Damping Sphere



  • @fsecco Stops Elves pretty well. Taxes them going off like a sphere, but also locks down their main way to beat a sphere (cradle).



  • @fsecco said in Damping Sphere:

    @maximumcdawg What is it brutal against in Legacy? I think it's pretty much useless there.

    If you can play it turn one it's strong against affinity, tide, belcher, storm, tinfins, few other lists.



  • @protoaddct Yes, it is weird to me as well. I keep thinking, what will this be used for in limited and standard especially since it's uncommon? I don't play limited or standard so I'm not certain that it makes sense to print this card to deal with what we've seen so far. Powerstone Shard and Guilded Lotus don't seem like something that need a hate card, but I don't trust my evaluation of this. Additionally I'm completely lost as to the need for the other part of this card which seems to hate on cantip/storm decks.



  • @chase_dagger said in Damping Sphere:

    @protoaddct Yes, it is weird to me as well. I keep thinking, what will this be used for in limited and standard especially since it's uncommon? I don't play limited or standard so I'm not certain that it makes sense to print this card to deal with what we've seen so far. Powerstone Shard and Guilded Lotus don't seem like something that need a hate card, but I don't trust my evaluation of this. Additionally I'm completely lost as to the need for the other part of this card which seems to hate on cantip/storm decks.

    Powerstone Shard and Guilded Lotus are not affected by this anyway, only land. Right now there is a single land in the set it affects, and relatively small set of cards that it could affect with its second clause, unwind being the one that sticks out to me, warlords fury perhaps in limited.

    Besides the fact that it's a bafflingly blank card in limited, cards of this complexity level and niche use are almost always reserved for rare. This feels like one of two things, either an attempt to forcibly fix the modern and vintage metas, or an attempt to offer a chase uncommon ala divining top or Aether Vial to drive up set sales. Either way I am not in love with them doing it this way.



  • I love this card. Thank you DCI... errrm, I mean Wizards.


  • TMD Supporter

    I saw this card in Facebook and I realized that the best use for it is probably IN workshops. Making your Shop land only tap for 1 isn't that bad of a tradeoff for increased Sphere effects.



  • @desolutionist making shops tap for 1 and making ancient tomb tap for 1 while still dealing 2 damage to you seems pretty bad to me.
    Edit: The taxing effect also doesn't affect the first spell played in a turn. Just at the third spell this taxes more than thorn/sphere, I'm not sure that this is worth crippling your own mananase for. On the other hand, this not affecting the first spell might just be the reason that crippling your mananase is slightly tolerable...I'm not sure, but in shops this mostly seems like self hate to me.



  • @aelien

    Lots of old school Stax lists played rainbow lands or basic mountains over Ancient Tombs. This was before Mox Opal as well.



  • @aelien said in Damping Sphere:

    @desolutionist making shops tap for 1 and making ancient tomb tap for 1 while still dealing 2 damage to you seems pretty bad to me.
    Edit: The taxing effect also doesn't affect the first spell played in a turn. Just at the third spell this taxes more than thorn/sphere, I'm not sure that this is worth crippling your own mananase for. On the other hand, this not affecting the first spell might just be the reason that crippling your mananase is slightly tolerable...I'm not sure, but in shops this mostly seems like self hate to me.

    Shops run CotV even though it hurts them a ton if they don't have moxen out already. The whole point of this really is to slam it down like any other sphere, after you have done what you need to do. If played correctly you still break parity with your opponent because you got your non land sources out first, and if you get it out turn one in the mirror your opponent is most likely dead already. Most of workshops manabase is so low to the ground right now anyway that shops tapping for one almost does not matter once you are past the first turn.

    A sick opener in shops is going to be Workshops, Foundry Inspector, any moxen/sol ring/etc you have, and then any sphere, including this. This is actually the best sphere you can play when you are ahead in the mirror by quite a bit, because by itself it stops them from generating multiple mana and basically stops them from having any chance of getting inspector online and digging out from behind your taxing effects. In many ways this is a turn one win for shops that just maybe does not manifest until a few turns later and makes the coinflippy nature of the deck even worse.

    All that said, I am inclined to believe that shops will not run a full compliment of them in the main. Probably 2-3 maindeck is the correct number because of the lists this does not affect (dredge and oath come to mind) and then the rest in the board for decks with storm components. Mox opal is def going up in value for shops, and I would not be surprised to see eldrazi get a bump just because of how good this plays in a deck with cost reduction instead of moxen and null rod.



  • @tittliewinks22 @Protoaddct Those are all fringe decks at best. You're not cutting good stuff like Flusterstorm or whatever to put in Damping Sphere. And if you're playing any deck that can play this turn 1 (Eldrazi or monoRed or MUD) you're not cutting Thorn of Amethyst or other more broad hate for this. Specially because it's very easy to circumvent that by playing only 1 spell per turn until you have an answer (cantrips, discard, instants). 🙂



  • @fsecco said in Damping Sphere:

    @tittliewinks22 @Protoaddct Those are all fringe decks at best. You're not cutting good stuff like Flusterstorm or whatever to put in Damping Sphere. And if you're playing any deck that can play this turn 1 (Eldrazi or monoRed or MUD) you're not cutting Thorn of Amethyst or other more broad hate for this. Specially because it's very easy to circumvent that by playing only 1 spell per turn until you have an answer (cantrips, discard, instants). 🙂

    I'm not quite sure I understand you. I never said people would drop the other sphere for this, I suspect instead they will take the slots that the now restricted thorn once sat in.

