So for this event I was playing BUG. I had been testing a Paradoxical list, but I was unhappy witht he performance of all of it, so I just went with something I knew a bit better.
4 Deathrite Shaman
1 Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
3 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
1 Managorger Hydra
2 Ramunap Excavator
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Trygon Predator
3 Abrupt Decay
1 Ancestral Recall
4 Force of will
2 Mental Misstep
1 Snuff Out
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Gitaxian Probe
1 Green Sun's Zenith
1 Time Walk
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Sapphire
2 Null Rod
1 Sylvan Library
1 Jace, The Mind Sculptor
1 Library of Alexandria
3 Misty Rainforest
3 Polluted Delta
1 Strip Mine
3 Tropical Island
3 Underground sea
1 Abrupt Decay
1 Mindbreak Trap
2 Nature's Claim
3 Grafdigger's Cage
1 Null Rod
2 Energy Flux
4 Leyline of the Void
Apologies, but I forgot to write down all the names in my notes.
Round 1: vs Oath Win 2-0
Lost the die roll. This match was not particularly notable. Game 1 I had an early pair of deathrites, and forced 2 Oaths, then decayed 2 more and the game was ended rather rapidly.
Game 2 was even more lopsided. I sat on a library on the draw for several turns until I could find a decay+force, then played a Deathrite and Ramunap Excavator+strip mine on turn 6-7 and just countered or killed the one oath he found before I strip mined away all of his lands and landed a null rod to turn off his fast mana and he scooped.
Round 2 vs Shops (Ben Kennedy I think?) loss 1-2
Lose the die roll again. Game 1 turn 1 he plays a foundry inspector, sphere of resistance, and hangarback walker. Follows it up with a hangarback walker. I'm never really in this game at all.
Game 2 I start with lotus+wasteland into Green Sun's Zenith for Ramunap Excavator. I force his first sphere then start the wasteland train until he scoops.
Game 3 was pretty crushing. We traded wastelands early, and he ended up with a hangarback and a sphere and 1 mox to my 1 land for many turns. Eventually I draw no gas, and he finds a ravager and just kills me with his random extra artifacts.
Round 3 vs Mono-White hatebears Win 2-1
Game 1 was incredibly weird. In the first 5 or so turns we each had around half a dozen creatures in play, none of which could profitably attack leading to a ridiculous stalemate, including a Dryad Militant on his side making my deathrites worthless. However, I had a Ramunap Excavator and eventually got a strip mine and started wearing down his lands. He scoops to zenith for Trygon Predator to start swinging in for lethal overhead.
Game 2 I just got crushed beneath thalia, vryn wingmares, and spirit of the labyrinth.
Game 3 we trade several wastelands each early, leaving him with just a stoneforge mystic and a single plains in play, with batterskull in hand, and me with a single mox jet for mana. Eventually I play a Deathrite and start to recover, where he never draws another land for a long time. Game is sealed up when I find strip+ramunap excavator and he scoops.
Round 4 vs UR Delver Win 2-0
Game 1 I play a DRS turn 1 and fight a misstep fight over it which I win. Then I play a leovold turn 2 and force his force. After that the game purely revolves around him trying to remove Leovold and me drawing a million cards off it and keeping it in play with the stream of counterspells I draw. He finally concedes when I find Ramunap+strip and remove all his lands, with his only mox being held in check with null rod and being down to 1 pyromancer token.
Game 2 I get an early ramunap Excavator and leovold and strip mine comes into play really early sealing this game up by turn 5 or so.
Round 5 ID with Painters Servant (win 2-0)
Draw into top 8, but played for fun. Game 1 he plays grindstone then time vault. I have DRS+ Null rod, then play Ramunap+DT for strip. He never gets an out to any of that and game is over really fast.
Game 2 was even more lopsided. Decayed a Painter's Servant, played Null Rod, then followed up with Leovold. Countered 2 removal spells and then skillfully drew all 4 wastelands and the game was over.
I was in the top 8 as seed 6
Top 8: vs Shops (ben Kennedy again) win 2-0
This was a rematch of my only loss from the swiss. Game 1 was a complete blowout. He went Workshop, sol ring, which I misstepped. Then he went to cast thorn, which I forced. I played lotus->Ramunap Excavator-> wasteland for his workshop. He only had factory, I untapped played mox, replayed wasteland from the yard, and played null rod. He scooped.
