Competitive Viability of Flash Rector

For those unaware flash is one of the stupidest cards ever printed. The fact you can instantly kill someone at instant speed with protection for 2 mana with protean hulk is dumb.

Anyway another card that pairs well with flash is academy rector. When academy rector dies you exile it and search for a enchantment and put it into play.

So how viable is a flash rector deck? Is it better to go for the "I win" enchantments like omniscience and eldrazi conscription or for silver bullets like energy flux and runed halo? Which colours are right to play, obviously blue for flash, white for rector, and black for tutors + viscera seer, but is it worth adding red or green?
protean with flash restricted 1x not is playable in competitive
rector + flash+ show + c.terapy is playable

@nungnum said in Competitive Viability of Flash Rector:

For those unaware flash is one of the stupidest cards ever printed.

Oh crap we should restrict it.

so i know not many people were ever on this deck, but anyone still playing rector flash? I built it on MTGO and ran a lot of practice matches and two leagues and it is suuuuper fun. The two leagues i played both ended up 4-1, playing against all blue decks.

i've liked a version without oath and about 2 show and tells maindeck fwiw.

@nungnum In theory, if you are playing a deck like this, you would want to go for the I-win stuff. Our tip off for that being the way to go is that we will have to populate our deck with "weaker power level" cards.

Now as you may or may not know, one of the best ways to start arguments around here is to start calling cards "lower power level" and stuff like that. Very soon you find yourself out by the swingsets, arguing about whether your dad's Balance could beat up some other guy's dad's Timetwister. It's just not were you want to be. But with that said, I will at least posit that this deck will carry some lower power level cards.

What I mean by that is for us to look at how much and how often a certain card improves our chances to win when we see it. Arguing aside, that's the basic equation for card "power": (Average improvement to winning chances) x (Likelyhood that we see the card) = card power... basically.

First imagine the best (most broken) theoretical card. Imagine a card that just says, "show this card to your opponent at any time: you win the game." That card would improve your winning chances a ton. 100% subtract whatever your chances to win were in the first place. Imagine if that card had another line of text on it that said, "If this card would begin a game in your sideboard, you may put it in your hand." Now that gets us to "seeing" it 100% of games. 100% chance to win x 100% of the time = 1000% dumb. That's what maximum brokenness/power would look like in theory.

So what about Black Lotus and Moxen and Ancestral? They almost always increase your chance to win, and they do it, on average, by a lot. The cumulative effect of running those power cards is big. Now, with Flash Rector, sure those are powerful cards, don't get me wrong. But this ain't modern we're playing here. By playing Rector, you are not playing some other powerful cards. Bazaar, Oath, Paradoxical, Workshop. Those cards improve winning chances substantially and consistently. Rector probably doesn't improve winning chances as often as those other cards when you see it in hand or play it.... but.

It can improve winning chances MORE. If you play Rector, or Flash Rector, you are going to want it to go off big time when it works. You are going to get futzy hands with three Rectors that don't do anything. (Trust me, I play Oath. It sucks.) So when you get the god-hand, you better make sure that you design the deck to make you the god of actually winning. Rector Flash turn oneing an Energy Flux into play is... well it's just not that broken, and I mean that statistically. You just flash-rectored on turn 1 and the other guy is still alive? That's just wrong. The thing that made the Protean Hulk build bad, was that it played Protean Hulk and a ton of weird crap, that did nothing and lost terribly in any sort of control war. If anyone ever got ahead in counterspells that thing folded... well, like a deck of cards. But the thing that made it great was that when it hit, as you pointed out, it killed you stone dead.

Decks with "weaker power" cards in them can be great, when they combine to exploit synergies that actually demonstrate that those cards aren't as weak as they seem. If they cause winning, they are powerful. That implies that a combo deck like this should contain combos that win the game as surely as possible when they go off.

last edited by Topical_Island

great thoughts and I'm with you that you do not want to dilute your deck with things that don't help win and those hands of "rector, rector, omniscience, griselbrand" or whatever are unfortunate. I also agree that you don't want your plan to be to rector in some marginal bullet enchantments. I really just wanted to hijack this thread to discuss the "established" version of flash/rector.

I do think that the deck can fill a role as a solid combo/control archtype (similar to oath) with a solid proactive plan that can be redundant against counters and dodge some of the common hate cards. Cabal therapy can power through counterspells, as can baiting with flash and then hard-casting rectors. Show and tell is also a very powerful card in a vacuum that helps alleviate some of the awkward draws this type of deck can have.

For reference here is the list ive been playing after scouring the internet for inspiration (Menendians VSL, Rich Shay's stream, i_b_true and Jaco's articles/posts - TY!) -

Business (17):
1x Ancestral
1x Ponder
1x Brainstorm
3x Preordain
1x Probe
1x Timewalk
1x Gush
1x Dig through time
1x Treasure cruise
1x Gifts ungiven
1x Jace, the mindsculpter
1x Vampiric tutor
1x Demonic tutor
1x Merchant scroll
1x Monastery mentor

Protection (9):
4x Force
3x Cabal therapy
1x Hurkyl's recal
1x mental misstep

Combo (10):
3x Academy rector
1x Flash
2x Show and tell
1x Omniscience
1x Yawgmoth's Bargain
1x Emrakul
1x Griselbrand

Mana (24):
3x Tundra
3x Underground sea
1x Island
1x Swamp
6x Fetches
1x Library of alexandria
1x Ancient tomb
8x Mox/Lotus/Sol ring/Mana crypt