    As for non shops lists playing this, pretty much any deck in vintage outside of dredge has enough fast mana to play this. I don't think it's fantastic in all of them, but if those lists are looking for something that hates on both storm and shops and they are not hurt by this I fail to see how this is not the go to sideboard option. That it is colorless is a huge boon to some of those lists.



  • @protoaddct We were talking about Legacy though. Sorry I forgot to quote.

    @tittliewinks22 said in Damping Sphere:

    @fsecco Stops Elves pretty well. Taxes them going off like a sphere, but also locks down their main way to beat a sphere (cradle).

    @protoaddct said in Damping Sphere:

    @fsecco said in Damping Sphere:

    @maximumcdawg What is it brutal against in Legacy? I think it's pretty much useless there.

    If you can play it turn one it's strong against affinity, tide, belcher, storm, tinfins, few other lists.



  • @desolutionist I agree with your premise. I'm not sure that's the effect of this card:

    This only hits the second spell. It's pretty hard to play multiple spells against shops as it is. I grant you, it would nerf opposing Moxen pretty good. Maybe that is huge... Idk.

    I will say, that when I beat Shops, it's usually because I got there on mana to drop that one backbreaking spell (Be it Hurkyls or Enery Flux or something else... Oath) And when I lose, it's usually because I never got there (ARGH... one mana short. SO frustrating.) Rarely do I lose because I couldn't cast a second spell. (I don't often play Xerox though... So in that case you might be/are likely right.)

    For example. If I were holding a normalish, opening Oath hand (I play Oath like 90% of the time) that included a Fetch + Force + Preordain, and an opponent on the play dropped Workshop into Damping Sphere. I would snap resolve this onto the board. It doesn't even prevent me from Forcing something else. And on my turn, I can play preordain fetching basic, and (assuming there is another blue card somewhere) I can still have Force up again on their turn. If I need to drop Oath or Hurk, this doesn't stop me from doing that. Heck, if it's Hurk, then I can play a spell on my turn, then Hurk them on their turn and Damping Sphere does nothing.

    Again - I totally agree with your statement that turning off Workshops extra mana is worth it for an extra sphere. I just don't think that this thing really counts as an extra sphere in most cases.



  • The only way I see this being played is that if a deck (perhaps Workshops) needs to dedicate more slots to proactivelly attack Storm/PO. This hurts Shops less than Null Rod does in their SB, for example.



  • @fsecco That's a false equivalence I think. Shops simply cannot run null rod while it can run this, and there are many decks in the same situation.

    I also don't agree that null rod hurts shops more or less, I think it is completely build contingent. Sphere hurts Inspector far more than rod for instance. Resolved lodestone just may not care either way, etc. I think you can run either or neither and completely justify it in many decks.


  • TMD Supporter

    @topical_island

    Yeah though one thing I’ve noticed about new shops while playing Storm is often they just want to play a Foundry Inspector and a Ravager on turn one. And then I can just play Ritual, Ritual, Demonic, etc. So I would say this new Sphere could help the Shops deck against Storm.



  • @protoaddct I'm talking about the current Ravager Shops. Null Rod is a problem card for it. Some builds use Rods on the SB to combat Storm/PO, and this is probably better than Rod for that.



  • @desolutionist You are for sure right. This is a decent card for Shops against Paradoxical (Would you main board it? If not, would you really bring it in against them when they are almost certainly bringing in Hurk? in G2 and G3?) Is there something better to bring in against them? I honestly don't know the match-up that well. Doesn't Shops just own it anyway?


  • TMD Supporter

    If this card sees any decent amount of play, it will certainly undermine the case for restricting Mental Misstep 😛

    It can't be Misstepped, and makes Misstep wars much more difficult to sustain.

    Kevin and I spent a good amount of time on this card in our podcast recording. It's clear that this card has lots of Vintage potential, given that it directly affects the three most prevalent strategic approaches in the format, Shops, PO, and Xerox decks, which are spell dense.

    But, I'm also not particularly thrilled with cards designed in this manner. Like Grafdigger's Cage, I feel that cards of this type or class may inadvertently have too much influence on the format, and tend to bend the format away from powerful strategies and tactics that make Vintage appealing and fun. Making Vintage "fair" does not necessarily make it better.

    Damping Sphere may well live up to it's name, and be a big party pooper.


  • TMD Supporter

    @topical_island said in Damping Sphere:

    @desolutionist You are for sure right. This is a decent card for Shops against Paradoxical (Would you main board it? If not, would you really bring it in against them when they are almost certainly bringing in Hurk? in G2 and G3?) Is there something better to bring in against them? I honestly don't know the match-up that well. Doesn't Shops just own it anyway?

    I'm not talking about Paradoxical, I'm talking about Dark Ritual -> Dark Petition, a deck that naturally takes advantage of the current softness of Shops prison. The only relevant cards Shops has in that matchup are Sphere effects; and 6 isn't enough to always have one.


 

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