|Ginger BraidsMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards|
2x Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1x Shivan Gorge
4x Figure of Destiny
4x Dragon Whisperer
2x Dualcaster Mage
2x Viashino Heretic
2x Ashcloud Phoenix
2x Pia and Kiran Nalaar
2x Siege-Gang Commander
2x Stormbreath Dragon
2x Inferno Titan
4x Braid of Fire
2x Mizzium Mortars
2x Comet Storm
2x Commune with Lava
2x Chaos Warp
2x Outpost Siege
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Dec 9, 2017Posted in: Multiplayer
Dec 8, 2017Posted in: Multiplayer
I disagree. That card is only useful in "creatureless" decks as a means of dissuading aggression. It enables you to curve out with things like Innocent Blood and Fleshbag Marauder to keep the field clear early on without going (significantly) down on cards because you're never losing anything yourself. That being said it's legitimately awful when your deck is actively trying to build a board because it's almost always going to 2-for-1 yourself. That's why you'll only see me recommend it in spell-heavy decks that don't use many creatures. It's a great card, don't get me wrong, but it's also extremely niche.
Dec 7, 2017Posted in: MultiplayerQuote from DamagePlanX »Been talking to my play group and they want to shoot for single color $40. So if I drop white and stick with Extort I'm looking at the following list. I am concerned however about the viability of Immortal Servitude but I do have some wiggle room on budget TCGPlayer (we're using that as our price guide) puts this at like $31
DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards Lands (24)
4x Leechridden Swamp
4x Thrull Parasite
2x Viscera Seer
4x Basilica Screecher
4x Zulaport Cutthroat
4x Blood Artist
2x Yahenni, Undying Partisan
4x Crypt Ghast
4x Gray Merchant of Asphodel
4x Immortal Servitude
Servitude would be awful in that deck. Maybe run Exsanguinate, Animate Dead or some removal?
4x Necrologia is a lot. You want to draw 1 but you don't want to flood out on them.
Dec 7, 2017W.r.t. lifegain I've never found it necessary in dedicated ramp/reanimator lists. I'm also not saying that you can't run it, merely that I don't run any of it myself. I'd rather have big, action spells and they don't qualify in most instances.Posted in: Multiplayer
I personally run Beast Within over Vindicate in Green decks. The 3/3 is irrelevant and the instant speed is extremely relevant in throngs of situations. Tapping out main phase to 1-for-1 someone is abysmal in multiplayer and so I tend to sandbag them for game-winning threats/combos/synergies. Don't get me wrong, Vindicate is fine, but as someone who's often presented with the option of running either I always opt for Beast Within instead.
Dec 6, 2017Posted in: Multiplayer
My thoughts on the subject are quite basic actually. Extort is an extremely powerful multiplayer mechanic as long as you have the mana to support it and since Crypt Ghast is cheap and ludicrously overpowered that's not much of a cost. It's trivially easy to support mana intensive mechanics when that's your 4 drop of choice and the drain goes a long way to keeping you alive while pressuring your adversaries. Untapping with ~10 mana on turn 5 is utterly bonkers since you can simply chain spells + Extorts from there on out until you win. Moreover, mass lifegain enables you to play with busted draw spells such as Necrologia that literally read "draw 10 cards" at no significant cost. 10 life hurts in a normal game, no questions there, but when you're draining people en masse it's trivial. As such I have no qualms starting decks with cards like Exsanguinate, Crypt Ghast and Gray Merchant of Asphodel that provide me with obscene quantities of drain while seeking to abuse my health total as much as possible with various Necropotence-esque effects.
One thing to note is that mass revival decks need card draw. I've foolishly build and played decks in the past with millions of Living Deaths but it doesn't work. Those kinds of cards need a critical mass of fodder to fuel them and you will have miserable games if you try and overload on the revival aspect. That's why I vastly prefer builds that have at least 4 extremely powerful draw spells to support them. Again, the easy go-to is Syphon Mind since it's cheap and foots the bill but if your games are big enough and you're able to Extort enough then Necrologia style cards are bombtastic. You can literally do things like draw 10-15 cards, discard most of them to hand size and then follow up with a Immortal Servitude or whatever for the win. The gameplan just doesn't work unless you have that mass card draw in my experience.
Dec 6, 2017Posted in: Multiplayer
You're not going to get anything much bigger than turn 2 Commune with the Gods turn 3 Animate Dead on Sylvan Primordial against 5 opponents. At that point you're already untapping with 7+ mana which is enough to hard cast your fatties. Moreover, because of cards like Overgrown Tomb and Murmuring Bosk you can meet all of your colored requirements off of Forests alone. Abzan Reanimator is basically the most unfair ramp deck that you can build when it draws reasonably well because you get the best of both worlds.
