[XLN] Sorcerous Spyglass
@fsecco maybe Shop players have been missing out on Probe.
I messed around with it for awhile, better than I expected, but not elite. It obviously worked much better when you could play x4 Cotv (made the blind zero or 1 call a lot easier, and sequencing) and back then shops decks hadn't committed to playing 8 spheres. A novelty, but too many things working against it (turning on MM, dissynergy with ancient tomb damage, spheres, or your own cotv at 1, etc).
It's interaction with chalice of the void is certainly worth mentioning.
@gkraigher oh for sure. Change any card in my example hand for a Chalice and it would be great too.
I've been playing one in my Oath list and I love it. Combo oriented blue really wants the information because sometimes you go all in on a line and if it blows up in your face you're down multiple cards. This helps offset the loss of Probe. And importantly, it shuts down things present in the metagame that were not as problematic in 2015--Ravager (can prevent Oathing and do lethal right over Griselbrand's horns), Ballista (can kill you despite successful Oath activation and prevent it), Dack Fayden (annoying way for Delver decks to eschew the Oath threat until they have massive advantage), Bazaar of Baghdad, Mishra's Factory, Karakas, Dark Depths, Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Oath has more unique issues with Jace than other decks because the bounce ability is a drastic reversal of fortunate compared to say "bounce your Pyromancer." It also has unique issues v. Factory since that is a method opponents use to kill you when you have the Druids but not the Orchard. Oath is also more open to attacks from Wasteland due to the Orchard, and as an added bonus to this card's existence, it's the least affected blue deck out there since its mana base has the lowest # of fetches.
I played it some with a Dark Depths Shops build. I was very happy to have it in my opening hand vs. Dredge, and also happy to have it vs. Dack or combo, or in my opener on the play vs other decks. At a minimum, it should replace the Tormod's Crypts in the sideboard for any Shops player, and possibly it replaces a Cage as well. I would bring it in vs. any blue deck on the play.
@serracollector I like the idea of being able to name bazaar with it...
That hand could've easily been Foundry + Sphere, right? Put pressure on the table. I played Spyglass first though. Saw a hand with 1 Volc and 1 Black Lotus as mana. Named a random fetch (Tarn) and played Revoker on Lotus. He never got back in the game.
Was that even better though? If you open with Foundry+Sphere, your opponent's turn 1 is Volc->Lotus ... your Turn 2 is Revoker->Lotus, Ravager, so you end up in the same situation with more power on the board, a Spyglass (or alternative card) still in hand for later, and that line stops him from drawing a one-drop removal spell on his first turn.
I haven't played a ton with Spyglass, but when I have I've found it disappointing as a turn one play. There are hands that t1 Spyglass beats, but I think there are more hands that fold to a Sphere (at least one of my losses was when I played t1 Spyglass shutting off THREE fetchlands in my opponent's hand, and he easily beat me with a 1 drop).
Of course, Shops doesn't have as many Spheres as it used to, and you don't always have that choice. I'm still very interested in Spyglass as a generally useful card that happens to be great against Dredge and Eldrazi (I personally find Displacer to be gigantic in that matchup).
@brass-man Yeah Spyglass is only in high consideration because of the lack of other prison tools. If we could play with 4 Thorn or 4 CotV or 4 Golem, I think they'd be less playable. There's still the question of Spyglass x Tangle Wire, which I'm not sure how to go.
The thing about your play is that you open yourself to Mana Drain, Abrade or any other 2 mana answer (even things like Pyromancer or Oath I guess). But what you got wrong about my play is that I could've played Sphere if I wanted. Spyglass led to a Revoker OR Sphere follow up, so I chose the Revoker because I felt is restrained more their initial mana and allowed me to play more cards next turn (I didn't have more mana). It wasn't Spyglass, in that case, that was played instead of Sphere, but Revoker. So yeah, the discussion if Revoker was a better follow up than Sphere is there to be made, but that doesn't change what Spyglass did that game.
