which colors can we add, and how big or small of a splash can it be without dicking ourselves)?
    Standstill is an incredibly inconsistent card. I go back and forth between playing it and Ponder. Neither is ever amazing, but you know what is? Meditate. Late game, if you can stabilize at all, it's strong, and even if you can't, it digs for answers/a counterspell in a way Landstill usually can't. It is conditional, but highly less so than Standstill.
    Here's the conditions of Meditate:
    -Opponent isn't going to do something ridiculous given another turn, meaning, they don't have a huge army down, and they aren't going to be able to do something insane if you tap out (which shouldn't be happening anyways).
    And Standstill:
    -Opponent's army isn't bigger than the amount of Mishra's Factories in your hand/that you know you're going to draw.
    -Opponent has no way to cheat cards into play.
    -Opponent isn't playing manlands.
    -Opponent isn't playing a deck that wants a lot of time to set up, and once it has, will generate for CA then you (MUC).
    I know that doesn't really answer the question but I wanted to put it out there.

    • Do Tutors (in the form of Enlightened Tutor or Cunning Wish) and Silver Bullets (Moat, Counterbalance, etc) give us a dominant strategy (Zvi seems to think so as you can see here), or are the tutors themselves unplayable?
    I disagree with Zvi on this issue. Enlightened Tutor isn't a good card in Landstill because it fetches silver bullets, effectively turning the deck into Enchantress - My deck sucks but I have five cards that will WRECK you. Decks like that don't work very well, in my experience. Cunning Wish, on the other hand, lets you store the toolbox where it won't cause clogging. I tend not to run more than 4 wish targets in my SB, because I like plenty of room for things that I can bring in, however, Cunning Wish is a strong and versatile answer in a way Enlightened Tutor is not. Also, it doesn't create Card Disadvantage.

    • What's the most powerful win condition?
    Tarmogoyf, if you spash green. If you don't, probably Hoofprints of the Stag. I don't like Mutavault in this deck because I'd have to use of nonland slots for it - I don't want to run more colorless mana then I have to. Hoofprints is very hard to deal with and wins you the long game. It's also ridiculous under a Standstill - though, most opponents break Standstill immediately regardless.

  6. #6
    Member
    Illissius's Avatar
    Join Date

    Nov 2006
    Location

    Hungary
    Posts

    1,621

    Re: [DtB] UW(x) Landstill

    There's two cards from Shadowmoor which I think are extremely promising for this deck (and for White-based control in general, in the first case).

    1) Runed Halo. Just wow. The following is an illustrative list of some of the things Runed Halo stops:
    - Tarmogoyf
    - Nimble Mongoose
    - Morphling
    - Rainbow Efreet
    - Darksteel Colossus
    - Tendrils of Agony
    - Brain Freeze
    - Goblin Charbelcher
    - Sutured Ghoul
    - most of the infinitely many Kiki-Jiki combos
    - Lightning Bolt
    - Price of Progress
    - Cursed Scroll
    - Mishra's Factory
    - Goblin Lackey
    - Arc-Slogger
    - Trygon Predator (heh)
    - Ichorid
    - Cabal Therapy
    - Orim's Chant
    - Intuition

    And here's what Runed Halo, as far as I know, unfortunately does not stop:
    - Empty the Warrens
    - Bridge from Below
    - Dark Confidant
    - Magus of the Moon
    - Meddling Mage
    - Gaddock Teeg
    - anything attacking Jace

    Think of it as creature removal which just happens to also be awesome against combo and a lot of other things. As creature removal, it has both advantages and drawbacks: it trivially deals with things like Nimble Mongoose or Ichorid, and doesn't care how many there are, but doesn't physically remove anything, so creatures can still block and use abilities; also, Krosan Grip is a pain in the ass. Hence, I shall call it Mini-Moat. I think Mini-Moat and Swords to Plowshares complement each other nicely.

    2) Fracturing Gust. This is the best Disenchant effect for the Cunning Wishboard in approximately forever. It's a shame they had to give it to us in the same set as Mini-Moat. Decks with Mini-Moat, Moat, Humility, Counterbalance, or whatever, will have to choose between running Gust, targetted removal, or both.
    Last edited by Illissius; 05-08-2008 at 04:05 AM. Reason: chant, too.
    SummenSaugen: well, I use Chaos Orb, Animate Artifact, and Dance of Many to make the table we're playing on my chaos orb token
    SummenSaugen: then I flip it over and crush my opponent

  7. #7
    Member
    Ironstickman's Avatar
    Join Date

    Mar 2008
    Location

    Madrid,Spain
    Posts

    27

    Re: [DtB] UW(x) Landstill

    Quote Originally Posted by Ch@os View Post
    Hm... i play those UW builds for years now and this build is inconsequent.

    DAZE!?!! in a controlldeck? Powder Keg over EE?
    This list looks like an white NQG without Goofy's

    Whats about Moat to safe Jace, push Hoofprints & force your opponent to destroy Moat instead of Hoofprints.
    Or Humility, and replace Hoofprints with DoJ.
    I understand that you want to lower the manacurve but thats not the way to go for LS.
    Possibly.
    the whole point of lowering the mana curve is to lower the amount of lands enabling you to play counterbalance (a very powerful card in the format). I really understand your scepticism about daze (which i shared at first) but think that it is something that the opponent will not forsee in a landstill build. Since you dont have excesively high costs (2 wrath plus possible moat), land drops are not as essential now (they really aren't with your new costs)therefore you can make use of daze, Think for example in this common situation: you have casted a standstill in your second turn with a factory on board and opponent will usually break it casting a key spell (tarmo?), if you do not draw force you may not be able to answer it. (If you draw stp you will have to invest mana anyway next turn). Daze will definitely give you the tranquility in the early game whereas drawing the counterspell of the usual builds would not have helped at all. It is crap in the later game, but then you will have set up your counterbalance lock and you will have the 2 mcost spell
    I believe this card will create much discussion and I agree that it is not a card for usual LS decks. But the metagame is full of tight manabases (from threshold to dragon stompy, decent card against goblins aswell) and the possibility of playing daze unforseen is something worth trying e.g you know a thresh player is playing daze, --you play prepared for it.
    Yes perhaps this cards changes significantly the deck's filosophy, but it helps adapt the deck to such a quick metagame where the first turns are critical for the development of the game.
    Just consider aswell that you might cast daze directly. 2º game you can put in spell snares instead and they will do the job when dazes are no longer a surprise to your opponent. (well of course depends on which matchup)
    Originally, the idea of playing daze was to answer decks like dragon stompy and faerie stompy, where FoW is often not enough to counter their key spells.