Dec 5, 20178 revival spells is too many. I tend to prefer running 4 alongside 4-6 powerful draw spells such as Syphon Mind. Dark Prophecy is solid too but difficult to cast on turn 3. The problem with running too much revival is that you lose too many games drawing 4-5 lands, 3 revival spells and like 3 threats in the first ~5 turns of the game.Posted in: Multiplayer
Extort is fantastic in multiplayer and cards like Basilica Screecher are terrific as a result.
I don't actually care for Cartel Aristocrat because it doesn't really do anything. Bloodthrone Vampire can legitimately dome people for 20 every now and then and threatens to eat most attackers. Viscera Seer is the most powerful sac outlet but 1 CMC hurts if you run Servitude over Living Death.
Living Death is the single strongest card for this archetype and I recommend investing in them if you can afford it. They're not free by any means but you win so many games off of casting them that it's not even funny. It's difficult to express/conceptualize how much it drains for until you're sitting there with a whack of Blood Artists and Zulaport Cutthroats.
For what it's worth I don't think that White brings much to this archetype and I think that you could something that's basically strictly better along the lines of:
drainMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards Lands (24)
4x Leechridden Swamp
4x Thrull Parasite
2x Viscera Seer
4x Basilica Screecher
4x Zulaport Cutthroat
4x Blood Artist
2x Yahenni, Undying Partisan
4x Crypt Ghast
4x Gray Merchant of Asphodel
4x Syphon Mind
4x Living Death
Not that it has to be that exact list but I don't find that White brings much to the archetype in general. I also enjoy running things like:
VampiresMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards Lands (24)
4x Leechridden Swamp
4x Vicious Conquistador
4x Pulse Tracker
4x Blood Artist
4x Kalastria Healer
2x Yahenni, Undying Partisan
4x Sanctum Seeker
4x Malakir Bloodwitch
4x Fatal Push
2x Throne of the God-Pharaoh
4x Snuff Out
But Fatal Push could be any cheap removal spell (Deathmark, Doom Blade, Malicious Affliction, Dismember, etc.) including Curtains' Call if your table is big enough. You can also "go big" and add things like Patriarch's Bidding or any other mass revival spell if desired.
Dec 5, 2017I play similar decks at my own tables with a couple of distinctions.Posted in: Multiplayer
First of all, you said that you play 6 people. This often makes things like Carpet of Flowers and Compost rather oppressive. I personally play lists that use 4x Commune with the Gods and 4x Kruphix's Insight but very few actual lands. It's usually something close to 6x Forest 4x Overgrown Tomb and 4x Verdant Catacombs and from there I rely on Utopia Sprawl and Carpet of Flowers as acceleration.
I personally think that Satyr Wayfinder is hot garbage and never field him. All of my good cards are Enchantments so those are what I want to hit. I also typically omit the midrange value nonsense in favor of fatties. I'm not looking to cast 4 drops on turn 4, I want to be recurring something unfair by then.
For card draw it's hard for me to justify anything over Compost. I have no idea what your meta is like but even if there's only one Black player it's still going to be a 2 mana Contract from Below. Ritual is fine too, I don't mind the card, but Compost is bonkers in the right spheres.
Part of what makes this deck so powerful is that everything worth drawing is hit by Kruphix's Insight. It's essentially a 3 mana draw 3 that also bins your fatties. Card is wildly overpowered when you start thinking about it in those terms. Clearly it doesn't always draw 3 cards but, again, even "misses" are fine as long as long as they're creatures or Unburial Rites or whatever.
So it's usually something like:
ReanimatorMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards Lands (14)
4x Verdant Catacombs
4x Overgrown Tomb
4x Carpet of Flowers
4x Utopia Sprawl
4x Animate Dead
4x Dance of the Dead
4x Commune with the Gods
4x Kruphix's Insight
1x Recurring Nightmare
5x Additional Spells
Something close to this. Numbers don't have to be exact but it'll give you a rough idea.
One thing that I'll note is that Pernicious Deed tends to be awful in this deck since it clears your entire board and most of your "lands." I typically use Beast Within if anything.
Nov 23, 2017I play similar decks along the lines of:Posted in: Multiplayer
Izzet BurnMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards Lands (20)
4x Firebrand Archer
4x Chandra's Spitfire
4x Price of Progress
4x Flame Rift
4x Fiery Confluence
Give or take Brainstorm depending on if you have access to fetchlands and/or Sulfuric Vortex if control/lifegain is an issue. The deck is surprisingly brutal and win or lose it makes for quick games. It's also worth noting that you can easily tailor the list to your meta and make room for things like Swan Song and Pongify if you need cheap interaction.
