@wappla said:

When the opportunity cost of playing a card is Triskelion, it is probably both very good and mostly meaningless.

Why is It meaningless?

@Smmenen
It is mostly meaningless because it's likely a marginal upgrade on the most expensive card in the deck. No well formed plan for a Workshop matchup revolves around beating specifically Triskelion because Triskelion is not what you are losing to.

As an anecdotal illustration, the last time I was in a position to lose to specifically Triskelion, I had to find a preventative answer. I had the distinct displeasure of having Vendilion Clique in my deck, but Clique was good enough to prevent a topdecked Triskelion from beating me on the spot. When Vendilion Clique is an answer, the question can't be that relevant.

My point is that it doesn't matter what expensive card Shops is relying on to win the game in that spot as long as Shops is playing the best possible card. While I'm far from convinced that Skysovereign is that best possible card, I'm pretty sure I don't really care. Then again, I'm the one playing 4 Lightning Bolts and zero Plows in a format full of 4/4 and 5/5 Eldrazi. And loving it...

edit: to phrase it a different way, if your plan for Workshops depends on the difference between Skysovereign, Consul Flagship, and Triskelion, you didn't have a good plan to begin with.

last edited by wappla

@wappla I agree. And actually, I'd wager that over time the Trike would be proven to be a little better, since it can administer direct, burn type damage immediately. Basically it does damage in a different way, which is useful. That and Trike being operable without needing another creature, seem to me to give the Trike the edge. Even though it does less damage over time assuming both are active.

@wappla said:

@Smmenen
It is mostly meaningless because it's likely a marginal upgrade on the most expensive card in the deck. No well formed plan for a Workshop matchup revolves around beating specifically Triskelion because Triskelion is not what you are losing to.

As an anecdotal illustration, the last time I was in a position to lose to specifically Triskelion, I had to find a preventative answer. I had the distinct displeasure of having Vendilion Clique in my deck, but Clique was good enough to prevent a topdecked Triskelion from beating me on the spot. When Vendilion Clique is an answer, the question can't be that relevant.

My point is that it doesn't matter what expensive card Shops is relying on to win the game in that spot as long as Shops is playing the best possible card. While I'm far from convinced that Skysovereign is that best possible card, I'm pretty sure I don't really care. Then again, I'm the one playing 4 Lightning Bolts and zero Plows in a format full of 4/4 and 5/5 Eldrazi. And loving it...

edit: to phrase it a different way, if your plan for Workshops depends on the difference between Skysovereign, Consul Flagship, and Triskelion, you didn't have a good plan to begin with.

This assumes, as your previous post, that the debate is whether to run Trike or Sky Sovereign. We could see Shop decks emerge that use both, while maxing out on one. For example, I wouldn't be surprised to see a 4 Trike/1 Consul deck place in a Top 8 in the near future. The fact that Shop decks already in many cases run 4 Trikes suggests the possibility they'd run 5, or more, if they could. Trike is one of the best cards you can play against Gush tokens.

That could make a significant difference to the analysis as you've laid it out, let alone your opportunity cost observation. We've seen many games in 2016 Vintage where the critical turn in the Gush v. Workshop matchup is when the Gush pilot barely sneaks a token generator onto the table, and the Workshop player either has the Trike or they don't. If they don't, the Gush pilots wins. If they do, the Shop player wins.

Most Gush strategies don't have preventative answers, like Clique, to Trike, aside from Force. Some run Cabal Therapy, but not most. Instead, they rely on good timing, superior consistency, and after the fact removal. Upping the Trike count could conceivably tip the balance even further in favor of Shop pilots.

last edited by Smmenen

Does null rod effect stop crewing of vehicles? If not, there provide a path to beat the hate.

@Smmenen Sure, and I think I made that pretty obvious by prefacing my analysis of Skysovereign by saying "When the opportunity cost of playing a card is Triskelion..."

but this is a very strong assumption, in part in light of Shop's current lack of other expensive damage/removal-centric cards like Sword of Fire and Ice, Wurmcoil Engine, Steel Hellkite, Karn, or Razormane Masticore. There is a real barrier on how much you can warp the curve of a deck that needs to curve out as best as possible on t1 and t2 and already has mulligan issues. It's not an accident the deck still plays a playset of cards with casting cost of XX, a year after Chalice was restricted.

