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  • posted a message on The Mafia Council & Helpdesk Thread
    Haha, hey Bur! Good memory... wow.
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on The Mafia Council & Helpdesk Thread
    Hi fam. You blink and a half a decade passes. Anyone still playing from when I was around? I see Iso retired Frown
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on 2016 MTGS Mafia Invitational (Hearthstone Mafia) - Game Over
    Looks like the invitational this year went much better for Town than the one last year! :-P

    Glad to see you're all still trucking along. Don't regret my decision to retire but still miss you all!
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on [[Official]] The "I Need Help Deciding What To Play!" Thread.
    SGC Baltimore - standard - thoughts on what to play and with what additions from EMN? Assume no preferences or deck limitations.
    Posted in: Standard (Type 2)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Abzan Midrange
    Abzan MidRange




    So this is a deck that I've been tweaking that's I think is very competitive. I've been playing at LGS with very competitive/tournament tested players and am 12-0 with it, plus many, many hours of testing on Cockatrice. I think it's slotted really well in the meta right now. It's just playing a ton of cards that we want to be playing and I think it matches up really well against a lot of T1 decks. Any creature we're playing our opponents either likely need to kill right away, or have a large impact on the game when they are played. We're playing the best and most unconditional removal, we have no end of mana sinks, and we're disrupting our opponents hands, all in the same deck.

    Card Choices

    Land Base

    This is actually what I'm still working on most (and the sideboard). I like the full suite of manlands with Shambling Vent and Hissing Quagmire. Quagmire is a removal spell for most anything coming through the ground and Vents is still the best manland in standard right now, IMO - and helps wriggle you back out of low life situations. Both are considerably better with Sylvan Advocate, obviously.

    Caves of Koilos and Llanowar Wastes are painful, but other areas help offset. They are worth it for the untapped access to dual colors and paired with the solo copy of Westvale Abby - we have a colorless source on turn 4 well over 80% of the time, (I analyzed it on deck stats once but it's down at the moment) which is when we need it most of the time to effectively use our Eldrazi. I don't think we want MORE Abby, both because were going to be using our colors and because most of the time we're not going the route of Ormendahl, Profane Prince, anyway. It's there primarily to ensure we're on time with our Eldrazi needs and then for any late game situations where we need a chump blocker or if we absolutely have to get through a board stall.

    I may switch the solo swamp out for a plains - still unsure of this. The only place I'm finding I'm ever getting hung up on mana with any frequency is sometimes having that second white - but then our sideboard really likes double black. The instances where we don't have the double white we need are so few and far inbetween, and usually aren't as time sensitive that I think I like it as-is right now.

    Also note that we are NOT playing Evolving Wilds or Canopy Vista or Fortified Village - primarily because we already have 8 lands that come into play tapped and we want to limit that. I haven't felt like we've needed them except for the afore mentioned double white scenario, which is rare.

    Creatures

    So. Much. Value. In my opinion, this is the most dynamic, versatile, and value providing creature suite that you can find:

    Just Rull Good

    Sylvan Advocate - the green two drop in the format. Don't have to say too much about him that hasn't been said, but I also really like him with our particular manlands. Shambling Vent can help swing a race so well with advocate in play, as can punching through a 4/4 Hissing Quagmire that's taking down whatever is blocking it and possibly multiples. He blocks well, he attacks well... and he can also be held until turn 6 to get around opposing Languish, Chandra, Flamecaller and Grasp of Darkness, which are key right now.

    Archangel Avacyn - we also get to play this card, which is fantastic. But, instead of saving armies of tokens, she's saving a bunch of value creatures and applying a good deal of pressure. Also, many of our guys (if not most) are resilient to her flip, which is very relevant. I don't think we want four of her though, and what's great is that we don't have to. She isn't great in multiples unless you're flipping one and we're also playing another card in our five drop slot...

    Reality Smasher - A lot of people are running this as a sideboard card right now because it's so good against almost all of the top decks... so... why not just run it main deck? It's adding so much pressure to the board, trampling over tokens, taking out unsuspecting planeswalkers, dodging Languish, Grasp of Darkness, Chandra, Flamecaller and Ultimate Price, and is giving you card advantage if your opponent is targeting it. Three feels clunky to me, but this is a great top end and can really swing a game.

