Shops post Lodestone Restriction



  • Hi Team,

    I'm trying to brew some ideas now that Lodestone is on the list. I guess the first question is, can shops compete without Lodestone? I think yes, but that's really just a working assumption, if I'm wrong then that's that. Second, assuming the answer to number one, what does that competitive deck look like.

    I think we have four pathways: Forgemaster, Ravager, Uba Stax or Terra Nova.

    I played this Forgemaster at a recent 25 man event ending ninth:

    Lands
    Mishra's Workshop X4
    Ancient Tomb X4
    Wasteland X4
    Mishra's Factory X4
    City of Traitors X2
    Tolarian Academy X1
    Stripmine X1

    SoLolMoxCrypt X8

    Disruption:
    Tanglewire X4
    Sphere of Resistance X4
    Thorn of Amethyst X4
    Chalice of the Void X1
    Trinisphere X1

    Creatures
    Phyrexian Revoker X4
    Kuldotha Forgemaster X4
    Phyrexian Metamorph X3
    Wurmcoil Engine X2
    Steel Hellkite X2
    Lodestone Golem X1 (soaked in tears from all the sad)
    Duplicant X1
    Sundering Titan X1

    It wasn't awful, but it wasn't great either. I saw another version win a small event recently that had a 3/3 split of Caverns and Factories without any City of Traitors that looked about the same. The creature suite is quite diversified, but being able to guarantee the resolution of high impact spells isn't to be discounted. I've played with Caverns before and liked them, but may want a simpler creature suite to make that work. Without the additional sphere and clock components of lodestone more counterspells will come online against us, Cavern may be significant there. Shops is always at risk fo making Mana Drain a better card, so Cavern may be something that requires more investigation. Currently of the three most likely types: Golem, Construct, Juggernaut, Construct is the closest, but there isn't enough density to really commit to a tribal robots deck.

    Next up is Ravager:
    This is the current list I am testing:
    Lands
    Mishra's Workshop X4
    Ancient Tomb X4
    Wasteland X4
    Mishra's Factory X4
    City of Traitors X2
    Tolarian Academy X1
    Stripmine X1

    SoLolMoxCrypt X8

    Disruption:
    Tanglewire X4
    Sphere of Resistance X4
    Thorn of Amethyst X4
    Chalice of the Void X1
    Trinisphere X1

    Creatures
    Phyrexian Revoker X4
    Arcbound Ravager X4
    Hangarback Walker X4
    Triskellion X4
    Lodestone Golem X1

    Artifact Equipment:
    Sword of Fire and Ice X3

    This has played OK so far, but its not incredible. I can't say that its better or worse than the Forgemaster list. The lower curve is nice, and it doesn't durdle as much or stumble like the Forgemaster shells do, but also no real haymakers. It can close out games well and Sword of Fire and Ice makes all your low impact creatures dangerous, which is nice. I'm going to explore this more.

    I don't have a lot of experience with Terra Nova or Uba Stax builds, and I want to convince myself that the agro shells are dead before really dedicating myself to a long, grindy control deck. Anyway, these are my initial thoughts in the new restricted world. Let me know if you've found something interesting or see improvements to either of these design lines.

    cheers,
    defector



  • FWIW it's worth noting that they still get mana from Drain even if the spell isn't countered (Cavern) this seems especially relevant considering the archetype.

    That being said I wouldn't worry too much about Drain as it's pretty horridly positioned (still).

    On an unrelated note I'd really like to see someone go deep around Birthing Pod (think Tools N Tubbies), with less emphasis placed on resistor type tempo gains and more on Wire effects and large fast beats plus value. To me there seems a lot of room for innovation when you are not forced 100% into MUD.



  • @defector with the caveat that I've never played Workshop outside of cube it seems to me that Smokestack would be great with Ravager and Hangarback. A pattern of T1 Hangarback, T2 Smokestack seems reasonable on the play at least.



  • True and sometimes you get blown out, the sad thing is that even if our spells resolve they aren't as good as the blue mage spells. That being said, unless they restrict Gush I think Drain is going to stay in low numbers.



  • I'm trying to stay away from the pure control shells that run smokestack, I'm not saying that we won't end up there, but not trying to rush there either. Smokestack in a world of Gush fueled token generators feels awful.



  • @defector certainly a fair point. that being true maybe tangle wire is also mediocre?



  • I think Tangle Wire is probably the easiest to cut of the disruption pieces, and several Terra Nova decks have cut Wires in the past, but after the restriction of Chalice I think the artifact disruption suite is pretty set. We're kind of forced to use all of them:
    Tangle Wire X4
    Sphere of Resistance X4
    Thorn of Amethyst X4
    Chalice of the Void X1
    Trinisphere X1

    This I think are kind of committed to inside Aggro shells. If we end up slowing down and going more grindy control and less aggressive then I think cards like Crucible become better than cards like Wire. Wire when combined with a clock can be quite sick, but if your goal is to drag the game out unless you have cards like Welder and Smokestack to go along with it, it becomes pretty sub par.

    cheers,
    defector



  • Have you considered the possibility of trying a metalworker strategy?

