I tested this deck, not a lot yet but enough to feel how it runs. It does exactly what it is supposed to do and quite efficiently. If i were to compare it to another deck, it would be PO obviously. Now, shop has a true quick combo deck. Not running sphere effect is something : beside the obvious building reasons, it means that the deck is quick/solid enough not to fear blue brokenness (not sure if that word exists but you get the point i think). For an old timer shop player like me, it means a lot.
I am not exactly fond of such all-in combo decks and usually enjoy to have some kind of out if some sand suddenly breaks the machine. However it is just personnal taste and i have zero problem with such kind of deck in the meta.
What is worrying me is not this particular deck but the fact that we have more and more decks like that. I presume power creep is doing that and there is not much that can be done. I don't mind we have a quick combo deck in the meta but if several decks are just doing their stuff as fast as possible with little interaction, Vintage will get soon very boring.
I know that the meta will balance to take this new deck in account and soon that deck will evolve in something less all-in. We will see how things will be in a few months when the dust will come down but i am not very optimistic about future in the long run.
To finish on the bright side, it is nice to see the format is changing a lot and new decks are rising.
In my testing thus far I've found that mystic forge shops is opening a HUGE gap for DPS and Bolas DPS decks. They are much quicker than forge and are reliant on rituals rather than artifacts for acceleration so are far less impeded by New-Karn than PO was.
A similar point was made in another thread focusing on Ad-Nauseum based tendrils deck.
I personally would love to see a meta shift towards DPS decks.
But they require a lot more cardboard to do anything. I would guess the average 7 from DPS kills a little faster and more resiliently than the average 7 from forge, in the sense of when the opponent is hard locked or actual dead. But it doesn’t do the same on 5 cards. Forge, Mox, Shop kills on 2 or 3 some decent percent of the time if the opponent doesn’t have good interaction. No storm hand of 3 cards does the same reliably.
That’s really the big difference—a lot of the Karn/Forge hands are legit 1 card combos, in the way Ad Nauseam is a 1 card combo (you just need mana and Ad Nauseam, everything else is a “I’ll sort it out later”). The mana production in Forge is a lot better than for DPS (see: Mishra’s Workshop), so it mulligans better and kills faster on average, when you take mulligans into account.
@neo_altoid recommended that I move this post over here so that more people can see it.
Using Hope of Ghirapur in KarnForge
Karn Shops is one of the top performing decks in the Vintage format but is often defenceless. In the N.Y.S.E. Open VI there were five Karn Shops decks in the top nine that seemed to rely on just 3-4 coppies of Defense Grid in the deck for protection. I propose that adding copies of Hope of Ghirapur would improve upon an already powerful Karn Shops.
I do say that Defense Grid is better to defend Karn Shops is than Hope of Ghirapur. My argument is that four Defense Grid is not enough to defend Karn Shops with and that multiple Hope of Ghirapur would help.
Hope of Ghirapur denies your opponent from casting non-creature spells on the second phase of a turn. Often is that all you need to win the game is to have a Karn, the Great Creator or Mystic Forge on the battlefield and Hope of Ghirapur can deny the opponent from using counter magic or other interaction that would stop a Karn or Mystic Forge.
Hope of Ghirapur is cheap to cast and is free with Foundry Inspector.
Manifold Key’s secondary ability can be useful to make Hope of Ghirapur unblockable if your opponent has a flyer to block with.
Hope of Ghirapur can make Karn Shops faster by slowing the opponent. It can take away half of an opponent’s turn by denying them the ability to cast sorceries, enchantments, planeswalkers, and non-creature artifacts for a turn. This is very helpful in slowing down fast combo decks such as Paradoxical Outcome, Dark Petition Storm and Karn Shops mirror-match.
Because Mystic Forge lets you draw many cards per turn, you can cast multiple Hope of Ghirapur turn after turn, preventing your opponent from counter your spells and casting non-creature spells during their turn for multiple turns. This could give you enough turns to assemble a Time Vault/Key or Karn/Mycosynth Lattice combination and lock your opponent out for the rest of the game.
Let’s take a look at the final match between Joe Brennen and Vasu Balakrishnan in the N.Y.S.E. Open VI. Vasu was playing Karn Shops combo with Mystic Forge and Joe was playing BUG Control. In game one Joe had a hand full of counterspells. If Vasu had a Hope of Ghirapur on the battlefield at the time, Joe would have been unable to cast most of his hand. In round two, Joe countered a Mystic Forge. If Hope of Ghirapur had attacked, Joe could not have played his Force of Will to counter Vasu’s Mystic Forge and Joe would have been unable to cast his Narset, Parter of Veils on his turn. The game may have turned out differently but these are just examples.
Thank you for considering using Hope of Ghirapur in Karn Shops. I look forward to seeing how Karn Shops evolves over the next couple of months and how it will perform at Eternal Weekend.