Nov 20, 2017Posted in: Multiplayer
What you're saying doesn't make mathematical sense. You aren't more likely to mill Argivian Restoration than any other card in your deck. Some people mentally trick themselves into thinking "I'm so unlucky, I always mill over my Xs and opposed to my Ys" but those thoughts rarely have any basis in the real world. Argivian Restoration, as with every other 4-of in your deck, gets drawn and milled roughly 6.667% of time. Given that cards such as Temple of Deceit, Baleful Strix, Mulldrifter, Champion of Wits and more allow you to filter through extra cards every game it becomes exceeding likely to draw at least one at some point. For example, assuming a 7-card hand of turn 1 Temple, turn 2 Strix, turn 3 Champion/Drifter you get to see 15 cards by turn 4. Assuming 4x Argivian Restoration that gives you a 70% probability of drawing one or more by turn 4. And no, before anyone asks, "Hedron Crabs" don't change that math. You will (on average) mill non-Argivian Restoration cards at the expected rate of 93.334% and mill Argivian Restorations at the expected rate of 6.667%. For every scenario where you're less likely to draw one because one or more has already been milled there's going to be a throng of others where you're more likely to draw one because your deck has been "thinned" of unwanted draws. I get that it's easy to think/say "Look Pride you big dummy! I just milled one! Now I only have 3!" That feeling is normal, but it's also something that can only be said in pure hindsight. Again, no card is any more or less likely to be milled than any other. As such it's easy to overlook the 93.334% of milled cards that aren't Argivian Restoration and focus on the 6.667% of use cases where you do hit one. Still, when you objectively analyze the situation without using hindsight (that is to say using information that you had available to you at the time of making your decision) there's no compelling reason/argument/logic to indicate that you were more likely to mill an Argivian Restoration over GPG or any other card. Rather, the only claim that you could objectively make at the time is "my Hedron Crab is extremely likely to mill over cards that I actively want to bin and unlikely to mill the small % of cards that I'd like to draw." Knowing that you should be extremely happy to have it your deck and to mill as much as you possibly can with it. That isn't to say that it's impossible to mill over 3-4 Restorations (it can and will happen) but it's also not very likely. As such whenever I hear someone argue something to the tune of "I'm not lucky enough to make self-mill decks work" the only thing that that says to me is that the person either hasn't played many game with the deck or is overly-emphasizing negative outcomes even when they're being produced at the expected rate.
Note: as someone who's been playing Poker (Holdem, PLO, Omaha and Stud mostly), Pokemon, MTG, HS, Shadowverse and more for the past ~17 years I'm completely desensitized and mentally numb to bad-beat stories and rebuttals to statistical arguments. People like to believe that they're special flower who get the "bad luck" so that others can have the "good luck" but when you sit down and legitimately crunch the numbers (I'm talking Excel spreadsheets, not anecdotes) we generally find ourselves in the ballpark range of where we should be. Put it another way, there's a reason why you generally see the same faces at the top tables of any card game and "luck" has nothing to do with it. While this may seem like a rant directly solely at Ifloopthepig, it's not, because as someone who's been working/playing/gaming around card game players for the majority of my adult life I have to say that it blows my mind how often you hear these kinds of statements and arguments being made. I'm not suggesting that it doesn't feel bad to have your A-A cracked by 7-2 or to mill over 2x Argivian Restoration with your first Hedron Crab activation but I also know (and can objectively prove) that those scenarios don't (and won't) occur with any significant frequency. You just have to let them go and move on with your life as opposed to creating mental blockades for yourself. No one, and I do mean no one out there is too unlucky to play a self-mill/combo/synergy/whatever deck. You also shouldn't start playing A-A like a donkey just because yours get cracked every now and then (because guess what it happens thousands upon of thousands of times each day). Play smart and think smart, don't let superstition hold you back.
TL;DR "I mill what I need" never has and never will be real thing.
Nov 20, 2017Posted in: MultiplayerQuote from Boros_Blendo »
I've been thinking about this, haven't really thought of a good answer yet, to be honest. Any plan b I throw in there dilutes the Blendo concept, though there are effects like Earwig Squad and Extirpate actively used in my group.
Except this is the opposite of what you should be doing. I could sit here and list an infinite number of "what if" scenarios and thousands of different cards that you could field to prevent them or mitigate their impact on your strategy. The problem is that your deck would become unplayable trash as a result and lose a significantly larger % of games. Unless you are consistently losing games to a subset of cards that you're facing on a routine basis then you should ignore any and all "what if" scenarios and build your decks without them in mind. I realize that you listed some cards that are played in your meta but you've also explained to us that the deck is kicking butt. Cutting your "good cards that win games" for "bad cards that might help vs Extirpate" isn't a direction worth pursuing.
Note, there's a world where you can apply both of our advice. For example, if you add one Chain Reaction to the deck (that you can Demonic Tutor for) you suddenly have access to a "backup plan" that's still works a primary plan assuming that you get your B.Acts exiled. It's obviously a weaker version of the effect and you'd never cut B.Acts for CRs but that doesn't preclude you wanting to run 5 (virtual 6 with DT) copies of the effect. In that sense I'm definitely not opposed to having outs in case things go awry, I just look for cards that won't be dead in "normal" games.