    I was reading Mastriano's article off VintageMagic.com the other day, and he mentioned utilizing Thought-Knot Seer as a possible Lodestone Golem replacement.



  • @chikararyuu Mishra's Workshop can't cast Thought Knot Seer though. You need 4 non-Shop mana to cast it. That seems like a lot. Probably turn 2 but only if you have an Ancient tomb plus mox and a Wasteland or Factory.



  • @Aaron-Patten thus the call to try metalworker.

    It's a thought. I might try some brews with metalworker.



  • @chikararyuu I actually really like the idea of Metalworker right now in theory. Mainly as a way to take shops in a different direction involving card drawing engines like Coercive Portal and Staff of Nin and Memory Jar. Not being able to play more than one land per turn is not conducive to this strategy but maybe mox Opal could be adequate compensation for the early turns of the game. I'm not really clear why Serum Powder stopped seeing play either.



  • I think ravager shops before the restriction of golem proved that shops as a tempo strategy is likely the best strategy in the current meta, that's why I still like the aggressive shops lists. The combination of a lock piece or two plus an aggressive cheap threat that can threaten to end the game quickly is what I want to be doing. And sure, we lost the best card for the deck in golem, but I think the strategy is still best.

    This is my starting point for ravager shops which has been performing decently well for me in testing so far.

    4 arcbound ravager
    4 revoker
    3 porcelain legionnarie
    2 metamorph
    3 triskelion
    1 golem

    1 batterskull
    1 jitte
    1 sword of fire and ice
    4 thorn
    4 sphere
    4 tangle wire
    1 trinisphere
    1 chalice

    8 Solomon crypt
    4 shops
    4 tomb
    4 factory
    4 wasteland
    1 strip
    1 academy

    I like legionnaire over walker because it is a decent sized threat for just 2 mana, sure walker can grow, but I want to be a bit more aggressive, so a 2 mana 1/1 is not what I want, nor do I want to spend a few turns ticking it up do a decent enough body.



  • I agree with your premise, I think the best place for shops is still a small ball agro plan. Legionnaire is completely legit. If Hangarback fails me terribly I may run him. I guess I look at Ravager as a mediocre card that needs all the help in the world to be good, so I'm maxing out the supporting cast in 4/4 walkers and trikes, plus trike is legit removal in this current game. The diversified equips looks fine, and Batterskull is good life gain which sometimes we really want as well as being Dak proof. I like your list, good luck with it:)

    cheers
    defector



  • @Aaron-Patten I started sketching something with Metalworker...

    Here's what I'm thinking at the moment...

    4 Mishra's Workshop
    4 Ancient Tomb
    1 Strip Mine
    4 Wasteland
    1 Tolarian Academy
    1 Buried Ruin
    1 Ghost Quarter

    1 Sol Ring
    1 Mana Crypt
    1 Mox Emerald
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Mox Pearl
    1 Mox Ruby
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Mana Vault

    3 Metalworker
    3 Thought-Knot Seer
    1 Lodestone Golem
    3 Hangarback Walker
    3 Arcbound Ravager
    2 Phyrexian Revoker
    2 Phyrexian Metamorph
    2 Triskelion

    4 Thorn of Amethyst
    2 Crucible of Worlds
    1 Trinisphere
    1 Umezawa's Jitte

    1 Voltaic Key
    1 Time Vault
    1 Spine of Ish Sah
    2 Kuldotha Forgemaster
    2 Cavern of Souls
    2 Staff of Domination

    Sideboard:
    3 Sphere of Resistance
    3 Grafdigger's Cage
    2 Witchbane Orb
    1 Homeward Path
    2 Wurmcoil Engine
    2 Dismember
    1 Duplicant
    1 Sundering Titan

    My thought is to just be some crazy combo shop deck with metalworker/staff shenanigans.

    Null rod makes this list cry, but it's only a starting point.

    I probably have this deck running in so many different directions by implementing forgemaster for a swiss army knife of tools; I also wanted to make use of cavern of souls (construct) while also allowing for access to 'colorless' mana for Thought-Knot Seer as a backup if the metalworker plan goes south.



  • Since Chalice is restricted in addition to Lodetone, I suspect it's high time that someone brought back 5c Stax.

    One of the most powerful cards in the format is Balance, and there is no deck that can use Balance more asymmetrically and powerfully than Stax. Mox Opal could also be an attractive accelerant that could fuel cards like Balance, Chains of Mephistopheles, and the like, now that Chalice is restricted.

