@ten-ten Comments like this aren't going to lead to more Vintage content, especially since this was probably not a cost-effective use of Justin's time, and more something he did for the community. If you weren't a particular fan, constructive criticism is going to get you more of the content you're interested in while still being respectful to the time and effort Justin invested in the coverage.
I for one find it funny that people spend their time and energy complaining about this awesome article by @IamActuallyLvL1 but, as a community, say almost nothing about Andreas Petersen being DQ'ed for Bribery.
What is there to say?
This was one of the least controversial DQs of all time and it's good that Andreas and the other person were held accountable. There's no real question of sleight of hand or sloppy play or marked cards. Literal video evidence, plus the damning tweet. It was disconcerting that some people thought that because this happens "all the time" it's ok, but I think most people were just waiting to see what would happen and were happy to see justice and the 2nd place person get the painting.
If there is one topic worth discussing, it's that MTGO used to pair like in paper during the final round with the 1 seed playing the 2 seed, the 3 seed playing the 4 seed, and so on, unless they already played. They scrapped this when they went to daily events, which awarded prizes based on record and didn't care about seeding (so it was unfair to make top seeds play - you were actually penalizing people for having good tiebreakers by making them play other people with good tiebreakers for the same prizes as people with lower tiebreakers). In top X events, tiebreakers are relevant but if you have random pairings in the end, you get an unequal incentive to play in the last round where one player might be playing for top 8 and one player playing for play points. Returning to power pairings makes for more similar incentives and decreases the likelihood of this happening.
To be clear, MTGO's flaws doesn't excuse bad behavior from players but fixing the system can certainly make bad behavior less likely.
@serracollector The issue is those effects are optional. Your opponent can decline to search. Field of Ruin is mandatory (I remember using it to disrupt topdeck tutors when I was fooling around with it in Vintage) but those are the type of effects you want to include.
The rules allowing you to look at a player's sideboard while controlling their turn where changed in 2016 because of Emrakul, the Promised End. You are no longer able to do so and you cannot choose cards from outside the game with things like wishes or Karn's -2.
Source: Gatherer entry on Mindslaver
@thewhitedragon69 I've been using Sevinne's Reclamation to either Breach kill, bring back a couple walkers, or trigger the 3rd ability to clean up planeswalkers.
Does the deck evaluate the strengths of Omnath or the strength of Oath of Druid in a format that has a lot of BUG/Bazaar decks?
Does the deck evaluate the strengths of Omnath or the pretty heavy permission suite with a ton of Blue cards and disruption to make the Forces work (without as much inconsistently as Oath typically has when you have a Griselbrand in your hand)?
Does the deck evaluate the strength of Omnath or the power of the cantrip-Delve card engine letting you win the late game with whatever you want, provided you can consistently get there?
The goal of any deck should be to have cards that work together and I think trying to pull out parts and look at them in isolation loses sight of the bigger picture.
To that end, I don't know how to really answer your question any more than I did before by playing it in a Lutri shell. Omnath is just doing the same things he was doing before more frequently in this shell.
Record now is 7-1 for what it's worth but again, that's not what I'm trying to do here. My main goal is to convey the general strategies I'm pursuing with this card and the results.
Since we are also putting a Sanctuary into play and will almost certainly have the requisite 4 islands
note that if you don't have 3 other islands in play before Splendid Reclamation, Mystic Sanctuary will enter tapped and you will get no trigger.
Since Splendid Reclamation returns lands to the battlefield tapped, it will never be able to trigger Mystic Sanctuary, regardless of the number of Islands its controller controls or when they control them.
Yes, I think this is the right assessment. I'm not sure how this thread got so heated---it's clear that (1) Omnath is good, (2) Omnath is not Vintage-warping good, (3) establishing that a miser's copy of any card is significantly better than the next-best choice (in a quantitatively-sound way, beyond isolated anecdotes) is always very difficult, and that is no different for Omnath. Run him if you like him, or don't. shrug
I agree, when you only know the record, it is very difficult to infer the effect of a single card on game states an contributions to those records. But I really tried hard to describe the actual games in which Omnath was involved. This isn't a black box - you have the pilot's insights into the games played. In that way, it is more testing rather than observational data derived just from decklists and result. Except it has the added benefit of competitive play against random opponents.