Nov 15, 2017Posted in: Multiplayer
I recommend playing Ranging Raptors over Cultivate in your Pyrohemia deck. What about something like:
Gruul MidrangeMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards Lands (24)
4x Kazandu Refuge
4x Gruul Turf
2x Rugged Highlands
4x Chandra's Spitfire
4x Ranging Raptors
4x Snapping Sailback
1x Hull Breach
1x Volcanic Spray
4x Volcanic Fallout
2x Beast Within
2x Loxodon Warhammer
That kills the Gray Merchant player with giant Chandra's Spitfires or whatever. Cards like Carpet of Flowers and Compost are obviously going to be stellar in some metas and heinous in others but I'd happily run both as 4-ofs in most 4-5 player games as they can both pick up a ton of a free wins for you.
Nov 14, 2017The first deck lacks speed and focus. Where you have things like Thought Scour and Flesh Carver I'd want to to open every game with turn 2 Hedron Crab + Fetchland into Champion of Wits or something along those lines. I don't want to cast Solemn or Taker on turn 4, I want something like Mindwrack Demon or Argivian Restoration. Where you have dorky value 4 drops I'd have things like Animate Dead, Beacon of Unrest or Living Death that either bring speed, flexibility or raw power to my build. For example, I would never put Hapless Researcher in a "fair" deck but assuming that I had outs to Animate Dead a Grave Titan on turn 2 then I'd reconsider it. After all, it's not even that good at fueling Gate and it's nigh worthless to resurrect. Hedron Crab on the other hand can easily bin 9 cards in 2-3 turns. The Crab is utterly bonkers in this type of shell because the sheer volume of cards that it can mill is absurd and even its fail-case is still reasonable (it mills 3 cards + itself).Posted in: Multiplayer
The Blue Red deck is still incomplete, but I decided to post it anyway to stimulate conversation. Again, our goal is to out value are opponent, but this time with added power between Combustible Gearhulk and Inferno Titan. Cards like Faithless Looting also help quickly fill the graveyard for a quick Gate to the Afterlife activation.
Why bother with Gate at all? Why not play a Goblin Welder/Trash for Treasure/Dack Fayden/Daretti, Scrap Savant/Master Transmuter style deck that cheats GPG directly into play? Even if you don't draw a GCP, no matter, recur a Gearhulk or Sandstone Oracle instead.
Oct 23, 2017Posted in: Multiplayer
You don't need to change much of anything. Just shave some of the 3 and 4 drops for 4x Beast Within/Anguished Unmaking and call it a day. If you want to invest money in anything make it fetches/shocks because those are only going to go up. Alternatively you could always add some Nytkhos fueled Exsanguinates into the mix and/or other big bombs such as Army of the Damned and/or Rise of the Dark Realms. If people aren't killing your dudes then Crypt Ghast is a monster and I'd gladly play 4.
Oct 10, 2017Prid3 posted a message on Deck ideas needed: Mono red and mono white (devotion?)Posted in: Multiplayer
To me it's more about "cards" than "shells." OBD wants to be played in decks full of cards like Mogg War Marshal, Hordeling Outburst, Pia Nalaar, Prophetic Flamespeaker, Pia and Kiran Nalaar, Siege-Gang Commander, Scourge of the Throne, Balefire Dragon, etc. So yes, tokens is one angle that you tackle but "attacking matters" is certainly another.
I'd replace OBD for something like Purphoros, God of the Forge, Outpost Siege, Fanatic of Mogis, Ruination, Pia and Kiran Nalaar, Flametongue Kavu or basically any card that has more generic value.
Welcome to Red! The deck seems fine, don't sweat being down some card draw. I take it that you don't like Outpost Siege?
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Sep 23, 2015Posted in: Cz Blog
Ah, sorry, this is actually going to be a multiplayer set review :). As such I'm not especially interested in how the cards perform in competitive duel environments.
Jan 18, 2014Prid3 posted a message on Nykson's Back: The Power of Nykthos in Casual Multiplayer MagicPosted in: Cz Blog
The land just isn't for me...
Take it from someone who's played creatureless, Cabal Coffers-based decks for years; you'd be surprised. A card this powerful and flexible isn't going to go down in value and it's not going to get worse as the overall card pool increases. You might regret not grabbing them while they're still 7-8 bucks. Creatures may not be your thing now but you never know how your meta might change.
Jan 17, 2014Posted in: Cz Blog
Cloudgoat Ranger and such are undervalued in general. That being said this card isn't exactly the same thing. It can still die to a Doom Blade at 0 benefit. I'm not holding that against it or anything but I mean there's a distinct difference between this guy and Spectral Procession.
Jan 17, 2014Prid3 posted a message on Nykson's Back: The Power of Nykthos in Casual Multiplayer MagicPosted in: Cz Blog
In regards to land removal; which is where overpowered lands can fail you...I used to be able to play Glacial Chasm with no fear, now I commonly have to be concerned about Acidic Slime, Sylvan Primordial, and Terastodon. My playgroup might not be investing in the greatest land bases of all time but they are definitely spending a lot of effort into removing them from others.
