Accumulated Knowledge + Force of Negation viable right now?

I have been playing some variation of this since vintage began and Tog was a thing.
Cody Vinci had a bunch of success with a similar list in the 2006 time frame.
This is the deck that just won my most recent testing gauntlet. It was done after Misstep restriction, but before Narset restriction and Oko printing.

1 Scalding Tarn
1 Polluted Delta
2 Misty Rainforest
2 Flooded Strand
4 Underground Sea
4 Island
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Black Lotus
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mana Vault
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Crypt
1 Blightsteel Colossus
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
2 Snapcaster Mage
1 Tinker
1 Time Walk
4 Force Of Will
4 Intuition
3 Force Of Negation
4 Thirst For Knowledge
4 Accumulated Knowledge
4 Mana Drain
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm
1 Chain Of Vapor
1 Mystical Tutor
sideboard: -> This needs work
1 Strip Mine
4 Wasteland
4 Leyline Of The Void
3 Yixlid Jailer
3 Control Magic

The sideboard is probably bad right now. I had been running Strip and Wastes back when they were good against both Shops and Dredge, but now Wastes are not as good against Shops since Shops throw down a few creates and are happy to trade lands.

Ever since Force of Negation was printed I have been looking for a home for it.

The idea is you want to have huge bombs that you drop on your opponent's turn. Originally I thought of a Gifts shell and a Flash shell. Flash just straight up wins on your opponent's turn and 4 extra Force of Wills make it better. Because Flash is restricted it is a bit tough to make Flash viable particularly post board.

Gifts also did not work out. Generally opponents will want to counter the Gifts, but usually your Gifts sets up huge bombs the following turn. Your Force of Negations cannot protect those huge bombs and Gifts usually does not protect it either.

What you really want is play huge bomb on your opponent's turn and then chain that into another huge bomb on their next turn.

This is where Accumulated Knowledge comes in. You can use Force of Negation to protect AKs for 3 and 4 on your opponent's turn. Force of Negation is also fairly easy to hard cast and saves you from random broken stuff in the early game.

At first I tried both Vault/Key wins and Tendrils wins. I hated Vault/Key after Force of Vigor was printed. It was a decent backup plan to take infinite turns and attack with Snapcaster Mage for the win, but I generally prefered to Tinker for BSC or Tendrils. Tendrils did not quite work. Cody's old list had a lot of combo 1ofs that allowed broken plays. He would do stuff like:
tap library: Draw
Gush: Draw 2.
Frantic Search: Draw 2, discard 2 gushed lands, untap library
tap librar: Draw

So all of those cards were sort of decent but suboptimal during the mid game and then could go bonkers when when he went off. He also ran as many as 3 Rebuilds during the Stax era and then added at least 1 Dark Ritual during the Pitch Long era.

The Force of Negations crowed those cards out so going for a huge Tendrils was too tough. If I wanted to do that I would end up switching the deck to be closer to Paradoxical.

I was left with Tinker->BSC as the primary win condition. Yes this gets hated by Grafdigger's cage, but Force of Negation counters that and I can always just bounce EOT before I Tinker.

In general you can always Intuition for 2xSnapcast Mage + Tinker to win the following turn (assuming you have 5 mana)

So the way the game plays out is you just play control. You AK for 3 and then 4 and then ideally you use Snapcaster to draw 4 cards again. You can still Intuition for Yawg, Tinker, Snap later to find Tinker. Between the MASSIVE card advantage and the 11 counterspells you can stop most of your opponent's threats. Then you finally Tinker with double or triple counter backup.

Here is where the Force of Negations shine again. So you might be thinking that your opponent could just Swords the BSC and then you are screwed, but if they only have 1 spell you are fine. You should already have a counter. What is really scary is if they are about to Swords BSC on their turn and then attack with Dreadhorde Arcanist to flash it back. Maybe they have Pyroblast too!

So you Tinker BSC with Force of Negation + Mana Drain backup.

Your opponent is holding Swords + Pyroblast with Dreadhorde Arcanist out and an untapped Tundra and a tapped Volcanic Island.

