Damping Sphere



  • @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.



  • @moorebrother1 said in Damping Sphere:

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

    Excellent idea. Forgotten about that interaction.



  • I've continued to play with Damping Sphere in various PO decks. I've been disappointed in most matchups, but am continuing with the card in my deck as I want to test the Shops matchup more. It just hasn't worked out well against other PO decks and counterspells as they exploit the Sphere to resolve Hurkyls and/or PO. What are other people's impressions of the card in their testing?



  • @chubbyrain Haven't tested in PO shells but in a UW planeswalkers control list and then in a UW Stoneblade list. I've liked DS a lot in both since both lists are geared towards keeping up counters while leveraging advantage from the planeswalkers/stoneforge mystic (i.e by not casting spells). That said, I too am struggling in the PO matchup and I've even boarded out sphere against them in favor of Mindbreak trap and more other counters.



  • Damping Sphere has been insane thus far for me. . . in a Knight of the Reliquary/Thalia Shell, that is. As for folks saying they are trying it in a PO list, why? I use it in Knight Humans to BEAT PO decks so why on earth would THEY want to use it? It shuts off one of the most important cards in their deck in Tolarian Academy. I have a very spicy Knight brew with the card that anyone is welcome to ask me to PM to them, but I'd like to keep the tech under wraps until I crush at a tournament with it.

    -Storm



  • @stormanimagus How outlandish would a strip-lock combo, either with Crucible or Ramunap? Are you running Noble Hierarch? Also, how crazy is a singleton Armageddon in a deck with Damping?



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  • @topical_island I had 1 Ramunap in the list for a while and I ended up finally cutting it. I could see adding 1-2 back to the list but I also only maindeck 1 Strip and 2 Wasteland with a 3rd Wasteland in the sb. The format just isn't that weak to Wasteland anymore and, in particular, the shops deck. Shops used to be extremely weak to Wasteland. . . pre-Foundry Inspector. Foundry Inspector has changed the dynamic significantly in the matchup and made Wasteland more of a tactic than the hammer it once was.



  • Can a judge confirm that this does not remove the artifact spell restriction of Workshop mana?



  • @wappla my judgeship has lapsed but this does not remove the restriction on shop mana; compare contagion contamination, which also keeps all restrictions/riders such as shop, cavern, boseiju, etc



  • @blindtherapy said in Damping Sphere:

    @wappla my judgeship has lapsed but this does not remove the restriction on shop mana; compare contagion, which also keeps all restrictions/riders such as shop, cavern, boseiju, etc

    You meant Contamination, but it's a good way to resolve this.



  • @stormanimagus said in Damping Sphere:

    Damping Sphere has been insane thus far for me. . . in a Knight of the Reliquary/Thalia Shell, that is. As for folks saying they are trying it in a PO list, why? I use it in Knight Humans to BEAT PO decks so why on earth would THEY want to use it? It shuts off one of the most important cards in their deck in Tolarian Academy. I have a very spicy Knight brew with the card that anyone is welcome to ask me to PM to them, but I'd like to keep the tech under wraps until I crush at a tournament with it.

    -Storm

    For the same reason Brian Kelly was running Chalice and 3-Ball in his PO decks... PO breaks the symmetry of the hate pieces as your opponent can't combo through them, but you can bounce them with your own PO and proceed to combo off. It hasn't done enough though.

    If the card is only good in your fringe lists, it doesn't really justify the lofty expectations players have had and fears of a "Grafdigger's Cage" level of influence on the format. I thought this card would be a niche role-player in the format and it seems like that has been the case so far.


 

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