    Nevertheless, I need to test it further to have total certainty of the inclusion

    I see that Moat should be included as you say to protect jace and to improve the hoofprints. Perhaps instead of the crucible slot which i have found not to be effective enough.
    about the powder keg: explosives breaks your enchantments while keg doesnt. Anyway explosives is more effective against goyf and suits better when it comes to mathcups like enchantress or survival. The thing is that the single keg is there to take care of tokens ,chrome moxes, mox diamond and chalices and both of them do it alike but it will probably switch places with the sideboard explosives

    In conclusion, landstill is not a control deck in the same sense as MUC , it is a combination of card advantage mechanism with effective control elements. A free countermagic such as Daze should not be discarded right away furthermore when you have the surprise factor on your side and the structure of the deck allows you to test it.

    I will comment more on the card next weekend if i have time to test.

  8. #8
    Flying Cat
    Mictlantecuhtli's Avatar
    Join Date

    May 2007
    Location

    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    Posts

    88

    Re: [DtB] UW(x) Landstill

    @ Mental: I agree with almost everything you say. However, i do think that Enlightened Tutor has its merits. I ran E.Tutors for some time in a UW build which was already running CounterTop, Hoofprints and Landstill. The Tutors main functions were to help assemble CounterTop asap, which would turn subsequent tutors into hard counters if your top three cards weren't the right casting cost. Apart from that, Tutors would just fetch Landstills, Hoofprints, EE or Crucible when needed as i didn't really stuff the deck with silverbullets (i seem to remember the only one-off was a Moat) in order not to compromise consistency. So it basically gave me what i needed when i needed it.

    I unfortunately don't remember the exact build as it changed often. I am also not advocating Enlightened Tutor is the way to go for UW Landstill, but it certainly didn't crappify the deck. The only trade-off i can remember was the blue-spell count could have been greater if the tutors weren't there. The card disadvantage was reasonably dealt with with Jace.

  9. #9
    100%

    Join Date

    Nov 2007
    Location

    Berkeley, CA
    Posts

    332

    Re: [DtB] UW(x) Landstill

    I also don't like Jace in UW landstill. The card isn't bad persay, it's just that decking is an incredibly inefficient way to win the game (and slow) and Jace is really vulnerable. The fact that you suddenly can't let any creatures through really hinders your strategy and forces you to play cards like Moat. However, I can see ETutor being alright in a CounterTop build.

  10. #10

    Re: [DtB] UW(x) Landstill

    Here is my version of UW landstill I have been testing.

    UW landstill
    By Kevin Liu

    // Lands
    3 [6E] Plains (1)
    4 [ON] Flooded Strand
    1 [TSP] Academy Ruins
    3 [PT] Island (4)
    1 [10E] Faerie Conclave
    1 [ON] Polluted Delta
    3 [TE] Wasteland
    4 [AQ] Mishra's Factory (3)
    4 [B] Tundra

    // Creatures
    1 [SC] Eternal Dragon

    // Spells
    3 [SC] Stifle
    1 [TE] Humility
    4 [7E] Counterspell
    4 [AL] Force of Will
    4 [OD] Standstill
    3 [U] Wrath of God
    3 [FD] Engineered Explosives
    3 [TE] Propaganda
    2 [10E] Crucible of Worlds
    2 [IN] Fact or Fiction
    2 [SC] Decree of Justice
    4 [IA] Swords to Plowshares

    // Sideboard
    SB: 1 [TE] Humility
    SB: 4 [PS] Meddling Mage
    SB: 3 [A] Blue Elemental Blast
    SB: 2 [DS] Pulse of the Fields
    SB: 2 [IN] Dismantling Blow
    SB: 3 [CH] Tormod's Crypt

    Card Choices

    Stifle and wasteland: I always liked this disruption tempo package in UW landstill. Considering it does not really stretch on the manabase since it is two colors. Stifle is also good at stopping an wide range of things from goblin ringleader to tendrils of agony.

    Propoganda: This is probably an metagame call slot really. I like propoganda though since it is briliant against ichorid and it isn't as mana extensive as moat.

    Dismantling blow: An good card against opposing counterbalance and acts as an psuodo-standstill as well.

    Humility: This card is obvious considering it can dismantle threshold, survival, goblins and etc.

    Decree of justice: I always liked decree of justice as a late game finisher in any landstill deck really.

    Tormod's Crypt: Good against loam decks especially supplemented with wastelands. Also an fairly good card against other grave-yard based decks.

    Pulse of the fields: One of my all-time favorite cards and can be brilliant in any threshold matchup.

    This deck doesn't really give any advantages of playing it over DIF's uwb landstill though.

    This is the case for a few reasons:

    1. Cunning wish is a great utility card in quite a few situations in the current environment. Considering of how cunning wish functions it can turn clunkiness into usefulness.

    2.Extirpate is a much better all-around card then tormod's crypt and still can essentially function the same way as crypt as well.

    3.The ability to fetch for pulse of the fields via cunning wish as opposed to boarding a pair of fields is much more efficient.

    4.Slaughter pact is a great stabalizer against threshold especially since you can fetch for it with cunning wish and can take care of removal disablers such as meddling mage or gaddock teeg.

  11. #11
    Member
    from Cairo's Avatar
    Join Date

    Mar 2007
    Location

    MA
    Posts

    1,123

    Re: [DtB] UW(x) Landstill

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    [*]For those on the consistency side of the dichotomy of Landstill, what are the most powerful cards and strategies we can run in just blue and one splash?
    Most powerful cards:

    Brainstorm
    Force of Will
    Humility
    Engineered Explosives
    Crucible of Worlds

    Most powerful strategies:

    Brainstorm + Fetch... Legacy's Ancestral Recall. Countermagic in general answering whatever bombs would otherwise be game winning. Humility + Manlands, this combination is overpowering, it forces the opponent to over extend or hold back; the former walks right into Wraths or Decrees, the latter means your progressing further into the late game without pressure from your opponent, you have inevitability. It offers more than similar enchantments, namely Moat because versus things like Survival or Goblins preboard, it is just a win, as so much of their Creatures' power is dependent on abilities not just turning sideways. Engineered Explosives in general is huge, it answers so many problems without being a dead card in matches. All too often sweepers are too slow against combo, EE isn't- dealing with EtW Goblins and BfB Zombies. Problem enchantments, Moon effects and Counterbalance- with Island, Plains, non-basic can be EE@3; EE can also get large CMC, through paying XUW for an EE@2. It means you aren't wasting slots on Disenchants in matches where they suck, and you aren't wasting space on more Wrath effects in matches where they suck. Crucible is just back breaking against so many decks, it means you're making every land drop for starters which is exactly what control needs, but additionally you have access to unlimited chumps, or Wastelock, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    [*]What is the largest acceptable number of colors (defined by the non-basic land hate available in Legacy and the fetchlands available to it)?
    I haven't seen any successful lists running 5 color, so I guess the largest acceptable is 4, though UWx seems to be have similar match ups as the 4 color variants, which is to say it doesn't seem like overwhelming amounts are gained by adding the 4th color. Green and Red really don't seem to contribute much to the deck as far as furthering its game plan. Pernicious Deed is really the only card that jumps out as being really missed, but EE does alot toward making it an acceptable loss.

