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posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

@stormanimagus The first strike and creatures entering tapped have always been big upsides to thalia to me. Killing vengevines and making them enter tapped (in addition to Hogaak enablers entering tapped) adds valuable time. It speeds your clock too, since their blocker will always be unable to block the turn played.

Vs humans, for example, Thalia 2.0 seems better than eidolon/archon. In general, I'm sure archon is broader, but it's not a strict upgrade in all cases.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@botvinik I run Magus of the Moon often. Without bazaar, they're dead, and it is universally a useful card. However, 3 mana is a lot, and you can die before turn 3 easily enough.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

@lienielsen I don't think it necessarily has to answer a creature, but it needs to significantly impact the board or add a solid level of CA in it's first activation.

Dack can't answer creatures unless it's an artifact creature, but it immediately steals an artifact and is +1CA by subtracting a permanent from your opponent and adding it to your board. His +1 also can be virtual CA if you are pitching blightsteel or useless cards for better cards.

Narset automatically replaces itself while simultaneously stopping your opponent's ability to draw cards.

This Jace, for the same CMC, replaces itself and likely dies in the process or does scry, which is neither CA nor board effect. To scry and then draw a card that doesn't kill Jace, you've spent two turns just to cantrip. That's bad. This card is really weak without the kicker, and by then you could be playing 5cmc walkers which should flat out end the game, like Tezzeret.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@botvinik Cages are better only in the sense that you can cast it off an island or off-color mox. And if they are on the play and you don't have a mox, they'll get up to 2 activations of bazaar (maybe 3 if they have bazaar #2 in hand) which is enough to poop out a Hogaak before you hit enough mana for RiP. Outside of that, RiP is probably superior in that matchup - however cage is also good in stopping tinker in other blue decks, so there's a broader application there. RiP also shuts off your own Dig/Cruise delve shenanigans.

I prefer Containment Priest myself vs bazaar decks as Force of Vigor is a 4-of post sb, and they rarely have a way (outside of one or two sickening shoals and few black cards) to remove it.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

If the loss were severe vs a negligible win, I'd agree - and that's part of the math. So your argument is using the thinking that "if my opponent lands turn 1 thalia by having mox, cavern, thalia, I lose the game 100%." What you're not considering though, is that by countering that mox, you still are not winning - you delayed them a turn and have now gone to 5 cards...when you are not going to win that next turn and they can easily follow with second land, thalia on turn 2 (or 2nd mox, thalia on turn 1 - and now they don't even need cavern because you blew your FoW - or tomb, thorn/sphere).

The "win" you get by countering that mox is like hitting your one out on the river card, when odds are many more scenarios could happen. The likelihood of them following that mox with non-cavern land + thalia, tomb + thorn/sphere, or just passing and playing thalia turn 2 or a thought-knot seer, or a null rod is FAR greater than you countering their mox and they kept a 1-land + thalia hand on the hopes they resolved the mox and thalia to ride it 10 turns to victory.

In essence, by countering, you essentially are saying that countering their turn one ability to play thalia (not the thalia itself) is so critical it will win you the game. You'd have to think the tempo of giving you one turn is more important than your ability to counter the actual thalia, a null rod, a sphere, a TKS, or anything they could possibly do on turn 2 and beyond...but yet you would not be winning on your own turn 1 and going down to 5 cards or less (if you mulled) to start.

In terms of payoff, countering the mox will likely guarantee you will live to have a turn 1 play. But if you are not winning in that one turn, the opportunity loss of the FoW + blue card is massive on the chance they DON'T have the mox/cavern/thalia draw OR any second land to play thalia and beat you anyway.

The exception to this, I think, is if you are pitching Force of Negation and a blue card that is not very useful (like a hurkyl's in that matchup), because FoN is largely dead in that match anyway and would only help to counter a null rod or thorn or sphere, which they may or may not be playing. If you know your friend's list and he plays 7-sphere and null rods, I'd even say to hold your FoN. But if they play trinisphere/lodestone only, or something like that, FoN is fine to use on the mox. Even with FoN though, pitching a time walk or ponder or something solid just to hit the mox is probably not optimal. You're better off adding some kind of sweeper that will kill thalia, like dry spell, pyroclasm, contagion, gut shot, etc.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@80percentbuffoon TheManaDrain is published opinion. Thinking only the MTGO voices are the ones that matter when TMD brings opinions of experienced paper players is flawed thinking, imo. If you want to narrow your thoughts on Vintage to the opinions of the MTGO pros, by all means, have at it.

** This all got far diverged from the original post. We can take this to PM if you want to continue convincing me that a half dozen teenagers should be my main focus for Vintage thought 😉

posted in Vintage Community read more

@80percentbuffoon If you only plan to play on MTGO, I suppose it is - that's your meta. But other than metagaming, thinking the card opinions, deck designs, spoiler theory, etc., of the few dozen people that make up the MTGO top players is all that matters is narrow and flawed. It's akin to saying, "yeah, there's a whole world of newspapers, reporters, data banks, etc. out there - but my facebook chatgroup is the only one that matters to me and their opinion trumps all the rest of the world's understanding."

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

I was thinking more "humans" build, since you said "humans package", but Eldrazi is a bit different. Even still, with DD or belcher or anything that will win the turn it plays means you counter the mox. If you can win on your turn, the rest of their hand is irrelevant.

If you can't win on your turn, then you are basically saying you will 2-for-1 yourself to hopefully provide a speed bump you can't capitalize on in your next turn. And that's assuming they don't have a second mox. If they don't have cavern, your FoWs are still very useful. If they follow with ancient tomb, thorn of amythest, how much would you wish you held that FoW now? Sometimes the math is important. Yes, if they have cavern and thalia in their other 6 cards in hand, you are in rough shape...but any of the other 4 games out of 5 where they don't have one of those, you just dropped a counterspell and a potentially useful blue card on the hope you could slow that worst case 20% scenario by a single turn for no great followup (we already ruled out the times you would win on your next turn). Playing against the math and playing not to lose as opposed to playing to win is how poker players go home empty handed. Follow the numbers and make your decisions based on the odds and you will be rewarded more times than not - that's actually the whole point of odds.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@80percentbuffoon I'm trying to point out the fallacy of suggesting 6 young players constitute any bulk of relevant Vintage opinion. They are but a small number of a larger base. I also don't understand the insistence that the only players/results that matter are the current MTGO numbers - and you're not the only, though an egregious, proponent of that thought. There are many paper players that have local metagames. But since Vintage players worldwide of an older age own the cards and prefer to meet with people we enjoy, our metagames/Vintage-related opinions are somehow irrelevant to the 60ish online players on MTGO?

I understand that this generation has never grown up without social media or instant data, but the whole instant gratification/"what have you done lately"/"24-hours ago is old news" viewpoint just amazes me in a not-good way. Just because you or the twitch streamers don't see all the Vintage played around the world doesn't mean all Vintage that isn't on camera and for-your-viewing-in-a-click doesn't matter or is less meaningful.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@botvinik I think you let the mox resolve. The odds they have cavern AND thalia is about 20%. If they don't have cavern, you counter Thalia. If they do have cavern, they may not have thalia. If they have both, odds are they will have a 2nd land drop and you'll still be facing thalia on turn 2 while you 2-for-1nd yourself to stop a mox they wouldn't need after turn 1 anyway.

Save the counter. The exception being if you have a one-turn win in hand with doomsday. Then anything you can do to take your turn unimpeded will be gg, so the counterspell will be unneeded later game anyway.