[Deck] The Gate

  • #51
    I'm assuming both jwai and gravemind are using both tombstalkers and BoB on their decks. I would love to play an aggro deck with a set of tombstalkers and bob on them. I just have never seen both in the same deck.

    What are your good M/U and bad M/U with this kind of build? I really think it slows you down and you'll give your opponents a chance to stabilize.
  • #52
    I don't run Bob, it is a poor choice at my local shop given that 8 life is a huge deal, as I win a lot of games at low life already and I can only think of one game where I lost due to not drawing enough. I don't run fetches as I have never needed them to be able to play Stalker and I don't want to open myself to unnecessary hate, Stifle and Blood Moon.

    As far as matchups, I don't have a lot of postboard testing as I never had a definite sideboard and I play this deck more casually than my other decks.

    Lists are very different, mine is:
    Gravemind123's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    20 Swamp
    4 Dark Ritual

    4 Tombstalker
    4 Nantuko Shade
    4 Hypnotic Specter
    2 Knight of Stromgald
    2 Order of the Ebon Hand
    2 Nyxathid

    4 Duress
    4 Hymn to Tourach
    4 Diabolic Edict
    4 Smother
    2 Umezawa's Jitte



    It should be running Thoughtseize along with Duress, but I haven't found them for a price I'd be willing to pay. My sideboard isn't set in stone, but if I keep meaning to test Dystopia. Leyline or Relic for grave hate and Everlasting Torment to shut off life gain are good choices.

    This build's(creature destroy heavy, no land destruction, maindeck Jitte) has the following matchups:

    Dreadstill(Pre-board): I've only played this about 8 times, but I have won about 5 of them, it is slightly in your favor because you can strip countermagic which allows you to use Edict or Smother to take out the Dreadnaught the next turn. Your removal kills every threat in the deck, Mishra's Factory, Tarmogoyf and Dreadnaught all die to Smother and Edict. Counter-top is a problem if they get it active, but sneaking a threat through is a blow for them. Tombstalker is the MVP here, they can't counterbalance him or usually Daze him(be sure they can't!) and the decks removal can't deal with him.

    Dreadstill(Post board): they get Sower of Temptation, which is easier to deal with if you are running Thoughtseize, but after that you need Edict, which just lets them sacrifice what they stole. If they get countertop and sower it basically becomes an unwinnable game if you don't already have Jitte, as they can just make it so they have a 2-CMC card to flip at all times.

    Burn: Simple, you get Jitte active or get Duress and Hymn to stop them fast or you die.
    Post board: Same story.

    Landstill, I haven't tested against enough, but I lose postboard in all the games I've tested, Order/Knight of Stromgald are good cards in the MU, but Factory can handle them unless you can pump mana into them. If you can, you have a shot at winning as they then have to 1 for 1 with WoG to take him out. Post board PtE, StP, Vindicate, WoG and Elsepth tokens for blocking are a bit much for the deck to handle. Dystopia I want to try sometime as it should help kill Elspeth.

    Dragon Stompy: You have an advantage preboard as Chalice at 1 only kills Duress and Ritual. Edict is a hosing against a deck that uses so many cards to lay down one threat. Magus of the Moon and Blood Moon have no effect on your plays.

    Postboard they get Trinisphere which hurts, I would say the matchup postboard is favorable to whoever is on the play. If you hit them with discard off of ritual it can hurt them a ton, and first turn 3sphere hurts you.

    Jank aggro: Creature kill, Jitte and single cards that are large enough threats to each need to be dealt with make this deck good against random aggro that shows up.

    Zoo, Countertop(UGW/UGWB/UGB), Tempo Thresh(UGR), Stax, Ichorid and Combo either aren't played in my meta, I'm the one who would play them(Zoo/Solidarity) or the people who play them prefer other decks enough that I don't have much in the way of testing against them.
    MTG Rules Advisor
    I currently play only two formats, what I play in them is:
    Legacy: Domain Zoo, RGW Zoo, Merfolk, Solidarity, Mono Black Aggro
    EDH: Kagemaro, First to Suffer
  • #53
    When i was running Bob, the problem wasn't the life loss (even when i was running 4 Stalkers as well). The problem was he lost you tempo. Yes, given a few turns he could gain back some card advantage, but he didn't put pressure on your opponent straight away. Bob can be given 2 turns, by your oponent while they do something that is non-reactive (he may attack for 2 and he may mean i draw an extra creature, but that will be it for those 2 turns).