Your opponent could EOT go for Swords, but won't have Pyroblast backup so they wait.
Their plan is to go for Swords and then if that is countered they can attack with Arcanist and Swords against with Pyroblast backup.

So they Swords first. You Force of Negation back. Now they have a problem because Force of Negation will Exile the Swords. They are Forced to Pyro the Force of Negation, but then you Mana Drain the Pyroblast, Swords is Exiled and you win with a BSC.

So Force of Negation was REALLY, REALLY good in this deck in a way that it was not good in other decks.

There are two cards that seem like they wreck this deck. Narset and Oko. I have admittedly not tested against Oko at all. It was printed after I started my gauntlet, but Narset was still unrestricted so I tested against that a bunch.

A resolved Narset obviously wrecks you, but Narset rarely resolves. In general non creature Sorcery speed threats are the easiest for this deck to handle. You essentially run 7 Force of Wills against them.

So while I have not tested against Oko, I am pretty confident that Oko will only rarely resolve. Still, the way I tended to handle a resolved Narset was to Intuition for Snapcasters and Tinker rather than AKs.

Possible improvements to the list:

  1. It does happen that BSC gets Swordsed. Maybe run a second BSC or Vault/Key. If so Thirst should probably get dropped. The problem is you now have more cards to pitch to Thirst, but fewer Thirsts. I am not sure how helpful this is since if I just had my BSC Swordsed and I have no counters, then I am probably going to lose either way. I think the second BSC is a lose less card when I want it and dead the rest of the time.
  2. Maybe drop a Thirst to run a 4th Force of Negation.
  3. Wastelands in the sideboard are terrible and even the Control Magic was terrible. Maybe add 4th Yixlid Jailer for dealing with Dredge and then 4 anti shops cards. Hurkyl's Recall? The sideboard needs work. Grafdigger's Cage is actually a possibility since you can Tinker out your own Cage to get BSC, but now you just removed your own hate. Does not seem ideal.
  4. Maybe combine 1/3. Add Vault/Key to the board to deal with opponent's Grafdigger's Cage.
  5. Thirst compliments Force of Negation because I had keep mana up to hardcast Negation and then EoT Thirst if there is nothing to counter. Thirst is decent, but against Narset it was not ideal so I toyed around with use Fact or Fiction instead. Fact can load AKs into the yard fairly well and does not say "draw" but I think I still prefer Thirst, particularly if I am relying on Tinker->BSC to win.
  6. Maybe Narset needs to be added! I seriously underestimated Narset. Arguments against Narset are that I have few creatures and thus can's protect it and I hate tapping out to play spells at Sorcery Speed. This means Narset will perform worse here than other decks, but it is still a HUGE bomb.

if your opponent waited to plow on his own turn for pyro backup when an arcanist was on the table, that's just a misplay. You plow on opponent's EoT, then if it is countered, you get arcanist to replay plow and have pyro backup for THAT if needed.

I haven't liked BSC for a long time now, though I don't get much of a chance to play Vintage nowadays, so what do I know. The thing is, he's vulnerable to Dack Fayden, JTMS, and now Oko, three big planeswalkers that other blue decks could reasonably be playing. Not to mention STP.

I've always had good success eschewing Tinker entirely; my playstyle tends more towards hard control. Conversely, I can remember several times my opponent had Vault or Key in play, which I was able to ignore entirely because it did absolutely nothing on its own. But maybe this is just me.

Anyways, a suggestion you could try.

If you have enough Mana for Drain, but not a hardcast Negation then he should run out Swords (assuming he is confident you don't have Misdirection)
If you can hardcast Negation then he is better off waiting for Pyroblast backup.

@dr-j I found the exact same thing (pre-Oko) before I added the Force of Negations. If your opponent does resolve a planeswalker you are already in trouble but playing Tinker+Walk in the same turn is not that tough for this deck so it is not like all is lost.

@meadbert said in Accumulated Knowledge + Force of Negation viable right now?:


Very cool deck. I recommend trying out two cards.

