The Situation Room: Gifts Ungiven


  • TMD Supporter

    This situation came up in the daily event this evening and I am sure that there is a better Gifts pile than the one I made, and probably a line that would have won the game on the spot. I have streamed the video to twitch but I don’t know how long it will be there. So I’m going to document it the best I can here as well.

    The game begins at 01:48:40 with side boarding:

    https://www.twitch.tv/videos/147933746

    My post board decklist:

    4 Polluted Delta
    1 Scalding Tarn
    1 Bloodstained Mire
    3 Underground Sea
    2 Volcanic Island
    2 Island
    1 Library of Alexandria
    1 Tolarian Academy
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Lotus Petal
    5 Mox
    1 Sol Ring
    1 Mana Vault
    1 Mana Crypt

    4 Force of Will
    3 Mana Drain
    3 Hurkyl’s Recall
    3 Gifts Ungiven
    2 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
    2 By Force
    2 Chain of Vapor
    1 Tinker
    1 Gitaxian Probe
    1 Gush
    1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
    1 Merchant Scroll
    1 Dig through Time
    1 Ancestral Recall
    1 Time Walk
    1 Brainstorm
    1 Mystical Tutor
    1 Dark Ritual
    1 Demonic Tutor
    1 Vampiric Tutor
    1 Yawgmoth’s Wil
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Blightsteel Colossus

    The part for the Gifts pile is at 01:56:10

    The situation for me at the beginning of the turn before land drop:

    In play: 3 Underground Sea, 1 Volcanic Island
    In hand: Polluted Delta, Dig through Time, Gifts Ungiven
    mana pool: 6 colorless Drain mana
    life total: 11
    graveyard: Drain, Drain, Mystical Tutor, Jace TMS, Delta, Tarn, Ancestral, Vampiric, FoW
    exile: Hurkyl’s

    The situation for him:

    In play: (all tapped) Shop, 2x Ancient Tomb, Strip Mine, Revoker (@Lotus), Ballista (@2), Foundry Inspecter (Untapped)
    In hand: 1 unknown card
    life total: 12
    graveyard: Trinisphere, Ballista, Foundry Inspector

    So if I didn’t cast DTT first and instead cast Gifts, what should I have gotten to end the game? Or after seeing the DTT, what should I have gotten with Gifts?

    The DTT was: Probe, Hurkyl’s, Tinker, Ruby, Island, Delta, LOA

    I took the Hurkyl’s and Tinker. Gifted for 3 mox and By Force. Tinkered for BSC and passed with Hurkyl’s up. He attacked and I figured I would Hurkyl’s in response because if I blocked then I would take 4 and go to 6. Then he could ping me twice with Ballista and then cast another to kill me. In retrospect I should have played the odds that he didn’t have a 3rd Ballista, even though if you watch the game, he actually did have one.


  • TMD Supporter

    With him at 12 life, I could have put Tendrils into a Gifts pile. That leaves 3 spots, which one would have to be Demonic Tutor (Yawgmoth's Will).

    So then maybe Tendrils, Demonic, By Force, Mana Drain?

    ...
    ..
    .

    No that wouldn't work if he gave me ToA and Drain; I don't think. Unless I hit well off of DTT.

    Demonic, Tendrils, Ritual, By Force? <- Might be the best pile (pre-DTT)

    If I did something post DTT, maybe I could have cast Hurkyl's in my mainphase and then made a Gifts pile involving Time Walk and JVP.

    6UUUUU-> DTT 6UUU -> Hurkyl's -> 5UU

    Neither Tinker (no artifact) or Ruby would work there because I need UU after Gifts for Walk and JVP.



  • Demonic, Gush, By Force, and a 2nd Gifts would of prolly given you best results IMO. With that much excess colorless, and 5 blue available, I would of done it this way. You either wreck his board or Gush, Into 2nd Gifts, into Time Walk, Brainstorm, Ritual, Tendrils, and should have what you needed to win by then. Not even sure DTT would be needed at that point.