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    [*]How can we optimize our power level without compromising our consistency (which colors can we add, and how big or small of a splash can it be without dicking ourselves)?
    It really depends, if you want to be able to run a list that can play around Bloodmoon effects and thus be basic heavy, I don't think the 3rd color splash can really be for more than 3 duals, and single colored mana cards. If you are already invested in Blue with UU and White with WW, then you really start to spread yourself pretty thin/non-basic dependent by going for XX (BB, GG, or RR) cc cards as well.

    If you don't mind cutting some utility lands (Ruins, Wastes, Tolaria West) or some basics, then you could probably splash 3-4 duals and an additional fetch or two. And thus maybe be able to support double colored mana in your 3rd splash, I really don't see a ton to be gained in this though.

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    [*]Do Tutors (in the form of Enlightened Tutor or Cunning Wish) and Silver Bullets (Moat, Counterbalance, etc) give us a dominant strategy (Zvi seems to think so as you can see here), or are the tutors themselves unplayable?
    I couldn't put it better than Mental just did..
    Quote Originally Posted by Mental View Post
    I disagree with Zvi on this issue. Enlightened Tutor isn't a good card in Landstill because it fetches silver bullets, effectively turning the deck into Enchantress - My deck sucks but I have five cards that will WRECK you. Decks like that don't work very well, in my experience. Cunning Wish, on the other hand, lets you store the toolbox where it won't cause clogging. I tend not to run more than 4 wish targets in my SB, because I like plenty of room for things that I can bring in, however, Cunning Wish is a strong and versatile answer in a way Enlightened Tutor is not. Also, it doesn't create Card Disadvantage.
    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    [*]What's the most powerful win condition?
    Mishra's Factory, due to it's synergies with already mentioned cards/strats (Crucible, Humility, Wrath of God, wanting to play alot of land). Secondly I would say Decree in Humility builds, outside Humility builds, probably Hoofprints, Eternal Dragon and, though I find it overkill, there is no denying that Goyf is a powerful win condition.
    TPDMC

  12. #12
    Member

    Join Date

    Feb 2007
    Location

    San Diego
    Posts

    1,433

    Re: [DtB] UW(x) Landstill

    Well, since this is the thread for the deck, it must be posted:

    lands//24
    2 island
    2 plains
    1 scrubland
    2 underground sea
    4 tundra
    4 flooded strand
    2 polluted delta
    4 mishra's factory
    1 tolaria west
    1 academy ruins
    1 wasteland

    creatures//1
    1 eternal dragon

    permisson//8
    4 force of will
    4 counterspell

    Control//12
    4 swords to plowshares
    3 wrath of god
    2 humility
    3 engineered explosives

    CA//13
    4 brainstorm
    4 standstill
    3 cunning wish
    2 crucible of worlds

    Strict wincons//2
    2 decree of justice

    sideboard//
    1 dust to dust
    1 enlightened tutor
    1 slaughter pact
    1 pulse of the fields
    3 extirpate
    4 meddling mage
    4 engineered plague


    I honestly think that this deck is close to unbeatable with a competent pilot, at least in a known metagame.
    Originally Posted by Forbiddian

    "Drawing it consistently" is a joke. It doesn't matter whether you have 10 copies or 1 copy. Some games you'll start with it. Some games you'll start without it
    .

    I'm thoroughly convinced that talking to you morons kills braincells. Your parent's should have been sterilized.

  13. #13
    Member
    from Cairo's Avatar
    Join Date

    Mar 2007
    Location

    MA
    Posts

    1,123

    Re: [DtB] UW(x) Landstill

    A few side points that didn't really fall into the reply to Freakish777's OP...

    Quote Originally Posted by KillemallCFH View Post
    Jace vs FoF: I've tested both, and even had a split at one point, and I'm definitely going in favor of Jace here. Continuous CA has been much better than one-shot. I recently had 3 Jace/2 FoF but cut the FoFs for utility in Stifle. I could go back to FoFs though, or another card, as I'm not completely sold on Stifles usefulness.
    Agreed Jace > FoF, but I'm still not really sold on its inclusion in UWx. In UBG there is always Deed, so its very possible to EOT pop Deed the board clear, then drop a Jace, pretty much ensuring that you will get to draw 2 cards before your opponent can attack it. In UWx you'd need to main phase both a WoG and the Jace in order to accomplish the same thing.

    Personally for UWx, I feel like Cunning Wish > Jace > FoF. I would rather be spending 3 mana to get the solution card I need than to draw 1 and soak up some inc damage.

    In any situation where there is no pressing assault or disruption that needs to be answered, clearly the raw drawing power of Jace or building up to the huge mill would be stronger than sitting on a Cunning Wish, but really if you're in a position where you don't need to find an answer than you're already in ok shape and Jace really just secures the W even more so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Illissius View Post
    2) Fracturing Gust. This is the best Disenchant effect for the Cunning Wishboard in approximately forever. It's a shame they had to give it to us in the same set as Mini-Moat. Decks with Mini-Moat, Moat, Humility, Counterbalance, or whatever, will have to choose between running Gust, targetted removal, or both.
    This card does not seem good (enough). Other than against Enchantress or Staxx I really can't think of many decks where there are multiple Enchantments/Artifacts on the table that need to be eliminated. Against Staxx if they have mulitple artifacts on the board there is a very good chance you don't have 2WWW available anyway. The only DTB that really seems like it might have enough valid targets to warrant it is Dragon Stompy, but again with Moon the question of having the right mana comes up, additionally Engineered Explosives helps to deal with Chalices, it really just leaves Equipment to worry about, which can be countered or single targeted.

    The lack of need along with the obvious dis-synergy between Fracturing Gust and your own Artifacts and Enchantments: Crucible, EE, Humility/Moat, Hoofprints, Runed Halo, Countertop, etc, it just seems like it won't be better than Return to Dust / Dismantilling Blow very often, and if it means you'd have to sacrifice anything of yours than it will be very much worse.
    TPDMC

  14. #14
    Insane Anarchists Get Mean
    freakish777's Avatar
    Join Date

    Aug 2005
    Location

    NY State
    Posts

    1,739

    Re: Most Powerful win conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by from Cairo View Post
    Mishra's Factory
    For reference I meant outside Mishra's Factory.