It was compared to a singleton Peek and I won a Vintage Challenge with Peek. Where is the single card discussion I made on Peek? It doesn't exist. If you would have asked me why I included it, I was in the process of testing out several cantrips and included Peek for the Instant speed play around Narset/Leo and to help engineer the Breech combo around things like Surgical Extraction. Not the biggest endorsement of the card but I designed the deck, I played the games, and I won with the deck. That is certainly more insight than you had just glancing at the winning Breach list and going from there. It was also funny - another streamer picked up the deck played games with it, was like "Why am I playing Peek in my Vintage deck?" and cut the card for Lavinia. When you put their experiences with mine, it certainly builds more of a narrative regarding Peek as not the end-all-be-all card for Vintage.
Now, I included my reasons for including Omnath and then followed with my experiences with the card. Of this information, people have picked and chosen whatever snippets they find most convenient, whether it's of the record or things like pitching to either Force being a primary mode of play (it's not, but a card is the sum of its parts and pitching to Forces is a component of its versatility). That is really frustrating when you take the effort to include much more in your posts.
I will add additional information in that the MTGO leagues have been insanely Bazaar heavy, with 10 of my 19 matches against various Bazaar decks. In those matches, I am 9-1 (17-3 overall) with Omnath fulfilling a critical part when he makes an appearance. The gaining 7 life a turn nullifies Hogaak or multiple Vines + Hollow Ones and the 4/4 body blocks the smaller creatures. The card isn't enough by itself but you are generally able to remove a portion of the clock with graveyard hate, removal, or Tabernacle, and the Omnath effectively closes the door with either the life or by fueling a broken turn with 9 mana (and Lutri to copy a Time Walk or Ancestral or something).
I would also ask @LieNielsen, which of those matchups is Omnath bad against? It's really just Xerox (which hasn't been very popular). Omnath is actually better than Mentor against PO and Doomsday because of the ability to pitch to Force and the cantrip, so it's rarely a dead card as opposed to Mentor, and I've found it to be circumstantially better than Mentor against the various Hogaak decks since your tokens can't always deal with the Trample. In any case, you aren't choosing between Mentor and this but having a card that has a comparable role to Mentor is certainly a boon for control decks in this metagame.
So in conclusion all you’re really getting here is a cantrip 4/4, which is good enough for limited, but not Vintage.
I think it’s probably good enough in Standard as well.
I agree with you. I think Omnath being banned in standard has nothing to do with Vintage.
But if it were banned in legacy or modern, I’d have a good reason to assume it’s a really good card.
Can't wait for the follow up: Alright, it's banned in every format, WotC bought back every copy, set them on fire, and gave every player a holographic Black Lotus as compensation. I guess the card was decent.
I can not find a shell that is comp viable and works for Omnath and I strongly suspect none exists but it certainly could be a pice of a fun rouge deck and maybe even steal some wins.
@Thewhitedragon69 I posted my record because of this statement. I told you it wasn't the crux of my argument but apparently you didn't grasp that...
Adam Yurchick just wrote an article entitled Is Omnath, Locus of Creation the Best Creature Ever?
Omnath, Locus of Creation might not be the most powerful creature ever, nor the most efficient nor versatile, but it really does seem like the best.
As for creatures banned in Standard and (Modern or Legacy), it's literally Stoneforge Mystic, which is currently unbanned in Modern without an issue (card is only mediocre). Requiring a creature be banned in multiple formats is an absurd criterion for card evaluation. Mentor and Lodestone Golem aren't banned in any formats. Lavinia isn't really even played in other formats.
It's like saying Deathrite Shaman and Golgari Grave-Troll are the only good creatures...
Vintage Eternal Weekend
Saturday, October 24, at 12:00 AM PDT (Tolarian Academy)
Saturday, October 24, at 2:00 PM PDT (Library of Alexandria)
Sunday, October 25, at 8:00 AM PDT (Mishra's Workshop)
Product: A deck that matches the event's format.
Location: The Constructed lobby that matches the format
Entry Options: One (1) Vintage Eternal Weekend Token
Size: 129–672 players
Duration: A number of rounds determined by entries, Swiss pairings, each round up to 50 minutes, followed by a single-elimination Top 8
I wrote that I designed a deck specifically around a card and am now 10-0 with it. I did not argue that I am 10-0 because of that card. That is a poor interpretation of what was asserted. This deck was meant to highlight several interactions and mana sinks that worked favorably with Omnath even as a single copy. You ignored everything else I presented but the record and meme.
- I have spent the last several years collecting Vintage data and I wrote a post that broke down Max's "100 games with the best deck in Magic", talking about sample sizes and confidence intervals. My argument is not based on the record, it's based on all of the supporting reasons I've given, which is theory combined with actual game play. It means I don't have to deal in as many hypotheticals:
"What would have happened if I played a cantrip over Omnath?"