    The changes i'm considering from my current list are:

    -2 dusk urchins
    -1 smother
    +1 Ashenmoor Gouger
    +2 Profane Command

    I'm not certain on how good the command will be (needs testing) but it feels like they will fill a little gap.
    "Yawgmoth," Freyalise whispered as she set the bomb, "now you will pay for your treachery."
  • #54
    Would Sign in Blood fit in this deck instead of bob?
  • #55
    Sign in Blood could be an interesting replacement for bob...the only problem I see with it is the BB in the casting cost. The reason I like it more than night's whisper is because it can "burn" your opponent for 2 life unlike night's whisper and can also be used to draw you cards. But bob can already deal 2 to your opponent if he swings or possibly more it depends on the MU and what the board looks like. But yeah I guess I could test sign in blood
    "Yawgmoth," Freyalise whispered as she set the bomb, "now you will pay for your treachery."

    -Freyalise

    Currently Playing:
    Legacy:
    UBWRGAll manner of storm comboGRWBU
    Dark Ritual on The Source and Storm Boards
    Notable finishes:
    Top 16 SCG Kansas City Legacy Open 2012 with Burning ANT
    Top 32 SCG Minneapolis Legacy Open 2012 with Burning ANT
  • #56
    Sign in blood / night's whisper > than bob if you run several 3cc or a set of stalkers (some people dont care and run them alongside each other).

    Why is BB hard to hit in MBA, Barl? I'm not seeing your logic that it could pose as a problem.

    Also how many of you run a copy of volrath's stronghold
    Piloting:

    BW(G) Junkblade - Legacy
    BW Vial Deadguy - Legacy
    UWR Geist - Modern
    UR(B) Delver - Modern
    W(G) Death & Taxes - Modern
    Oona, Queen of the Fae - EDH

    Quote from Tiax
    In other news, crazy nitwits playing dress-up have also convicted the Hamburglar, the Cookie Crisp Crook, and the Frito Bandito of sundry snack-related thefts.

    Seriously, what about this strikes you as remotely worthy of discussion?
  • #57
    I'm not running Volrath's stronghold. With the tombstalkers i rarely have enough graveyard. But i can see the worth of it, once you've run out of hand it would be good to get a creature each turn.

    As for sign in blood, I dont think it matters too much about BB - hymn, sinkhole and shades are already BB and that's rarely a problem. When I played the against a similar deck to mine in the last FNM (i posted above) he was running sign in blood. I was glad to see him play it because it gave me a turn without facing disruption. If he had had something else disruptive he would probably have put me under real pressure, but he was never quite able to do that. It might be worth trying Sign in Blood, but I'm going to wait to hear someone else having success with it.
    "Yawgmoth," Freyalise whispered as she set the bomb, "now you will pay for your treachery."
  • #58
    I think you should run at least 1 volrath's. This card is a necessity for most decks using black.
  • #59
    Yeah I really have to disagree that running tombstalkers dampens the worth of that card. It's just so good to have a land you can fall back on to recur threats every turn without much of a drawback besides drawing a threat instead of a not-threat (OH NO!). The colorless should hamper this deck very little.
    Piloting:

    BW(G) Junkblade - Legacy
    BW Vial Deadguy - Legacy
    UWR Geist - Modern
    UR(B) Delver - Modern
    W(G) Death & Taxes - Modern
    Oona, Queen of the Fae - EDH

    Quote from Tiax
    In other news, crazy nitwits playing dress-up have also convicted the Hamburglar, the Cookie Crisp Crook, and the Frito Bandito of sundry snack-related thefts.

    Seriously, what about this strikes you as remotely worthy of discussion?
  • #60
    Whoever said you need fetchlands to make tombstalker effective is wrong....fetchlands make the deck worse IMO because it opens us up to stifle. Also if you run bob's you're already losing enough life for his draw effect and that one point of damage you take from fetching could matter later. Also this deck plays a lot of cards so your graveyard should fill up rather quickly thanks to dark ritual and all the discard and land destruction spells you run. You can play with fetches if you want though.

    The BB doesn't matter in this deck I don't know what I was thinking when I said that...I keep thinking "what if I play wasteland turn 2" when you already have enough sources for making black via dark rit and swamps
    "Yawgmoth," Freyalise whispered as she set the bomb, "now you will pay for your treachery."

    -Freyalise

    Currently Playing:
    Legacy:
    UBWRGAll manner of storm comboGRWBU
    Dark Ritual on The Source and Storm Boards
    Notable finishes:
    Top 16 SCG Kansas City Legacy Open 2012 with Burning ANT
    Top 32 SCG Minneapolis Legacy Open 2012 with Burning ANT
  • #61
    Quote from Barl, Artificer
    Whoever said you need fetchlands to make tombstalker effective is wrong....

