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posted in Xerox read more

Oh boy, this is neat πŸ˜„ Does graveyard hate shut down the engine too much? I suspect it's not that bad, you're still basically a traditional control deck even if your Sanctuaries are shut off.

posted in Off-Topic read more

I haven't played with them myself so I can't be sure, but the brand new "jumpstart" product looks awesome for new players to me.

They're little themed mini-decks that are designed such that you can combine any two of them to make a new deck. It sounds like a great way to give a new player a taste of constructed. A new player can play a couple rounds with some of the mini-decks and get a feel for what sorts of cards they like, then put them together in any combination ... they get to build a deck that's actually their creation, without the incredibly intimidating barriers to building your first MtG deck, like getting the right mix of lands/spells/creatures. I don't think there's any other packaged MtG product that can really do that.

I like the idea of starting someone on that, though I can't speak to how much gameplay you can get out of them before you'll want to move on to something else.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more


Death's Shadow has become something of a pet card for me. I've tried a lot of variants, including a focused green/black list revolving around Plunge/Berserk (Which I called BERSERKER! while I was working on it. The caps and exclamation point are important.) Unfortunately, like you I never found a list that felt strong enough to play it any "real" event. I've had more luck with hybrid approaches, where I think Death's Shadow can do a lot of interesting things (though I'm a hybrid deckbuilder at heart). Shadow can do real work in a fishy Grixis Delver shell or a BUG midrange shell. I've personally had the best showing with Death's Shadow BUG Survival/Death Survives.

I didn't learn too much about a focused Berserk list that would be useful, but here are some cards I found interesting. Most of these won't be a surprise for people who followed Death's Shadow decks in Legacy/Modern

There's not much to say about Thoughtseize, Dismember, Snuff Out, Vampiric Tutor/Imperial Seal, but they're already good cards that get better with Death's Shadow. Street Wraith is not a great card, but might be good enough in a Shadow deck. Grim Tutor sounds good for a minute, but I don't think you want 3-drops in the middle of your curve. I suspect Mutagenic Growth and Gut Shot just aren't Vintage quality but I'd kinda love to see them.

Temur Battle Rage is more or less just a 1R Berserk for the deck. I didn't explore cutting the green entirely and playing a B/R Plunge/Rage list, but you totally could. You can't use 2 Rages to kill with a 5/5 the same way you can with two Berserks. You can splash red for redundant Berserk effects, but don't forget that Time Walk also lets a creature deal damage twice.

Speaking of Time Walk, blue is the natural splash for any Vintage deck, but I understand there's a big overlap between people who would like B/G Berserk Shadow and people who don't like running blue out of principle. If you're in that group, I'd still consider running your 1x Gitaxian Probe and 1x Mental Misstep. You don't need to run blue mana and they're both very strong with Shadow. Swords to Plowshares is Death's Shadow public enemy number one, and the restriction of Misstep hurt Shadow lists a lot more than opposing Missteps did.

Even in an all-in list I think you need more threats than just the Shadows. The most Berserkable option is probably Gurmag Angler. If you're doing something more hybrid, Shadows in your list let you drop the mana curve real low, so expensive threats requiring more lands kind of kill the edge that Shadow gave you. I tend toward the really cheap stuff like Deathrite Shaman and Delver of Secrets, (though it would be really hard for me to run a BUG list without two or three Oko, Thief of Crowns.)

Nurturing Peatland and its friends are underrated in general, I think. But a Death's Shadow list is particularly suited. I'd consider running some Waterlogged Groves or Silent Clearings even if you don't splash a colorA play tip that might be obvious but took me a couple matches to figure out: If your hand has both a Canopy Land and a Fetch/Shockland, the Fetch deals 3 damage and the Canopyland deals N damage, where N is how many turns it will be in play. Even though the fetch deals more now, a lot of the times it's better to lead with the Peatland on the first few turns, and don't forget to tap it for damage every turn, whether you have anything to cast or not.

There has to be something really dumb you can do with Lim-Dul's Vault. I haven't tested this myself, but it's very straightforward to get Shadow+Berserk+19 damage to yourself all with one cast of this. For people that aren't ancient enough to remember with Vault was a common vintage card, there's a trick you can do where you use LDV to loop through your deck several times. If your library size isn't a multiple of five, you can stack your piles such that you see different sets of cards together the second time through your deck. This means you can force certain cards together, making little mini-doomsday stacks like "Brainstorm->Shadow->Berserk->Time Walk". It's still random, but it's not as random as it looks.

This is for sure a @Brass-Man pet card, but Hex Parasite is a sexy little robot. I already love a Parasite as a top-secret-weapon for taking down Planeswalkers and Workshop Aggro threats, but in Death's Shadow you can just have it target itself for {P} as many times as you want.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

@desolutionist The best spell to cast with the first one is Ephemerate, THEN Time Walk πŸ˜„ πŸ˜„ πŸ˜„

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

What's the "killer app" that makes you want to run Spirits over Merfolk? Lord of Atlantis is a much better value-per-mana than the spirit lords we've mentioned, and you can run 8 of them. Pilferer has a neat effect but I feel like it requires enough weird support cards that you wouldn't want it in a tribal deck even if there was a tribal deck.

Summary: State some specific superlative spirits so Spirit stacks succeed!

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

This is kind of a stretch, but there are already-playable cards you might be running that significantly reduce the drawback here. I like the idea of a U/W control deck that has 4 Repeal using this card as both a removal spell and potential threat. Other cards like Ensnaring Bridge or Engineered Explosives come to mind, though once you start 2 for 1'ing yourself the card looks pretty anemic next to a Lightning Bolt. White is already so good at removing creatures that you'd need to be REALLY concerned about Planeswalkers to even start thinking about this card.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

My gut reaction is that this is the sort of card that won't see play often, but is definitely worth getting 4 and throwing them in your collection. I think people are correct to compare it to Pyroblast and Spell Pierce which will usually be better, but I think you can put it alongside those cards when you're building your deck, and it occasionally makes the cut. I could imagine a field where you have two or three Pyroblasts, but you want an extra slot to use against Storm decks that you don't need to bring in against a Planeswalker-heavy blue deck. I have a set of Annul sitting around for similar reasons.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

I didn't know about the card Alhammarret's Archive before reading this thread, and now I have a new card to try in my Workshop combo deck that already runs 4x Sensei's Divining Top ❀ ❀ ❀

posted in Vintage Community read more

I'm locking this thread, not because of any post so far, but because it's a dangerous, tricky subject. I find myself under-qualified to moderate a thread on this topic, and I won't risk TMD standing for something it shouldn't, just because of my own limitations here.

I believe it's a good thing that WotC is making an effort to address problems of race within the game, though this particular step is insufficient.