I've kind of derailed; take this all as just an anecdote from one meta in particular. I completely agree with you that adding 2-4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx into most multiplayer decks is going to be a drastic upgrade every time, even in my meta. This land is the real deal; use it with enchantment decks, use it with Lurking Predators decks, use it with fish, use it with elves, use it with monstrous creatures, and definitely use it with Extort, Pestilence, and Gray Merchant decks.
I just want to stress that I would happily play Nykthos in these kinds of metas. Acidic Slime isn't much of a problem card because it only kills 1 thing. There's some give and take with Terastodon as well. Still, have you ever played games games where Sylvan Primordial just gets cheated/ramped out, copied, cloned and revived ad nauseam? That card often feelds more oppressive than Primetime to me because not only do you fetch 2-3x the quantity of lands but you're also destroying them in the process. It only takes 1 cast to be able to Genesis + Miren, the Moaning Well him every turn around here. He blocks basically anything in the air and the same goes for most things on the ground. He's also a virtual draw spell at times because he can empty your deck of lands in a flash.
When the game is focused on Sylvan Primordial I want to be the person ramping him out first. I want to play a deck with Utopia Sprawl, Strangleroot Geist, Predator Ooze, Thrun, the Last Troll, Arbor Colossus, etc. If I can get mine out first then I won't need Nykthos because I'm going to get like 5-7 Forests 2-3 times and once that happens I'm not going to need it. Still, I can't be playing catch-up once he starts coming down.
Jan 17, 2014Posted in: Cz Blog
The most comical aspect of the card is how impossibly difficult it is to misplay with it. Unless you're a sack of potatoes you basically can't mess this card up. You don't have to weigh the risks of attacking and blocking like you sometimes do with say Precinct Captain. There are none. The whole world is your oyster. I am blown away with this card's power-level. First Boros Reckoner, now this. White is sitting pretty at 3 CMC.
Jan 16, 2014Posted in: Cz Blog
To give you an idea the crux of my argument is that the card has "Indestructible," "each upkeep" and "draw a card" written on it. For it to be completely unplayable in a multiplayer setting it would have to be pretty damn bad. At 4 mana I think that it's a perfectly serviceable option. Even if you're just playing it in a regular deck it's still cantripping all of your dudes. Not great, sure, but not unplayable either (assuming that you trigger her somewhat reliably).
Jan 15, 2014Posted in: Cz BlogRhystic Study doesn't always work but it's pretty hard to pay to stop it when there's Ghostly Prison and Pendrell Mists on the table; which I typically see in these decks. Ephara, God of Polis wouldn't be my choice but I see what you're saying. I'll check back later when there are more cards spoiled.
One thing that I'll say is that you can't just hold the bar against the best possible card in the slot. RS is good but at some point you realize that people aren't going to run 4 in every Blue deck ever. If I compared everything to the best-in-slot alternative then my review would probably look something along the lines of "everything is unplayable except for Boros Reckoner." That's boring and it doesn't really help any one. The fact of the matter is that people are going to want to play with new cards to mix things up. I'm trying to help people make informed decisions and avoid obvious traps.
For example, I can see a world where you play with or against a "competitive" pillow-fort deck that has Ephara, God of the Polis in it. There's enough going on there to make it work. Conversely, I think that Champion of Stray Souls will basically never improve a deck as much as any number of alternatives could. I see very little potential for that type of card to be successful.
If we assumed that every deck has R.Study and Kokusho, the Evening Star or Wurmcoil Engine then obviously this kind of analysis is trivial. Still, since we don't like in a utopian society where every player has an unlimited budget and access to every card there is some merit to discussing a fair number of different options.
Jan 15, 2014Posted in: Cz BlogQuote from Miaou
I don't like that discard takes away the potential blowouts of Magic.
Play Bonfire of the Damned :3.
Jan 15, 2014Posted in: Cz Blog
Rhystic Study isn't a lock to always be an amazing draw spell. It has a lot of potential but plenty of people have told me that it hasn't worked out well for them. I'm not saying that the card is amazing but I wouldn't be shocked if it saw play in defensive decks that could churn out tokens every turn if needed. It's resilient to removal and it doubles as a win condition. I've seen worse cards do better things.
Nov 6, 2013Posted in: Cz Blog
If your opponents had removal for the Prison aspects of the decks they could easily beat the deck. The underlying problem is that Artifact/Enchantment removal is grossly underplayed in general. It's not that people don't have options. They do. The problem is that none of those options interacts favorably with Bridge/Scales.
That's not how I see it personally. Damage spells, to me, are there help everyone maintain their sanity by ending games at a reasonable pace. The game virtually ends when a Prison lock is established in my mind. The eventual act of killing everyone is almost entirely win-more.
I don't agree. I think that Prison decks are good, Discard + Prison decks are good and that Discard decks are bad.
Being silent is the lesser of many evils in my opinion. It's not about finding the "good" solution, they all suck, being silent is just slightly "less sucky" than the other ones.
