Dack Fayden - is he a main deck solution anymore?
Is Dack Fayden still good main deck? I have noticed that since Walking Ballista has entered the shop deck that Dack Fayden is way less good. The shop deck already had Phyrexia Revoker and the Walking Ballista added one more out against Dack Fayden. The Arcbound Ravager already posed a challenge since they could sacrifice in response you attempting to take control of anything. The ability to draw 2 card and discard 2 cards is not very good since you want to play your cards not just pitch and filter. Abrade appears to be a cheaper and better solution since it works against Mentor and Delver. I have started cutting Dack from my main deck and I think my decks are performing better. I'd like to know if this is the way Vintage is progressing now.
With Gush gone, dack has lost power. Enough to not be used? IMO no.
Is Dack Fayden still good main deck?
The shop deck already had Phyrexia Revoker and the Walking Ballista added one more out against Dack Fayden. The Arcbound Ravager already posed a challenge since they could sacrifice in response you attempting to take control of anything.
A counter for something does not necessarily make that thing bad. Against workshops, you're simply not likely to use the -2 ability. That's fine. The +1 ability is arguably stronger in this matchup as you're likely to have some really dead cards (eg Mental Misstep) and there's a good chance you'll be wanting to loot for mana sources.
The ability to draw 2 card and discard 2 cards is not very good since you want to play your cards not just pitch and filter.
- There are many cards that may be bad at a given point in the game. Trading those cards for better cards is a high-value play.
- Some of the best card selection in the format is Delve spells. Combined with point 1, you are potentially trading dead or low value cards to help cast some of the most powerful spells in the deck.
Abrade appears to be a cheaper and better solution since it works against Mentor and Delver. I have started cutting Dack from my main deck and I think my decks are performing better. I'd like to know if this is the way Vintage is progressing now.
The question you asked in your title is not actually asked in the body. IE, "Is Dack a main deck solution any more?" I don't believe the primary reason for playing Dack was ever his artifact-stealing ability. Abrade goes in with Dack; not instead.
@thecravenone I see your point in the filtering through dead cards but in all honestly there is not much room for dead cards these days. I am looking at the meta game on paper and you play against a lot of Eldrazi and Dredge and on the other end I get play against fully powered Mentor and Shop decks where Dack never works to help me win the game. Dack has helped me win against combo and some control match ups but currently he has become a liability instead of asset based on my last few paper tournaments. I'm not sure about online but in paper is he not effective since gush and probe are gone.
@moorebrother1 I don't believe that your initial synopsis of the shops archetype as unfriendly to Dack is limited to him. Ballista, Revoker and Ravager are equally good against Jace or any other planeswalker for that matter.
I'm still a big fan of Dack, but I agree that Ballista and the Gush restriction has made him worse (He was already worse than he was before Arcbound Ravager got so popular).
I do love him in non-Workshop matchups though, and I still think it's a powerful tool against Shops decks if you're already running a reasonable amount of removal. If you're NOT already running a ton of removal, I'm not surprised to see the matchup improve with Abrade.
With 4 Gush and 0 Ballista I considered Dack a "must-run", and now I don't. I wouldn't splash red just to run it anymore, and I wouldn't run it if I felt I was already crowed at 3-cost spells ... but I'm still pretty happy with the card.
@thecravenone I see your point in the filtering through dead cards but in all honestly there is not much room for dead cards these days.
It's not a matter of room. I'm not building my deck with the intention of playing dead cards. Rather, cards lose value due to various situations and dack helps me clear them. For example, with most "Gush" decks, you don't need a whole lot of land. Land draws after the first few are low value and Dack turns those into usable cards.
The nice thing is if your playing Dack you can probably support the other red artifact hate.
It's not a matter of room. I'm not building my deck with the intention of playing dead cards.
Another take: I actually do build decks with the intention of playing dead cards – not always, but sometimes. I think it's an misunderstood/underutilized deckbuilding strategy.
Over the course of a game, you want to draw, on average, better cards than your opponent does. Of course, drawing a dead card is going to hurt your chances – but not every deck has the same 1/60 odds of drawing a given card. The more deck manipulation you run, the more control you have over the distribution of cards you draw.
Let's say you're comparing the option of running 2 Abrade, or 1 Sulfur Elemental and 1 By Force. By Force is a card that's great against Shops and bad against Mentor. Sulfur Elemental is the opposite. Abrade is a card that is great against neither, but okay against both (you might disagree with those evaluations, but I'm sure you can imagine a similar scenario with 3 different cards).
So when do you want to have 2 Abrade vs 1 Elemental/1 By Force in your library?
- If you have no control over your draws, you have double the chance of getting a useful card by running 2 Abrades.
- If you have absolute control over your draws, you're much better off drawing the specialty card and just ignoring the dead card
Of course no deck has absolute control over all of their draws, but you get the idea. The more control you have over your draws, the more your average drawn card quality goes up when you run more specialized effects.
Focusing on consistency has its own benefits, but running lots of cantrips and looting and tutors alongside more conditionally valuable cards is a totally valid deckbuilding strategy
Dack is still a good card imo.. Like if you are playing vs blue and it lands trust me you are really ahead. You will be stealing a mox as soon as it hits and thats HUGE. Even if he dies afterwards if it was a sapphire thats GROSS. And if it was an off color moxen and they had to bolt it abrade it w.e is still worth. Pure ca . and if he survives and gets you to filter 2 cards next turn thats virtual ca in a deck with delve plus discarding those blanks in your hand and drawing 2 more cards is good. Dack is just a very good pw imo. And thats in the mus where he dsnt shines. Playing shops? Of course im not dropping him into a ballista and tryng to steal a sphere... Thats a extreme but i want to make the point.. You play him carefuly. Along with other hate pieces. And the oppo has to have an answer... You say it might not be good bc of ravager ballista revoker. I say shops players HAD to play those cards to stay competitive. It dsnt make dack bad at all. They have to have those cards to NOT lose. Id keep playing at leats 1 maindeck dack in any blue red deck with dtt and or cruise. I actually run 2 in my lists that support him but maybe just bc i love him so much.
Boy, I'm a little surprised to hear that people are down on Dack. I find him to be terrific against both Mentor mirror and Shops.
Against brown, no matter what you play (Krosan Grip?) they can always respond to anything you do by sacing with Ravager, or unloading damage with Balista. That's just the nature of the game. So if you're used to Dack being game over the way it once was against a Lodestone, well... he's not that.
But he is viable removal against a deck that you just need a bunch of removal against. If they play Dack into a Ballista... lets say, then yeah, they just dump all the counters on you and Dack in response. But that's exactly how you beat that deck. You have drawing cards and they don't. So if you can just 1 for 1 removal them until they are out of cards and resolve any drawing spell and get ahead, you will likely win. So stocking up removal and hate is great, and Dack counts. Toss in some Swords, some By Force, a dash of Stony Silence and you will hit a critical mass of hate that can carry the day. And where stuff like By Force might be great against Shops while bad against the rest of the meta, Dack is just live against nearly everything. I really love this card.