Ponder Or Think Twice?

  • #1
    So I'm Making a deck and checking it twice making sure every slot is nicely filled and came to wonder which of the following cards would be best for the 4x slots i have open:

    Ponder Or Think Twice Would Be Better In A UW Control deck?

    All Advice Is Well Received!

    P.S. Would Forbidden Alchemy be better to run even if I'm not running black?
  • #2
    the cards do fundamentally different things.

    Ponder is a mana efficient way of trying to draw certain cards earlier. It gives you a card-neutral and mana cheap way of manipulating the order your draw things in so you can make plays in a more tempo optimal way.

    Think Twice is a mana inefficient way of getting extra cards. Paying 5 mana for +1 net card is inefficient compared to alternatives (Divination only costs 3 mana for the same net gain), but Think Twice lets you spread out the cost over time. Its basically a mana sink that lets you convert turns where you had no productive use for your mana into an extra card.


    the two cards in no way compete for the same spots in a deck. you need to identify which effect is more important for your strategy and choose your card based on that. they aren't both just "draw spells", they are very different. understand the differences. understand your strategy and what it needs. then its easy to choose.
  • #3
    Quote from metamorph

    Think Twice is a mana inefficient way of getting extra cards. Paying 5 mana for +1 net card is inefficient compared to alternatives (Divination only costs 3 mana for the same net gain), but Think Twice lets you spread out the cost over time. Its basically a mana sink that lets you convert turns where you had no productive use for your mana into an extra card.

    the two cards in no way compete for the same spots in a deck. you need to identify which effect is more important for your strategy and choose your card based on that. they aren't both just "draw spells", they are very different. understand the differences. understand your strategy and what it needs. then its easy to choose.



    Mostly true, except you also forgot to mention that Think Twice is an instant. In a permission control deck, you'd probably want Think Twice over Divination, simply because you don't need to tap out on your main phase. In a tapout control deck, you probably want Divination.

    But neither is comparable to Ponder, because the roles are very different.
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  • #4
    Quote from metamorph
    the cards do fundamentally different things.

    Ponder is a mana efficient way of trying to draw certain cards earlier. It gives you a card-neutral and mana cheap way of manipulating the order your draw things in so you can make plays in a more tempo optimal way.

    Think Twice is a mana inefficient way of getting extra cards. Paying 5 mana for +1 net card is inefficient compared to alternatives (Divination only costs 3 mana for the same net gain), but Think Twice lets you spread out the cost over time. Its basically a mana sink that lets you convert turns where you had no productive use for your mana into an extra card.


    the two cards in no way compete for the same spots in a deck. you need to identify which effect is more important for your strategy and choose your card based on that. they aren't both just "draw spells", they are very different. understand the differences. understand your strategy and what it needs. then its easy to choose.


    Thanks for the tip, i will proceed accordingly with ponder.
  • #5
    I don't think I would play Ponder without shuffle effects.
  • #6
    Quote from Hardcore Heathen
    Mostly true, except you also forgot to mention that Think Twice is an instant. In a permission control deck, you'd probably want Think Twice over Divination, simply because you don't need to tap out on your main phase. In a tapout control deck, you probably want Divination.

    But neither is comparable to Ponder, because the roles are very different.


    i didn't forget Think Twice is an instant. i just assume that people know how to read the cards and don't need me to point this out.

    permission decks are exactly the kind of decks that often don't have a productive thing to do with their mana and actually need the mana sink effect.
  • #7
    Quote from metamorph
    i didn't forget Think Twice is an instant. i just assume that people know how to read the cards and don't need me to point this out.

    permission decks are exactly the kind of decks that often don't have a productive thing to do with their mana and actually need the mana sink effect.


