@Khahan @revengeanceful My point is that you're betting your whole game on the fact that he doesn't have that 2nd Misstep in hand. If he does, the game is over for you. Maybe you are willing to take that risk, but I wouldn't. If you defend Top (which is what I'd probably do), your chances to find more permission on the next 1-2 turns are big, which will help you defend your Ancestral better in the future.
If he has 2 missteps and responds to your Fluster countering your Top, then that's 2 less missteps to screw with your Ancestral. This hand is built on Top or Ancestral resolving. If you get both countered (specially on a 1-to-1 basis, which mean by Misstep or Mindbreak), game is over. There's also a chance letting Top get countered and leaving Flusterstorm up so you don't lose to a big turn 1 from them is also a good play. I'd just not bet my whole game on him not having a counter for Ancestral.
Gotcha. I think I was interpreting your post as option 3 - just letting everything go and saving AR and fluster for later. One thing to keep in mind though, there is a trinket mage in hand and a second top in the deck. Defending the top has value which is what made me pause and think about this for a few mins in game. I think w/out the immediate opportunity to get the second top in play pretty quick defending top has more value to it, maybe enough to push me into defending it like you suggest.
@khahan I did not think it was good against PO, but Dredge, Survival, and Shops it does some work. BUG and Mentor, it is not good either. I get your point but I do not think there are answers that beat any of these decks outright.
This card can be in a PO sideboard and it does slow down Dredge more than Grafdigger's Cage. Against Oath they can only ever have one token. It is not a silver bullet but it offers a cushion for you to push ahead of your opponent. 3 Vengevine and 2 Hollow One's on turn 1 or 2 is not uncommon and this stops that and buys you 2 turns.
This is probably going to be a Legacy option with Arclight Phoenix running around but I think it is at least something to think about in Vintage.
True IN a deck like PO or even dps that just needs an extra turn or 2 early on, this could be a viable option. Against those decks as a generic look, it doens't stack up. That's kind of how I was looking at it - as a generic, what does this card do. We both agree it can slow down some of the decks and you're right, sometimes slowing another deck down is all a deck like dps or PO needs to win.
I dont think this is really up to snuff. Looking at the common decks in the game:
- PO - works off a bunch of a restricted permanents and wins with instants or sorceries or vault/key
- Shops - one of the few decks that runs 4x most of permanents. But so what. Have a ravager in play? Sac it to itself, drop the counters on a ballista or factor and play the other one. It does help against multiple spheres, but this is pretty narrow.
- mentor - 1 mentor and 1 token still wins the game pretty fast
- survival - while it can't overrun you with 2 or 3 copies of vengevines, it can still drop a variety of creatures and just hammer you down almost as quick
- dredge - I think its most effective here as it shuts down easily flashing back dread return. Hollow ones are just deadly with 2 or 3 on the board. A single one can be chump blocked often. But I'd call this soft hate against dredge and there are just simply better hard hate options.
- Oath - does nothing to stop oath which just needs 1 activation from 1 token generation to get any one of the 3 singleton creatures in play to win
- combo - dps style doesn't care about anything but restricted permanents.
- bomberman - doesn't do a thing to stop this.
- superfriends - something like joe brennans jeskai superfriends list deals with restricted and legendary permanents already
- creature based decks like eldrazi or humans get slowed down a little. but they either run big enough creatures that a single one can win the game (eldrazi) or they run a bunch of legendary creatures already to lock things down (thalias, lavinia etc).
Even digging into tier 2 decks like my own pet deck bomberman and leyline of singularity doesn't do much.
At best it can definitely slow some decks and strategies down. But the amount of hard hate we have to most strategies is to the point where 'make it a little harder for you to win' just doesn't cut it because we have, "i can stop you from winning," options available.
@khahan That is kind of a loaded question. I have stopped looking at blue decks like that because the "shell" for blue decks are all so similar that they all start to blend into each other. I actually counted cards that make the deck different and you only get about 12 cards because the shells all start with 5 mox, lotus, ancestral, time walk, probe, dig, gush, cruise, brainstorm, ponder, preordain. It's not to say these cards make every deck the same or different but it is so easy to say all blue decks are Xerox. I just don't go there anymore.
Understood and I agree to an extent. I typically try to stay away but it just seems a bit relevant here. I'm counting 4x preordain, AR, BS, ponder, 3xrepeal, Git probe - and only 13 land. To me, that is pretty much the definition of the xerox shell. On the other hand the U/W deck I run that I referenced in my first post has AR and BS and a heavier focus on counter magic and broken big spells. The Chalice of the Void strat I mentioned works because that deck ISN'T anything like the xerox shell. But CotV on 1 would pretty much shut this deck down, too.
And the reason I think its relevant is maybe the answer to the OP's question lies in a change in play approach as opposed to a card change.
This is my current list for reference:
3 Flooded Strand
1 Mox Opal
4 Paradoxical Outcome
2 Sensei's Divining Top
Win the Game (7):
1 Voltaic Key
1 Tezzeret the Seeker
1 Blightsteel Colossus
3 Lavinia, Azorius Renegade
1 Hurkyl's Recall
4 Tormod's Crypt
3 Hurkyl's Recall
I currently only own 3 Strands, that way you are aware.
I dont want to sidetrack the conversation too much here with a nomenclature debate, but I'm wondering how you dont consider this deck itself to be Xerox?