There's also a real limit on the amount of equipment you can run before you are making Force and Spot removal too good against you.

last edited by wappla

@Jsakpc said:

Does null rod effect stop crewing of vehicles? If not, there provide a path to beat the hate.

"I'll shove that Null Rod right in their colon", a.k.a. if an ability has a colon it's activated. In Crew's case the colon is in the reminder text, so yes.

I like these vehicles, but I really wish they would've called them something else. A different card type, like "transporters" or "conveyances."

The word "vehicles" just really takes my head out of the magic world.

@wappla said:

but this is a very strong assumption,

I acknowledge that there is a ceiling on the number of high casting cost artifacts that can be employed in Shops strategies, but I don't think your assumption is strong.

Any time a deck runs 4 of a card, that suggests the possibility (although not the probability or certainty) that, if a card-specific exemption were granted (ala Relentless Rats), that said player might wish to run more than the usual permitted allotment.

In this case, many Shop decks run 4 Trikes, so the question is whether players would run more of that effect if they could. I think Trike is so strong against tokens strategies that it's not fair (let alone "strong") to assume that 4 represents the max Shops pilots would play if they could. That makes the printing meaningful.

The fact that you have an analog rather than a functional reprint may actually improve the marginal utility of this effect, as diversity of effects, even slight, usually represents greater situational possibilities.

@Smmenen Again, my claim of meaningless was clearly conditional on the opportunity cost of the card being Triskelion. If you are going to argue in a world where the conditional does not hold, I would ask that you stop arguing against a straw man who says the card is still meaningless.

As to the strength of the assumption underlying that conditionality, I did cite several analogs that see little to no play currently. You ignored this point and focused in on the high casting cost part of my argument. Regardless, we have a lot of evidence that the third Hangarback Walker is preferable to the fifth Triskelion. While it's certainly possible that Skysovereign is both better than the third Hangarback Walker and worse than the fourth Triskelion, the card would be so marginal in such a scenario, I would again assign a near total lack of meaning to its printing.

As an aside, I very much agree with your premise that 4-ofs recommend the possibility of a 5th functionally similar copy. I've argued in the past, thought not on these forums because it's a point more applicable to formats without restricted lists, that a fifth copy is among the best reasons to run a singleton.

last edited by wappla

I prefer to think about Skysoverign more in regards to how many Ravagers a deck is running than trikes.

The presence of Ravager to me indicates more need to run trike over sovereign, since the synergy between moving counters onto the machine gun is very relevant.

Decks that have ravagers are also more likely to sac cards for tokens and have a few less creatures on the battle field, or a larger consolidation of power on a smaller number of bodies, which makes for less pilot options.

@wappla said:

@Smmenen Again, my claim of meaningless was clearly conditional on the opportunity cost of the card being Triskelion. If you are going to argue in a world where the conditional does not hold, I would ask that you stop arguing against a straw man who says the card is still meaningless.

But that is my argument. I'm contesting the assumption that underpins your conclusion.

As to the strength of the assumption underlying that conditionality, I did cite several analogs that see little to no play currently. You ignored this point and focused in on the high casting cost part of my argument.

Because I was not persuaded that they were analogs. I thought the explanation I provided sufficed by inference to explain why: given the centrality of the Gush matchup in the format, the critical context is the turn where the Gush pilot has snuck a creature or planeswalker onto the table, but is unable to defend it. If the Gush pilot can untap with the threat on board, they will likely win (not just because of the threat, but because they can also remove any delayed answer via Plow/Chewer/Shat Spree). If the Shops player can remove the threat immediately, they will likely win.

That's why the cards you mentioned aren't analogs. Only Trike can remove Pyromancer, Mentor, or Dack. Duplicant can't remove a Dack (or a JVP) , and the other cards you mentioned (Steel Hellkite, etc.) have to be in play two more full turns, which disqualifies them from my scenario.

I'm not necessarily in disagreement that a big part of opportunity cost to this Vehicle is Triskelion. I just don't think it's a strong assumption. It's flimsy to fair, at best.

last edited by Smmenen

Currently testing 2 Flagships in Shops. only did a few reps on cockatrice but it won me a game outright and broke a stalemate where my ground creatures were stuck staring at larger threats. oh, and nuking a Jace on the inbound was nice as well.

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