Game 2 he had a turn 1 Foundry Inspector. I wastelanded his Workshop and played a jet and DRS. He followed up with a sphere, but I time-walked on my turn, then wasteland him and DT for Energy Flux. I cast it the next turn and he scoops.
Top 4 vs Oath (Ben Kendrick) Win 2-0
Game 1 was incredibly close. He had a slow start, and I had Library on the draw. On turn 3 he played a show and tell into Dromoka, I put in DRS. On my turn I tried to cast Jace, TMS. He forced, going hellbent. He then proceeded to beat me down with dromoka for 4 turns (I gained some life off DRS to prolong my life) and on the last possible card from library I find DT and tutor for and cast snuff out with mana to kill his Dromoka with flusterstorm and force backup. He plays time vault, and I null rod, then he casts oath and I decay it and then find Strip Mine and zenith for Ramunap Excavator and he concedes after I take him below 2 lands.
Game 2 I keep a hand with decay and nature's claim, he has to give me like 5 tokens off Orchard because I keep wastelanding his other colored sources. He is constanly 1 land away from being able to play something to win, but then Ramunap Excavator comes down and keeps him out of the game entirely.
Finals vs Pitch Dredge Chris Loss 0-2
Game 1 I have a decently close match because he mulliganed 28 cards with Serum Powder and exiled most of his bridges. I have an active DRS, but he manages to get an elesh norn into play along with 2 prized amalgams threatening lethal and I have no outs.
Game 2 I have to mulligan to 5 just to have a hand with spells in it. It has no colored mana, but does have Leyline so I keep. Turn 2 I find a Cage and play that as well. He just filters with Bazaar until he finds a Hollow one and beats me to death with it while I sit on no mana and no useful spells. I didn't even think about the possibility of hollow one so I didn't bring in my claims to possibly kill them. I eventually draw a couple creatures, but it is significantly too late. I still walked away with a Bayou for my troubles, and a good number of other cards (many provided by Team Tusk) from the raffle during the event:
Overall I was pretty happy with the deck. Ramunap Excavator overperformed significantly. I think 2+ 1 green sun's zenith was the correct number. I cast DT ~10 times today, and 7 of those it was for Excavator or Strip. The other 3 were snuff out, Energy Flux, and once for Lotus to cast the Excavator. The fact that it was a 2/3 was incredibly important and it was a massive upgrade over crucible in this particular list.
Jace Vryn's Prodigy however was godawful today. Nearly every time I drew it I wished it was anything else. I would probably rather play another Sylvan Library or another removal spell over it. Honestly, I'm strongly considering an edict of some sort, maybe Diabolic Edict, or a Liliana of the Veil.
Snuff Out was awesome. Having a 'free' removal spell was very relevant in several games. It not being able to hit black creatures was a serious drawback though. I would consider running more if the hefty life cost wasn't there. There were several situations where I wished I could have had a Toxic Deluge today, so perhaps that should be something to work in later.
Managorger Hydra was decent, it was a large body for reasonable cost, but was not as good as I would have expected.
One thing we kept joking about during the day was that I should be playing an Azusa to combo with the Excavators, and I honestly think I will try that instead of the Managorger or JVP.
@thecravenone did a great job running the event, and I had a blast. The venue was also excellent, 4th Tap Brewery in Austin TX.
Thanks for reading!
So I did some more testing in a UWG mentor list. I had 1 worldly tutor, 1 green sun's zenith and the usual cantrips and such to find 1 copy of Mirri. I played about a dozen games with a friend on the standard UWR mentor list. In the games where it resolved, which was maybe 5 of those games, I could protect it sufficiently about half the time playing 4 force, 4 misstep, 1 misdirection, 1 flusterstorm. Of those 3 games where it resolved, and lived long enough to untap, it basically completely shut down my opponent's mentors and allowed me to run away with the game very easily. But because it was so unreliable at doing so I don't think it will be good enough.
So I know this is a long shot, and probably not good enough, but this card has a lot of interesting potential in the current vintage metagame. It seems to have a lot of potential though both against token strategies, and against shops.
First off, its a 3 mana creature, which is certainly playable costwise, downside its in green and white only, limiting the decks it can be played in. Perhaps something related to the Sylvan mentor builds of earlier this year? Its a 3/2 with First Strike, which shapes up very well against most shops creatures except ballista and ravager, and basically every non-TKS creature in white Eldrazi.
