Two Card Monte


  • TMD Supporter

    I played this deck once. A few weeks ago. It was a horrible experience.

    ...

    Horrible, as in... Damn you, Ben... I don't want to play another deck for champs. It was too majestic.



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    I play an alternative version called Deuces Wild. It sheds some of the cards that you don't want multiples of for a slightly more consistent mana base. It's also worth more than many other decks you can put together unless you own 40 beta duals like me. So if you're concerned about winning the value fight it might be up your alley.

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    Sample Sideboard:

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    This version cuts a land from @Shaman-Ben s version but maybe gets stoned by Null Rod a bit less (Chromatic static ability still works) in exchange for being able to more reliably cast Leyline of the Void (and other cards).

    I'm also playing Misstep instead of Defense Grid because Misstep is Phyrexian Cancer. Having to invest a main phase mana in a Grindstone only to have my opponent wake up from a snooze, flick a booger out of their nose and make the pro move of Misstepping it is too much for me to bear. So I Misstep the Misstep. Sometimes I even Misstep the Misstep that Misstepped my Misstep. It's thrilling and skill intense.

    I also strip Helms because I don't have skills with it. @JACO reliably hits good creatures that let him win when he YOLO helms. For me its always suboptimal Millstone. I'd rather Tutor for it than fan out triple Helm openers.

    Having a bot that Dack can't steal that ignores Grudge, The Abrade and Chewer is pretty good. He's also very castable when I'm riding on all that chrome(atic lantern). He gets plowed, but Painter gets Plowed alot and I can always enter into the sub game of who has more Missteps.

    There are some bad cards like Time Walk, not too impressive in this deck that I can get behind cutting. After having Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast go Event Horizon on me numerous times I think a couple of them might be a good addition in this version which excels at making colored mana.

    I'll try to become a better person and learn how to Markup a decklist, that being said pictures are worth thousands of words (and thousands of dollars when your deck is pimped like mine).

    I have a sample sideboard here. I like Witchbane as a catch all, ironically it's decent in the mirror. Stops Hurkyl's, Storm has to deal with it or Empty. Also if Curse Mid Range is big at your store it's a beating. They could well be Defense Grids as well. I have some Grudges and Chewers for shops, Traps for triggering people, Chains for Blue Stew, Virulent Plague is Oath and Mentor hate but probably only on the Draw. I think this deck, like most Shop decks, is one where you are really adjusting your board depending on if you are on the play. I play Jester's Cap because I'm a fucking gangster. Many millenials don't know how it feels to get capped, it's fun to violate the privacy of their libraries and pull all their Oath men for example.




  • TMD Supporter

    @wiley I appreciate the list as well. I browse TMD at work and have to scroll past pictures to stay covert about it.


  • TMD Supporter

    Wow, that list looks great, and those are some NICE Cities!



  • Demonic Consultation also much more exciting when you have less 4 of's. I'm also running Balance. To me the card is such a savaging in a deck playing Leylines. You can reliably get your hand pretty low on the play between fast mana and a Leyline and Balance just becomes an atomic elbow. Of course its also fantastic as a wrath-a-geddon also.

    City of Brass rules. Any game I lose where I have City of Brass out I actually win. I have 2 full sets of altered ones and it depends on my mood. One set are all just fucking Necropotence variations. The set depicted here is a bit more eclectic reflecting some of Tedin's god like work. Orb, Drain, Lord of the Pit and Juzam.


  • TMD Supporter

    @nedleeds said in Two Card Monte:

    I'm also running Balance. To me the card is such a savaging in a deck playing Leylines. You can reliably get your hand pretty low on the play between fast mana and a Leyline and Balance just becomes an atomic elbow. Of course its also fantastic as a wrath-a-geddon also.

    Can confirm, @Shaman-Ben has blown me out multiple times with Balance, sometimes on turn 1.


  • TMD Supporter

    @cutlex said in Two Card Monte:

    @nedleeds said in Two Card Monte:

    I'm also running Balance. To me the card is such a savaging in a deck playing Leylines. You can reliably get your hand pretty low on the play between fast mana and a Leyline and Balance just becomes an atomic elbow. Of course its also fantastic as a wrath-a-geddon also.

    Can confirm, @Shaman-Ben has blown me out multiple times with Balance, sometimes on turn 1.

    @Shaman-Ben is my hero for deck building. :D



  • @mdkubiak I didnt really do all that much. My build is customized to the way I like to jam magic, based on what was out there, cut into pieces, and stitched back together to resemble my likeness.



  • I love this deck. I love this thread.



  • I have no poetic words to offer, nor pictographs. Just hazardous technology, which the FAA never ceases to let go unmolested every time I travel through airport security.