I like the Ancestral plan but think it's best to wait and do it during the opponent's upkeep, to dodge Mindbreak Trap, since you've already used your land drop and are unlikely to draw into any immediate action (Mox + second Top, etc).
The chance of drawing your own Misstep makes Ancestral right now way better.
I feel like playing Ancestral there is just praying to get blown out though. A second Misstep means you just lost the game. I'd either let Misstep resolve or Fluster, probably Fluster. Depends if you know what you're playing against. Either way you're more likely to resolve Ancestral next turn.
This is an interesting opinion. I'm curious why you think waiting until next turn gives you a greater chance to resolve Ancestral compared to now. Say your opponent does have a second Misstep - what are you hoping to accomplish between now and your next turn that would make your Ancestral more likely to resolve? I feel like giving your opponent a turn to do whatever (cast Preordain or god forbid an Ancestral of their own, or just play a fetch and pass the turn back) would make it far less likely for your Ancestral to resolve on your second turn.
Agree here 100%. Even with 4 missteps in the deck, the chance of 2 in the opening hand are pretty low. And a lot of misstep players dont play 4. Usually its 2 or 3. A good number even play 1 and once they show it, they know your play patterns will revolve around the potential for the next misstep.
So to begin with, you have a very low chance of a second misstep. But by letting them have a turn you are giving them 1-6 extra chances to get that second misstep.
I'm not sure I follow this line of thinking and wouldn't mind a more thorough explanation form Fsecco. Is there a nuance I'm missing?
I got an update on the semi-finals from Zach:
Me and Evan actually played the whole match for fun I got him in 3. Game one I played inspector into turn 2 precursors then turn 3 double chief for the win. Game 2 he turn 1 tinker Blightsteeld. Game 3 a turn one inspector and chief went distance. He was able to play a mentor but no other spell thanks to a sphere and only had one blocker. I had witch bane in play to give hurkyl defense.
Of course its for fun and a split, but always nice to get a play by play.
And of course no Deal Me In Games report would be complete with an update to our year long tournament standings:
Gives us a top 8 of:
- Greg Hoover 32
- Dan Barkon 30
- Ryan McKinney 29
- Josh Barkon 28
- Zach Dobbin 27
- Chuck Grebe 22
- Evan Hunterdmark 22
- Nicholas DiJohn 21
Those point totals can change fast and drastically this early in the season. 1st or 2nd place one event may not even be in top 8 after the next. Speaking of the next - we will meet again to do battle on Sunday March 10!!!
The second Sunday of the month has come and gone and we have another entry in the annals of Vintage paper Magic. 16 players came out on a coldish winter February Sunday to do battle. After 4 rounds we cut to top 8 who played out the quarter finals for top 4. The top 4 decided on a prize split, divvying up $400 evenly between them. Each of the top 4 earned 3 points for their 2 games split (semi finals had each player draw to earn 2 points. Finals had 4 points total to give out (3 for 1st, 1 for 2nd) so that divided evenly adding 3 total points for the top 4 rounds for each player in our year long invitational championship.
Now on to the important stuff - Top 8
Greg Hoover (ravager shops) defeats Nick DiJohn (PO)
Evan Hunterdmark (PO) defeats Chuck G (Esper Delver)
Zach Dobbin (Null Shops) defeats Dan Barkon (Ravager shops)
Ryan McKinney (Titan Oath) defeats Matt Buck (Niv-Mizzet Oath)
Top 4 saw
Ryan McKinney split with Greg Hoover (we played game just for shits and giggles and Ryan led with mox, orchard oath. I took my turn with not much. He oathed up Inferno Titan on turn 2. On my turn 2 I metamorphed it. On his turn 3, he top decked black lotus, played the yawg will in his hand and won game 1 for the bragging rights from the match and a nice revenge match from January where we met in R1 of the top 8 )
Evan Hunterdmark split with Zach Dobbin - they didn't report anything as exciting as a bragging rights turn 1 oath of druids!
Now for the meta breakdown:
Workshop decks 6 (37.5% of the meta)
5 ravager shops
1 null rod shops
Oath of Druids 2 (12.5% of the meta)
titan oath running niv-mizzet, griselbrand and inferno titan as its creatures
Niv-mizzet, Gisela, Blade of goldnight and griselband were in the other deck
Dredge 1(6.25% of the meta)
bridgeless dredge variant
PO 2 (12.5% of the meta)
Both pretty standard PO with tinker/blightsteel and vault/key. One ran white for mentor. The other had Sai, Master thopterist and mind twist
Combo 2 (6.25%)
Single Card Monte (no, not two card). Focused more on helm/leyline. (probably based on emergence of dredge and other graveyard based decks we've seen more of lately at Deal Me In)
DPS - though only running a single dark petition
Xerox 3 (18.75%)
We had u/w/r featuring 3x lavinia and a mentor main deck as win cons
2 featuring delvers
1 of the delver decks had fun running mutgenic growth, berserk, kiln fiends and vapor snag!
Lavinia helps as does a chalice on 1. Chalice one 1 hurts you some taking away ancestral, BS, top (pretty important in long matches) and sol ring.
Vs xerox it takes out:
mental misstep (2-4 copies)
preordain 3-4 copies
SDT if they use it
REB 1-2 copies
STP (important if you are running mentor as an alt win-con and to protect lavinia if you are running her)
That's nearing 25% of their total deck and 50% of their non-mana spells.
I've been play testing 2x lavinia and chalice in my u/w bomberman (which runs PO as a draw engine) to a much improved match up vs xerox decks.