Oath



  • @topical_island
    So if i'm playing BUG oath would on color moxen + lotus be worth trying?


  • Administrators

    Framing the discussion as 5 Mox vs 0 Mox seems unnecessarily extreme to me. Cantrips are great, and cutting mana for cantrips is a tried and true option. Don't think of things in terms of "4 Preordains means 0 Mox" ... figure out how many mana sources you want, then figure out how many of them NEED to be on-color, and the rest are your Moxes ... maybe that leaves you with 3 or 4. I don't think there's any reason you can't build a functional Oath deck with 3 or 4 Mox. Vintage is pretty slow right now, a turn 2 Oath is still a good play a lot of the time.

    In and of itself, Dack Fayden is a great card, and non-creature advantage-generating permanents like Planeswalkers seem good to me in Oath in general.

    Still, I think there's some things you might not be considering.

    Gush and "The Best Draw Engine in Vintage"

    The reason Delver beat other blue decks wasn't just the low mana count, but the strong synergies between Gush, Dack Fayden, and Delve spells. Delver ran such a low Mox count because it needed to keep its Island count high enough to support 4 Gush.

    Without a steady stream of Gush and Delve spells, Dack Fayden doesn't put you ahead on cards same way it did before.

    So there are a few problems here. Of course many these cards are restricted now, making the whole package worse, but many decks still run them. Gush is problematic for Oath because of the Forbidden Orchards, though some lists run it anyway.

    Oath has a unique problem with spells that draw a bunch of cards - getting stuck with creatures in hand. This is why you'll see a lot of Oath decks with Dig through Time but no Treasure Cruise ... and without Treasure Cruise, Dack Fayden gets a little worse.

    If you're going to be running Dack Faydens, I would imagine it's necessary to run some way of mitigating the damage caused by Dack'ing into creatures. Maybe use something that shuffles, like Emrakul, the Aeons Torn? Personally that's one of my least favorite Oath targets, but it might be necessary.

    Note that the -2 ability on Dack Fayden is just a little worse than it is in a Mentor deck, which leads me to ....

    Where are you trying to position yourself?

    Let's say you could cut mana and make your deck better against blue. That might be true. Is this something you want? The reason Oath Control has made its way to the Decks to Beat page isn't because it's dodging blue decks. (And make no mistake, while there are dozens of Oath variants, only one has really proven itself tier 1 in the metagame right now). Anything involving more Preordains is a worthwhile experiment as far as I'm concerned, but I would be REAL careful that you don't inadvertently kill the Workshop matchup while you're at it.

    tl;dr

    Still ... It's a worthwhile idea, there's just tradeoffs. Keep in mind why this isn't normally done, and what else you'll have to change to do it.



  • @john-cox I would say yes... but more than that, I'd say never believe random yay-hoos like me on forums and test for yourself. I firmly believe testing is king. There are savants among us who seem to be able to close one eye and squint, and discern the true value of a card in Vintage, and the tightness of one build or another... but I am not one of those people (Rich, I'm lookin' at you buddy).

    I suggest using a cockatrice type program to test against known good deck lists... ESPECIALLY if you are running Oath. Since Oath has all this room to metagame with. For example, just imagine your standard Oath list with a ton of Grudges and Dacks... If you want to kill the crap out of Shops with this thing, it can be done...

    But you should do some math on both your metagame, and use a hypergeometric calculator http://stattrek.com/online-calculator/hypergeometric.aspx
    to look at both your good and bad draws. And as you change cards in and out, you can make better decisions about what odds you are really shifting... For example, I run Paradoxical Oath right now... so if I am getting crushed by Null Rod, then maybe I should mainboard a Grudge? What would I take out? Probably a mana rock if the reason I'm putting it in is to hedge against Null Rod? But that has me go down a permanent... Should Grudge be Seal of Primordium then, as crazy as that sounds? Should I take out Sol Ring rather than the Mana Crypt, even though most people would call me nuts, since Sol Ring is a "better card"?

    If you run the math, you tend to get an advantage over all those players who are running stuff because they "like it" or because its a "good card" without thinking about the effect it has in specific likely matchups. And then you still lose to the Rich Shay's of the world, because they are actually wizards. (And Andy... who I've never played against, but who is a really good player even though he'll never admit it.)

    So short answer is yes. Try it.
    Long answer is, test is deeply, and you will almost certainly find a configuration that gives you an edge over the bulk of the field because most people don't test... not really.



  • Is Burning Oath, still viable in the current meta? I notice most people do not mention it as an option.
    List for reference :
    http://tcdecks.net/deck.php?id=10006&iddeck=72924



  • @brass-man

    Im still a fan of life from the loam in oath. It provides lands to discard to dack much like gush used to, and with stripmine or punishing/grove it has other uses. Also gets back orchard and can turn on library after a counter war.


  • TMD Supporter

    @john-cox said in Oath:

    The thinking is that you shore up the blue matches with a more business dense deck. Kind of like what delver did in the 4 gush era.

    You can absolutely play LESS artifact mana, but playing none is a horrible idea.

    One of my best performing Oath lists ran Lotus Petal. Why would I run the "worst" "moxen" in my list? Because the plan was to maximize my broken openings. I ran Lotus Petal, Five Moxen, Lotus, and Mana Crypt (but no Sol Ring!) just to increase the number of turn one Oaths.

    Landstill Oath is a neat deck, and while some folks have done well with it I find that it does not fit my play style. The lowered amount of zero drop mana means that the deck loses one of its biggest threats.



