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posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

This could have had some potential as a storm sb card that is more versatile than just for the dredge matchup, it would be pretty easy to cast on turn one with rituals.
The main issue I see is that this is actually really bad as dredge hate, all they have to do is sandbag the bazaar activation to your EOT and go nuts on their turn.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

@chubbyrain
Also worth mentioning that the ultimate is a win-con no matter what, it's hard to imagine scenarios where your opponent pulls out a win after you've had this guy active for a couple turns, then proceed to draw 7 cards.

I think Sylvan Library is an auto-include in this type of list since it helps you pull ahead on cards or find the combo faster and it synergizes nicely with DR shaman and the new Jace.
I would add Flusterstorms instead of the mana denial package to make the deck better at winning early and in the blue mirror. MD Island(s) is probably going to be a must in order to cast a spell with UUU in the casting cost.

This deck is basically Doomsday but without the constraints that make you soft to Sphere effects or having to play cards that do nothing on their own.

Wouldn't be surprised if this becomes a real thing.

posted in Vintage Tournaments read more

Have Previous commitment, but I will definitely attend the next one. Happy St Patrick's day vintage for all of those who are going.

posted in Vintage Community read more

I would like to see some changes, can't lie that I felt a little disappointed when I saw "no changes" in the latest B&R announcement (and I'm sure I'm not the only one).
But I think some of the solutions listed in this thread are a little too drastic. On one hand, some people are advocating to restrict everything that is deemed "unfair" (even advocating for Banning cards) and on the other hand, people want to massively unrestrict.

Back in 2012-13 (when Vintage was in its so-called "golden Age"), some people were advocating for restricting oath because oath into Griselbrand is just bonkers.
The problem if you start restricting every card that is alienating and unfun to play against, is that you'll constantly need to restrict more and more cards until we end up playing legacy with a restricted list instead of a banned list.
Banning cards is an absolute no go in my mind and goes against the "spirit" of the format.

Mass un-restrictions with the possibility of re-restricting a bunch of problematic cards also seems completely chaotic for reasons Chubbyrain mentioned (no incentive to build a deck you know is going to get restricted, potential for absolutely poor gameplay, ... etc)

I think we can find some sort of middle ground that helps bring back the current tier 1 decks back into the fold so that we can see less non-games and adds more diversity by making marginalized decks viable again.
To achieve this goal, below is a list of B&R changes that I believe would help.

Restricted:
-Preordain
-Mox Opal
-Hollow One
-Bridge from Below
-Some combination of Foundry Inspector, Arcbound Ravager and/or Walking Ballista
-Mental Misstep

Unrestricted:
-Windfall
-Fastbond
-Flash
-Demonic Consultation

Here is my logic behind the restrictions listed above, in order to put current tier 1 decks on a level playing field with decks that have fallen out of favor:

Preordain restricted would take away the critical mass that lets xerox decks snowball into the restricted draw spells. Also helps by limiting PO's ability to set up in the early game and find answers to the silver bullets. The main collateral damage is Oath which really needs preordain to shore its inherent inconsistency. Xerox being weakened leaves room for more diversity within blue decks by making decks like Rector Flash, Landstill, Blue Moon, Grixis, ... viable again

Mox Opal is one of the vital cards PO needs to be able to chain multiple outcomes and achieve a critical mass of artifacts to abuse Outcome. I would rather not Restrict Outcome itself immediately because it would kill the deck and I believe that Preordain and Opal restricted should be enough to make the deck more tolerable as a first measure.

Hollow one lets dredge decks completely sidestep Hate and Makes Survival a little too consistent at being able to play 2 creatures a turn for Vengevine recursion or sidestep graveyard hate entirely. Survival is still extremely underrated, underestimated and I believe currently grossly underrepresented.

While the restriction of Golgari Grave-Troll should have a profound impact on Dredge, I believe it does not fundamentally address the problem. Bridge for Below would be much better a slowing dredge down/increase diversity within the Archetype and by reducing the number of hate cards players would be playing in their sideboard, put the deck at a different equilibrium between sideboard hate and its own viability.

For shops, I think the main problem is that despite restrictions the deck has gotten a lot faster and Workshop aggro has completely crowded out the other Shops variants. So, rather than restrict lock pieces I think a better approach would be to restrict some of the cards that enable the aggressive component of the deck. Doing so will reduce the number of non-games and increase the diversity within workshop decks (make Smokestack and Kuldotha's Forgemaster great again).
Foundry Inspector sped up aggro shops so much that even if you have fewer ways to disrupt your opponent and can't consistently deploy a lock piece every turn, you just gained so much speed that you don't need as much disruption. Basically negating the impact of the restriction of lock pieces like thorn and chalice.
Arcbound Ravager is basically the core of the deck at this point, with many of the deck's synergies being centered around the card (Walking Ballista, Steel Overseer, Hangarback Walker, ...). Restricting it would make many of these creatures much worse and probably force a complete rehaul of the creature suite.
Walking Ballista is just way too efficient and so much better than a similar card that was already heavily played (Triskelion). Restricting Ravager might be enough to bring it back to an acceptable level but both should not be allowed to remain unrestricted together.