    Thought-Knot Seer - Probably my favorite card in standard, this card is doing so much for you. Not only is it a hefty body for aggro or defense, but you're assassinating your opponent's hand. Pick off your opponent's best removal spell, planeswalker, or opposing ramp spells - but can also severely punish prospective hands or hands heavily reliant on certain cards to get them where they need to be. Also blanks Ultimate Price and Radiant Flames and can be extra hard to remove with a supporting Dromoka's Command to tick up to that all important 5 toughness.

    Utility, Utility

    Tireless Tracker - Depending on the opponent, you're usually playing this on turn four and, if so, you're netting yourself a clue and establishing a creature that most opponents are going to feel the need to kill right away, lest they get lost to the card advantage/size. Tracker is just a fantastic way to ensure you aren't running out of gas and can be a suitable threat.

    Duskwatch Recruiter - 21 creatures means you aren't missing often, and if you can flip him early then you're enabling some explosive plays like Turn 3 Thought-Knot into Turn 4 Avacyn or Smasher, which is usually gg. Another card that your opponents are going to want dead quickly or run the risk of being buried in card advantage or acceleration. Turn 2 Recruiter, Turn 3 flip, play any combo of Thought-Knot OR Advocate and Displacer OR Tracker, land, Advocate OR Advocate, Advocate, Recruiter, etc, then flip back and be ready to re-gas your hand again? Yes, please.

    Eldrazi Displacer - On curve, is yet another colorless creature (we blank Ultimate Price so often), but he still turns the tide of battle without having to Brood combo - and you aren't playing cards that are weaker in a vacuum like Brood Monitor or Zulaport Cutthroat. You're eliminating tokens, making combat a nightmare for your opponents, ensuring that your other creatures can't be the target of the first round of spot removal, and providing endless other utility, like blanking Ormendahl, Profane Prince, or comboing with Thought-Knot to lock our your opponent's draw step, or comboing with Avacyn to make your team consistently indestructible.

    So... yeah. Dirty pool. If your creatures aren't just offering you insane value on their own, here are all of the places you can sink your mana in the maindeck - Manland activations, Displacer activations, Tracker clues, Recruiter activations, Abby activations. You're almost assuredly using all of your mana every turn or, if not all, close.

    Spells

    It's worth noting that Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet is worse for us because most of the time we're exiling stuff but, on the plus side, most of the time we're exiling stuff. He's still really good, though (although you may note we're not playing him main because he's not better than the above, I've found). Another thing I'll say is that so much of removal in standard right now is conditional. Ultimate Price, Languish, Radiant Flames, Fiery Temper/Impulse, Chandra, Grasp of Darkness, etc. Our MB removal basically just gets rid of whatever we need it to... with the exception of Dromoka's Command which is conditional, but is also so versatile and can add value even without using it as a creature removal spell.

    Dromoka's Command - Our creatures are tough. As such, it's very rare that they aren't winning a fight after a Command counter has been added to them. This card is so good right now, especially against Cryptolith Rites based decks. It's absolutely brutal against Always Watching and is also great against Evolutionary Leap, or the enchantment removal suite. It's also stopping the majority of red based removal and limiting Pyromancer's Goggles shennanigans. But sneakily, even against many control strategies, it's saving Thought-Knot Seer and Avacyn from the -4/-4 removal spells and isn't worthless.

    Anguished Unmaking - we don't want more than two because the life loss along with our painlands is a real thing - but this is just the all purpose instant removal spell that lets us deal with anything we damn well please and exiles it for good.

    Declaration in Stone - Also great and cheap removal, fantastic when applying pressure to an opponent or when dealing with the rare threat that we can't otherwise handle - the Worldbreaker, Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger and Dragonlord Atarka's of the world. Also wonderful as a MB answer against token based strategies.

    Transgress the Mind - Main board, you say? Absolutely. White Weenie is far less of a thing than it was and, even though that's the worst deck to see with this main, you're otherwise set up well to deal with them. Even in that matchup you can find Always Watching or higher costed angels, depending on their build. Against virtually ever other top tier deck, this card is hitting and exiling the majority of the best stuff in the format. 4 color rites or the Aristocrats build you're taking: Collected Company and, if not Brood Monitor or Eldrazi Displacer or Nantuko Husk or Catacomb Sifter, control you're taking a planeswalker or mass removal spell (or even card draw or spot removal if they're mana light), against ramp you're taking the most relevant thing - usually goggles or chandra, or aurora, or the top end creature, though. You're also stripping out Seasons Past World Breaker and other graveyard relevant strategies. It's this card, along with Thought-Knot Seer that make the matchups against control and ramp so good. Our deck is still so disruptive G1.