    This is true for the most part but more important than drawing capabilities is how far you dig. Ponder digs 3 cards deep, Think twice first cast digs once. This is a big deal, and shouldn't be over looked. Personally I'm going to be running ponder and forbidden alchemy. At instant speed being able to dig 4 cards deep on your opponent's eot is pretty powerful. Right now I'm looking at 4 ponder/2-3 forbidden. Let's not forget, if you're running blue you're running SCM for the most part. This makes forbidden's draw back almost a moot point. I think forbidden is the best draw engine right now whether you're running black or not. Digging 4 cards deep at instant speed is amazing, and being able to play those cards you pitch with scm makes it even better.
    Last edited by Kovacs: 9/25/2011 2:21:38 PM
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  • #8
    That isn't always true and is only true for combo decks that need to dig for one specific card. In a standard INN deck you won't have combo pieces to dig for so Ponder is really only useful to ensure you hit land drops and it's not very good without shuffle effects like fetches.

    I strongly recommend Think Twice over Ponder in a control deck.
  • #9
    You could mix it up. I mean you don't NEED a 4 of Ponder and you dont NEED a 4 of Think Twice. Maybe 2 or each? or maybe 2 Ponder and 3 Think Twice...maybe just something.

    and if you want some shuffle with ponder, I guess you could add Solemn Simulacrum. He has card draw too.

    My 2 cents that's now actually worth 5 cents due to inflation.
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  • #10
    I wonder why a person would play a "control" deck and have no idea what the difference between card advantage and deck manipulation is. Think Twice is a god send to control decks while Ponder is a worst off Preordain for a control deck.

    If you play against me, please use Ponder over Think Twice, because I like to increase my chances of wining.
  • #11
    Quote from blueconcept
    I wonder why a person would play a "control" deck and have no idea what the difference between card advantage and deck manipulation is. Think Twice is a god send to control decks while Ponder is a worst off Preordain for a control deck.

    If you play against me, please use Ponder over Think Twice, because I like to increase my chances of wining.


    Calling think twice a godsend is a little much. A control deck wants to manipulate his draws as well as gain CA. Until you invest 5 mana this card does nothing but cantrip. More often than not I'd rather dig through a few cards for an answer than hit top deck and hope for the best.
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  • #12
    Quote from Kovacs
    Calling think twice a godsend is a little much. A control deck wants to manipulate his draws as well as gain CA. Until you invest 5 mana this card does nothing but cantrip. More often than not I'd rather dig through a few cards for an answer than hit top deck and hope for the best.


    I kinda agree with the guy. I've been waiting for a cheap instant speed card draw spell for years...actually since TT was legal in RAV-TSP standard.
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  • #13
    Quote from slipknot72102
    I kinda agree with the guy. I've been waiting for a cheap instant speed card draw spell for years...actually since TT was legal in RAV-TSP standard.

    In that case, there's always Visions of Beyond. It's a tad different from Ponder, Think Twice, and Forbidden Alchemy, but it can be played alongside them as a supplement.
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  • #14
    Quote from Titus0
    In that case, there's always Visions of Beyond. It's a tad different from Ponder, Think Twice, and Forbidden Alchemy, but it can be played alongside them as a supplement.


    You are really really misunderstanding something about this game if you think Visions of Beyond competes with Think Twice, Ponder, or Forbidden Alchemy. The cards do not do the same thing and they do not fit interchangeably into the same decks.

    A one mana instant that cycles itself is so obviously unplayable.
  • #15
    Quote from UnderwaterGuy
    You are really really misunderstanding something about this game if you think Visions of Beyond competes with Think Twice, Ponder, or Forbidden Alchemy. The cards do not do the same thing and they do not fit interchangeably into the same decks.

    A one mana instant that cycles itself is so obviously unplayable.

    I'm not saying it was better than the others. Those three are clearly better than Visions; however I was merely suggesting a potential additional card to run alongside them if you were to want more card draw at instant speed (say, after you've maxed out Forbidden Alchemy, Think Twice, and Ponder...probably never happen, but who knows what slipknot was trying to build? It was merely food for thought).

    Admittedly, the card just cycles, which is very lackluster, but I can't help but feel like it has potential in some very niche builds. In a typical U/x control build, then no, it will definitely not be the card draw of choice. I just wanted to throw the idea out there.
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  • #16
    I think it's safe to say visions will be playable in the new standard. I've picked up 3 playsets because it's pretty much risk free investment.
  • #17
    I think that Think Twice vs. Tezz' Gambit would be a better comparison/decision. Ponder/TT are completely different in what they want to do.

