@Khahan Ok... good. This is the kind of response I'm looking for. (Thank you also to @mourningpalace , and great win and great deck the other night. Awesome work.) Why do we think that Ravager Shops is faster? (I'm not trying to argue, I'm trying to get ahead on a week of playtesting by understanding this.) It seems like Ravager can't kill a goldfish faster. It also depends on creatures, so one would think game 1 would favor Oath enormously. So walk me through the lines that give Shops the advantage. What am I missing?

When Arcbound Ravager was added to the deck to combat Dack Fayden, it also allowed Workshops to sacrifice all its creatures in response to a resolved Oath of Druids. This line can be especially brutal if a Fleetwheel Cruiser or Mishra's Factory is available to modular onto, since they aren't active when Oath of Druids is looking to trigger. Walking Ballista is also a solid threat that can disappear at a moment's notice once Oath of Druids resolves. Oath is relying more on Oath + Orchard than it used to against Workshops for these, and possibly other, reasons.

Good questions.

I think there can be a successful Oath deck out there right now, but it needs a lot of focus and testing to generate the optimal configuration of creature package, counter package, draw suite, removal suite, planeswalkers, Dredge plan, PO plan, Null Rod choices (run it, ignore it, fight it), TV/Key choice, Karakas plan, and managing the triumvirate of intrinsic self-inflicted wounds: automilling, useless cards in hand, and death by Spirit token.

Punishing Oath Emrakul/Griselbrand is formidable overall, and can run Null Rod/SS but is slightly soft to combo and soft to Karakas.

Saheeli Oath transfers the issue of useless draws away from the creatures but then moves that onto a combo piece that is generally horrible by Vintage standards. We call her the "blue Bridge from Below."

Gush Oath was smooth and consistent but now Gush is restricted.

Auriok Oath is likely good right now with the right supplements but can't be tested on MTGO where many of us get some portion of our testing experience.

Landstill/Oath decks seem as fine as ever, attacking on two distinct axes. Still, it has the "Treetop Village, go" thing going on.

Evil Oath decks might offer a lot. By Evil Oath, I refer to prison-esque strategies that can use Sun Titan, Trinisphere, Rod, and land destruction to help combat a natural predator which is combo. I've started looking into a preliminary build but am not sure whether it will be ready in time for something like the NYSE.

Overall, it takes a long time to get Oath "right" and there is a lot of analysis and balancing that must occur. The end result can pay off spectacularly but a lot of the format's mental energy is being poured into neo-Mentor, Big Blue, Paradox, Shops/Eldrazi, and Dredge atm.

last edited by brianpk80

So, isn't Swan Song, and Beast Within also viable options, maybe more so now than ever, for Oath?

last edited by Serracollector

For what it's worth, I've been playing Paradoxical Oath and doing relatively well with it. (And definitely having a lot of fun with it) My primary weakness has been Null Rod but that seems to be on the downswing with the increased presence of Hangarback Shops.

As one of the people who ran Oath at the Vintage challenge- a few observations.

My build was not optimal, and my sleep deprivation did not make for the best of decisions at times.

Lots of cages and containment priests made for a fun field post sideboard. It honestly reminded me of my days of playing dredge in paper- the "does my anti-hate package beat their hate." This isn't a complaint, I actually enjoy that sort of tension/back and forth.

That said, I often wished for a little more removal. Punishing fire might have been a better build for the field I encountered.

The flipside of that is that the Saheeli combo won a couple of games that had my opponent had a turn or more longer I would have lost.

Self-inflicted wounds:

In round three I was playing the shops deck that would go on to be undefeated on the day. I had oath in play, he had creatures. Things were following the "oath has a good match-up against prison" script. Oath activates.

The top card was a sun titan, which entered play on turn three with no viable targets in the graveyard. My draw for the turn is the second sun titan. I have no further creatures in my deck, and not enough mana to play a six-drop. Jazara drops a few more heavy beaters and runs me over.

While this is the occasional price for cheating hideous creatures into play, I'm not sure this current vintage metagame is "loose" enough to have occasions where everything is going according to plan and yet rng just decides it does not happen.

I think the follow up hate-gauntlet post game one makes it where you don't want to just drop an occsional game dur to rng, but this is only my impression.

Oath is very powerful, but I'm not sure things are in a place for it right now.