People are passive until you attack at which point people seem to prefer to attack the instigator rather than the defendant. Pretty lame actually. You have to do it and blindly hope that people will make the right decision but I mean it's a dubious gamble at best.
I feel like you're just talking to yourself here but yeah that's more or less how it goes when you play with people who haven't memorized every card in the game (i.e. the vast majority of MTG players). I usually play with some number of "experts" who know their stuff but I mean when you play with 6+ people there's just no way that they're all going to have a firm grasp on the overall card pool.
Well I mean to me it's all about spells and inference. Playing a land shouldn't immediately spell out what your deck is but I mean no one plays a turn 1 Shrieking Affliction "randomly." You should be able to pick up on what a deck is trying to do after a spell or two and base your aggression from there.
While I hear what you're saying at the end of the day "doing nothing" is usually a worse alternative than "doing something" if you're playing around theoretically powerful plays which would probably screw you over either way.
I couldn't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am.
It's ignorance moreso than anything else. You basically just have to hope that people will eventually get better at the game. They always do after all. The hardest part is breaking people in for the first 10 or so big sessions. The game isn't easy to learn. Once they stop being ignorant even the sketchiest players start to develop better habits in my experience.
The main thing is education. When I break a new player in the only thing that I care about is the fundamentals of the game. "Why are you casting spells and then attacking?" "Did you realize you could do X then Y to ensure Z?" "Why play a land and then cast a draw spell?" "Why are you tapping your lands like that, wouldn't it be better to leave X up instead?" That kind of thing. Nothing that I say has anything to do with strategy or getting people to rally against Bob the Combo player. Everything is 100% mechanics focused. Priority 1 is to get people to start taking the game more seriously and to start playing it with some degree of competency.
Basically people need to get good enough to care before anything can realistically improve. Because of this I do everything in my power to teach people how to play at a reasonably competitive level. Not like PT but FNM at the very least. People care about stuff that they're good at and people want to win stuff that they care about. By making them good at the game I trick them into wanting to win (in some sense anyways). If you want to win, well, eventually you start making better decisions about how to go about doing it.
Nov 3, 2013Posted in: Cz BlogQuote from Indalecio »You seem to imply that discard strategies could be completely ignored and it would still work, because of their ineffectiveness.
No that's not at all what I'm saying. I'm saying that if N players are playing creatures and 1 player is tapping out to annoy them with discard then that player doesn't figure to live very long.
Quote from Indalecio »In conjunction with damage AND prison I just don't think Discard is any "underwhelming" strategy, like at all. It always results on either the discard player getting killed, or the rest of the table getting killed. If people need to set their own plan and strategy aside for the common cause of killing one specific player from turn 1 then it has to be because said player is playing obnoxiously.
Except you're falsely attributing the success of the deck to its Discard aspects rather than its Prison ones. Prison decks win games and oppress tables. Discard decks don't. When a Prison + Discard deck succeeds it's typically not because of the Discard aspect.
Quote from Indalecio »And I mean, this is not an interactive deck we are talking about. Really, can you ever compete with it if you lack artifact/enchantment removal?
... to kill the Prison elements.
Quote from Indalecio »I'm sure you always have 4 Disks in all of your decks...
Quote from Indalecio »Pressure is the only way, but this is where you always find people doing some other business (ignoring their incoming doom basically), and with that in mind you can't go full-out anymore because said players would attack you as well.
Given the choice of sitting back and losing or trying to win I go for trying to win. If the other players want to attack me and let the Prison deck win then that's their prerogative. I've long since given up on relying on people to do the right thing or make smart decisions. Far more often than not they don't. They make moronic, idiotic, baseless decisions that will 100% result in their demise. That's people for you.
Quote from Indalecio »If everybody could turn their creatures sideways and kill off the discard player before he drops the prison cards then it would be easy, but in MP games I´ve experienced, people are either too slow to react or blind to recognize a threat before it's too late.
Yes. People are idiots. Do your part and do what's right. If no one else does, well, tough. That's life. The only thing that you can control are your actions and your decisions. Make them count.
Quote from Indalecio »Why should I step up and turn all my creatures sideways against this player if all I´ll get back is attacks from other players?
Because that's how Magic works. You take the line that can win you the game if it pans out. There's no point in sitting back and slowly losing. I mean, what is your proposed alternative? Let the Prison deck establish its lock and win? That's better? Why are you so afraid to lose first? What does the pecking order matter? Why wouldn't you play to your outs? Play to win? Like every action that you take should be a calculated risk taken in an attempt to win the game. If people are blind morons at least you did your part and did your best and took the line that could have won you the game.
Quote from Indalecio »I need a couple of blockers to secure that, but then it gives more time to the discard player to put his strategy online.
Because you don't need blockers. You don't need anything. You only convince yourself that you can't attack because you can't live with the idea of being vulnerable. You can't live with the idea that decisions that you make could have serious, negative consequences. It took me a long time to learn how to overcome these primal fears but this isn't a God damned duel where you have any semblance of control over the game. You're a worthless little peon in the grand scheme of things. Stop acting like the world will come crumbling down the second that you lower the shields. Do what's right. Make the smart decision that could win the game.