    Also, I'd run Forbidden Alchemy over any of these cards, even without being able to flash it back. Especially since most decks running these cards will have the option of flashback via snapcaster mage anyway.
  • #18
    Quote from Titus0
    I'm not saying it was better than the others. Those three are clearly better than Visions; however I was merely suggesting a potential additional card to run alongside them if you were to want more card draw at instant speed (say, after you've maxed out Forbidden Alchemy, Think Twice, and Ponder...probably never happen, but who knows what slipknot was trying to build? It was merely food for thought).

    Admittedly, the card just cycles, which is very lackluster, but I can't help but feel like it has potential in some very niche builds. In a typical U/x control build, then no, it will definitely not be the card draw of choice. I just wanted to throw the idea out there.


    alright alright, sorry for jumping on you. I thought you were trying to say it would be better or as good.

    I'd run Gitaxian Probe before that since it cycles for free if it is that important.
  • #19
    Quote from UnderwaterGuy
    alright alright, sorry for jumping on you. I thought you were trying to say it would be better or as good.

    I'd run Gitaxian Probe before that since it cycles for free if it is that important.

    Don't worry about it; it's cool man. Wink

    Hm, that one had slipped my mind. Yeah, I too think that Probe would be better if one is desperate to cycle (lol2life). Personally I have 3 in my Pyromancer Ascension (finally got my 4th copy yesterday).
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  • #20
    Merfolk looter... yeah I know vulnerable since it is a creature.. but if they used it on her and not something more important.

    I like to ponder then use merfolk to pull two out of three of the cards.. you could set it up that the unwanted card is in the middle of the three so you can draw and discard it with the looter
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  • #21
    For U/W Control, think twice is better. It's instant speed eot card drawing.

    If it's a U/W AggroControl variant, Ponder may be better, and that's what I'm running.

    Control requires card advantage above all else- so think twice. AggroControl wants card advantage like every other deck but usually wants tempo and consistency more- so Ponder.
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  • #22
    Quote from Narvuntien
    Merfolk looter... yeah I know vulnerable since it is a creature.. but if they used it on her and not something more important.

    I like to ponder then use merfolk to pull two out of three of the cards.. you could set it up that the unwanted card is in the middle of the three so you can draw and discard it with the looter


    Merfolk Looter with Think Twice is better.

    Discarding Think Twice to Merfolk Looter is like casting it with no mana. Then you can flash it back.

    Dumping Think Twice to Forbidden Alchemy is even better. Ponder/Divination/Preordain can't do that.
  • #23
    Could someone explain to me how Think Twice is even playable? It's 5 mana to get 1 card. Divination does the same for 3 mana and it's hardly a major hit. Even with flashback shenanigans you still get 1 card advantage for 3, and that's unreliable.

    Is instant speed even close to being worth it?
  • #24
    Could someone explain to me how Think Twice is even playable? It's 5 mana to get 1 card. Divination does the same for 3 mana and it's hardly a major hit. Even with flashback shenanigans you still get 1 card advantage for 3, and that's unreliable.

    Is instant speed even close to being worth it?


    You're actually spending 0 mana for +1 card advantage. If you cast draw spells on your opponent's end step, you're using mana that otherwise would go to waste. Would you rather spend 3 precious mana for Divination, or spend 5 excess mana for Think Twice? And which one is better against countermagic (aside from Dissipate)? And which one can sit in your graveyard and functionally let you sit on an 8-card hand while you and your opponent play draw-go?
  • #25
    Think Twice is also excellent in a control mirror. If you play Divination, your opponent would be sensible to counter it. They deny you an extra card and leave you tapped out when their turn starts.
    When you end-of-turn Think Twice on their turn, they don't have a good option. Counterspelling it is a bad idea because you can just flash it back and 2-for-1 them. Also, they'd end up tapped on your turn, which is bad for them.

    In short, Think Twice is deceptively strong. Its a great card design!
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