My thoughts about this card got deleted in the fallout of the "diversity" thread, but I still think it's worth discussing. These types of cards are almost always overestimated - people focus on the best case scenarios without weighing the incidence of those scenarios occurring. I was...skeptical that Sorcerous Spyglass would be any sort of significant improvement over Pithing Needle, especially as a maindeck card. The problem is that even if you hit something in your opponent's hand, odds are that the card won't be critical. And if it's not critical, the card just simply isn't worth the loss of tempo.
Take a match I played yesterday as an example. My opponent was testing a Stax build with multiple Spyglasses. He had a turn 1 Spyglass 3 games in a row. In the first game, he cast it on the play, whiffed on cards in my hand, and named Time Vault, a card that wasn't in this build of the deck. The second game on the draw he named Library of Alexandria after I played several Moxen and a fetchland (which I cracked in response). It was the only nameable card in play or hand and it ended up being irrelevant - I had 3 cards in hand and just stormed off. Game 3, on the play he hits my Flooded Strand on turn 1. My hand had other mana sources, so I save my Force. Naturally, I rip my second (and only other) Flooded Strand off the top. This actually changed my line - I was going to pitch the first Strand to Thirst for Knowledge but ended up just playing my other lands and moxen to Repeal and bounce the Spyglass, cracking both Strands in that window. He manages to land Null Rod and his replayed Spyglass whiffs on cards in play or hand. He blind names Delta (my deck is UB), and naturally the next card off the top was Polluted Delta. Even that doesn't matter...I chain Thirsts into a Hurkyl's Recall and simply bounce the Rod and Spyglass to my opponent's hand. I cracked the Delta out of spite and then proceed to combo off.
To tally that up, that was 3 turn 1 Spyglasses, 2 on the play, and a recast. 3 of them "hit", one was a complete whiff. Of the other "hits", 2 were completely irrelevant, 1 was somewhere between irrelevant and mildly inconvenient. I would argue that in all cases, the Spyglass would have been much better as another card - Tangle Wire would have been more disruptive, whichever filler creature you wanted to cram in (Overseer, Hangarback Walker, Cruiser, Chief) would have provided more of a clock. Yes, this is anecdotal evidence. Yes, it is a small sample size. I have played several other matches against Spyglass with similar results, but even then the caveats apply. I'm curious, do those that seem high on Spyglass have significant testing to back up their assertions?
@ribby - this was part of my response in the deleted thread. I would clarify that by "failure rate" I mean not having a significant impact on the outcome of the game, not simply hitting a card off of the peek.
@chubbyrain I definitely didn't test enough with the card. I'm actually not claiming it's that good. I just think it deserves extensive testing from experienced Shops players. And well, maybe it's not even it's time to shine, since Shops these days are much more aggro than prison.
I played 2 copies in my sideboard in the Vintage Challenge today to test it and wew lad did this card feel bad. I tried bringing it in against some blue decks as was suggested earlier in the thread and just never had any decent names. Shutting down some random artifact or Deathrite Shaman or whatever is nice, but it's not worth it because it doesn't actually hose them. They can play a perfectly normal game without any one card.
Also it got cast against me in a shops mirror and was not good for my opponent even though he caught multiple Ballistas this way. I can still cast them as random creatures, and they're still relevant in combat even if they can't shoot.
I think this card is much narrower than has been suggested here. I think it's fine pretty much only where Needle is fine - e.g. against turbo-depths or Dredge, but that's about it.
I really want to quote myself right now, but I won't.
I really want to quote myself right now, but I won't.
OK! Then I will.
this card is shit.
Although unbounded optimism about Spyglass isn't right, this isn't right either. The card is not "shit" if only because it's a Pithing Needle. Needle is a playable sideboard card, and this might be better in that role since it gets through Misstep.
I do think it is better than needle and not only because of MM. The peek effect really does make it valuable in some specific circumstances, the problem is, I think people were hoping it would stand in for thorn, and it isn't that good. I still think it is playable, and possibly even maindeck-able in some number (naming a planeswalker, or fetch as a pseudo wasteland is not SO bad) that gaining a couple slots in the sideboard that don't have to be dedicated to dredge I think makes it a decent card.