2x Null rod/ Stony silence (for PO, storm, shops)
1x Fragmentize (shops, PO, anti RIP)
1x Energy flux (shops, PO)
1x Form of the dragon (shops, lulz)
2x Tinker + blightsteel (shops)
1x Balance (shops, BUG, delver, notion thief)
4x Leyline of the void (dredge)
2x Kambahl (PO, storm, random blue decks)
1x Mindbreak trap (PO, storm)

(edit - demonic not diabolic tutor obv)

last edited by kaluma

some ideas on the deck: i've trimmed down on things like misstep and flusterstorm to go more xerox with preordains and both delve draw spells. I could see playing more misstep type spells but then it would be harder to fuel the powerful draw spells which are important when trying to assemble a critical mass or both parts of a combo. I do really like gifts as a value spell or finisher you can merchant scroll for with omniscience out. finding Emrakul, Demonic tutor, vamp, draw spell basically always game. If some of those are in the gy already, dig through time or griselbrand or bargain can be subbed in depending on your life total.

the mana base maybe could be tweaked, as i've been mana screwed a little too often, even with 24 sources. I could see lotus petal being an option or more ancient tombs. Boseiju and cavern of souls are interesting, but i think they come at too high a cost of not tapping for colored spells or coming into play tapped.

mentor and jace provide plan B's for the deck (as well as kambal out of the board). i particularly like being able to dodge pyroblast and flusterstorm with mentor and kambal.

speaking of the SB, kambal has been an allstar in combo matches, but also just against assorted blue decks. pressuring combo with counters, discard, and permant based hate is a solid strategy here. the shops plan has been pretty medium so i'm wondering if there is something better to be doing here. Also it would be nice to have another slot against dredge, but space is a little tight.

Has someone tried to add Diabolic Intent? Cast Diabolic Intent and sacrifice Academy Rector -> search for Yawgmoths Bargain and put Omniscience into play through Academy Rector and then play Bargain for free. Or instead of Bargain just any of the other combo cards (Emrakul, Griselbrand etc.).

and if rector ins't in play diabolic intent is very good for hold the table still!!

@quo diabolic intent is in fact good with rector in play, but not good if your deck has about 4 real creatures in it. maybe if you went a totally different direction and played a hatebears style thing, but that card is kinda awkward and situational.

You could play 4xMisty Rainforest and 1x Dryad Arbor (to fetch with Rainforest) to up the creature count.

last edited by John Cox

Played Flash Rector past weekend at my local Vintage tournament.

Deck (61 cards):
3 Academy Rector
1 Griselbrand
1 Emrakul, Aeons Torn
1 Spellseeker

1 Omniscience
1 Yawghmoths Bargain

1 Ancestral Recall
1 Ponder
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Dig Through Time
3 Preordain
1 Gush
1 Brainstorm
1 Gitaxian Probe

2 Show and Tell
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Flash
1 Diabolic Intent
1 Time Walk

4 Force of Will
3 Mental Misstep
1 Flusterstorm
3 Cabal Therapy

5 Moxes
1 Black Lotus
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Crypt
1 Cavern of Souls
2 Boseiju
3 Island
3 Underground Sea
2 Tundra
2 Flooded Strand
3 Polluted Delta

4 Leyline of the Void
2 Containment Priest
2 Fragmentize
1 Balance
2 Echoing Truth
2 Hurkyls Recall
1 Tinker
1 Blightsteel Colossus

The meta is mostly blue based and past few times some Oath and Dredge were also played. For this reason, I had in my SB Leyline, Containment Priest and Fragmentize.

First round was against Landstill, which I won with 2:1. First game was a win thanks to Boseiju and Diabolic Intent -> got Omniscience into play thanks to Academy Rector and with Diabolic Intent searched for Emrakul so I could play it for free. Second game lost due Snapcaster and Mishras Factory beatdown. Third game I won in extra turns thanks to Tinker/Blightsteel Colossus into Time Walk.

Second round lost 0:2 to MUD, the deck was too fast for me with 1st turn into Sphere of Resistance/Trinisphere etc.

Third round against another Landstill with 1:2 (actually a draw, but I conceded to opponent so he had better chance for top4). First game I won thanks to Diabolic Intent into Emrakul again. Second game lost due didn't draw anything and opponent had Scavenging Ooze in play for several rounds and later on Jace TMS too. Third game was a draw, no conclusion after 5 extra turns. But he had clear hand and board advantage.

Fourth round against Worldgorger Dragon combo with 2:0. First game played Show and Tell into Emrakul, however opponent then started his combo loop in his turn with no further other targets -> infinite loop and therefore a draw. Second and third game I won with Diabolic Intent into Omniscience/Emrakul again.

Fifth round against Notion Thief control with 2:1. First game won again with Diabolic Intent into Omniscience/Emrakul. Second game lost due Notion Thief in play and had Omniscience in my hand - getting Yawgmoths Bargain into play through Academy Rector would be useless. Third game won thanks to Griselbrand beatdown despite opponent having 2 Notion Thief in play.

Finished the day with 3:2 and was quite happy with the deck. MVP was Diabolic Intent, this card was really worth it when it resolved. Spellseeker, Merchant Scroll and Gush felt rather useless to me or I was never able to effectively use them. Would probably rather add another Omniscience and 2 tutors such as Imperial Seal and Mystical Tutor or another Preordain.

@kaluma form of the dragon wins you games VS? Its indeed a lulz card xd

For my experience Ub Omnitel work Better.

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