Posts made by albarkhane
posted in Vintage Tournaments read more

Unfortunately i could not come this year but i definitively plan to make it next year if possible.

I am lucky enough to own what i need to play but i still think that allowing proxie is a great thing that should have been done years ago in Europe.

posted in Decks read more

Masticore is a good card that is often suggested for such a deck. The synergies are pretty nice but often it does not pass the cut.
IMHO, in the upper curve there are better cards to use (namely golos but i would also probably use wurmoil or steel hellkite before it). It is also a bad topdeck and awfull when using uba/bazaar combo.
The main interest is that it provides a very efficient and nullrod-proof effect to ping creatures. That is strong enough and i often test it as a 2-of in sideboard.

posted in Decks read more

@BillCopes

We are not a combo deck , so i am really not sure if defense grid is a good call.
The most efficient card to deal with Hurkyl's recall is to run 3 witchbane orb. However, because we are doing that the most recent list are now running more chain of vapor instead of Hurkyl's.
An important point is how much pressure you can put on the field, best thing that can happen to us is when they must use their Hurkyl's as emergency button. We can't prevent all Hurkyl's to happen so we want it to happen at our time not theirs. If they play it when we are in attack phase, we have some more time to start build again and they won't gain full advantage of it. My point is, maybe removing creatures from the list was not a good idea.

posted in Decks read more

After some more tests, i played this list yesterday :

// Welder is back

// 22 Artifact
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Ruby
1 Sol Ring
3 Crucible of Worlds
1 Trinisphere
1 Black Lotus
2 Ensnaring Bridge
3 Tangle Wire
2 Uba Mask
1 Null Rod
3 Sphere of Resistance

// 14 Creature
4 Goblin Welder
1 Lodestone Golem
2 Goblin Engineer
4 Hollow One
3 Golos, Tireless Pilgrim

// 24 Land
4 Mishra's Workshop
3 Bazaar of Baghdad
4 Wasteland
1 Strip Mine
1 Tolarian Academy
3 Ancient Tomb
6 Mountain
1 Barbarian Ring
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

SB: 2 Null Rod
SB: 3 Grafdigger's Cage
SB: 2 Witchbane Orb
SB: 2 Tormod's Crypt
SB: 1 Ensnaring Bridge
SB: 3 Red Elemental Blast
SB: 2 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

I could not test every matchups so i thought it would need some minor tweak to get something more balanced. After the tornament i am much less sold on the list. Here is my experience with it :

The main strategy was to get a tabernacle online with a crucible/strip lock. Post side, we are very solid against MUD, Eldrazi, Survival, Dredge and PO. I wanted the deck to be null rod effect proof.

  • Golos is really great. Most of the time i got tabernacle (that does not care being tapped) or a mountain (when missing red source) or strip mine for the win. The body is nice with a decent clock. I did not play Karakas because i could not find a slot for it but my feeling is that it would be overkill most of the time (but i will try it still). Welder tricks with it are cute but most of the time there are more important stuff to do with welder.

  • 6 goblins is the right number. I chose a 4/2 split but the entomb effect is so useful here that i am very keen on trying 3/3. I love the way engineer card was designed, i always found welder to be better but now i think they are both interesting, it just depends on the strategy we want. However, in this particular deck, we can't afford to do too many 'cute things' so in the end 4/2 might the be good choice.

  • REB were a try to adress the pesky planeswalkers (namely dack and narset) and eventually PO (the card) or chain of vapor/hurkyl's. Revoker can't do the job because of Narset static effect that stops our bazaar. I fear we can't afford to keep mana open for that but i could not test it enough.