- I would have died to a Hogaak since I gained 16-20 life off of triggers before turning the game around. Was better than Mentor since Mentor would have just traded some tokens and let the opponent replay the Gaak.
"What would have happened if I played a Managorger Hydra?"
- I would have died to T1 Tinker into Bolas Citadel because I really had to Force that.
I'm literally asking myself "How good is this card?" every time I draw it. That's part of brewing and testing a deck. But I'm doing it with every card in the deck. Every card. I've cut Black Lotus from decks because I'm wondering if the negative card advantage is disadvantageous in certain control heavy metagames.
I get really, really tired of people with no experience with the deck explaining to me that, yes, I could play something else instead without actually providing a reason for that. It's lazy and I feel like the onus should be on the other person to provide a reason for why I should play any of the 10,000's of other Magic cards in Vintage instead of the card that I've chosen to play for the specific reasons that I typed out in previous posts. It is, however, an incredibly common response.
At the end of the day, there isn't a sample size that can be realistically generated in Vintage to measure the effect of a single card on a deck list with any degree of confidence (excluding obvious cases like building a deck of 60 Islands). I did build this deck almost entirely with the one of Omnath in mind. Even the Cindervine is there because I thought I could use the 4 damage as reach to close out a long game in which Cindervine was active against Blue (also ups Green count).
And the main reason to list a record is because people pay attention to records and trophies. I had hoped that it would get people to read the rest of the argument, not infer playability from that.
Regarding playability metrics, you can evaluate cards and build decks however you want, but I have found my success looking at cards, decks, and metagames holistically. You want to play the right combination of cards in the right metagame, not the absolute best cards in a vacuum. It's why I'm taking time to describe why I'm playing the card and in what specific instances and roles I am using it, rather than give blanket statements about the cards playability. Again, where did I ever say this is Mentor 2.0? You and others are trying to pin it on some scale, but that just isn't how I work. I find an interesting idea, evaluate it, refine it a bit, then get bored and move on to next interesting idea.
He does this all the time, but if you are talking about jamming cards in decks without considering the synergy of other cards in a deck or metagame implications, that is not a valid point. A card's utility does not exist solely in a vacuum. As I said in the previous post, this deck doesn't have the mana base to run Uro. It doesn't have the cantrips. You can tweak both to make Uro better in the deck, but it's not just substituting a single card. And I'm pretty sure I'm still the only person who has won a
Vintage challenge with Uro.
This is even more true if you as a player are better than your opponent whitch chubby seems to be in most cases.
I always find this reasoning odd. We aren't talking about someone else's results - we are talking about my own results. I played each and every game of every match and are describing first-hand experience with the card. You aren't inferring a card's merits based on LSV's play, whose rationale you aren't privy too. So you are attributing my success to my playskill, but denying that I have the level of insight to realize why I am having that success, and furthermore, that you have more insight than I do into the games and matches I actually played.
At this point we can probably agree omnath is reasonable to good in the deck you put together. This then leads to the natural questions:
- do you think there is something better for that slot?
- do you think omnath is good enough for other decks who do not have to go singleton?
I have played exactly 3 matches with the deck omnnath did not impress me but it did not seem bad either. Seemed like an ok card in my limited experience. Hard to cast but while it is in play it is nightmare fuel for aggro shops.
So, this is a shift in perspective from where I think you were originally where you were much more down on Omnath's utility and asking what you could do with the mana generation. Which is good, it's why I put the effort into making this thread, to have this sort of dialogue and talk about how a card could evolve to see play based on how people use it, ideally getting different ideas and inputs along the way.
I actually don't care where people rank the card on the axis of "ok", "good", "reasonable", "Mentor 2.0" or whatever. Such rankings are I guess fun to discuss but have little practical merit when it comes to building decks. During deck construction, what matters is the card's functional roles. With that in mind, to answer your questions:
- Omnath is the newest and perhaps best "Banedrifter" - card that enters the battlefield, generates both value and board presence. Vintage is a format that is becoming increasingly dependent both on board presence and on card advantage. For instance, you have the Bazaar decks that can generate 10+ power in a single turn and PO decks that can draw a ton of cards if you can't keep up with answers. The ability to have a threat that also generates value with card draw/mana generation/or even pitching to Forces, is really really strong. It's important to identify the role of your deck at certain situations. Like against HogaakVine, you kind of need to stick a Mentor or an Omnath asap or you are going to be overrun. The mana, life gain, body, and card are all relevant there. Against Combo, you may just need to pitch it to Force to not die. That's actually a pretty good use of a card. If you have to choose between pitching your non-blue win condition and Ancestral Recall against Doomsday on turn 1, you probably want to toss that 4/4 away.