Oath is one of those decks that sounds good in theory but can be hit or miss in reality. For me the tensions are between the counter/disruption package and Oath package. You don't want to start the game with a hand that has all disruption and no Oath, you could have an Oath and a good mix of spells but no Orchards to trigger Oath, or worst of all you can have your Oath targets in your hand!

So for me, Oath is best as a "sideshow" in a deck like Storm. In Storm you aren't so heavily weighted in trying to interact with your opponent, so you're less likely to be in a situation in which you cannot do anything proactive. You have Oath as a threatening turn one play and if it's disrupted then you have Storm to fall back on. And that plan works vice versa; if they have a bunch of Spheres in play to shut down Storm, at least there is always the Oath plan.

On that same concept, perhaps Dark Depths could be another avenue? Could even deploy Loam or Crop Rotation tactics.

last edited by desolutionist

@desolutionist
I had a two card monte style deck with oaths and dark depths. Thats what the deck really becomes if you go down that route.

last edited by John Cox

@desolutionist said in Where is Oath right now?:

Oath is one of those decks that sounds good in theory but can be hit or miss in reality. For me the tensions are between the counter/disruption package and Oath package. You don't want to start the game with a hand that has all disruption and no Oath, you could have an Oath and a good mix of spells but no Orchards to trigger Oath, or worst of all you can have your Oath targets in your hand!

So for me, Oath is best as a "sideshow" in a deck like Storm. In Storm you aren't so heavily weighted in trying to interact with your opponent, so you're less likely to be in a situation in which you cannot do anything proactive. You have Oath as a threatening turn one play and if it's disrupted then you have Storm to fall back on. And that plan works vice versa; if they have a bunch of Spheres in play to shut down Storm, at least there is always the Oath plan.

On that same concept, perhaps Dark Depths could be another avenue? Could even deploy Loam or Crop Rotation tactics.

That's why you need at least 2 of the 3 creatures castable and need to be able to fight on multiple axis. If you can't figure out how to do that, the deck is terrible

Has anyone ever just tried to play Bomberman Oath online? Is clicking through really that difficult// time consuming?

@desolutionist said in Where is Oath right now?:

Oath is one of those decks that sounds good in theory but can be hit or miss in reality. For me the tensions are between the counter/disruption package and Oath package. You don't want to start the game with a hand that has all disruption and no Oath, you could have an Oath and a good mix of spells but no Orchards to trigger Oath, or worst of all you can have your Oath targets in your hand!

So for me, Oath is best as a "sideshow" in a deck like Storm. In Storm you aren't so heavily weighted in trying to interact with your opponent, so you're less likely to be in a situation in which you cannot do anything proactive. You have Oath as a threatening turn one play and if it's disrupted then you have Storm to fall back on. And that plan works vice versa; if they have a bunch of Spheres in play to shut down Storm, at least there is always the Oath plan.

On that same concept, perhaps Dark Depths could be another avenue? Could even deploy Loam or Crop Rotation tactics.

Oath isn't bad. It's very powerful. But you hit on a very important aspect which is that the deck suffers from intense variance and it can lose to itself. Sometimes, as you mentioned, your opening hand is so janky that you just have a tough time winning. And while you can mulligan aggressively, that does put you in a card-disadvantageous situation much of the time.

Back when the cards Oath had to beat were Grafdigger's Cage and Young Pyromancer things were admittedly better. Containment Priest is tough to beat because it attacks you, flashes into play, and stops the old Oath plan b of Show and tell.

My opinion is that the best way to deal with these issues is to have a solid plan for your deck that doesn't require Oath to function. That could be Auriok/Lotus/Spell Bomb, Time Vault, Saheeli Rai, or just a solid control package and castable creatures like the Landstill Oath decks run. None of these plans are 100% effective but they do indeed help.

One thing that I have become a fan of is the two-creature Emrakul/Griselbrand split for Oath decks. I liked this because both creatures were very lethal, and Emrakul made it much, much safer to omit Gaea's Blessing/Memory's Journey. If you Oathed into Emrakul, you could win in a turn or two max so you'd probably not deck yourself. If you Oath into Griselbrand you could draw cards until you hit Emrakul and discard to hand size to restock your deck. This also allowed you to recycle your Time Walks, and Time Walk is one of the MOST important cards in an Oath deck (in my builds at least).