  • Pile:

    1. Tendrils
    2. Yawgmoth's Will
    3. Time Walk
    4. Demonic Tutor

    Obviously, he can't give you Yawgmoth's Will.

    Less obviously, he can give you DT and Time Walk as you Demonic Tutor for JVP, cast him, Time Walk, and fire off Will (1) - Vamp (2) for Lotus, Recall (3) into it, Cast it (4), DT (5) into Dark Ritual, Ritual (6) plus Tendrils.

    He can't give you DT + Tendrils as your storm him out. Gifts (1), DT (2) for Gifts, Gifts (3) for Moxen, Cast Moxen (4) (5), Tendrils. Mana - Gifts (3 + Lands), DT (2 + 2 Sea 1 Volc 1 Island from Fetch), Gifts ( 2 Sea), Moxen give you 2 and you have exactly enough for Tendrils.

    The correct call from him is to give you Tendrils and Time Walk. This line is non-deterministic but pretty damn close.

    1. Gifts (3 + Lands)
    2. Dig (Use Volc and Island, floating 3 and 3 Sea)
    3. You have exactly enough mana to cast Time Walk and Tendrils

    Which brings us to what you find off of Dig.

    • If you get some combination of cards with a net of zero mana, you got him...Any combination of Moxen, Dark Ritual, Lotus/Petal, Crypt/Ring, Tinker + Artifact (go get Lotus), Gush + Probe, Chain of Vapor + either Mox Sapphire, Jet, or Petal, etc.
    • If you are the unluckiest SOB ever, try to find a JVP to assemble Walk + JVP into Will Tendrils.

    That's what I came up with.


  • TMD Supporter

    @ChubbyRain said in The Situation Room: Gifts Ungiven:

    Pile:

    1. Tendrils
    2. Yawgmoth's Will
    3. Time Walk
    4. Demonic Tutor

    Obviously, he can't give you Yawgmoth's Will.

    Less obviously, he can give you DT and Time Walk as you Demonic Tutor for JVP, cast him, Time Walk, and fire off Will (1) - Vamp (2) for Lotus, Recall (3) into it, Cast it (4), DT (5) into Dark Ritual, Ritual (6) plus Tendrils.

    He can't give you DT + Tendrils as your storm him out. Gifts (1), DT (2) for Gifts, Gifts (3) for Moxen, Cast Moxen (4) (5), Tendrils. Mana - Gifts (3 + Lands), DT (2 + 2 Sea 1 Volc 1 Island from Fetch), Gifts ( 2 Sea), Moxen give you 2 and you have exactly enough for Tendrils.

    The correct call from him is to give you Tendrils and Time Walk. This line is non-deterministic but pretty damn close.

    1. Gifts (3 + Lands)
    2. Dig (Use Volc and Island, floating 3 and 3 Sea)
    3. You have exactly enough mana to cast Time Walk and Tendrils

    Which brings us to what you find off of Dig.

    • If you get some combination of cards with a net of zero mana, you got him...Any combination of Moxen, Dark Ritual, Lotus/Petal, Crypt/Ring, Tinker + Artifact (go get Lotus), Gush + Probe, Chain of Vapor + either Mox Sapphire, Jet, or Petal, etc.
    • If you are the unluckiest SOB ever, try to find a JVP to assemble Walk + JVP into Will Tendrils.

    That's what I came up with.

    Can't go with JVP because of Ballista@2 or Lotus (from Yawg Will/Tinker) because of Revoker. But Tinker can get Mana Vault. Not sure of the color there and you still need an artfact... Where you can consider JVP and Lotus is when you take Hurkyl's from the pre-Gifts DTT.



  • @desolutionist said in The Situation Room: Gifts Ungiven:

    @ChubbyRain said in The Situation Room: Gifts Ungiven:

    Pile:

    1. Tendrils
    2. Yawgmoth's Will
    3. Time Walk
    4. Demonic Tutor

    Obviously, he can't give you Yawgmoth's Will.