Now its triggered and static abilities that make it truly interesting to me. Being a 3/2 with first strike is particularly good vs mentor, and it not allowing the opponent to gang-block means attacking it straight into a mentor with a field of tokens has a high likelihood of it surviving the combat with just a mentor or just a token. A lot of the current mentor decks don't have many offensive instants that allow them to trigger prowess twice on our turn to even contest it resolving outside of force. Because this is an on-attack trigger, even if Mirri dies, you end up with a functionally unblockable army. This would alone would make the token mirror swing hugely in your favor because they can still only block a single creature.
Then you get its second ability, where they can only swing back with 1 creature at a time. This is particularly great when in the token mirror, as they are stuck attacking with 1 token or just a mentor, and you're free to make as many tokens and gang-block etc.
It has a lot of really interesting potential interactions, and potentially gives you an edge in the mentor mirror while having a card that also is not a blank textbox vs shops like pyroblast or flusterstorm is. While I dont expect this to make huge waves I certainly want to try it and see if it can realize its clear potential.
So after playing it significantly in testing over the past couple weeks, I'm convinced this card is just insanely good. I would put even money on it appearing in both the vintage and legacy top 8s this year.
In what kind of shell have you had succes with it?
I've tested it primarily in 4-color bug. When combined with Leovold, and deathrite and moxen it comes down tuen 2 reliably, and puts in an insane amount of work. I also tried it in a 5 color humans list, but that was much more minimal testing.
I really really like this guy. I was already testing a slightly bigger BUGw fish list with Leovold, new Thalia, DRS, trygon predators etc and this guy slots right into what I'm trying to do there. I cant wait to get ahold of this and get some tournament results with it!
While I understand the sentiment behind the people complaining of lack of diversity, I'd rather watch blue mirrors all day than shops mirrors. This week was some of the most interesting magic on the vsl in a long time because there was so little non-blue in it. Nothing got me more bored of the coverage faster than the workshops/eldrazi mirrors.
That said, gush is amazing, and something in that archetype would not surprise me if it were gone in a week with the announcement.
Huntmaster? which huntmaster? of the fells? i think you might have gone a little too deep. i also hope you utterly destroyed a bunch of 2 toughness creatures.
I feel like updating the primer every 2-3 weeks or even just monthly would be sufficient. the basic information of a deck doesn't change overnight and has a more gradual acceptation after some random tech does well more than once.
Yeah of the fells. It worked really well.
On the subject of updating every few weeks, its not the immediate few months that Ive seen the problem. The problem is nearly always a year or two down the line after the thread gets made that it stops getting updated.
The reason I asked about how people use primers, is because personally I've always found the primer+megathread forum style (the way The Source is set up), to be incredibly hard to navigate. I'm actually surprised to see universal support of it, I always felt it was sort of a dangerous way to organize information, in the sense of bucketing together strategies that shouldn't be bucketed together, and putting the oldest, least relevant information formost.
It's also notable that something like an objective "decks to beat" list is a lot harder to pull off than in Legacy, Modern, or Standard - Vintage just has less data to work with, and at some point you're going to end up with someone (in this case it would be me) arbitrarily deciding what counts. An educated guess, but still a biased one.
One of the key goals I wanted to take on when I rebuilt TheManaDrain was providing a good resource for brand new players to the format. I have my own ideas on how to accomplish that but other things have been taking priority so far.
I don't think primer megathreads are the solution, but I encouraging people to write primers could be a stopgap. If you've considered writing a primer and you didn't, what can I do to convince you to do it.
The tags might help some, but its not easy to find the basics with them often. Perhaps, and this is also just an idea I'm spitballing here, maybe a wiki might be the ideal style for what you want? Have each deck get a wiki-page, maybe limit authorship to it, and have the basics, background etc be on there, and have it appear as a link when you search for the tags so you get discussion in the threads, and the basic info and strategy in a relatively static format.
For example when I showed up at my first Vintage tournament 3 out of 5 my opponents asked me who lent me a deck and actually shuffled it pregame (which they weren't doing to others). I couldn't understand that question and even the fact that they shuffled my deck offended me at first (it was still powered deck, with Japanese cards). I was also told that my deck is crap that day and that I don't know how to play. My deck was good but not fit for the (totally random non-Shops) meta and I know how to play Vintage better than majority of the local Vintage players and they realized that by now. But even if I put this aside...how would actually a new player feel after this experience?
