[STX] Solve the Equation
I’ve been drafting a lot on arena, so these STX cards are popping out to me and I haven’t seen this one mentioned on here either.
Solve the Equation - 2U
Text: Tutor for an instant or sorcery
This card seems very solid to me. A strict upgrade over Merchant Scroll for one additional mana. This card has a ton of applications if it just isn’t outclassed by Planeswalkers/creatures at 3 mana. I suspect where this card really shines is under cost reducers such as Baral, Nightscape, helm, etc.
@lienielsen I thought this card was very good at first glance but in the current meta it is not very good. The key use for a card like this is a combo enabler. The other use is to find card draw and counter but that is not good these days.
The best combo decks these days are Doomsday and Breach. PO would not want this card for various reasons. The 3 CMC is a very big deal in the meta that exists today. The meta is very hostile to anything that is not hyper efficient.
I think this card is playable in Modern but it is does not have a home in Vintage. It's also a bit of a stretch to play in Legacy since there are more efficient tutors there too.
All things being equal, Merchant Scroll could probably be unrestricted today and only see one to two slots in most blue decks since Gush is restricted.
I think a deck with 4 Scrolls, 4 PO's, and Ancestral would be quite broken. Maybe to the point of running 2-3 of these as PO's 5-8 could be viable.
It doesn’t easily slot into existing popular decks, but it’s quite a powerful effect on a mana cost that is begging to be abused.
Consider the fact that Doomsday wasn’t even the discussion for a top tier deck before the printing of one card (Thassa Oracle).
It only takes one card to sprout a new deck.
@lienielsen I love trying to break cards and find new decks. The current meta is so counter heavy or hatebear heavy that is hard to see how to break this card.
I tend to look at very old cards first like Replenish but those strategies are often negated but the fact that Dredge exists and most sideboards are packed with artifact hate or graveyard hate or infinite counterspells.
I kind of hate that this is where Vintage is right now because it feels very closed off but there is still space to innovate. Maybe a ramp deck? Those are doing well in other formats, a card like this could enable a ramp deck to find the close out spell(s).
Actually the cost reducers have been very effective with this effect. It’s more effective than ramp since for example, 1 Rampant Growth gets one land which generates one mana. In contrast, Baral Chief of Compliance saves 1 mana on the tutor, 1 mana on the Yawgmoth’s Will, 1 mana on the tutor again, etc. Effectively generates 1 mana for every spell cast in a turn. For the initial converted mana cost of 2, cost reducers such as Baral or Sapphire Medallion, far outperform land ramp when trying to string together a number of 2U or 1U spells.
Baral Frantic Search decks are very effective at “going infinite” with just 3 lands
I would be hesitant to narrow your view of Vintage to just the decks that perform well. These decks are hyper optimized and their pilots are very competitive and experienced at playing with them. However other strategies exist and you’d be surprised at how effective they can be given the same amount of tuning and optimizing.
Manaless dredge was once a fringe deck. Every tier 1 deck was once a new strategy.
There is a 4-C lutri omnath deck that works surprisingly well it has a pretty modern rampy feel.
@lienielsen I have looked very hard are cost reduction over mana ramp. Cost reduction is not good in Vintage at this time mostly due to Force of Vigor and the large amount of artifact hate that most decks pack so they do not lose to shops.
I have been playing Modern storm for 5yrs and I understand the power of cost reduction.
PO is a critical mass deck much like ANT in Legacy and those decks need a large amount of acceleration to succeed and protection from hate.
Breach is a looping strategy that is weak to graveyard hate but plays like a Xerox deck. And Doomsday is a 2 card combo deck like a 2 card monte.
I think ramp has not been thoroughly explored in Vintage. We had the Crab shack deck and the Omnath deck more or less come and go. With this card there is a ramp and reload then reload. Maybe cards like Ideas Unbound or Frantic Search.
Cloudpost is too slow but a Fastbond style hand dump and reload can work and Solve the Equation gives the deck a redundant way to reload after dumping all of the ramp. Or you can play Solve to get disruption to stop counters. This is where I will start and see if there is anything to brew.
The rogue deck in which I envision this card is Channel - Lich's Mirror.
It fetches Channel and Tinker (for Mirror) in your main color, which makes it likely the best unrestricted option. I had attempted something similar with Spellseeker and Transmute Artifact but the UU requirement created a bottleneck on Blue mana so this is an upgrade.
And yes, I know this isn't a very competitive shell. Not really the point, IMO.
I could see this in some kind of turbo-tinker-time vault deck. 4x transmute, 4x this, mystical, power blue, 8x FoW/FoN (maybe daze) 8x(ish) keys, tinker, time vault. You can run BSC as a plan B and Tezzeret 1.0 as a plan C - and a couple hurkyll's main to hedge vs shops as well as tutor for with StE and remove null rods. You just assemble TV/key as close to turn 1 as possible and pitch-counter to prevent game losses or crippling plays. Once you get Vault/key going, your plan B or C become the win.
I tried a turbo tinker deck some time ago, but it was before FoN/Manifold Key printings. There might be enough redundancy with "mystical 2-5" now to make a go of it.
Channel/Mirror seems fun (noted not meant as competitive), but more mana constraining and less likely to just turn 1 "oops, I miser drew my combo that needs no color requirement." Lots of games have ended with "mox, crypt, land...thanks for playing". This seems to just give that same scenario a lot more probability of happening turn 2.