    Here's a possible starting point, with a focus on Gush strategies:

    5c STAX

    1 Trinisphere
    4 Sphere of Resistance
    4 Thorn of Amethyst
    4 Tangle Wire
    2 Defense Grid
    1 Chalice of the Void
    1 Lodestone Golem
    3 Crucible of Worlds
    4 Smokestack

    1 Balance
    1 Ancestral Recall
    1 Vampiric Tutor
    1 Demonic Tutor
    1 Tinker

    1 Duplicant
    3 Goblin Welder
    1 Sundering Titan

    1 Bazaar of Baghdad

    4 Mana Confluence
    4 Gemstone Mine
    4 Mishras Workshop
    1 Strip Mine
    1 Tolarian Academy
    3 Wasteland
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Mana Vault
    1 Mana Crypt
    1 Mox Pearl
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Mox Ruby
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Mox Opal
    1 Sol Ring

    SB:

    Homeward Path
    Chains of Mephistopheles
    In the Eye of Chaos
    2 Defense Grid
    Tabernacles
    Leylines

    Or, we could go the old 4 Mox Opal/3 Ancient Tomb route, which is the last 5c Stax list I built in 2010.



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  • Metalwork is only good when you have staff of domination and a full hand, or a high CC artifact in your hand. The problem with that is when you don't have metalworker, you have a worthless staff and a card you can't cast. Or you have a bunch of do nothing metalworkers.

    It's a high variance card, and I don't recommend high variance strategies in vintage. I value consistent and fast.

    I wouldn't even call metalworker fast even if you get it online turn 1 and cast something big turn 2. You are still giving your opponent 3-4 turns to win the game, and that's too much.

    Workshop decks need sphere effects to function. They need to stifle the opponent immediately to be effective, or at least consistently effective.

    The creature decks you've listed have a completely different problem. Creatures are not an effective way to win in Vintage unless you have a lot of them. And I mean you need either an army of tokens, some fliers, or your creatures to all do something board relevant (e.g. containment priest, Thalia, lodestone golem).

    With that being said, porcelain legionnaire is shit. The one thing it had going for it, before people started playing hangarback Walker, was that it killed lodestone golem and fit the curve. Now it does nothing relevant. You can put it in better than bulk but still bulk box, along with your slash panthers (and you probably don't know how much I love that card). Cards like this are not only bad, but terrible now.

    Thouhht-knot seer is very good, but needs an entirely different shell around it. One that probably doesn't even involve mishra's workshop. I hope this deck gets discovered relatively quickly to bring a new wave of players into the format. But that's probably wishful thinking.

    These welder lists, as Steve has mentioned have some merit. I'm not convinced that they are tier 1, but they at least have a semblance of hope.

    I honestly think Uba Mask is the best way to go. It has a much larger effect on game play turn 1 than smokestack does.

    But ultimately all of these cards are awful compared to lodestone golem. As lodestone golem was pretty much great in every facet of the game, unless you were well behind in which case no card (except for maybe duplicant) was going to get you out of the situation.

    If you want to play creatures, play a base with:
    Hangarback Walker
    Arcbound ravager
    Triskelion
    STEEL OVERSEER.



  • Has anyone else tried out Tamiyo's Journal? It spits out an artifact every upkeep which can be used for tapping for tangle wire, sacrificed to Smokestack, fodder for goblin welder or a couple of less artifacts to sacrifice to Kuldotha Forgemaster. If you want to dig, you can pop the clue for a card, or you can just let em grow and tutor for something you need in a couple of turns meanwhile letting your Tolarian Academy grow.



  • @Dstinct
    Why would you play tamiyo's journal when coercive portal exists?

    The entire part of tangle wire is that it's one sided already.

    As for smokestack, yes it works well with the card. But so does crucible of worlds and coercive portal. Both of which cost less mana to cast and do more relavent things when they hit the board.

    As for forgemaster and journal, it's cute. unfortunately they cost the same amount of mana, so it doesn't accelerate the other one. Time is still a major investment and you aren't bypassing that.



  • In those Ravager lists with SoFaI, isn't SoWaP better in a Mentor/Pyromancer fueled meta? Maybe at least a single SoWaP could be useful. If they have a near full grip, a single ravager and sword can close out the game in a single swing (in theory).



  • Has no one tested Birthing Pod in a Mishra's Workshop list yet?
    Metalworker, Porcelain Legionnaire, and several other lesser played creatures are playable off of first turn shop and turn into a turn two Lodestone Golem off of one Birthing Pod activation. Maybe it'll be so strong people will start running creatures like Scarecrone or even Junk Diver ;P


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