The Situation Room: Gifts Ungiven


  • TMD Supporter

    I've been thinking about what you guys were saying with regards to turn one plays and card selection. Today I had the courage to try something to bridge the gap from zero to four mana: Baral, Chief of Compliance.

    My thought was that rather than add more spells to smooth out my draws, I'd rather just ramp into Gifts. (I cut a Gifts for it but was also strongly considering Pyroblast or Mana Vault)

    He didn't come up until round 4 against Rich Shay (on Esper Mentor) and boy was he brilliant!

    In play:

    Baral
    Mox emerald
    Island
    Underground sea
    Volcanic island

    My graveyard:

    Merchant Scroll
    Demonic Tutor
    Mox Pearl
    Hurkyls Recall
    Jace, vryn's prodigy
    Misty Rainforest

    In hand:

    Mindbreak Trap
    mystical Tutor

    So at the end of Rich's turn, I cast Mystical Tutor for Yawgmoth's Will. Because of Baral, this is a lethal Yawg Will turn. (My opponent was only at 14 life and this deals 16 damage)

    Watch it play out here @ 2:18:40 https://www.twitch.tv/videos/156204145

    Honestly it makes me want to try more and with cards like Frantic Search.



  • @desolutionist I never got a chance to do any actual testing with it but had been trying to brew with Baral and Gifts before because he seemed like he'd be a good fit for it, glad to see he did work for you. Is that the only change you made to the list to add him, or have you made additional changes beyond that?



  • Any reason you don't run recoup for an easy, single turn, non-convoluted gifts pile? Recoup, Yawgwill, lotus, Demonic tutor/tendrils. Its a big throwback to the mid-2000's style gifts pile, but it works.



  • @Khahan it doesn't get back Lotus, but if you're going to go that route wouldn't Past In Flames be superior to Recoup in most cases since it can do some work independent of YawgWill?



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

    @Khahan it doesn't get back Lotus, but if you're going to go that route wouldn't Past In Flames be superior to Recoup in most cases since it can do some work independent of YawgWill?

    Past in flames costs 4 with a flashback of 5. Recoup cost 2 with a flashback of 4. If you have yawg will in the pile, I'd rather have recoup. Once YWill resolves, other cards in the yard having flashback is irrelevant. That extra 2 mana (or 1 if the red card goes to the yard with Will) to start the chain could be the difference between going off or not that turn.


  • TMD Supporter

    I'm at work so I can't go really in depth on this at the moment. But I started with Recoup and cut it upon realization that I needed to "fight fire with Fire" by playing better cards like JVP and Snapcaster Mage. If you were to play more recursion I would play more JVP.


  • TMD Supporter

    I've got a juicy one. I couldn't figure this out in the moment, but it was there. At the start of turn 2, my opponent is tapped out and has a Defense Grid in play.

    I've got Mana Crypt and Tolarian Academy in play and draw my card for turn to give me:

    Mox Sapphire, Blightsteel Colossus, Mental Misstep, Snapcaster Mage, Gifts Ungiven, Polluted Delta

    How do I win?
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    think
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    think.

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    I reasoned to cast Gifts with the Delta (Underground Sea), leaving Academy untapped. My Gifts pile was:

    Time Walk
    Ancestral
    Will
    Lotus

    He gave me Lotus, Ancestral

    I play Lotus, tap Academy for UUU and cast Ancestral for Pearl, Sol Ring, Flooded Strand. Play the artifact mana, sacrifice Lotus, and Snapcast Will floating UB.

    Cast Lotus, and Ancestral into JVP, Gifts, Volcanic.

    Sacrifice Lotus and cast Time Walk and JVP.

    Draw Island for turn, and tap Pearl, Sol Ring, Sapphire for Gifts.

    .