After playing horribly in the daily last night, i built Saheeli Oath and got in a few matches with it. It is a very powerful deck for sure. But I did have to mulligan quite a bit, as it had some pretty bad hands. Maybe my luck for the night, but I kept getting both titans in my opening hand a lot.
When the deck did it's thing, it was pretty powerful.
What I did find is it still had a decent back up plan of control deck into Jace.
Saheeli Rai on her own is pretty terrible though, and there were a few games where i got the oath package going, and then titan was just the top 1 or 2 cards and didn't do anything and I died.
Gonna put in more reps with the deck, as it was my first go at this build. Does seem to be one of the more high variance decks that I have played.
The emmy/grisselbrand may just be the better option. I do like the dragonsbreath addition as well to that version.

@mourningpalace said in Where is Oath right now?:

After playing horribly in the daily last night, i built Saheeli Oath and got in a few matches with it. It is a very powerful deck for sure. But I did have to mulligan quite a bit, as it had some pretty bad hands. Maybe my luck for the night, but I kept getting both titans in my opening hand a lot.
When the deck did it's thing, it was pretty powerful.
What I did find is it still had a decent back up plan of control deck into Jace.
Saheeli Rai on her own is pretty terrible though, and there were a few games where i got the oath package going, and then titan was just the top 1 or 2 cards and didn't do anything and I died.
Gonna put in more reps with the deck, as it was my first go at this build. Does seem to be one of the more high variance decks that I have played.
The emmy/grisselbrand may just be the better option. I do like the dragonsbreath addition as well to that version.

Once I get cards again and I can build a new Oath deck I'd love to make a post about it and compare notes. For what it's worth I never had any success with Saheeli Oath, even though other people did.

@Islandswamp I have been playing OathStill since before Lodestone restriction, if you're interested in chatting about anything Oath I would love to pick your brain.

@Topical_Island Your gonna be at battle creek Saturday right? I plan to be there as well.

@mourningpalace Yeah... but I might bring something other than Oath... I've been testing something else for awhile. I'm so unsure... sigh.

@Topical_Island Cool, look forward to meeting you there.

I agree with @brianpk80 here. This doesn't apply to Oath alone. I believe the same holds true for a deck like Storm. It just takes an insane amount of tweaking and testing to get a list just right. I believe it's possible but there are so many considerations you need to make when coming up with a decklist of your own. I've seen people drop decklists after a few games of testing, when in reality there are decks which take a long time to get "just right".

I played in the Vintage Challenge last Saturday with Saheeli Punishing Oath and found it to be very clunky to deal with any oppression. I mainly faced Mentor decks with cages in their sideboards so any anti hate I brought to the field was immediately moot.

Problems I faced:

  1. 2 copies of As Foretold with 2 Ancestral Visions was very clunky. Definitely not playing those again in this list.
  2. Vault / Key was in there to focus on Sun Titan synergies. Usually these cards were dead.
  3. Saheeli was cast a lot more times that she should have been.
  4. I saw so many Sun Titans in my draws I couldn't even activate Oath when I needed to.

There were times where I Oathed but could win because I only had one Saheeli available. I couldn't "win" after I got my turn two combo.

I also had unavoidable mulligans that cost me quite a few games. I guess that combined with a very clunky build resulted in my 0-4 on Saturday.

@krikt said in Where is Oath right now?:

I played in the Vintage Challenge last Saturday with Saheeli Punishing Oath and found it to be very clunky to deal with any oppression. I mainly faced Mentor decks with cages in their sideboards so any anti hate I brought to the field was immediately moot.

Problems I faced:

  1. 2 copies of As Foretold with 2 Ancestral Visions was very clunky. Definitely not playing those again in this list.
  2. Vault / Key was in there to focus on Sun Titan synergies. Usually these cards were dead.
  3. Saheeli was cast a lot more times that she should have been.
  4. I saw so many Sun Titans in my draws I couldn't even activate Oath when I needed to.

There were times where I Oathed but could win because I only had one Saheeli available. I couldn't "win" after I got my turn two combo.

I also had unavoidable mulligans that cost me quite a few games. I guess that combined with a very clunky build resulted in my 0-4 on Saturday.

That seems like a list problem, not an archetype problem. IT sounds like your deck was all over the place. I can't imagine ever having space for Vault Key, Saheeli, Titan, AND as Foretold in the same deck.

If you want to plunk down for some Griselbrands (two at least) I can ship you a list if you want. Or you could keep trying Sun Titan, that's a viable choice for people who aren't me.

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