    Can we get any of the Dreadstill players to comment perhaps?

    Also, my personal testing points to Vedalken Shackles being much better than most people think. Untapping with it in play usually is "GG" for opposing aggro decks as you're suddenly stealing creatures to chump/trade with, or using their creatures as win conditions. Obviously there's two issues with it, one being combo decks (but that's so for all creature answers) and the other being that it generally replaces something like Wrath or Humility, and that can make dealing with a large early Goyf when you can't find Swords (or a Goose to a lesser extent since you usually trade a Factory with Goose) that you otherwise be able to a little worse.

    It seems most of you like Hoofprints. While I like the card, I have some doubts about it. Particularly the "Play this ability only during your turn" clause. This essentially makes it no better than any other beater that you have to play in your turn, and then still have counter mana up (granted you can do it under Standstill), but this was the big selling point for me for playing Decree of Justice in the deck when the formats first split as opposed to Dragon as it was instant speed. I really wish there were an easy way to circumvent Bitterblossom's drawback, as an effect like that would be ideal.

    Another thing I'd like to bring up is the Wastelock strategy. Is it still relevant? Goyf and combo decks have sped up the fundemental turn in Legacy and with cards such as SDT, Hoofprints, Academy Ruins, Dragon & Factory wanting mana each turn, can we justify a strategy that might take 4 turns to accomplish, might not work (opponent's with singleton basics, this is why I have Ghost Quarter on the list, I've been running it as a 1-of), and over those 4 turns keeps us low on mana ourselves?

    Lastly, without Deed and the recent errata, is it worthwhile to play Mox Diamond or do we not run enough lands or not want acceleration enough to cut other slots? Personally a first turn Counterbalance/Standstill/Counterspell seems extremely good provided you can find 3 or 4 cards to cut.


    Coming back to Crucible + Waste, Goyf gives us an incredible incentive to run Green. Is it worthwhile to try and fit in Explorations if you do?


    Something I'd like to address, by my definition of Power, Cunning Wish is not powerful. Your Extirpate now costs instead of . It's understandable you wouldn't ever want to run it in the main, thus the correct term is that Cunning Wish gives your build a much larger amount of versatility. If you want to call the responsiveness that Cunning Wish gives you "powerful," I don't really care, I just want to point out that I won't as it doesn't fit into my definition of Power, and I think having distinct definitions is important. (The exception here is if you use it like Aggro Loam uses Burning Wish to increase the Loam count to 7, as breaking the "Rule of 4" is powerful, the first Burning Wish for Loam is powerful, every one after that for some other spell that isn't a 3 of in the main instead fills the versatile role)


    For those choosing not to run Counterbalance + Top, why? It screams power with the ability to counter 1, 2, 3, 5, and potentially 4 as well (see Gearheart's "It's the Fear" report -> "I got Counterbalance and won because Counterbalance is dumb", not to mention we don't have the issue of Deed blowing it up, though EE might) in these lists. For 2 mana, there's little else that can hinder the opponent's strategy like Counterbalance does.

  15. #15
    Member
    from Cairo's Avatar
    Join Date

    Mar 2007
    Location

    MA
    Posts

    1,123

    Re: Most Powerful win conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    I meant outside Mishra's Factory.
    I would say Decree of Justice is the next most synergistic. Allowing mana to stay open for counters, being uncounterable, and being a threat under a Standstill.

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    Another thing I'd like to bring up is the Wastelock strategy. Is it still relevant? Goyf and combo decks have sped up the fundemental turn in Legacy and with cards such as SDT, Hoofprints, Academy Ruins, Dragon & Factory wanting mana each turn, can we justify a strategy that might take 4 turns to accomplish, might not work (opponent's with singleton basics, this is why I have Ghost Quarter on the list, I've been running it as a 1-of), and over those 4 turns keeps us low on mana ourselves?
    It's not what it once was, for the reasons you state, that the format is faster, but when it comes to shoring up the game it can definitely be a nail in the coffin. It doesn't really force you to run anything you wouldn't be playing anyway so I see it as a no loss, potential gain situation. If you are at 3-4 mana and have the Crucible in play it is very justifiable to recur Wasteland as long as there is an opposing target for it. Even just shutting them off one splash color could be huge and set them back quite a bit with dead cards in hand, then develop your manabase a bit more and resume the shenanigans.

    Clearly if they are beating your face with guys and you need more mana to cast an answer putting off the Wastelock for a couple turns would be a good move, but as soon as there isn't an immediate threat you could resume it.

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    Lastly, without Deed and the recent errata, is it worthwhile to play Mox Diamond or do we not run enough lands or not want acceleration enough to cut other slots? Personally a first turn Counterbalance/Standstill/Counterspell seems extremely good provided you can find 3 or 4 cards to cut.

    Coming back to Crucible + Waste, Goyf gives us an incredible incentive to run Green. Is it worthwhile to try and fit in Explorations if you do?
    Mox Diamond seems better than Exploration, given that it leaves you with 2 untapped mana turn 1. Exploration really only seems stronger if you have Crucible out. Honestly, I don't think either would be great though, they are both going to be pretty awful when you are digging for an answer to an impending threat and both lose alot of power in the late game. In a deck that is trying to abuse the late game, I don't think Mox Diamond's tempo oriented card disadvantage makes sense.
    TPDMC

  16. #16
    Trapped inside my embryonic cell
    KillemallCFH's Avatar
    Join Date