    Less obviously, he can give you DT and Time Walk as you Demonic Tutor for JVP, cast him, Time Walk, and fire off Will (1) - Vamp (2) for Lotus, Recall (3) into it, Cast it (4), DT (5) into Dark Ritual, Ritual (6) plus Tendrils.

    He can't give you DT + Tendrils as your storm him out. Gifts (1), DT (2) for Gifts, Gifts (3) for Moxen, Cast Moxen (4) (5), Tendrils. Mana - Gifts (3 + Lands), DT (2 + 2 Sea 1 Volc 1 Island from Fetch), Gifts ( 2 Sea), Moxen give you 2 and you have exactly enough for Tendrils.

    The correct call from him is to give you Tendrils and Time Walk. This line is non-deterministic but pretty damn close.

    1. Gifts (3 + Lands)
    2. Dig (Use Volc and Island, floating 3 and 3 Sea)
    3. You have exactly enough mana to cast Time Walk and Tendrils

    Which brings us to what you find off of Dig.

    • If you get some combination of cards with a net of zero mana, you got him...Any combination of Moxen, Dark Ritual, Lotus/Petal, Crypt/Ring, Tinker + Artifact (go get Lotus), Gush + Probe, Chain of Vapor + either Mox Sapphire, Jet, or Petal, etc.
    • If you are the unluckiest SOB ever, try to find a JVP to assemble Walk + JVP into Will Tendrils.

    That's what I came up with.

    Can't go with JVP because of Ballista@2 or Lotus (from Yawg Will/Tinker) because of Revoker. But Tinker can get Mana Vault. Not sure of the color there and you still need an artfact... Where you can consider JVP and Lotus is when you take Hurkyl's from the pre-Gifts DTT.

    Oh, missed that. I don't think Lotus is necessary but Ballista is certainly relevant. Btw, was there a reason Snapcaster was omitted? He makes the Gift pile deterministic.


  • TMD Supporter

    @ChubbyRain

    I like the pile of Tendrils, Gifts, Demonic, X though.

    Gifts can be deterministic without Snapcaster. The problem here is that Mystical and Vamp are both in the yard, I sided out Dark Petition and Bargain (not really relevant to this situation), and JVP is not an option. With Snapcaster, it would seem like I have too many flashback cards (Yawg. Will, JVP x2, Snapcaster); Gifts doesn't necessarily have to be a graveyard card. It's very flexible. It gets mana. It gets counters. It gets card draw. I won a game earlier in the day by just chaining value Gifts together. But I'm not opposed to trying Snappy in the future.

    Bargain would have drawn 7 cards at least; the little birdie in the twitch chat had me siding it out against Shops. I don't know.



  • @desolutionist I'm aware...I ran Gifts in the Challenge in a Mentor shell. Not tutors, no Will. Just value. I ended up with a 3 to 1 split of JVP vs Tiago, but would run 3 to 2 next time. It's just good to have options.


  • TMD Supporter

    @ChubbyRain

    Ya and it actually works to Gifts' benefit to have all these great restricted cards like Gush, DTT, Cruise, etc.

    Gush, Jace TMS, Drain, Ancestral/Demonic/Scroll is one of my favorite value Gifts piles so when you add cards like DTT to the mix there are a lot of options.



  • By Force
    Time Walk
    Demonic Tutor
    Gifts Ungiven

    He would probably give Gifts and Time Walk, in which case Gifts for:

    By Force
    Hurkyl's Recall
    Jace, Vryn
    Yawgmoth's Will

    He'll have to give you By Force and Hurk's, at which point you destroy his board, take another turn and play Dig through Time in peace with Hurkyl's in hand. If he chooses anything wrong, he loses to Will.



  • @brianpk80 That is exactly the same mindset I had with mine.



  • Off topic but...isn't this the point in a thread nowadays where a shops player is supposed to step in and say "I'm so glad to see the gush restriction is functioning like it was intended" ?? ;-)

    Kidding aside. Three cheers for good old gifts piles!


  • TMD Supporter

    This post is deleted!