Very few cards have the same functional role. Mentor generates pure board presence (or is effectively a storm kill). It doesn't have the other variables and I actually board out Mentor frequently against Combo decks. Snapcaster, Arcanist, etc, all have less of an impact on the game, though Arcanist can be close. JTMS is not longer a great card at managing the board state. Oko does not fight along the card axis. The closest card is Uro and Uro is obviously insane in other formats but is limited in Vintage due to the unfavorable interaction with Moxen and other taxing effects on the graveyard such as Dig and Cruise. You can argue for more unplayable options like Dream Trawler or some Oath packages but those are very different decks. So no, I don't think there is a functional replacement for the card here.
- Yes. There is only one of me. I can't build and play every possible shell in which I think a card might be viable. A reason I made this post was to try and convey my thoughts experiences and encourage others to brew decks they might enjoy with this card. It's not to convince people a card is an arbitrary metric of playable. People want to try it with Coalition Victory or Panglacial Wurm, don't let your memes be dreams... The companion mechanic had not been seeing a lot of play since the nerf and if I think a new printing can revive a previous archetype, I will often try to explore that.
@chubbyrain1 My point is that, with that list, if Omnath were pretty much any other blue cantrip (Uro, for example), the deck would have 5-0d.
You didn't play the games. I played the games and disagree with you. My opponent played the games and disagrees with you.
Also, I have put up more results than anyone else with Uro in Vintage. A deck with singleton cantrips lacks the card velocity to adequately fuel Uro and the two Delve spells. The 4 color manabase running two Triomes cannot reliably cast a late-game UUGG spell against Wasteland decks. I was running a Breeding Pool as a 5th Tropical island in my one Uro deck.
The answer is I’ve won several games with Omnath and it’s never a bad card because of the cantrip and pitching to Force. I’ve sideboarded Goyf out frequently and this card never. The odds of drawing a 1-of in your opening hand is low, but this deck draws a lot of cards, so I estimate I’ve seen Omnath in a 1/3 to 1/2 of games.
For actual game play, it’s really hard for any deck that wants to attack to beat the 4-7 life a turn you gain, in addition to the card and body. It’s really hard to lose if you untap and have access to 9 mana and your Companion.
Sylvan Library is not the only interaction. Please read other posts.
And to quote a friend:
As someone who died to omnath
Edit: is it just one “suboptimal” card? We went through a similar discussion with Cindervines were people compared it to a bad Kambal. Growth Spiral is a meme. Sevinne’s Reclamation is not really a vintage staple. There are not one but two Triomes. And Lutri has hardly seen much play since the Companion nerf.
Second trophy with identical 75.
Will probably start brewing with Yorian + Omnath next but I think it is best in Legacy.
Regarding Panglacial Wurm, timing is difficult and I was trying to avoid scenarios where you drew cards that were dead if you didn't draw Panglacial Wurm.
If you are running a companion, you always have something to do with your Omnath mana and you don't have to run cards like Ugin that might be dead draws if you can't stick and Omnath.
As for particular tech, Sevinne's Reclamation is great, as a value card, as a mana sink for Omnath mana, and as a way to hit multiple land drops in a turn if you need to (used it against Dredge to get back Tabernacle).
Had several powerful sequences enabled by Omnath such as
- Companion Tax on Lutri, Ancestral, Lutri
- Omnath, Draw Narset, fetch, into play Narset, reveal and cast Time Walk (had an extra Blue)
- Sevinne + Flashback on multiple planeswalkers.
Omnath was also a Green card for Force of Vigor, which was pretty nice against the Golos Stax deck.
I favor this approach to a ramp deck that is all in playing Omnath, Locus Creation. While you might associate your build as a control deck, the presence of 28 or so lands really cuts down on your ability to interact with the stack and that will make things difficult in Vintage given the density of combo decks.
I also had experience playing Ugin in Vintage and this is not the metagame for it. The first times were during the Treasure Cruise era when I was trying to Drain a Cruise into an Ugin. The second time was a Rector Flash build with Narset unrestrict and a lot a Arcanist decks running around. Ugin does well against the URx decks that can't remove it while it just picks off all the creatures and walkers. Against Shops, Combo, and Dredge with Hollow One, Ichorids, Vengevines, it's not a good answer to the threats. Certainly not for the investment.
If someone argues that this isn't a true Omnath deck, I think a very reasonable approach is to try and explore Yorion next. But I did feel that Omnath gave a style of deck that had fallen out of favor a very real boost.