    Dec 2006
    Location

    Stoughton, MA
    Posts

    934

    Re: [DtB] UW(x) Landstill

    Quote Originally Posted by from Cairo View Post
    It's not what it once was, for the reasons you state, that the format is faster, but when it comes to shoring up the game it can definitely be a nail in the coffin. It doesn't really force you to run anything you wouldn't be playing anyway so I see it as a no loss, potential gain situation. If you are at 3-4 mana and have the Crucible in play it is very justifiable to recur Wasteland as long as there is an opposing target for it. Even just shutting them off one splash color could be huge and set them back quite a bit with dead cards in hand, then develop your manabase a bit more and resume the shenanigans.
    I completely agree on this one. Even if they didn't have synergy, Waste and Crucible are strong enough to play on their own, and their ability to end games against decks not prepared to fight non-basic hate is a huge plus on their side. (Note my list is now running 3 Wastes.)
    Quote Originally Posted by from Cairo View Post
    Mox Diamond seems better than Exploration, given that it leaves you with 2 untapped mana turn 1. Exploration really only seems stronger if you have Crucible out. Honestly, I don't think either would be great though, they are both going to be pretty awful when you are digging for an answer to an impending threat and both lose alot of power in the late game. In a deck that is trying to abuse the late game, I don't think Mox Diamond's tempo oriented card disadvantage makes sense.
    I agree that Exploration seems very poor, and a waste of a slot in Landstill. Regarding Mox Diamond, I had been testing it as a 1-of that could be found with Tolaria West, mostly to be played if I expected a Moon/B2B as well as a way to ramp EE up to 4 if necessary. It was also nice having it in my opener and being able to drop first turn Standstill or have first turn Counterspell mana. I ended up cutting it, but as a 1-of, it wasn't bad. Any more than that though, I agree, does not make sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by from Cairo View Post
    Agreed Jace > FoF, but I'm still not really sold on its inclusion in UWx. In UBG there is always Deed, so its very possible to EOT pop Deed the board clear, then drop a Jace, pretty much ensuring that you will get to draw 2 cards before your opponent can attack it. In UWx you'd need to main phase both a WoG and the Jace in order to accomplish the same thing.
    I agree that it is not as effective in UWx as in UGBx, but I still feel it is powerful enough to warrant inclusion (especially alongside Hoofprints). I've never seemed to have a great deal of trouble controlling the board and allowing Jace to enter play. I have 4 StPs, 4 Factories (chumps), 2 WoGs, and 2 EEs, alongside 8 counterspells that will simply prevent creatures from coming into play to begin with. I see the arguments against him, because when you are in a tight situation he isn't great, but in similar situations, Cunning Wish isn't that much better. I suppose if, for instance, you're staring down 2 Goyfs, Cunning Wish -> Slaughter Pact is certainly more solid than 1UU: Draw a card, prevent the next Goyf damage that would be dealt to you, but if you are, for instance, staring down a horde of Gobs, both are pretty bad.

    A couple other things to note about Jace. (a) He is an absolute bomb against control, moreso than Cunning Wish or FoF. (b) He makes for a very good draw in topdeck mode. This actually came up yesterday: I use all my resources killing/preventing their threats and we both go into topdeck mode. I topdeck the Jace, start creating CA, and eventually win. I suppose Cunning Wish -> Enlightened Tutor -> Humilty/Crucible would also be solid, but slightly less so. (Note I'm not at all trying to make Cunning Wish out to be anywhere near bad. It very well could be the better choice, but from my testing I just feel Jace slightly gets the nod over it.)

    I'd also very much like to get some feedback on the red splash. I know people in the last thread were touting UWR as the worst possible color combination for Landstill, but my list is completely different from the ones described in that I opt to splash red purely for SB options. In the meta described (or, @ from Cairo, in our meta), do you think the red splash has merit? Should I opt to play a more stable straight UW list and just play CoP: Red to shore up my Gobbo matchup (which also helps the Burn/Goyf Slight matchup)? Should I go with UWb instead, using EPlauge, and also having access to Extirpate (while losing access to REB)? I really feel the red splash is indeed powerful and can perform as well if not better than the other splashes, but I am open to suggestion.

    (Also note I've made some slight changes to my list. I opted to cut EE/Ruins, since I rarely ever set that combo up [and when I did, it was completely win-more], and EE on its own presented too much dissynergy with my somewhat permanent-heavy list [Jace, Hoofprints, Crucible]. Currently testing -2 EE, -1 DoJ, -1 Ruins, -1 Tolaria West, +1 WoG, +1 Oblivion Ring [which I am loving thus far], +2 Waste, +1 Island.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg 'IdrA' Fields
    good sir, you appear to be somewhat lacking in intelligence. please refrain from posting until this is remedied, since it renders your opinions slightly less than correct and has a tendency to irritate more informed forum-goers.

  17. #17
    Member

    Join Date

    Jul 2006
    Location

    New York City, NY
    Posts

    1,497

    Re: Most Powerful win conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    For those choosing not to run Counterbalance + Top, why? It screams power with the ability to counter 1, 2, 3, 5, and potentially 4 as well (see Gearheart's "It's the Fear" report -> "I got Counterbalance and won because Counterbalance is dumb"
    Problems with CounterTop in the more traditional UW Landstill core:
    • You are the control deck. Therefore, you play a significant amount of lands making Counterbalance worse blind and with Top. Even if you tweak the build to incorporate the Balance package (aka lower the curve, cut lands), you still have to play 21-23 lands.
    • You can't play sweepers like Pernicious Deed in here. Your sweeper costs 4. Sadly 4 is a cost that might as well be a blank for Counterbalance as you only want to counter stuff with converted mana costs of 1 and 2 with the occasional 3.
    • Counterbalance is much more effective if being used as a tempo card or with other denial to accompany it (Meddling Mage, Pithing Needle etc.). You can't take advantage of the tempo you gain from it making it less strong (it is not unbreakable and if you give your opponent enough time, he'll eventually find a solution or just overpower you. Humility, for comparison sake, dies to the same things but actually is a hard lock once on the board).
    • Counterbalance requires double blue mana and wants a lot of free mana in the opponent's turn. Factories (and other colorless sources) are not a combo with either one of these issues.
    • By playing Counterbalance, you open yourself to other Counterbalances and with the amounts of Thresh in the meta, you don't want to lower your matchup percentages against them, not even from 'close to bye' to 'still pretty good'
    I used to be totally opposed to playing CounterTop in control. I'm not any more (see the double Team SPOD top8 with The Fear), but you have to design the deck with the abuse of said engine in mind. These changes can be done to Landstill (see Bardo's Ubg Vorosh Control) but said engine can be implemented into other cores much more efficiently and doesn't add a lot to Landstill's strategy in general. For sure it makes the Aggro Control matchup better (if you stick it), but you win that already in 90% of the cases. It makes the (storm) combo matchup better... which no-one plays and which isn't that challenging (I have yet to loose a sanctioned match to storm combo with UWb Landstill) in the first place etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    not to mention we don't have the issue of Deed blowing it up, though EE might) in these lists
    In designing something, this should never be an issue: if you have CounterTop working, chances are good that you won't need to use Pernicious Deed / Engineered Explosives. If you do have to use it, you're in such a bad shape that the additional card advantage (CA) -1 won't make itself felt that much or you're making enough CA out of the Pernicious Deed that despite CA-1 you're still more than breaking even.