Now comes the real problem : stability. With decent opening hands, the deck is really strong but much too often everything comes up the wrong way. Agressive mulligan can help but it is not enough i fear. This problem is a recurring one for red shop. Years ago when i tried to adress it, the only solution i found was to have a really low curve (lower than the one of the deck above) and only a few more costy silver bullets. That way we are less dependant on which lands we get in opening hand. Unfortunately, here we can't do that because our strategy wants us to play more costy cards. So, either we can find a strategy that let us do that or maybe welder tricks are not worth it. Good news is there is still lots of paths to explore.

posted in Vintage Community read more

I have been playing MTG since 1994 (with a break in between Vision till Lorwynn) and my favorite format has always been Vintage. What i can tell from France is (i am talking only about paper as i don't play MTGO or similar) :

  • There had been a slow but constant decrease of players in France till about 5 years ago. It is possible that explanation is the no-proxie policy in France because at the same time in USA numbers of players was quite constant or more slowly decreasing (as far as i remember).
  • About 5 years ago, when Old School started to be known there was a sudden rise in card prizes. To put it bluntly, it was more speculation/investments than players looking for cards. At that time Vintage entrance cost became really prohibitive so it is near impossible for new players to enter.
  • Many Vintage players are quite old and may quit for various reasons.
  • Cards availability is also a problem (i mean for the old stapples).

Basically what happened to Vintage is also happening to Legacy, or will happen soon for quite similar reasons. Wizards is supporting Modern as the official eternal format and they don"t care much for the other eternals formats. I am not saying they want them to die, those formats are the 'mythology' of MTG and as such are important for Wizard image but doing what could be really needed to make them alive again might not be worth the trouble.

I talked with many former vintage players and lots of them told me that they quited because at some time they did not like the meta/format. Many found Old school more attractive so they still have the cards but they don't play vintage any more. Also, some people don"t want to walk around with cards that are worth more than the car they are driving ...

With some friends we have been organising Vintage meeting once a month (we started about 2 years ago). We allow unlimited proxies so people may try any deck they may want. We could be doing that at home but we do it in a shop so people might see us. We have lots of fun and some people are coming but basically we never managed to be more than 10.

I can only agree with what had been said about MKM tournaments. There are some serious hints that BOM could happen again in Annecy next year ... so wait and see. However, there is a big Legacy event planned in France (Valence) at end of month and there is supposed to be Vintage too but i am really not sure it will fire.

posted in Decks read more

I did some quick testing and went to our monthly tournament yesterday with a similar list. It went pretty well (3-1), the only games i lost were to variance or stupid errors from me. However, i am not yet happy with the deck and will test it more. Decks i played or tested against so far are : jeskai xerox, hatebear, eldrazi, dredge, PO and mirror. I have not played enough games so here are just some feelings as food for thought :

  • Engineer is pretty cool and most of the time i fetch crucible or bridge with it, the entomb effect makes us less bazaar dependant. I feel that 7 goblins might be too much but not sure yet (i might try a 3/3 split as a test).
  • I was not happy of the lone Karn and almost never played it when i drew it. The only time i did, it was not very impactful. I will try a very small sideboard target package, namely either only one lattice or a vault/key. The rest of the sideboard will be built as if there was no Karn. If this strategy is working, Karn might ends up in sideboard too as this might be interesting only in some matchup. If it is still akward, i might remove it entirely from the 75.
  • During testing (namely against Eldrazi) i found myself hiding behind a bridge and my opponent had 2 revokers online that targetted both goblins. The game was pretty stalled and it was difficult if not impossible to find an out. More generally, i am not satisfied with the plan after we get a bridge online. So i added in an expedition map and switched a mountain for a barbarian ring, and i added a tabernacle in sideboard. I might want the tabernacle main deck and/or a second map but i could not find space for that yet. This strategy gives us more lines of play if needed. I will need more test to decide if it is a good idea or not.
  • dredge is a favorable matchup, game 1 is still difficult but not impossible to win. Post board, the plan is simple : mulligan agressively into cage and/or waste, put a bridge (or a cage if needed) online with a goblin, and find a way to kill.
  • mirror match is pretty technical if both players are serious.

To sum it all, i like that such a deck has some potential again but there lots of work to do on it to have it really competitive. Now i know how i will spend my spare time before our next monthly event.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

You will never steal any Marit Lage with that because any serious Land/depths deck player will activate its combo at the last possible time, namely 'end of your turn'.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

If i had a flying Goyf, i would want to attack with it every tunr not really use it for defense. Condition is pretty easy to get against dredge of course but i would probably want to side in other cards than it.
I like the card but not sure if it can fit somewhere in the present meta. Some people tried a blue shop deck some years ago, maybe it could fit in it.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

Not exactly on the topic but i see that both lists are running chains in SB. I love the card but i have always been disapointed when i tried it on various decks.
What are your feelings about it here ?

posted in Decks read more

@brass-man said in 7/10 split:

The card was sheer and utter madness. I don't know how long things worked this way. I'm guessing they changed the rules on this card before Arabian Nights was out, but I'm sure there were a lot of house rules surrounding the card. If anyone was around the competitive scene in the early early days I'd love to hear how it was handled. I've always been fascinated and terrified by the implications of the card before they added "status" to the game rules.