    I have played tons of different versions of 2 Card Monte over the years, including at the past couple Vintage Championships, and done pretty well with it in general. One of the issues I would run in to when piloting the deck was the fact that if your couple threats got countered, you would often just get outdrawn by the blue decks, or planeswalkers. This was an ongoing issue no matter what I tried. Because of this, I have played Dark Confidant in most versions I have played in tournaments (going back to 2011 even) , as another bomb to play on turn 1, and as another draw mechanism to pull even with the blue decks. I am not a fan of the Draw 7s in here, because if you can't muster the mana to cast both that and your kill condition(s), and activate them in the same turn, it will most often result in your own demise when your opponent untaps with mana in play (and a fresh full hand). I have sideboarded in Timetwister from to time, as another weapon against Dredge. Memory Jar floats in and out of my builds, and with the abundance of delve spells the past 2 years has been mostly out, but will probably make its way back in.

    Unlike Ben, I still love Goblin Welder in this deck. Missteps abound, but Welder has immense synergy with your own Grindstones (Grind yourself, then Weld back in a relevant card, often for the win), and in most of my recent versions, with Dack Fayden and/or Bazaar of Baghdad. It also lets you play through decks packing tons of countermagic. I played something like this at Vintage Champs 2016:

    I used to play multiple Ancient Grudges main, but found that Daretti proved much more beneficial at dealing with hate coming from different angles, and dealing with the Workshop and Eldrazi menace over the past year. Daretti is harder to cast, but you can definitely retool your manabase to accomplish whatever you want with this deck (hence my 3 Workshops, and multiple Urborgs currently). I have a love/hate relationship with Mox Opal (mostly hate), so it's sitting back on the shelf for now.

    Over the years I have tried everything from Kuldotha Forgemaster, to Chromatic Lantern, to Thoughtseize, to Notion Thief, to Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas (which is slow, but actually very interesting for the effects it provides, and problems it solves). I have tried versions utilizing lots of pitch counters (aka Pitch Monte). I have tried Oath of Druids variants (both main and sideboard). So there is definitely a lot of room for innovation and latitude in design, depending on what you're trying to combat in the metagame.

    I think the next version I am going to build around will probably incorporate an angle of attack using Dark Depths. I have tested this before, but never found a variant I thought was consistent enough. But I think it's probably possible with enough testing and tuning to get a very competitive version. Now that Solemnity has been printed, I think this offers some real potential (especially as yet another tool against the most popular individual deck currently - Workshop Aggro).



  • @jaco

    Do you feel that Dark Confidant is still worth it given the ubiquity of Walking Ballista?



  • @senor_bisquick said in Two Card Monte:

    @jaco

    Do you feel that Dark Confidant is still worth it given the ubiquity of Walking Ballista?

    Dredge and Workshops have been the easiest matchups for this deck, including the current metagame. So I'm not really worried about Confidant dying to Ballista (as does Welder). This means they A) have to have Ballista in hand (or draw in to it immediately), and B) take a turn off of any other disruption they may have to deal with Confidant. I have tons of cards to help combat the Workshop matchup, as well as appropriate mana to power through Spheres, so I'm not going to sacrifice Confidant when Workshops only amount to 30-40% of the field, and Force of Will decks occupy 60%+. It's just too good everywhere else, and Confidant can easily be sideboarded out against Ballista (or Oath decks).

    Also, regarding Confidant and average converted mana cost (ACMC), in the list above, the total casting cost of the main deck is 79, divided by 60 cards, equals an ACMC of 1.3167 (rounded).


  • TMD Supporter

    I'm fairly new to 2 Card Monte (like, I played it for the first time less than a month ago). I only ever played against @Shaman-Ben's version of the deck.

    One thing I've found interesting is the different builds that are out there. I honestly didn't know there was this much variation in the deck.



  • I started out with @JACO list from 2 years ago, and most of the changes I made initially were for budget reasons and I eventually evolved into the mess I have now because it suits the way I play magic, which is usually heavily inebriated or medicated. I still like to dabble with variants, and had a lot of fun with the list above. Black Daretti is a bad ass motherfucker. The best part about this deck is how many different ways you can play it, how many different things you can do with it, and in the end how awesome it is to exile your opponent's library.

    #BurnLibrariesNotBooks



  • @shaman-ben it's because of Daretti that I had 5 Ensnaring Bridges in play once.



  • Does anyone know anything about the list that was running around a while ago with Oath of Druids? I really want to do a serum powder into Oath thing again.





  • Thats the list I think. I remember it being Josh Potucek who was playing it, but I think that was the event.


  • TMD Supporter

    @john-cox

    @tattoocek would you like to confirm or talk about that list?


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