    Quote Originally Posted by from Cairo View Post
    Personally for UWx, I feel like Cunning Wish > Jace > FoF.
    In any situation where there is no pressing assault or disruption that needs to be answered, clearly the raw drawing power of Jace or building up to the huge mill would be stronger than sitting on a Cunning Wish, but really if you're in a position where you don't need to find an answer than you're already in ok shape and Jace really just secures the W even more so.
    I don't buy all this hype on Jace. He's a bad draw spell as he doesn't find you the solutions when you need them (now!), he's a bad winconditon as he lets your opponent draw into more threats and he's bad on the mana. It is also never wise to give your opponent the possibility/choice to shut you off from your card advantage only via attacking/burning. On top of all that, you want to play Jace early for him to be good, but early, you'd just do so many things rather than playing him (keeping mana open for permission, clearing the board etc.). In the control matchups, I'd still rather have a Cunning Wish (Extirpate is key here) or a Fact or Fiction: you certainly don't want to be spending resources on constantly protecting your card advantage engine against otherwise ignorable cards: creatures... even the control decks tend to pack attackers to get rid of your Jace (Tarmogoyf in Rock, Mishra's Factories, Exalted Angel in Stax, Mishra's Factories, DoJ tokkens in other Landstill etc.).
    Fact or Fiction at least digs for 5 cards deep to find you a solution or to create card advantage - at instant speed.
    Also, Cunning Wish is not bad at all in stalemates or on a neutral board position: he just enforces your win via getting Enlightened Tutor for Humility or enforces your control of the situation via getting Enlightened Tutor for Standstill or Crucible of Worlds.

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    Vedalken Shackles
    I don't find this good enough for Landstill: it is an unreliable and slow removal, especially against Tarmogoyfs which is just incaceptable - especially since the card is competing with stuff like Wrath of God and Humility for the same slot.

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    I really wish there were an easy way to circumvent Bitterblossom's drawback, as an effect like that would be ideal.
    Pulse of the Fields?

    But really, I don't see why you would want to play Bitterblossom:
    • It makes you fetch black early making your manabase more vulnerable.
    • It's not a particularly fast wincondition, especially as a topdeck in the lategame (unlike Decree).
    • It makes it harder to stabilize against aggro because of the life loss.
    Conclusion: too little gain for the risk.
    If you want to play a more tempo-orientated Blue-based control deck that can make use of Bitterblossom, I'd say to go with Skybus.

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    Another thing I'd like to bring up is the Wastelock strategy. Is it still relevant?
    I've always been against running large quantities of Wasteland in Landstill. Here's why:
    • You gain more tempo by making land drops than by depriving your opponent of resources as you are the control deck with the big, expensive four mana spells that wants to ramp up to infinite+ mana to have Counterbackup for everything etc. Your opponent doesn't need more than 2-3 lands in most cases.
    • Manabases are more resilient than in the era where Landstill used to play a full playset of Wastelands: a single Wasteland will just do nothing most of the time.
    • Wasteland is a non-basic and a colourless source which you can't really afford with all the Blood Moons and Back to Basics around - it was hard enough on the manabase when this stuff wasn't around because of you being rather colour hungry anyway.
    A singleton Wasteland with a way to get it if need arises (Tolaria West) is still decent though: Crucible+Waste is still quite powerful to avoid your opponent coming back into the game after you have achieved control, opposing manlands are a real pain, as are recursion lands (Academy Ruins, Volrath's Stronghold).

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    Something I'd like to address, by my definition of Power, Cunning Wish is not powerful. Your Extirpate now costs instead of .
    Pernicious Deed costs often as much mana as Akroma's Vengeance. Is it therefore not powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by from Cairo View Post
    I would say Decree of Justice is the next most synergistic. Allowing mana to stay open for counters, being uncounterable, and being a threat under a Standstill.
    The thing I like about Decree of Justice is that it is decent at any stage of the game: it is an earlygame Fog+Cantrip effect buying you time, in the midgame, it is uncounterable removal or multiple Fog against Goyfs and in the lategame it is an absolute beast of a wincondition.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillemallCFH View Post
    I'd also very much like to get some feedback on the red splash. I know people in the last thread were touting UWR as the worst possible color combination for Landstill, but my list is completely different from the ones described in that I opt to splash red purely for SB options. In the meta described (or, @ from Cairo, in our meta), do you think the red splash has merit? Should I opt to play a more stable straight UW list and just play CoP: Red to shore up my Gobbo matchup (which also helps the Burn/Goyf Slight matchup)? Should I go with UWb instead, using EPlauge, and also having access to Extirpate (while losing access to REB)? I really feel the red splash is indeed powerful and can perform as well if not better than the other splashes, but I am open to suggestion.
    Playing a splash only for sideboard options is absolutely reasonable (see 0 black cards in the maindeck of UWb Cunning Landstill) as long as the sideboard cards are worth splashing.
    To examine which cards are worth splashing, you have to take a close look at the bad matchups of Landstill which are pretty much all coupled with a recursion engine which will overpower the Landstill player. Extirpate solves this. Nothing in any other colour does this, or at least doesn't do it as well and as polyvalently as Extirpate (it can hit Tarmogoyfs against NQG crippling their aggro, it can help win the lategame against other control decks, it slows down combo decks etc.). Now if you want any other cards for other matchups, I'd rather investigate if an alternative doesn't exist in Black as Black gives you some of the best sideboard cards... and by doing this you'll realize that there's little that black can't do. Pyroclasm is substituted by Engineered Plague (which is even better in the Cephalid Breakfast and Fish matchups). Red Elemental Blast can be replaced by Duress and Thoughtseize which are still pretty good in the control matchup and even heighten your win percentage against combo.
    This list could be continued for most cards I'd guess, so that in the end, you'll end up with the conclusion that you don't need any more than Blue, White and Black, at least not if you're playing the more controlling versions of Landstill... other, more tempo orientated versions (Ur, Urb) can make a great use of Red for Mainboard reach (Lightning Bolt) and tempo (Fire/Ice), but those cards only belong in Landstill if you can back them up with a clock (6+ manlands, Tombstalker, Tarmogoyf etc.) and need an entirely different approach to the archetype.

    Quote Originally Posted by Illissius View Post
    Fracturing Gust. This is the best Disenchant effect for the Cunning Wishboard in approximately forever. It's a shame they had to give it to us in the same set as Mini-Moat. Decks with Mini-Moat, Moat, Humility, Counterbalance, or whatever, will have to choose between running Gust, targetted removal, or both.
    If it weren't for the tripple (!) white cost, I'd be excited about this, but sadly at this cost it will be too harsh on the manabase, I'd guess.
    Generally speaking I still recommend Return to Dust as the wishboard 'Disenchant' slot: it creates card advantage at a moderate price and you have other tools against Blood Moon/Magus of the Moon (Blue Elemental Blast and Slaughter Pact).