    Playing only 4 fetchlands sometimes makes first tombstalker difficult to cast and I was never able to cast the second one. With no fetchlands it should be worse. If You play no fetchlands, You should decrease tombstalkers to 3 or 2 IMO.
  • #62
    Quote from popiezhius
    Playing only 4 fetchlands sometimes makes first tombstalker difficult to cast and I was never able to cast the second one. With no fetchlands it should be worse. If You play no fetchlands, You should decrease tombstalkers to 3 or 2 IMO.


    I have been running Mono-Black Aggro for quite a while now and I have been doing so WITHOUT fetchlands. And let me tell you... THEY ARE NOT needed in this deck in order to make the Tombstalker work. The only reason you should be running them at all... is if you expect to be able to pull off a consistent "First Turn Tombstalker" in as many matches as possible. This can be done without them, but not as consistently.

    The reason I say this, is because of the following scenerios:

    Deck W/O Fetches needs the following opening hand to get a first turn tombstalker:

    Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, Swamp, Stalker, 2 other cards of little consequence.

    Swamp ==> Dark Ritual (3 mana) ==> 2nd Dark Ritual (5 mana) ==> 3rd Dark Ritual (7 mana) ==> remove 1 of the Dark Rituals from the game ==> cast Tombstalker.

    Meanwhile a deck With Fetchlands can do it with the following opening hand:

    Fetchland, Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, Stalker, 3 other cards of little consequence.

    Play Fetchland ==> Fetch a Swamp ==> Dark Ritual (3 mana floating) ==> 2nd Dark Ritual (5 mana floating) ==> remove all 3 cards in the graveyard from the game ==> Cast Tombstalker.

    The differences here is that you require 1 less Dark Ritual for a first turn Tombstalker which makes the likelyhood of getting the combo much higher.

    The real question... WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU WANT A FIRST TURN TOMBSTALKER????

    The answer is that it breaks most decks. The problem is that almost every deck in existence has an answer to a first turn tombstalker... or they should if they are any good.

    That is why I am firmly of the opinion that Fetchlands in Mono-Black Aggro are absolutely a luxury item that only helps when getting out that first turn tombstalker, and only hurt you in any other circumstance with all the other life point draining cards that we run in these decks.
    "As the size of an explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of solving approaches zero." -- Varsuvius, Order of the Stick
  • #63
    I've honestly never had an issue playing 2 Tombstalkers in a game with no fetchlands and even no Wasteland. The average amount I Delve per Tombstalker is 4-5, which is pretty easy to obtain, and as I said before, I drop Tombstalker as my last threat since it is the one that is best to drop after Counterbalance(which can stop your other threats) or a board sweep, as it is the biggest creature that doesn't require a mana investment each turn and the board sweep gave you things to Delve for.
    MTG Rules Advisor
    I currently play only two formats, what I play in them is:
    Legacy: Domain Zoo, RGW Zoo, Merfolk, Solidarity, Mono Black Aggro
    EDH: Kagemaro, First to Suffer
  • #64
    Quote from Gravemind123
    The average amount I Delve per Tombstalker is 4-5, which is pretty easy to obtain


    the other thing to remember with Tombstalker is that you can OVER delve with him. In otherwords you can delve for a great deal more than his converted casting cost. This is why I love the card, as it acts as a one sided graveyard removal when you are up against something like a Tarmogoyf and you have fed it a little to much food that game.

    Personally however, I am more concerned with how this deck deals with cards like Guerrilla Tactics and Psychic Purge
    Last edited by DalkonCledwin: 8/16/2009 2:32:53 AM
    "As the size of an explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of solving approaches zero." -- Varsuvius, Order of the Stick
  • #65
    Yeah being able to drop a tombstalker turn 1...I would rather pull out the old school dark ritual into hyppie or dark ritual into a thoughtseize and hymn to tourach. Or bob to get CA immediately. Burning through your hand to get turn 1 stalker and just have it StPed is devastating because they just answered 3-4 of your cards with just one card. For me to go for turn 1 stalker I would have to have a backup plan in the form of a swamp and a dark confidant so I could hopefully rebuild before my opponent crushes me with a goyf or something nasty
    "Yawgmoth," Freyalise whispered as she set the bomb, "now you will pay for your treachery."