    The Planeswalker

    Sorin, Grim Nemesis - is in there as a one off (and we bring in another copy in certain matchups which I'll discuss). Most of the time, we don't need this card to execute our strategies and we have only the one copy to limit clunkiness. G1 against an unknown opponent, I don't really want this in my opening hand. He's a fantastic top deck during a stalled board state, though, or if you need to eat an especially troublesome planeswalker or creature and gain some life back. He's not an overly exciting draw if you're already way behind on the board, though. And he's not too exciting when your opponents are going wide, which many are wont to do. That being said - most of the time you're playing him and are able to keep him alive, you're probably in a position where he's going to win you the game, either through his card draw and ancillary damage, or by helping you to stabilize an awkward but stalled board state. He's also very good against Chandra as he's able to eat her after she's plus oned.


    So, okay...

    Sideboard

    Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim - Brought in against aggro, mostly, or if we just feel we need another cheap creature. Blocks well and either trades or blanks many aggressive/midrange creatures. Also the lifegain can be very relevant. Also can use her sac ability to activate Avacyn's flip under certain circumstances, which is quite useful.

    Den Protector - Primarily used against control as another source of card advantage and to get the most relevant thing. Also will bring in against go wide strategies if I'm on the play and want to be aggro. I especially like it against GW Tokens. I'll make him unblockable by your plants and knight allies and will get back my Virulent Plague that you Dromoka's Commanded, thanks!

    Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet - worse for us main deck than many black-based control or midrange decks because they're killing more things as opposed to exiling the things. However, after side board, we can kill more things if we want to. Also, he's just awesome in some matchups like 4 color-rites, aggro, etc. Yet another possible mana sink for us.

    Dead Weight - primarily against white weenie based aggro. We may not need these in the matchup, I'm still deciding, but you feel like you're in very good shape after boarding against them with these in. This is my most debatable side board slot... but I think our matchup against control and ramp/midrange is already good enough that I don't mind having extra defense to aggro. I could see one of these being a fourth Declaration in Stone, as well.

    Virulent Plague - against GW tokens, but also against other Secure the Wastes/Westvale Abby based decks. Really strong hoser and makes the GW matchup feel really good. Also good against Brood combo.

    Sorin, Grim Nemesis - add against control and then just general matchups where one of your other spells doesn't feel as good.

    Duress - vs. control and ramp.

    Flaying Tendrils - this is why we may not need Dead Weight. Huge and timely blow out against WW - also very good against GW tokens and 4-color rites (doesn't allow Zulpaport Cutthroat to drain) also doesn't kill any of our creatures except for an unflipped Duskwatch Recruiter, which you can play around.

    Tragic Arrogance - Good against decks like Bant Company where you can target a scion token, good if you need the extra pop against midrange or aggro based creature decks, good against GW (keep a token, and Nissa, lose Gideon and a ton of other dudes). It also allows us to keep our best creature which is usually the best guy on the board and we've played our hand accordingly knowing this is coming. Solid in most matchups except for Ramp and Control.


    So, there you have it. Happy to entertain any side boarding discussions below, matchups, or to talk about card choices.


    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on The Mafia Council & Helpdesk Thread
    Not back, just saying hi.

    Please bump me to the bottom of the queue. Not sure I won't host again at some point but the time isn't now.
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on The Mafia Council & Helpdesk Thread
    Quote from Iso »
    Thanks, don't have soil or pots for them yet Frown I do start my new job on Monday, though, so they'll come along eventually.

    When are you coming back to play more Mafia?


    Awesome on the job. Gratz!

    Can't see it happening... I am getting back into Magic again though...

    Quote from Rhand »

    I am okay and so is my family and friends Smile


    So glad to hear it!
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on The Mafia Council & Helpdesk Thread
    Hey Iso... How are the peppers growing?

    Real reason to pop in is that I thought of Rhand when I saw the news today. Glad to see you're well. Hope everyone else is too!
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on MTGS Mafia Awards 2015

    Player Awards:
    Best Town Performance (Individual) - Sir Chris - Predator
    Best Mafia Performance (Individual) - Askthepizzaguy - FFII
    Best SK Performance (Individual) - Huntzilla - Full Deck
    Best Non-SK Neutral Performance (Individual) - Jobie - Predator
    Best Town Performance (Group) - Predator
    Best Mafia Performance (Group) - The Wall - KCC and Cyan were inspired in an incredibly claustrophobic situation
    Worst Town Performance (Group) - Invitational (P.S. a winning team should never win this award unless the losing team also won this award, IMO)
    Worst Mafia Performance (Group) - Gatecrash - A good example of how undue paranoia and self-consciousness/in-fighting can hurt a scum team.