I had played a few tournaments back in those days. You are right the card was madness (similar to chaos orb in a way). It was not very easy then to get a full playset of it and there was not many competitive interactions with it so people were playing it mostly in casual decks. i remember i saw one being played in a tournament once but a disenchant flew on it immediately. If i remember well, Wizard produced quickly some errata and explanation in old Duellist mag. I still have them somewhere, i will check.

posted in Workshops read more

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.

posted in Vintage Community read more

I see only one solution : Llanowar Elves must be restricted (and Wall of Runes too for good measure). I knew that island should have been banned years ago.

posted in Xerox read more

I agree. A friend of mine has been testing it for some time and i played against it (i was on stax shop). The card is really solid and give a sense of inevitability if one can't deal with it quickly.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

One can fetch karakas with it and start some fun bouncing it.
No one really plan to use its activate ability so we are talking about an overcosted card.
I will test it in my stax deck that already run one map but i am not really optimistic about it.

posted in Tournament Reports read more

@log I am happy that you finally could get in. This is the most stupid problem and i am not sure i will want to go to another MKM tournament ... I will try and come to play in Italy if i can. There is also a quite serious rumor about a BOM in Annecy next year in may or so ...

posted in Tournament Reports read more

As a long time shop player, i knew i would run such a deck at MKM series Paris. For many months Ravager shop has been objectively the best shop deck but i don't like it. Nothing special, it is just that i enjoy different kind of decks ... so when new Karn went out, i knew there was something there. The problem was the very short time before the tournament. I had a look around at what people had found and saw some interesting ideas but was not 100% convinced by them.

Namely, people want to get an early Karn and they use lots of mana artifacts to get those 4 non-shop mana. I agree that a turn 1 Karn is a blast but actually any competitive vintage deck can have broken opening hands so i usually judge decks by cheking how they behave when things are going not so well. So "what happens if i don"t have a Karn in my opening hand ?", or "what happens if my opponent plays an early stony silence/null rod ?". To make it short, is that explosive start worth the price ? MTGO results imply that it could be but i decided i would try another path and see where it leads.

I tried to forget everything i had seen and started from scratch. I checked each decks to find how they can be hated out. For example, Ravager shop has no answer to ensnaring bridge + null rod. I did that for a gauntlet of decks and found a core deck that could adress the expected meta : sphere, null rod, ensnaring bridge, revoker, Witchbane orb. Most cards are quite usual in shop decks but that quite tight package shows that a prison/stax direction is possible.

The plan was clear then : i would play a stax deck that happens to use Karn as a win condition. I don't want to use too many mana artifact so the plan is to play Karn in late game only. Getting the 4 non-shop mana could be a problem and i tried to find a balance there. I liked the inventor's fair that can tutor (for example crucible for recursion) and help with life point. The deck was ready very late so i could only do little testing. I knew the real problem was to play null rod but it was worth a try as it gives an edge in some difficult matchups (ravager shop, elrazi karn, PO). I was not exactly sure about the whole balance of the deck too. There was a trial the day before the main tournament so i decided to use it as a test. If it went really wrong, i could always switch back to a more classic list. However i was quite confident because it ends up not being very different from some lists i had seen in internet (credit to volrathxp for example).