So this is slightly off topic, but I always shuffle an opponent's deck when I first meet them. Every time. According to the tournament rules, you are actually required to shuffle your opponent's deck. Until you get to know the players you usually see and trust that they aren't trying to cheat, it is absolutely appropriate to shuffle their deck. On the other hand, I have seen the same thing regarding new players deck choices, where if they don't show up with a deck tuned for that local store's meta they get disregarded, though generally that happens in legacy not vintage in my experience.
I was lucky in my first vintage tournament I went to after I moved to the northeast where I happened on the store where Brian Kelly played, so my keeper list full of moats, dragonlords and huntmaster wasn't made fun of, but actually kinda respected because that was more normal there than most places I imagine.
As far as primers go, I feel that mtgo is actually hurting us more than helping us. With mtggoldfish showing all of these meta decks that are fluctuating and iterating against each other every day practically, it makes it much harder to write and keep up a relevant primer on most things. Many players who want an idea of what to play go straight to that to see what is 'in' this week and just try to suss it out on their own, and if they looked at a primer with a bunch of cards that arent in the mtgo meta breakdown, they might just ignore it and assume it was out of date. What might help is an option to embed in a sidebar or something a snapshot of the mtggoldfish meta list layout when you write a primer. Then people can read here all the reasons why to play certain cards, and also have an easy at a glance look at what people are doing well with online as well. Maybe thats a bad idea though, because it would put more pressure on the OP to keep things updated.
Actually, that's a really good idea, how easy would it be to add other 'authors' to a post? So whoever writes the OP (lets say @Brass-Man for example) can add 2 or 3 other people onto the post as authors so they can edit and update the post as well. One of the big issues on the source is that the OP would get outdated after the author got tired of updating it, and then a new thread would get made, losing the entire discussion in the old thread. I think that would help make people more willing to write a primer, since they wouldn't necessarily be committing to editing and updating it forever on their own.
It does seem neat, but with the prevalence of Reality Smasher and TKS, not to mention pyroblasts, I really dont want to be playing a card that can't survive combat with them initially, and gets blasted. That said, I do think that card would be sweet, but its probably better in a shell with more proactive instants and sorceries.
This deck is very reactive, making it kinda hard to trigger the flip when you want it. I think there's a maximum of 6 non-reactive spells that would trigger it? That seems a bit low for something that will come down in the mid-late game after players have traded resources a lot already.
If I were going to play it, I would probably start with a similar shell to the Thing in the Ice decks that were all the rage a few weeks ago. Just having the extra 8-10 cantrips to help flip this on demand would make it much more powerful than here.
So I've been playing with this a bit last night and some today.
I have gotten in ~8 matches vs shops/elrazi (5 Ravager TKS, 1 Jaco-drazi, 2 tribal eldrazi). I won 4 of the 5 vs ravager/tks shops. Their mana seems a bit finicky and DT for waste/strip was often enough to just crush them under their own spheres. I lost in a not even close match to Jaco-drazi, but it was just one match (and they had multiple null rods both games). I lost to 1 tribal eldrazi when they had a triple mimic draw 2 games in a row and beat the other. Strixes in the main seems to help a lot vs these. TKS is super frustrating, I would rather Lodestone be back than TKS's duress honestly.
Heres where I'm at:
1 Sol Ring
2 Underground Sea
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Pearl
4 Flooded Strand
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Black Lotus
1 Marsh Flats
1 Polluted Delta
1 Strip Mine
1 Library of Alexandria
Birds and such
3 Baleful Strix
2 Snapcaster Mage
1 Silumgar, the Drifting Death
1 Notion Thief
1 Archangel Avacyn
1 Vendilion Clique
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Dig Through Time
4 Force of Will
3 Mental Misstep
2 Mana Drain
4 Swords to Plowshares
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Time Walk
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Crucible of Worlds
2 Path to Exile
2 Containment Priest
1 Grafdigger's Cage
1 Supreme Verdict
1 Notion Thief
3 Rest in Peace
1 Steel Sabotage
I havent gotten in a match vs gush at all with my list yet, due to the randomness of testing online, so Im not sure how much I have sacrificed to have that better sphere matchup. Deck is really fun though!