Baral, Chief of Compliance not only makes your Accumulated Knowledges and Intuitions cheaper, but also turns your loaded counter suite into a filter engine.

Mystic Sanctuary seems ridiculous here. Casting those Accumulated Knowledge repeatedly seems quite good.

The two can occasionally pair together. Fetch Mystic Sanctuary to put something on top, counter their spell, draw it.

last edited by Zias

Agree about Mystic Sanctuary. That card is ridiculous.

The comes into play tapped is a bit annoying, but the fact that you fetch it means you run just 1 and then Fetch it when you want it.

Is it worth running more than 1?

I had briefly considered Baral before and rejected it without testing it, but now that your bring my attention back to it I like it more.

So last time I considred Baral I was running Mana Leaks in the Force of Negation slot so I when I opened with a land and a Mox I wanted to keep mana open for Mana Leak.

Now that I have Force of Negation it seems that playing Baral is a great turn 1 play.

One one hand Baral interacts favorably with the Tinker win because he is one more way to discard a Colossus.
On the other hand, in general he seems to fuel a Tendrils win even more. Being able to play AKs for {U} after a Yawg would make Tendrils easier.

The weakness of Baral vs Thirst is as a top deck in the mid to late game. Baral would function as sort of an extra mana source that I don't need while Thirst would see 3 more cards, but turn 1 Baral seems so strong.

Turn 1 Mox, Land, Baral.
Turn 2 Land: Opponents Turn: Intuition for 3xAK + AK for 3.

That seems like a fantastic opening.


My hunch is that one Mystic Sanctuary is correct here.

Generally, more the artifact mana you run, the less likely that >1 Mystic Sanctuary is where you want to be, since it's harder to get the trigger

last edited by Zias

Before adding cage or a 4 yixlid jailer, have you considered Ashiok, Dream Render for the sideboard? He has been very strong for me in control/fair blue builds, doing major work in both dredge and in slowing down tinker - citadel combos in P.O.

I'm even going to start testing him maindeck in some of my landstill lists.

I just think he's a very wide, one sided powerful card that maybe had a little shine taken from him bc of narset.

@ltdale I had not considred Ashiok, Dream Render. Is he really better than something like Tormod's Crypt? When playing against Dredge I badly want to get my hate down ASAP. The problem is the crucial swing game is when Dredge is on the play post board. If I give Dredge 2 turns undisrupted then my concern is my hand get ripped apart by Therapy and I lose Ashiok where as Tormod's Crypt can come down turn 1.

I can definitely see that Ashiok is more flexible and could be strong against various combo decks.

@meadbert you absolutely need the majority of your dredge hate to be playable on turn 1 or earlier. 1 ashiok can be ok if you have it for other matchups but you need some combination of crypt/trap/spellbomb, probably jailer.

@meadbert No. I agree you want fast dredge hate as well. I just look at your sideboard and see a different philosophy. if you want to consistently hit your specific hate i'd rock with a 4th jailer. but if you want to hit multiple angles and have a card that does double duty against p.o. i'm having a lot of success with ashiok.

i also think it should be looked at like other pw's in the format, most notably narset. even if you are playing only on color moxen, you are dropping it t1, or t2 some % of the time off of mulls and/or cantrips.

I like the Ashiok idea as well, but in a shell with Cabal/Dark Ritual. With the Intuitions you could run 1 of each, so it's either fuel for early Ashiok/Jailer/Discard, or Yawgmmoths Win Fuel for Tendrils later.

Also I would run Sower of Temptation over Control Magic in SB and as a 2 of. Run Fatal Push over the third IMO. With FoV and FoN running rampant CM seems no good.

Good luck with it.

last edited by Serracollector

@serracollector You raise a good point about Sower. I had been running Sower and switched to Control Magic when Dreadhorde was super popular and there were a zillion Swords to Plowshares and Lightning Bolts.

I am not sure that card is even good to bring in against Dreadhorde now. I mostly want Control Magic/Sower to handle Hollow One so I think the switch to Sower makes sense.

I was considering dropping Control Magic all together.

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