    Best Town Player - Sir Chris
    Best Mafia Player - Sir Chris
    Best Overall Player - Sir Chris
    Most Entertaining Player - Nachomamma8
    Most Improved Player - Prophylaxis (for his scum game)

    Mod Awards:
    Most Creative - FFII
    Best Flavor - The Wall
    Most Interesting Role - Obzedat
    Best Read - FFII


    Couldn't not chime in. Hope everyone is well.
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on The 2015 MTGS Mafia Invitational - POSTGAME
    Good job scumteam. I certainly botched the ZDS read, but I'll take solace in saying it was Wheat and Chris when I left. Proph actually duped me the most at that point so a hearty congrats to him. I think if Chris flipped it could have been pieced together, though, with his reactions to Proph D1... and Chris being scum with Wheat made a ton of sense that he was almost lynched and he Came out firing at a buddy instead/valued himself over Wheat.

    Eh.

    Unfortunately, the ZDS push lost my goodbye thoughts any credibility, I fear.

    A lot of frustrating play this game from townies (myself included I'm sure), so I won't dwell on that since I'm retired. But wanted to see how it ended and to congratulate Proph for winning an invitational game as scum.

    Best wishes and happy holidays, all!
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on The 2015 MTGS Mafia Invitational - POSTGAME
    Hey guys - I'm really sorry and I hope you know that I don't take this lightly, because I've never replaced out of a game, ever... but I'm "retiring" from mafia, effective immediately.

    Some combination of taking things more seriously than I should/feeling like it's a chore to play rather than looking forward to doing so... and when your hobby is just putting you in a bad mood, especially when you're otherwise not, that's when you know it's time to hang up the keyboard. I seriously considered waiting it out til the end of this game, because the game was my idea, of all things, how much I was looking forward to playing in it, and because of how much I like and respect all of you - but I just don't have the energy to play catch up late at night after work every day (and certainly don't have the energy to keep trying to find time away from work to make posts like I'm doing right now). And this game, and you all, deserve much better than the state of mind/energy I am able to give right now.

    I've really enjoyed and appreciated this community, the games and stimulating discussion, and am continually impressed by the savvy and intellect routinely on display. It's been a pleasure to be able to test my mettle with you and get to know you - please don't hesitate to reach out if you want to stay in touch.

    /replace (I also hope you'll seriously consider asking Voxx to take this spot - there was a huge amount of support to write him in and he's a great player, certainly better than I am!)

    This slot is Town.

    FWIW - I have a lock town read on Rhand and pretty strong town reads on GJ, Cythare, Proph, and am leaning town on Seppel - I think it's most likely Wheat AND Chris, and then either Az or Cyan... probably Az... but I also have Cyan and Chris playing a distancing dance paranoia that probably isn't justified but is worth mentioning. I certainly think one of Az and Cyan is scum, because Rhand isn't... but, whoever take my spot can decide if they agree.

    P.S. Sorry I was so wrong about you, ZDS.

    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on Battle For Vanillaville 2:Infernal Affairs WEREWOLVES TASTE VICTORY (GAME OVER)
    So, this game put me over the edge a bit. I'm sorry for the criticism that's forthcoming - it's probably half sour grapes and half that I've kind of lost the joy of the game.

    Firstly, Tammy - you were entirely correct and I was entirely wrong that we shouldn't have been so lax. I couldn't have fathomed a situation like we just ran into, but yeah. I haven't been in the best place regarding mafia lately and I had little to no energy for how intensely and condescendingly you reacted to me simply expressing suspicion of what you were doing - but that's what people do, which is why I'm burned out. You were right about things being bleaker than they seemed, though.

    I'm sorry that I ended up acting like a jerk this game to many. I actually don't think I was acting like a jerk at all, and then Seppel said I was out of the blue... which made me way more annoyed than it should have because, burn out, and then I ended up acting like a jerk for most of the rest of the game because I was so at Seppel for out of the blue calling me a jerk. Lol. Self-fulfilling prophecy, I guess.

    Btw, Seppel, what was with your reading this game? There were SO many times where you misstated the facts like over and over and over again... eventually it just seemed way too overt not to be intentional. Basically throughout the entire game. Frown

    Man was this a discouraging game to play in.