Quote from Indalecio »Bloodchief Ascension, Ankh to trigger it, even Megrim/Caress in conjunction with Anvil of Bogardan, supported by Ensnaring Bridge and sorceries cleaning the board... How can it matter that you can still play your topdeck card assuming no land, when you take X damage each upkeep anyway because of diverse Racks on the board?
So basically the same archetype that I've been proposing for 8 or 9 years. Take a wild guess as to who might have experience with that kind of brew? Try playing that deck regularly without Bridge and/or Noetic Scales. Tell me how far you get. I'm telling you that the only aspect of that deck that's powerful is the Prison aspect of it. Why? Because I've literally been playing that deck for like 9 years and the only games that it wins are games where the Bridge sticks early and stays in play. Period.
Quote from Indalecio »... alongside with Bottomless Pit and co. it just becomes a clock. Noetic Scales my friend.
You're listing that cards that no one other than me has realistically ever suggested and I'd be willing to wager pretty much anything that you're only aware of them because of posts that I've made.
Quote from Indalecio »Of course, your fate is not sealed by turn 2 but you can get there quite quickly.
You get there are as soon as you stick a Prison card and a constant discard engine. End of story. It only works because of the Prison elements. The discard aspect of the deck is completely worthless without them.
Quote from Indalecio »Difference between that and a Grave Pact deck?
Are you asking me what's the difference between an Ensnaring Bridge and a Grave Pact deck? What does my article say about either card?
Quote from Indalecio »About the discard lands discussion, I don't understand why it wouldn't occur.
I'm not saying that it wouldn't occur. I'm saying that most global discard costs 3 or more mana and none of it specifically targets lands. Most of it is "player's choice" and a very small selection of it is random. Very few decks should get completely cheesed out due to mana screw.
Quote from Indalecio »I would still refer discard as one of the top nemesis of creature-based decks...
How many of those discard decks function successfully without some sort of Prison element?
I'm going to share a story with you. I actually had a 3 player session tonight. Unusually small for me, I know, but hey, Magic is Magic. Anyways our games were me and my 2 friends. One posts here, his name is Carthage, you might have seen some of his posts. He's a good player. He has a lot of experience. We were all playing with his decks. The other friend is a total newb who just got into the game. Anyways, I lost every game tonight of the 6 that we played. Most of them I was out first. Why? I was making the right decisions and my newb friend was making the wrong ones. I only have 10, 000 characters so I gotta keep this brief and stick to 1 game. My friend Imprinted a Scourglass on a Protoype Portal and then cast Sword of the Meek. I would attack that player knowing that A) Scourglass would wreck both of us and B) no one plays Sword without playing Thopter Foundry. I attack this player and eventually get him down to 2. He has 1 turn to rip something... Thopter Foundry. Great. Those 2 points? The other guy could have done them ten times over. He had no outs to Scourglass nor Thopter Sword but he made moronic decisions and focused me even though he could beat my fair deck in theory. We obviously both lost... by 2 life points. Had he made a right decision at any point I probably win. Because he made every decision wrong I lost. Most of our games looked like that for the rest of the night. I was just playing with spare "hand-me-down" decks mind you, nothing "good" that I would normally want to play, but I still got ****ed over because people make bad choices all of the time. That's Magic for you. Now, I could look back on these losses and bitch about the players, my decks, etc. I don't though. I know that, at the end of the day, I took the lines that could win me the game. Yeah, sure, I came up short because the other guy had no idea what he was doing. I know that I did my part though. I played well. As long as I continue to play well and make decisions I will succeed in the long run. You can't let setbacks and bad experiences cripple you into become a passive, worthless little pussy who's afraid to lose some games. You have to take the risks needed to actually win games even if you're playing some dumb ****ter deck against a full fledged combo deck. Like I said my decisions took me to within 2 life points of beating a deck that I had no right sitting down against. Do I wish that the other player had done something right that game? Yeah, obviously. That being said I can't reflect on what happened and be anything other than proud of how and why I played the games the way that I did. I recognized that I wouldn't be able to win later and took steps to win "now." Even though I failed it wasn't due to personal misplay nor bad decision making. My damage goldfish was slower than his Scourglass lock into Thoper Sword. No player could have sat down on that table in my seat and won the game assuming that both other players played exactly the same.
Before you ask I've stopped trying to convince other players to attack obvious threats. Did it when I was younger, don't feel like doing it any more for a host of reasons. I could have won multiple games if I just completely manipulated the newbie player into attacking my friend Carthage with me. No doubt about it. That being said those tactics do more harm than good in the long run in my opinion and so I've long-since stopped employing them.
Oh, I still think that 3 player FFAs are the work of Satan. Just throwing that out there.