Mental Misstep is just dreadful for gameplay and format warping. The old adage of "but it regulates the problematic decks" is mostly a fallacy, it is used as much as uninteractive card as it is used as an interactive card. The decks that it supposedly keeps in check can also run it and for those that can't (like DPS), were they to become problematic, there are numerous sideboard answers and worst-case scenario cards that can be restricted to reduce the consistency of those decks.

For the list of cards I listed as potential un-restrictions, the DCI would obviously have to wait for the meta to adjust post restrictions before making the move.

Windfall is just such a bad card in today's meta (and has been for a while), I would be surprised if it sees any play at all if unrestricted, since it sees virtually no play right now and is not a build around card. If some unforeseen consequence somehow still happens, I doubt it becomes as warping as something like Treasure cruise and it can always go back onto the list 3 months later.
Although since Windfall does not really help any marginal deck or make new ones possible, an argument can be made that it is not worth the "risk".

Fastbond is far less likely to be a problem without its partner in crime Gush. It would help to make Lands more viable if anything. Even if it does sometimes lead to non-games, probably nowhere near as consistently as has been acceptable historically, and in the end the benefits most likely outweigh the drawbacks.

Flash has some non-trivial amount of risk associated with it. But if the best deck it can be played in is Rector Flash, it is unlikely to prove problematic. It is extremely susceptible to graveyard hate and would replace Cabal therapy (which would have an already tight deck on slots scramble to make room for disruption). I think the upside, that it helps to make a deck that is almost viable actually viable, is worth the risk that the card represents.

Demonic Consultation is basically worse than Burning Wish and Dark Petition for decks with a high number of restricted cards and singleton win cons. It would likely promote diversity by benefiting decks with 4of combos pieces like Dark Depths or Two Card Monte (maybe even create a Lab Maniac deck?).

posted in Big Blue read more

You need 2-3 null rods. Also, Ancient Tomb is really good in the deck. Niv Mizzet is kind of win more (you basically should already be winning if you get to resolve it). You really want to be focussing on completely disrupting your opponent's mana, controlling the game and "incidentally" win.
I was working on a list for the current meta as well, but more oriented towards the lock.

Maindeck

Manabase:
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Ruby
3 Ancient Tomb
1 Library of Alexandria
2 Volcanic Island
4 Scalding Tarn
7 Island

Lock:
3 Null Rod
3 Blood Moon

Control Package:
3 Lightning Bolt
4 Force of Will
4 Mental Misstep
2 Mana Drain
2 Pyroblast
1 Flusterstorm

Draw engine:
2 Snapcaster Mage
1 Brainstorm
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Dig Through Time
3 Preordain
1 Ponder
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Time Walk

Threats:
3 Young Pyromancer
2 Dack Fayden
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Sideboard
3 Tormod's Crypt
2 Grafdigger's Cage
2 Propaganda
1 Energy Flux
1 Arcane Laboratory
1 Flusterstorm
1 Subterranean Tremors
4 By Force

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@rodtrav Vintage has Survival which is pretty much a strictly better version of this deck.

posted in Combo read more

@desolutionist

I like the chains idea, but can Ritual Storm really afford to have sb slots dedicated to the outcome matchup?

I love Phyrexian Obliterator but since we'd be bringing it in mana denial/sphere matchups, can we reliably pay XBBBB to cast that thing when Ritual is mostly a colored mana fix?
Black knight just isn't good enough and plague spitter doesn't deal with Lavinia without therapy.
Pack rat just doesn't pan out against shops between revokers and Ballistas.
I think the only reliable plan B in the current state of things is Tinker Bot and/or Mentor if you splash white.

I like the Burning wish idea, it's much better than Petition in the face of Lavinia and/or at finding answers to disruption. It also does a better job at abusing broken cards like LED, Demonic Consultation and Gifts Ungiven. But Dark Petition has a lot more raw power and consistency.

posted in Combo read more

Defense Grid is definitely the best card in the deck to bypass counterspells. Otherwise, depending on your splash color, cards like Abeyance and City of solitude can do the trick as well.
Beware that people tend to bring in artifact hate post board though.
Toxic Deluge can be too costly to be effective sometimes but is still better than most alternatives (such as Pyroclasm, Bountu's last reckoning, Virtue's Ruin, ...).
Balance is godly if you are splashing white, and as Soly said Karakas is a must have since it deals with Thalia and Lavinia.
Engineered Explosives and Echoing Truth are also worth considering as catch-all answers.
Pack Rat used to be a great plan B vs hate decks but Ballista slammed that door shut for good. Make sure to have Mentor and/or Tinker Bot as a more resilient win-con in the 75 though.
Oath of Druids can be an option too with a green splash.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@brass-man
I think people got spoiled by how open the format was (in terms of blue decks) during the pre-khans meta.
It seems that what people are really complaining about right now is that blue decks are mostly consolidated into either the Xerox shell or the Outcome shell.