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    .think
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    about

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    The deterministic pile here would be:

    Jace, the Mind Sculptor
    Hurkyl's Recall
    Mystical Tutor
    Gush

    Pile: (my mistake)

    Jet
    Demonic
    Mystical
    Scroll

    I needed a third black to be able to cast Tendrils and Demonic. I also needed to cast Hurkyl's to generate storm for Tendrils. This pile was lazy, I didn't think it through. He gave me Demonic and Scroll, which meant that Mystical went to the yard, so I couldn't use the draw from JVP to get the card I would Mystical for.

    With the deterministic pile, if he gives you Jace, Gush:

    Flashback Hurkyls. Cast Jace. Bounce Snapcaster. Replay Snapcaster on Mystical Tutor. Mystical Tutor for Tendrils. Gush to draw.

    If he gives you Jace, Mystical:

    Attack with Snapcaster. Flashback Hurkyls. Cast Mystical for Tendrils. Cast Jace to draw.

    If he gives you Mystical, Gush:

    Attack with Snapcaster. Mystical for Tendrils. Gush to draw. Flashback Hurkyls.

    If he gives your Hurkyl's Recall, Jace:

    Cast Hurkyl's. Cast Jace. Bounce Snapcaster. Snapcast Mystical Tutor. JVP to draw.

    If he gives you Hurkyl's, Mystical:

    Cast Hurkyl's. Mystical for Tendrils. JVP to draw. Flashback Hurkyl's.

    If he gives you Hurkyl's, Gush:

    Attack with Snapcaster. Cast Hurkyl's. Flashback Mystical for Tendrils. Gush to draw.

    the main take away is a failure to identify Jace, TMS as a combo piece with Snapcaster Mage

    At this point, I had to find Lotus Petal. I draw Misty Rainforest with JVP and flip it, discarding Island. I didn't discard BSC because I didn't want to chance drawing it again. I tap Academy and Scroll for Dig through Time. Cast Dig and see: (Storm 3, 1C floating, 2 Underground Seas untapped)

    Lotus Petal
    Mana Vault
    Strand
    Probe
    Gush
    FoW
    JTMS

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    think.

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    I made another mistake here by taking Lotus Petal, Gush. Upon writing this up, I figured out how to win from this point by making another selection:

    What you do here is take Mana Vault and Gush. Cast Mana Vault (storm 4, u floating). Flashback Mystical Tutor (for Tendrils) (storm 5). Float two black with the two Undergrounds and cast Gush (storm 6, BB floating). Cast Demonic for Lotus Petal (storm 7, BCC floating). Cast Lotus Petal (storm 8) and Tendrils for 18. Attack for game with Snapcaster.



  • @desolutionist That was a lot of fun. I was trying to think through the piles with you and I ended up unable to figure out how to generate enough Black mana, but you are more clever than I.


  • TMD Supporter

    @DeaTh-ShiNoBi

    Attempting the thought process is beneficial for getting better with Gifts. On my first attempt with this scenario, it took me 10 minutes to fizzle my combo. I dealt with the same struggle as you. It's easy to dismiss JTMS because of how costly it is; but it's the same as Scrolling for Dig, which is what I did in game.

    I find it very helpful to record my games so that I can come back to situations like this and re-evaluate. It makes my decision making better going forward.


  • TMD Supporter

    So The Atog Lord has gone 4-0 and 3-1, pushing the Baral part of the deck, and while I'm not very comfortable with his list, it just goes to show there's a lot of room for customization and building the deck to suit your personal play style. He's a little overly excited about Baral in my opinion. I prefer to look at Baral as a role player rather than the main focal point, but I admit the Manamorphose combo is powerful! He's playing them over the Lotus Petal and Mana Vault, which is reasonable. I do like Mana Vault though. He's also playing 3rd Baral over Gush, which I highly disagree with. Gush is essential in my opinion. It's both a combo piece and a card advantage play that's great with LoA and Jace.

    edit 7/16/17

    The traditional build of the deck posted two disappointing performances in the Challenge this weekend. A good look at consistency has resulted in a rebuild that is proving to be for the better. Baral and Manamorphose have continued to outperform expectations, so they have stepped into the center stage with the new version.


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