  • TMD Supporter

    So I've been streaming and recording most of my matches with Gifts Ungiven, and I just wanted to point out my last match on twitch might be beneficial to those new to the card.

    In match 4, game 1 against Workshops my opening hand was: Undergound Sea, Jet, Pearl, Lotus Petal, Mana Drain, Gifts Ungiven, Gifts Ungiven

    I Drained his Lodestone Golem and proceeded to resolve two mainphase Gifts that effectively ended the game. If you'd like to see how check my video @ 02:11:42 I spent so much time thinking and talking it out that I timed out in game 3 despite having the deterministic win in hand. (Apologies for the crackling in the mic, I realize now thats because my mic is getting hit by my fan)

    https://www.twitch.tv/videos/149597980

    I drew Ruby for the turn and made this pile:

    Yawgmoth's Will
    Ancestral Recall
    Black Lotus
    Tolarian Academy

    If he gives me Will and Ancestral, then I cast Will, replay Black Lotus, Lotus Petal, and Tolarian Academy and pass the turn with Ancestral and Gifts ready to fire. This choice would actually give him a chance to remain in the game, but it's obvious why someone without perfect information wouldn't make this choice. If he gives me Will and Lotus, then I cast my second Gifts to fill up yard and win on the spot with Will. If he gives me Ancestral and Lotus, then I cast Ancestral and the 2nd Gifts.

    He gave me Black Lotus and Tolarian Academy. So then I cast my second Gifts for:

    Yawgmoth's Bargain
    Snapcaster Mage
    Hurkyl's Recall
    Demonic Tutor

    As you can see, his best choice now is to give me Yawgmoth's Bargan and put Snapcaster in the graveyard. Demonic and Hurkyl's would give me a lethal Tendrils at this point. So he gave me Demonic and Bargain. I could have cast Bargain with 1 mana leftover, but instead I chose to Demonic for Time Walk and just cast that. And then on Time Walk turn, cast Bargain with plenty of mana to do what I needed to do to get JVP online with counter backup for whatever he could play.



  • Thanks for sharing the video with us.

    While watching, I was talking out, predicting the piles you would/should put together. I haven't played with Gifts Ungiven in a long time except for a stint where I played a Thought-Knot Seer Gifts Ungiven deck not long ago. It had more deterministic Gifts piles though as it sought to assemble Vault/Key and not lethal Tendrils of Agony piles. It's an incredibly complicated card that rewards very sharp play and a keen knowledge of one's deck and board state. I had forgotten how difficult of a card it is. I do miss the days of Fact or Fiction and Gifts Ungiven piles.

    I found myself thinking out different lines than you did. Would they have changed the outcome of the game? No idea. I recall playing Gifts in its heyday and remember committing several piles to memory for common game states. A common one that I don't recall you talking out is the triple tutor and flashback spell pile (MT, VT, DT, Snap) during an end step Gifts in search of Yawgmoth's Will.


  • TMD Supporter

    So with everyone complaining about the metagame, I just feel the need to point out that over the last 4 large events I played Gifts in (3 Vintage Challenges and NYSE) Gifts has a 65% match win percentage against the field, which makes it the best performing deck in the metagame. 2 deck format? The facts don't support the theory...



  • @desolutionist said in The Situation Room: Gifts Ungiven:

    So with everyone complaining about the metagame, I just feel the need to point out that over the last 4 large events I played Gifts in (3 Vintage Challenges and NYSE) Gifts has a 65% match win percentage against the field, which makes it the best performing deck in the metagame. 2 deck format? The facts don't support the theory...

    How large is the sample?



  • @desolutionist could also mean you are just good and could win with anything. I hope you are right but it will take more people succeeding with it before what you said is true.



  • @desolutionist You're probably best off pulling a @Pokey and just earning prizes 20 tournaments in a row with nearly identical lists until someone a year from now finally switches decks and becomes pilot #2.



  • @mickey.nobilis I could totally be pilot #2 again!


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to The Mana Drain was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.