Here is the list i used at the trial :

// 30 Artifact
1 Black Lotus
1 Chalice of the Void
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring
4 Sphere of Resistance
1 Thorn of Amethyst
1 Trinisphere
3 Ensnaring Bridge
2 Null Rod
2 Crucible of Worlds
4 Tangle Wire
2 Smokestack
1 Mox Opal
1 Mana Vault
1 Mana Crypt

// 9 Creature
1 Lodestone Golem
4 Phyrexian Revoker
4 Walking Ballista

// 18 Land
4 Ancient Tomb
3 Inventors' Fair
4 Mishra's Workshop
1 Strip Mine
1 Tolarian Academy
4 Wasteland
1 City of Traitors

// 3 Planeswalker
3 Karn, the Great Creator

SB: 1 Ensnaring Bridge
SB: 4 Grafdigger's Cage
SB: 3 Witchbane Orb
SB: 1 Mycosynth Lattice
SB: 2 Tormod's Crypt
SB: 1 Null Rod
SB: 3 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

After getting some friends and a 5 hour drive, here we are for the trial :

  • Round 1 : win against URW Pyro/mentor (2-0)
    My opponent was playing more counterspells than usual. I had no real trouble winning those games.

  • Round 2 : loss against URW Xerox (0-2)
    The list looked quite standard. I had some trouble with my own null rod in first game. He had a great opening in second game and i could not deal with everything he played. I conceded to a timetwister with Narset on the field but actually i had already lost to Dack a few turns before.

  • Round 3 : win against Jund (2-0)
    A friend of mine so i know his list is budget but really solid actually. He is a great deckbuilder. Unfortunately for him, he had to mull to 4 on first game. Second game was more difficult for me and i went very low. I was really lucky with mana crypt die rolls and i managed to survive long enough to stabilize and finally lock him out of the game.

  • Round 4 : win against enchanteress (2-1)
    A very unexpected matchup ! I lost game one because of stony silence on a mana rock heavy opening hand for me. I quickly won game 2. Game 3 was quite funny : i was quite happy to play Karn, get Lattice and play it when my opponent show me the stony silence he had played some turns ago (i had totally forgot it lost with all those enchantments), he smiled and said 'i guess we are both locked'. Looking at my board i saw my stax and smiled back. A few turns later, he had nothing on board and he conceded ... Note for later : think twice before making hasty plays !

So i was 3-1 and left with one bye for the main event on saturday. Not so bad for a first tournament with that list. I tried to analyze that trial :

  • There was lots of blue decks and they were quite different, obviously people were trying new things. I was the only shop deck and
    some creature decks were there (goblin for example) but no eldrazi.
  • Every one there agreed that because of Karn and Narset (that saw lots of play too), there will be no Paradox deck tomorrow.
  • In each of the four games i sided out 2 null rod and 1 ensnaring bridge and i sided in 3 Tabernacle. Obviously i should consider again my choices there.

Finally, I removed the 2 null rods MD and put 1 expedition map and 1 tabernacle instead. I also switched 1 ensnaring bridge for 1 one more stax (that was very good in each game i played it). Map is great because it can catch utility lands but more important it can catch Tolarian Academy for non-shop mana.

The plan now is : play like a classic stax then use one of the two tutor pack (namely inventor's fair or Karn) to end the game. Before, probability to get either tutor were equal but now because of expedition map inventor's fair is slightly more probable (this is important for choosing what to side in or what to leave in side to be got by Karn). I also changed some cards in sideboard but to be honest i had not enough time to check deeply what was best so i am quite sure it can be still improved.

So the list for the main event was :

// Karn STAX

// 29 Artifact
1 Black Lotus
1 Chalice of the Void
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring
4 Sphere of Resistance
1 Thorn of Amethyst
1 Trinisphere
2 Ensnaring Bridge
2 Crucible of Worlds
4 Tangle Wire
3 Smokestack
1 Mox Opal
1 Mana Vault
1 Mana Crypt
1 Expedition Map

// 9 Creature
1 Lodestone Golem
4 Phyrexian Revoker
4 Walking Ballista

// 19 Land
4 Ancient Tomb
3 Inventors' Fair
4 Mishra's Workshop
1 Strip Mine
1 Tolarian Academy
4 Wasteland
1 City of Traitors
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

// 3 Planeswalker
3 Karn, the Great Creator

SB: 1 Ensnaring Bridge
SB: 4 Grafdigger's Cage
SB: 1 Witchbane Orb
SB: 1 Mycosynth Lattice
SB: 2 Tormod's Crypt
SB: 1 Ratchet Bomb
SB: 1 Sorcerous Spyglass
SB: 1 Duplicant
SB: 1 Phyrexian Metamorph
SB: 2 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

Main event

  • Round 1 : bye

  • Round 2 : loss against URW Xerox (1-2)
    My opponent was the one i met in round 2 the day before. In game 1, my deck worked much better against him and getting a main deck Tabernacle with map was really great. I still lost but it was a very close game. I quickly won game 2. I stupidly lost game 3 by keeping a hand that i should have mull.