    Quote Originally Posted by thefreakaccident View Post
    UWb Cunning Landstill
    The current list can be found here (I'm keeping this updated as changes are made to the list).
    Team SPOD - ...land of the brave...

  18. #18
    Insane Anarchists Get Mean
    freakish777's Avatar
    Join Date

    Aug 2005
    Location

    NY State
    Posts

    1,739

    Re: Most Powerful win conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Der_imaginäre_Freund View Post
    (aka lower the curve, cut lands), you still have to play 21-23 lands.
    23 lands or 24 lands is potentially acceptable. Keep in mind that Crucible + a fetch ensures that the number of lands in your deck goes down every turn (and allows you to respond every turn to their spells when you know the top 2 cards don't match the casting cost of the spell played).

    You can't play sweepers like Pernicious Deed in here. Your sweeper costs 4. Sadly 4 is a cost that might as well be a blank for Counterbalance as you only want to counter stuff with converted mana costs of 1 and 2 with the occasional 3.
    In general this is correct. The occasional 4 comes in the form of however few DoJs and FoFs you run are. I will point out however that I have been saved by a blind Counterbalance revealing Decree of Justice against AngelStax attempting to resolve an Armageddon (they had Crucible in play, I did not) once. It is usually not relevent, but the ability to counter spells at all spots in the curve can come in handy. What would be nice is a statistical breakdown of cards in Top 8 lists to find the percantage of cards play that are countered by counterbalace at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. Ideally you would then be able to construct a deck with the same percentage of 1cc, 2cc, 3cc, 4cc, 5cc spells, etc.


    Counterbalance requires double blue mana
    So does Counterspell, the more important part here is that you're usually wanting to tap out on turn 2 for it, and without Daze, you're less likely to resolve it then Threshold is.

    and wants a lot of free mana in the opponent's turn. Factories (and other colorless sources) are not a combo with either one of these issues.
    This is actually one of the reasons I'm question the power of the Wastelock strategy. Countertop seems to be more powerful, and the 2 strategies are competiting for your resources.


    By playing Counterbalance, you open yourself to other Counterbalances
    How so? Your Counterbalance will be less powerful then Threshold's, yes (because you aren't backing it up with a fast clock), but that doesn't mean we have to optimize that one strategy.

    This may seem to contradict what this thread is about, but let me assure you it doesn't. We are attempting to build the "best deck" for a given metagame. The best deck can implement any number of strategies (limited to 60 cards), it is therefore in our interest to find the best strategies available to us and not only attempt to incorporate them, but identify which of them are the most important (which strategy is responsible for the most game wins among all of them, the dominate strategy if it wins more then any other strategy) and optimize that one strategy. This means that if the best strategy your deck has requires you play four 4cc cards and twelve 3cc cards, your Counterbalance + Top "strategy" may not be optimized. But this unoptimized, less important (less dominant) strategy may still be more powerful then the other strategies available to you, in which case you incorporate it anyways in it's unoptimized form because it's the right strategy to incorporate. If the Wastelock were a dominate strategy, not playing 4 Crucible of Worlds and 4 Wastelands would be a mistake, so that's a currently unoptimized strategy in Landstill builds (and for good reason in my opinion, in fact when the formats first split, if your list had 3 Wastelands in it instead of 4, people assumed you were automatically wrong, and yet either the metagame has evolved, or people have correctly determined that the strategy isn't as good as it was once perceived, or a little bit of both as many lists have gone to 3 Wastelands).

    Let me be clear, I think Counterbalance + Top is a powerful enough strategy to warrant testing and possibly inclusion. The only question in my mind is if it's unoptimized version (without the fast clock and the exact percentage of casting cost spells in your deck your opponents are playing) is powerful enough to supplant a competing strategy.

    As such, with an unoptimized Counterbalance strategy, you don't necessarily "open yourself up to other Counterbalances" to the extent one would initially think.



    Aggro Control matchup better (if you stick it), but you win that already in 90% of the cases. It makes the (storm) combo matchup better... which no-one plays and which isn't that challenging (I have yet to loose a sanctioned match to storm combo with UWb Landstill) in the first place etc.
    In otherwords you're saying that focus should be on beating the aggro match (and your suggestion is resolving Humility with Manlands in play).


    But really, I don't see why you would want to play Bitterblossom:
    • It makes you fetch black early making your manabase more vulnerable.
    • It's not a particularly fast wincondition, especially as a topdeck in the lategame (unlike Decree).
    • It makes it harder to stabilize against aggro because of the life loss.
    There should have been an 's' at the end of the drawback when talking about that card. I wasn't so much talking about Bitterblossom, as much as lamenting the fact that there isn't an enchantment/land that creates token creatures at (what I consider to be) "reasonable costs" for Legacy (if Hoofprints creating them during your opponent's turn, I'd be sold).



    Pernicious Deed costs often as much mana as Akroma's Vengeance. Is it therefore not powerful?
    If the definition of "Work" were simply mana cost then, no Deed would in fact has the same power level as Akroma's Vengeance. However defining "Work" is a little harder to do as it includes any set up, time, etc involved. Since Deed can be broken up over 2 turns it is usually powerful (as you can use it on turn 4 for the desired effect, this is why a combo involving a 5 mana spell and a 1 mana spell that wins the game is less powerful then a combo with 2 mana spell and a 4 mana spell).

    I was simply stating that by my definition of Power, Cunning Wish isn't powerful, but instead versatile. This isn't necessarily bad, while I do want to pursue looking for the most powerful cards and strategies to get into the deck, that doesn't mean that there is automatically no place for versatility in the lists we discuss, as that versatility may be the difference between making top 8 and not (however I think the best use of time at the beginning of this thread is to identify the most powerful strategies, and then after a framework has been established, move to "customizing" your deck for your metagame, which is where versatility shines).

  19. #19
    Member

    Join Date

    Jul 2006
    Location

    New York City, NY
    Posts

    1,497

    Re: Most Powerful win conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    23 lands or 24 lands is potentially acceptable. Keep in mind that Crucible + a fetch ensures that the number of lands in your deck goes down every turn (and allows you to respond every turn to their spells when you know the top 2 cards don't match the casting cost of the spell played).
    [...]
    The occasional 4 comes in the form of however few DoJs and FoFs you run are.
    My point was that the strength of Counterbalance (both blind shots and with top) decreases proportionally to the amount of lands/cards that don't counter anything if revealed (lands and cmc4+) you play.
    As Landstill still is a mana intensive control deck (especially Factories), you generally want some more lands than your average aggro-control making Counterbalance worse.

