Damping Sphere



  • @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?



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

    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.



  • @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.



  • @smmenen said in Damping Sphere:

    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.

    Well said, pretty much sums up my fears about this card. I have the same opinion regarding Grafdigger's Cage. It was ultimately too successful in influencing Vintage and changed it irrevocably.



  • @desolutionist Oh. I hadn't realized that. Sure, I see where you're coming from then. This card is a good card for Shops to deploy against a Dark Ritual combo deck. Overall, I'm seeing that just under 5% of vintage decks run Dark Ritual. Personally, I next to never see it. But it's out there. I suppose if you have a ton of it in your metagame, that is a concern. As for a broader evaluation of this card, it feels like Shops should not be running it for exactly this reason: the decks that it punishes best are not widely played, and it doesn't really behave as a Sphere against the most commonly played decks. Tempo Blue, Big Blue, Oath. (Dredge is an exception to this list?)

    For whatever it's worth, my prediction is that when the dust settles, this card will be a SB card against Shops for a few decks, and not a mainboard card in Shops. (And it might be a SB for shops in certain metagames... which is a really odd metagame position for a card.)

    BTW: super interesting card! The asemetric effects are very very interesting as you plug them in the metagame. Well done Wizards.



  • @smmenen said in Damping Sphere:

    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.

    Should this be the case with this card, or Graffdiggers honestly, then restriction would at least put it in the trinisphere camp. I would not be shocked if it was restricted since they felt thorn was good enough to get the hammer as well.

    I think the issue with this card is more that it is not a direct hoser like Grafdiggers is, but has relevance in matches it is not specifically optimal in. Grafdiggers is a functionally dead card against a number of decks, where as this has game in many more match ups even if its more of a speed bump then a wall.

    Time will tell i guess, but I would not be shocked to see it eventually get a restriction out of all the cards in this set. That being said I wonder if this card actually hurts workshops, or winds up being an MVP tool for them further powering the land that has been so contentious as of late.

    If this card, which on its face looks to be engineered to be the answer to workshops, has a net positive effect on its match ups as opposed to negative as we all assume it was made for, does that go further towards strengthening the case for a workshops restriction?



  • Is there any way to abuse this in a heavy planeswalker build? Something Jeskai with Jace, Baby Jace, Dack, Narset, new Teferi, etc.? Deathrite also plays well, since it's basically a 1 mana walker... Planeswalkers break the symmetry of one spell per turn (yes, you can play more than 1, but it becomes fairly cost prohibitive), so maybe that's the best way to abuse this?



  • @smmenen I love your discussion on this card. To me, it means cut misstep add this and play Mana Drain.

    Works well in LandStill, StoneBlade, Blue Moon, BUG, and Humans decks. It can work well in a Planeswalker control deck too but this deck will need to tweaked to make this playable.

    Any combo player will need to plan to play against this using Krosan Grip or Abrupt Decay or Hurkly's Recall, maybe Wipe Away.



  • @enderfall said in Damping Sphere:

    Is there any way to abuse this in a heavy planeswalker build? Something Jeskai with Jace, Baby Jace, Dack, Narset, new Teferi, etc.? Deathrite also plays well, since it's basically a 1 mana walker... Planeswalkers break the symmetry of one spell per turn (yes, you can play more than 1, but it becomes fairly cost prohibitive), so maybe that's the best way to abuse this?

    @ChubbyRain had 5-0 success with "Temur Gremin Wranglers" on one of his past broadcasts, a three-color planeswalker deck featuring Chandra, Torch of Defiance. The list can be found here.



  • @hierarchnoble Too bad Chandra has been marginalized by the ridiculous change in the planeswalker rules. I'll have to check out that vid though to see how that deck could have been helped by DS.



  • @enderfall While true, I heard Jace, the Mind Sculptor is pretty good.



  • @enderfall I'd say about 5% of my Chandra activations end up redirected to Walkers. I don't think the card (or Fiery Confluence) is completely neutered. I was playing Chandra as a non-blue card advantage engine and win condition against Pyroblast heavy fields. Her use there is intact, though her flexibility is decreased. That's a different thread though.

    As for Damping Sphere, again I think the card role player and not the format defining card people seem to expect. I am planning on streaming a decklist that includes it tonight.