Nov 1, 2013I don't agree that discard requires any maindeck cards. I don't agree with any aspect your assessment actually. As someone who's been playing Black decks for the better part of 13 years I can tell you that there are tons of reasons why Discard is pretty bad.Posted in: Cz Blog
First of all discard can't stop topdecks and each opponent gets to topdeck a card each and every turn. In that sense I don't understand why you're suggesting that anyone needs maindeck answers to discard. Decks cannot function? Why not? You're still drawing cards and casting spells. How is that not a functioning deck? Now, is it fun to discard spells? Nope. But like... what is fun? Having your creatures die to removal? Get countered? Have your stuff milled? Take damage? Is anything "fun" other than favorable (for you) interactions from your opponents? There is nothing "negative" that's fun in Magic. Losing anything for any reason sucks. I don't see what makes discard so special. I find discard to be incredibly weak because it doesn't affect anything on the board, it doesn't address topdecks and it's a deaddraw later on when everyone is in topdeck mode. It has tons of weaknesses in that sense. It's not at all the same thing as having 90% of your spells countered. You're drawing a spell ~50% of the time and that spell is immune to discard. Counters and removal could interact with it however. There are massive trade-offs that you're ignoring.
Here's what usually happens in practice. N players are drawing cards that they can immediately play whereas 1 player is eventually doing the same except that he's ripping into discard spells which are, for all intents and purposes, pretty worthless after a certain point. Moreover that player is doing things that actively annoy people and that don't impact the board. That player proceeds to get crushed. It's not a winning strategy. Your topdecks are weaker, you make everyone your enemy and you can never change the fact that people are drawing a card each and every turn that they can immediately play. Since that's going to be a spell ~50% of the time there's just no way that discard figures to oppress a multiplayer table.
With respect to discarding lands, again, I don't get it. With what? 3+ mana spells at best? Even then for 3 mana you're forcing one chosen discard at best if you're talking about a multi-target spell. That's probably something against the all 8 drop deck but I mean that's hardly oppressive against a "normal" deck. Good global discard only shows up at 3+ CMC and I mean it's not like you're casting a global Hymn to Tourach for 4 mana or anything. Hitting lands... I don't see it. What cards are you even referencing? It would basically have to be a single target spell such as Hymn or Mind Twist to actually mana screw someone. Unnerve and Necrogen Mists aren't going to get the job done.
And like, again, all you have to do is discard spells, keep lands and topdeck spells. That's how you beat discard. That's how you've always beaten discard. You just pitch your expensive stuff, establish your mana base and beat the decks by having strong topdecks and a higher threat density. You should only get mana screwed if you make poor decisions that rely on ripping lands every turn or some crap.
I dunno, I'm probably in the minority but I'm not in the business of telling people that they should avoid underpowered strategies. The only discard spell that I've seen be somewhat problematic at times is Myojin of Night's Reach because you can't really interact with that kind of effect. Unnerve is annoying but I mean no deck needs a maindeck answer to it. Most of the other discard isn't really even playable or it works in specific archetypes. Stuff like Smallpox, Pox, Necrogen Mistss, etc. are bad in most decks but work well in Prison decks but I mean those aren't the same thing as generic discard decks in my mind.
Actually I think that I have a better way to explain it. People are always going to play decks that are annoying and bad. There isn't anything that you or I can do to stop that. I personally don't see these decks as a problem though because they rarely-if-ever win games. That's the big equalizer that serves to keep them in check. The problem decks, in my mind, are the ones that are annoying and extremely powerful. Those are the ones that can make the game tough to play at times. If someone wants to play a mono-Red burn deck that kills one player and loses 100% of the time, so be it. Yes it's moronic that someone would choose to run something like that but I mean you can't stop people from playing bad king-maker decks. It's unreasonable to expect all players of all skill levels to adopt the "all goodstuffs all the time" mantra that people such as myself have adopted. Mill, Burn, Discard, Counter, etc. decks annoy people, sure, but the fact that they're inherently weak strategies means that you can't really moan about them too too much. I don't think that it's right to just say "only player creatures and removal because that's fun" because the reality is that it's not. Different people like different things. You have to use a light touch and give people as much freedom as possible. The purpose of this article, for me, is to hopefully keep oppressively powerful strategies from dominating a table while also addressing the common concern of "time." If a deck doesn't consistently win in a non-interactive and unfun way then it's fine. If a deck doesn't hemorrhage time then it's fine. I'm not going to nitpick over every little thing that's somewhat unfun because I don't think that anyone should.
Also, before anyone addresses my comment about "time" cards, I would basically say "keep your mouth shut until you've played a game with 3+ active Tops with shuffle effects." I realize that some of you have had a 1 and MAYBE even 2 Top game but I'm doubting that many of you have ever seen a 6 Top game. No one who has would question this concern for an instant. Plan for the worst and hope for the best. Even if my meta is unusually large there's enough 4+ player metas out there and no one should ever have to sit through a 4+ Top game. The fact that card is expensive and not always played is irrelevant because it could be. "Ban lists" aren't about what people are doing but what they could be doing.
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