  • Round 3 : win against Dredge (2-1)
    Game 1 my hand was slow but with a wasteland, unfortunately he had 2 bazaar and i quickly lost. I have many cards to side out against him and what i can bring in is decent. He had to mull some to get his bazaar but i quickly hated him in both game 2 and 3.

  • Round 4 : win against BUG (2-0)
    I had a strong hand in game 1 and there was not much he could do. Game 2 was longer but Stax + Tabernacle is really strong.

  • Round 5 : Id
    I know my opponent is on Storm. The matchup is for me but if i loose i am not sure to get into top8. I decided to do it safe when he offer to Id.

  • Top8 : win against storm (2-1)
    My opponent from Round 5. Game 1 is long but quite simple : 3 sphere then 10 turns to kill with a revoker ! I had to mull to 5 in game 2 and missplayed by playing chalice at 0 instead of 1. Lesson learnt : my next 3 draws were moxen and crypt ... Basically, i made many mistakes in that game (and my opponent made a big one too) so in the end sounds only fair that he won. I played more conservatively in game 3, locking him and tutoring for a witchbane orb.

  • Top4 : loss to Eldrazi (0-2)
    I knew before we started that it would be really difficult. My opening hand was not good enough (and should have been mull) in game 1 and i lost quite quickly. Game 2 was more balanced but the other Karn (scion of Urza) sealed the deal finally.

A friend of mine (playing survival) lost his Top4 too (to a Xerox deck) so we decided to battle for the honor of the 3rd place. We had played a lot together and the matchup is favorable but i guess he was less tired than me and he quickly won. In the meantime, Eldrazi crushed his opponent and won the tournament.

Top8 was :

  • 1st - Paul Ridoux (Karndrazi)
  • 2nd - Matej Turan (Four-Color Xerox)
  • 3rd - Damien Colomb (Survival Salad)
  • 4th - Laurent Rippert (Karn Stax)
  • 5th - 8th :
    Thomas Ribet (B/R Goblin Squad)
    Cedric Germain (Jeskai Xerox)
    Andreas Allikmets (U/R Agro)
    Niklas Holtmann (Dark Petition Storm)

Conclusions

  • The deck can be improved but it works.
  • Expedition map and Tabernacle main deck were a blast the whole day.
  • At the end of the day, i did not used the Karn + Lattice combo that often, most of the time i could win without Karn and when it hits the field i often used it to kill moxen or to get another utility artifact.
  • The meta is shifting because of those new planeswalkers and people are brewing !

I hope that reading was not boring and i will welcome any question or suggestion.

Edit : more info on Top8

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

@ebgmtg
For what i tested so far (playing Karn and playing against Karn) an obvious way to deal with it is to play null rod actually. If you are not convinced, just have a look at all the mana artifacts such decks are running. Now if turn 1 Karn is your concern, getting a FOW turn 1 on your side is more probable than your opponent getting a Karn AND the mana to play it.
I made it short but i think that people overeact to it, but i can be wrong.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

@ebgmtg the old wishes already allowed that and, for example, several legacy decks have been using this possibility for a long time.

To answer more broadly, Karn is strong but people just need some time to find the best way to deal with it. Is it more strong than, lets say, big Jace that allow a free brainstorm every turn ? It will definitively change things but i am not sure it deserves the axe.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

@zias said in [WAR] Karn the great creator:

I do also think there are likely other viable Karn-Shops builds that are less dependent on the namesake card. I've been tinkering around here and there with a more traditional prison-style build that eschew Monoliths and Keys in favor of City of Traitors, Urborgs, and Expedition Maps. I haven't tested it enough to have a solid handle on it yet, but the results so far have been decent, and there seems to be a lot of design space left to explore.

I was this week end at MKM Paris tournament and did pretty good results with such a deck (both trial and main event). I am working on a report and will publish it as soon it is finished. To make it short : i agree with you.