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    So does Counterspell, the more important part here is that you're usually wanting to tap out on turn 2 for it, and without Daze, you're less likely to resolve it then Threshold is.
    The thing is that you don't to fully remove Counterspell for Counterbalance which would up the colour-hungriness of the deck which is not a good thing to do, especially not in a metagame with Wastelands+Stifles+Blood Moons etc. all running rampage.

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    Let me be clear, I think Counterbalance + Top is a powerful enough strategy to warrant testing and possibly inclusion. The only question in my mind is if it's unoptimized version (without the fast clock and the exact percentage of casting cost spells in your deck your opponents are playing) is powerful enough to supplant a competing strategy.
    I disagree with this as if you're only eventually/randomly countering each other spell with Counterbalance, it is not good enough as a control element and should therefore not be implemented in favour of other, more reliable, control elements.
    Counterbalance can be very strong, but to assure this, you have to adapt your deck to it because otherwise it is not strong enough... paradox isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by me
    Counterbalance opens yourself up to Counterbalance
    How so? Your Counterbalance will be less powerful then Threshold's, yes (because you aren't backing it up with a fast clock), but that doesn't mean we have to optimize that one strategy.
    To run Counterbalance to an extent where it is a threat (read: you reliably hit the most commonly played spells and have a certain probability of countering stuff even without Top) and not only a semi-reliable two card combo that doesn't win the game, you have to adapt your curve to the average curve of Legacy decks which would look something like this (random/rough figures):
    37.5% cmc1 | 50% cmc2 | 12.5% cmc3
    If you trim your deck as much as possible to follow these figures (you won't be able to do this to the fullest extent anyway because you need Wrath of Gods), you yourself get exposed to opposing Counterbalances as your opponent (take NQG for example which has a distribution of around 60% cmc1 and 40% cmc2) has now a higher chance of hitting something vital (unlike previously where you could rely on cmc3+ spells).

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    In other words you're saying that focus should be on beating the aggro match (and your suggestion is resolving Humility with Manlands in play).
    Since the most common matchup is the aggro matchup, yes, I strongly recommend making sure one's beating it first - especially if the inclusion of cards that make the aggro matchup better (Humility) are also good in most other matchups (Humility spells 'I win' against anything that wants to kill with creatures... seriously. Even MUC.).
    The control matchup can then be fixed via 'strong' cards like Standstill, Cunning Wish, Decree of Justice etc. and the combo matchup can be left ignored: it is not worth diluting your other matchup percentages for an archetype that you're only likely to face once in a long tournament... and even the combo matchup is not that bad (as stated) because of strong control elements and postboard Meddling Mages + Extirpates.

    Quote Originally Posted by freakish777 View Post
    However I think the best use of time at the beginning of this thread is to identify the most powerful strategies, and then after a framework has been established, move to "customizing" your deck for your metagame, which is where versatility shines.
    If you want to build a UWx Landstill version featuring CounterTop (which is still unneeded and inferior to other decks in my opinion), here're some ideas for a skeleton:
    • 21-23 lands and more cantrips (Ponder?) for smoothing
    • 0-3 Repeal for amazing tempo and versatility
    • Thirst for Knowledge over Fact or Fiction for mana cost reasons
    • Hoofprints of the Stag over Decree of Justice for mana cost reasons
    • Oblivion Ring, Condemn, Wing Shards, Smother, Ghastly Demise for additional removal and mana cost reasons
    Team SPOD - ...land of the brave...

  20. #20
    Insane Anarchists Get Mean
    freakish777's Avatar
    Join Date

    Aug 2005
    Location

    NY State
    Posts

    1,739

    Re: Most Powerful win conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Der_imaginäre_Freund View Post
    37.5% cmc1 | 50% cmc2 | 12.5% cmc3
    This is clearly not accurate when you look at Top 8 decklists sections. Say you only took results from the Winter Wonderland Tournament here.

    Here's our estimated breakdowns (of just maindeck cards):


    1: 43.1%
    2: 31.4%
    3: 11.7%
    4: 6%
    5: 6.4%
    6: 0%
    7: 0%
    8: 1.4%
    9+: 0%

    (I would wager that in the month of March our deviation from these numbers is less then 5% for 1 and 2, less then 3% on 3, less than 2% on 4 and 6+, the only number I think would change drastically would be 5, as the number of Force of Wills at a tournament always seems to be very high, or very low)

    The following cards were left out, due to the fact that the decks strategy usually doesn't involve playing that card, or we shouldn't worry about them:

    Squee, Anger, Genesis, Ichorid, Bridge from Below, Narcomoeba, Dredge creatures, Cephalid Sage, Flame Kin Zealot, Lands and cards costing zero.

    so, if we have 24 lands in our main, and 36 cards left, and our goal is to optimize Counterbalance (again, I don't think it's necessary to optimize it for it to be a powerful strategy) against those 8 decks, our breakdown should be:

    1: 16
    2: 11
    3: 4
    4: 2
    5: 2
    8: 1

    Now, for the sake of argument let's take that 8cc card out of our analysis (Tombstalker, as we're pretty sure we aren't going to run something that costs 8) and dump it into our 5 slot, let's also take a 1cc card and move it to the 5cc slot (the 1cc slot got rounded up, the 5cc slot got rounded down, and we want to be at 4 FoW, obviously).

    so our new list gives us:

    1: 15
    2: 11
    3: 4
    4: 2
    5: 4

    Something like:

    4 Stifle
    4 Swords to Plowshares
    4 Brainstorm
    3 Sensei's Divining Top

    4 Counterspell
    4 Standstill
    3 Counterbalance

    2 Crucible of Worlds
    2 Cunning Wish

    2 Humility

    4 Force of Will

    Now, obviously that list has it's flaws (needs a win condition, Stifle probably isn't that hot, etc, if we go to 37 cards and 23 lands, the extra card would end up at the 2cc slot, which could be a Hoofprints), but the point remains, countering 4cc and 5cc spells is more important than your original guess lets on, as cards at those casting costs are likely to be about 10% of any given metagame (your guess is 3cc is almost spot on, your guess at 1 and 2 are basically reversed from what they should be, and both are less important than you thought, as 4 and 5 are more important).

    Let me repeat, I don't think it's in your best interest (necessarily) to optimize a strategy just because you're playing. It's in your best interest to optimize the strategy responsible for the most match wins.


    I'm fully aware of the other issues with the Counterbalance package (the mana intensity of it). The argument that "you open yourself up to opposing Counterbalances" is actually a double edged sword as it necessarily means your resolved Counterbalance is more powerful.

    What do you suggest in it's place as a more powerful strategy/control element? (In your own words "eventually countering each other spell with Counterbalance," I don't know about anyone else, but that seems to go a long way into "hindering your opponent from accomplishing their strategy").

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

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