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  • @chubbyrain Fair enough, maybe "marginalized" was too tough of a word, but we'll see in the long run how significant of a change it is. Looking forward to seeing the stream tonight when I can catch up.



  • @chubbyrain I love this concept.



  • @chubbyrain Yes please, love the brews. Will tune in. Time?
    Also can you not play music, twitch cuts your audio and it really takes away from the stream.



  • I missed the stream: how did this wacky brew go? I'm really critical of Antiquities War (hooray it's a 4 mana planeswalker I can't control) but I'd love to see how this went.



  • I'll talk about other cards in their respective threads, but here are my thoughts on Damping Sphere from last nights stream:

    1. The card played out the way I expected against Shops - that is, if you can cast it on an empty board, it really slows them down by several turns and blunts their top end. If you play it later in the game, it's pretty low impact and often not enough to turn the corner by itself. I addressed this issue by running 4 Hurkyl's Recall between the SB and the main deck, and it was insanely good. Damping Sphere dramatically increases the effectiveness of Hurkyl's Recall in the matchup. Before, you were essentially buying one turn with Hurkyl's Recall in which to combo off or Tinker in a Blightsteel. The Shops deck was explosive enough that they could rebuild after that window. With Damping Sphere, the window extends to several turns as you target both their mana and prevent them from casting multiple spells. They often are left with a conundrum of deploying mana (i.e. moxen), a prison piece, or a threat - they can't do multiples for the most part - and this exposes to counterspells like Force, Drain, and Steel Sabotage. It also allowed Karn and Antiquities War to end the game in that window.

    2. Damping Sphere was actually pretty poor against more controlling versions of PO and Xerox. Xerox just didn't care for the most part - without Gush, Probe, and Mentor, the deck plays out much slower and Damping Sphere has less of an impact. Now, I didn't take full advantage of Sphere - my deck needed more instants to force interaction on the opponent's turn. But as it played out, the opponent would just play out their cantrips and threats on their turn and hold up countermagic on my turn which I couldn't effectively fight because of my own Damping Sphere. PO actually plays out very well against Damping Sphere, which might not be obvious. Yes, Damping Sphere forces the opponent to essentially combo off over several turns, but they are still able to draw a ton of cards on your turn with PO, then replay their moxen on their turn, passing back to you with 1-2 counterspells to stop whatever threats you might cast, at which point they are pretty far ahead.

    The end result is that it's pretty hard to hone in on a good shell that exploits Damping Sphere. You want Hurkyl's Recall to maximize your effectiveness against Shops, a high impact Instant against Xerox (like PO), and a clock against PO that makes use of the turns Damping Sphere is buying you. I think a Drain Tendrils approach might be reasonable for the next attempt, but I expect Damping Sphere starts to see play as a SB card in certain matchups rather than a maindeck card with applications against the rest of the field.



  • One of the things rattling in my brain today is the idea to pair DS with Stasis. It’s probably terrible, as most of my idea usually are.

    Individually they are OK, but as a pair it seems like a pretty hard lock, provided you can continue to exploit Stasis without resorting to jank like Reset, or whatever the more appropriate card might be.

    I’m thinking a control build that is “heavy” on planeswalkers and fast mana. Would likely be RUG or RUGw. Here is a quick draft I thought of:

    {Lock}
    4x Stasis
    3x Damping Sphere (4th would be in the board since its not a particularly great play after first couple of turns)

    {Enablers}
    2x Jace TMS
    2x Kiora the crashing Wave
    1x Karn Scion of Urz
    1x Teferi Hero of Dominaria
    1x Fastbond
    1x Voltaic Key
    1x Time Vault
    2x Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy

    {Draw/filter}
    1x Ancestral Recall
    1X Time Wall
    1x Brainstorm
    1X Ponder
    1x Preordain/Gitaxian Probe

    {Control}
    3x Mana Drain
    1x Flusterstorm
    4x Force of Will
    2x Mental Misstep

    {Mana}
    18x Lands
    1x Chrom Mox
    2x Mox Opal
    6x SoLoMox



  • @enderfall I like this idea. Tezzeret the Seeker plus Seat of Synod is a Statis lock with a built in WinCon.


 

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