    -Freyalise

    Currently Playing:
    Legacy:
    UBWRGAll manner of storm comboGRWBU
    Dark Ritual on The Source and Storm Boards
    Notable finishes:
    Top 16 SCG Kansas City Legacy Open 2012 with Burning ANT
    Top 32 SCG Minneapolis Legacy Open 2012 with Burning ANT
  • #66
    Just a nitpick, Hymn first is more effective then Thoughtseize first.
  • #67
    Quote from theripperfex
    Just a nitpick, Hymn first is more effective then Thoughtseize first.


    um... NO... especially not if you are playing a control deck. You want to bait any counterspells (or other answers) they might have before you use the big guns. The only time that I could see using a Hymn first is if you think they might have a divert... and even then I would sooner use the thoughtseize first cause losing two of my cards is much worse off a divert than losing one card that I get to choose.
    "As the size of an explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of solving approaches zero." -- Varsuvius, Order of the Stick
  • #68
    I would thoughtseize first as well. Getting to look at their hand gives you more information about what your next plays should be (i guess in most cases it would by hymn next anyway).

    As for the fetchlands, i do not run any and I dont have trouble casting Tombstalker - after 3 turns of playing land and disrupting your opponent you're normally about there on the 4th turn. Also i'd rather play stalker a bit later to ensure try to keep him protected by discarding your opponents removal, or drawing it out on something lesser like a shade of spectre.

    From that point of veiw as well I would not cast a first turn stalker unless i was very confident that it would be safe (which i wont be against many decks). I would rather use early dark rituals for disruption.
    "Yawgmoth," Freyalise whispered as she set the bomb, "now you will pay for your treachery."
  • #69
    I would definitely thoughtseize first then hymn next. You wanna precisely remove that threat right away from his hand.
  • #70
    Yeah thoughtseize first to see if they use counters on it. If they don't counter it get rid of their FoW with the thoughtseize and then proceed to hymn them. Thoughtseize should always be played first
    "Yawgmoth," Freyalise whispered as she set the bomb, "now you will pay for your treachery."

    -Freyalise

    Currently Playing:
    Legacy:
    UBWRGAll manner of storm comboGRWBU
    Dark Ritual on The Source and Storm Boards
    Notable finishes:
    Top 16 SCG Kansas City Legacy Open 2012 with Burning ANT
    Top 32 SCG Minneapolis Legacy Open 2012 with Burning ANT
  • #71
    Quote from Barl, Artificer
    Yeah thoughtseize first to see if they use counters on it. If they don't counter it get rid of their FoW with the thoughtseize and then proceed to hymn them. Thoughtseize should always be played first

    More often than not I'll take something more relevant than FOW and let them counter my Hymn. Still 2-for-1, but you know you got something you didn't want in their hands.
    98% Spike, 1.3% Timmy, 0.7% Johnny.
  • #72
    The problem with your opponent forcing your hymn to tourach is that they often get to choose what they discard...sure they get rid of two cards in your hand but they get to choose those 2. The 1 life spent to counter the hymn with FoW also doesn't really matter except in rare instances. But when you thoughtseize your opponent you should know whether or not to get rid of the counter they have there -or- let them counter your hymn (as long as their counter isn't a daze or something when they have an island out). But yeah whether you want to resolve hymn or not depends on what is in the opponents hand.
    "Yawgmoth," Freyalise whispered as she set the bomb, "now you will pay for your treachery."

    -Freyalise

    Currently Playing:
    Legacy:
    UBWRGAll manner of storm comboGRWBU
    Dark Ritual on The Source and Storm Boards
    Notable finishes:
    Top 16 SCG Kansas City Legacy Open 2012 with Burning ANT
    Top 32 SCG Minneapolis Legacy Open 2012 with Burning ANT
  • #73
    Dark Ritual
  • #74
    ^

    I'm sorry. wrong post. Please delete. Thanks!

    Please refer to this link and leave some comments to empower my deck. Thanks!

    http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?p=4196876#post4196876
    Last edited by seshirure: 8/20/2009 3:27:21 AM
  • #75
    My comments to the above (i've posted them in the link too)

    Creatures: Good, I would add the 4th Tombstalker - they're that good. Possibly consider Nantuko shade

    Discard: I would drop raven's crime and add 2 duress (i'm running 4 thoughtseize and 2 duress because i like a turn 1 look at my opponents hand, to plan my next moves).

    Draw engine: I've never tested phyrexian arena. I did test Bob but the draw was too slow to be worthwhile. I run no draw now - and the deck has never been smoother.

    Land disruption: You already have 4 wasteland. I would really try to get 4 sinkhole to go with that - not cheap but worth it.

    Smallpox: Has it's place in a pox deck, but not here - it's not as equal as it sounds, you take mana, turns and the card itself to cast it, then you have the symetrical effects - i always found i lost out more than my opponent did.

    Smother is Excellent. I was running diabolic edict until i tested smother - now smother.
    "Yawgmoth," Freyalise whispered as she set the bomb, "now you will pay for your treachery."
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