    The balance was way off, IMO. 4-scum, one a double voter, one team that literally could not be impacted at Night by anything the Town could do unless Iso hid behind someone who was targeted or couldn't be targeted. And the Town roles were mostly weaker versions of regular roles. My role was a challenging one to play and I really like the role itself in a vacuum outside of the rest of the game context, but it was basically a doc with a draw back or a vig with a draw back. Necarg's role was weak investigative, and Seppel's wasn't really necessary, and also served as role confusion with Tammy, Iso, and Iso 2.

    If Nacho mis-vigs, both scum kills go through, I protect a townie and get shot by one of those things - you're looking at four members of the Town that could die in a single Night in a 12 person game with 4 scum. Literally half the Town could die in one Night and lose majority of the game vote. And as it was, I prevented two kills at Night and we lost despite only mislynching thrice, as Chris mentioned.

    Lynching the IC was crappy and dumb on our end - but I have a bone to pick about that as well... I didn't think that prods were enforced very strictly. Id went MIA well before the end of D1 and didn't post at all D2 - plus the mod went MIA at the end of D1, as did the replacement mod - there was a point I thought the game was going to be abandoned which hurts player motivation. Id's situation really should have been resolved before D2 started, as should Chilly's, who basically posted 2-3 times the entire game and wasn't replaced until D3. Hunger was v/la for more game time than he was active, and Wheat literally stopped playing for almost a full week leading up until his lynch.

    The circumstances were pretty brutal.

    But, yeah... I also played well below what I hope from myself and that was discouraging. As an aside, it made me sad that Chris thought I wasn't capable of suspecting him under pressure because I don't think that's correct... but it was in this case so... that was good...

    Sorry to be negative - hate ending on this kind of note so...

    -----

    On the plus side the NotVoxx alt was hilarious as was the replication of posting style. I actually didn't know if it was or wasn't - so well done, Proph.

    I thought that even though Iso's play wasn't great at keeping from getting caught, he did an EXCELLENT job distancing from Iso 2. It wasn't the role that had me clearing Iso 2, it was how Iso snap believed their counter claim of Seppel. I thought he would have been more cautious around that if they were buddies - so that was really well done and had me writing the hydra off entirely.

    I enjoyed Nacho's game quite a bit (and enjoyed protecting him from two kills... he was quite the kill target!).
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on The 2015 MTGS Mafia Invitational - POSTGAME
    @Az - I literally just explained why I thought he was being sincere - because there's no value in trying to discourage you from shooting me there if he's scum with Wheat and especially if there's a role blocker and they were just going to block you anyway. You'd be threatening to shoot among his scum buddy, him, and a townie. He'd effectively be arguing against you shooting a townie that you want to shoot when your other options are him and his buddy, while seeing that you had a stronger town read on the other player he was recommending for your list and knowing that the player (ZDS) that I just pushed to lynch was about to flip Town. And this would have been after he just hammered ZDS immediately following Wheat moving from Chris to ZDS.

    Rather than giving your thoughts on my reasons, you ask me why I assumed he was being sincere, which I wasn't assuming, I was drawing the conclusion based on the reasons that I explained in that very post... then after Seppel points out that we disagree, you reconsider my point as being viable and throw out the idea that I'm making it because I know that you're wrong. But if the points that I was making are enough to reconsider the GJ read, then why were you asking me why I assumed he was being sincere to begin with?

    Also - assume Rhand is town. Is Cyan scum?

    ------

    @Cyan - same question Re: Az
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on The 2015 MTGS Mafia Invitational - POSTGAME
    Got in late and am beat so going to crash and catch up in the morning, but quickly

    Quote from Azrael »
    Partly through entire thread reread.

    Challenge entire playerbase to read page 4 of thread and not conclude that both WG and GJ are scum together.

    Still looking for scum #3 on reread.


    I'll look at page 4 but I don't think you're right about GJ. At the end of the Day Yesterday you listed Wheat, me, and him as possible vig targets. He went out of his way to defend me to you AFTER the ZDS lynch had gone through. So you list him and Wheat and they're buddies but he bothers to push back on my inclusion in the list and instead pushes for Chris? That would have been after following Wheats vote on ZDS to hammer and while knowing that you could be role blocked. Theres very little value in him trying to discourage you from shooting me if he's scum with Wheat there, or really just generally.
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on The 2015 MTGS Mafia Invitational - POSTGAME
    Proph, Chris said he thought ZDS was probably town earlier than that. Been traveling but will be home tonight.
    Posted in: Mafia
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