  • Great intro, Brassman. Not only is it well presented but it shows a clear understanding of some of the archetype's subtleties.

    I can contribute the observation that Inferno Titan is in the spotlight because of his broad strength against creatures and particularly token + planeswalker strategies (including the underwhelming but very fashionable "Baby" Jace). He appeared on occasion as a supporting actor in a few "Odd Oath" builds in the past, a few of Josh Potucek's Oathstill lists, and I tested him in a non-Oath deck a few years back with Caverns and Trinket Mages called "Inferno Bomberman." I learned from Dragonlord Salvagers Oath that the particulars of that approach begged the question, "Yes it's good, but what does it lose to?" And the most common answer was Jace, the Mind Sculptor in tandem with Swords to Plowshares. Not the Containment Priest, not combo, not Dredge or other traditionally sketchy weak points for some Oath lists. We could always succesfully force the Oath (since it's relatively easy to resolve compared to most things and because Priests could be Sudden Shocked etc.) but horrifically, this set up could end up losing after activating Oath of Druids multiple times, which is disheartening. The Inferno Titan was a way to make sure that there would always be value even if one of the Titans was dispatched to the farms.

    By contrast, Auriok lists shine more against combo and Dredge. The current iteration of Inferno Oath can handle Dredge by giving it serious attention; Auriok Oath can get away with less hate since Auriok himself is a form of Dredge control (recurring Crypts, Spellbombs etc.) If there is a meta shift towards combo, a lax in the Stony Silence/Null Rod saturation (which we can start to see now), and Dredge rises, Auriok can return. Dromoka will return from Tarkir if/when Xerox and Landstill move from predominantly Tundra based to predominantly Volcanic Island based as they have in the past; she terrorizes Delvers and Bolts cannot halt her majesty but she dislikes farming and the road to exile.

    Other reasons I went with Inferno Titans and the supporting cast v. Auriok are that I wanted a cleaner mana base, I did not want to run Engineered Explosives (weaker v. Delver/Pyro now due to CMC changes and Shops is too aggressive for the old EE @ 2 blowout plays), and at Champs I felt some of the residual paranoia about Paradoxical Outcome would lead to a more Null Rod heavy environment, which it did. This is starting to fade but it's still present.



  • @brass-man
    Hey, the reasoning behind wanting to cut moxen has been to shore up blue control matches since the deck is pretty good every where else. I would use psychatog as a win con with traitor's clutch or defy gravity, to minimize creature chaff. Going -2 moxen -2 creatures +4 preordain would (I think) be pretty good and minimize dead cards against some of the decks to beat.
    I agree with you that changing the deck and losing to the current good matches is a bad idea, especially since thats what makes this deck so great.



  • I just am not feeling Preordain specifically in Oath. There's not an Oath curve that I see Preordain being a great fit in.

    Oath is defined by its marquee two-drop and really appreciates off-color mana.

    Preordain is really best utilized by decks with low curve that will often have a single spare on-color mana on some of the game's critical turns. Either to cast the Preordain, or more importantly to be able to cast the Swords or Pyroblast or second Preordain that you Preordain into.

    In Oath I just see Preordain adding a lot of air. I can't see the upside to Preordaining with your Forbidden Orchard into X with a Mox Pearl open, and no second land in hand. You just waste an entire turn then I think?

    I think any deck that isn't a Xerox variant or an Ancient Tomb variant (where it is easy to use up all your mana every turn) really needs to understand how it will curve out in both Mox and non-Mox situations. Given that the current best decks have fractional mana curves, I would really like to take Oath in a different direction so as to not just become a worse version of something else. Just jam threats, they don't have to be super expensive but they probably should cost more than half a mana.

    I dunno. Maybe I'm crazy. I'm turning my attention to Oath soon and will think through this some more.


  • TMD Supporter

    @ribby said in Oath:

    I just am not feeling Preordain specifically in Oath. There's not an Oath curve that I see Preordain being a great fit in.

    Oath is defined by its marquee two-drop and really appreciates off-color mana.

    Preordain is really best utilized by decks with low curve that will often have a single spare on-color mana on some of the game's critical turns. Either to cast the Preordain, or more importantly to be able to cast the Swords or Pyroblast or second Preordain that you Preordain into.

    In Oath I just see Preordain adding a lot of air. I can't see the upside to Preordaining with your Forbidden Orchard into X with a Mox Pearl open, and no second land in hand. You just waste an entire turn then I think?

    I think any deck that isn't a Xerox variant or an Ancient Tomb variant (where it is easy to use up all your mana every turn) really needs to understand how it will curve out in both Mox and non-Mox situations. Given that the current best decks have fractional mana curves, I would really like to take Oath in a different direction so as to not just become a worse version of something else. Just jam threats, they don't have to be super expensive but they probably should cost more than half a mana.

    I dunno. Maybe I'm crazy. I'm turning my attention to Oath soon and will think through this some more.

    It's about finding the cards you need man. If that doesn't make sense in an Oath deck, where does it ever make sense? In particular the strength of Preordain over the oft-considered more-powerful Ponder expresses itself most coherently in this strategy. Just like Dig Through Time can put valuable cards on the bottom of your library, protecting them from being oath'ed away and giving you a crucial few turns after a nasty amount of self-milling, Preordain puts two cards on bottom quite often with it's scry ability. In contrast, Ponder may leave you needing to shuffle, which can be detrimental. I always play one Brainstorm, and either three or four Preordains, but sometimes one Ponder in place of a single preordain. The shuffling can be nice with Jace, the Mind Sculptor, and that's the only real reason I would prefer it in an Oath deck.


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