[BBD] Sentinel Tower


  • TMD Supporter

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    Interesting for Storm? Not saying it's great, but I feel it deserves discussion. You can cast Ritual + Ritual and be able to ping off two creatures on the board and still continue your combo (or just go to your face or planeswalkers).

    Cast Number | Total Damage (combined)
    1 = 1
    2 = 3
    3 = 6
    4 = 10
    5 = 15
    6 = 21

    By instance or sorcery #6, you have lethal damage. May not need to cast as many spells. However, the obvious inherent weakness is it doesn't count moxen and other artifacts. That in itself makes it much weaker.



  • Kinda like Aetherflux Reservoir but a little more aggressive. Your math is wrong though. its 1,2,3,4,5, not exponential Never mind this bit, i see you are calculating damage over time.

    I like it, it's a colorless tendrils you have to cast first in many ways. The thing to note is that if you cast it mid turn and then keep casting spells, it does not start at 1, it starts at whatever you already cast +1 for subsequent spells. It also helps you win counter wars which is nice.

    Probably a good thing that Probe got restricted. You could have some disgusting ritual turns with this and probe, or honestly just probe turns.


  • TMD Supporter

    It's an interesting one. There might be a way to make it work, but at first glance it has a lot of drawbacks that I think outweigh the positives:

    • Doesn't do anything on its own
    • Might require a ritual to get it into play, taking away from future resources
    • Likely slows you down a turn
    • Inefficient at dealing with creatures (if I'm facing multiple creatures, I'd rather have Bontu's Last Reckoning or Toxic Deluge than this)


  • I like this. It feels like it would slot into a shell similar to drain tendrils, where you can get incremental advantage as you control the game. Definitely an improvement over aetherflux reservoir, but not a snowbally as sphinx-bone wand (which can't see play because of casting cost).

    There seems to a bunch of stuff in this set that at least has potential, but isn't immediately broken.



  • The biggest advantage this has over Aetherflux Reservoir is that it can attack creatures and PWs the turns you're not going off.
    The biggest disadvantage, if you didn't notice, is that Reservoir counts every spell, this counts only instants and sorceries - so this is not that good with PO for example. It counts your opponents' spells too, but it doesn't seem as good as counting moxen.


  • TMD Supporter

    This also seems to trigger off of your opponent. So that's neat.


  • TMD Supporter

    @protoaddct said in [BBD] Sentinel Tower:

    Kinda like Aetherflux Reservoir but a little more aggressive. Your math is wrong though. its 1,2,3,4,5, not exponential Never mind this bit, i see you are calculating damage over time.

    I like it, it's a colorless tendrils you have to cast first in many ways. The thing to note is that if you cast it mid turn and then keep casting spells, it does not start at 1, it starts at whatever you already cast +1 for subsequent spells. It also helps you win counter wars which is nice.

    Probably a good thing that Probe got restricted. You could have some disgusting ritual turns with this and probe, or honestly just probe turns.

    Yeah, sorry, I was writing it at work, so I was trying to be quick. haha



  • Once in play this card compares very favorably to other win conditions that are powered by chaining spells, such as Young Pyromancer or the janky Aetherflux Reservoir: the damage scales quadratically with spell count and the flexible targeting allows you to pick off annoying creatures (e.g. Thalia) as you combo off.

    The problem of course is casting the Tower... a deck with heavy artifact acceleration is going to want to run Paradoxical Outcome, and PO is not in search of better win conditions. Tower would shine in a deck that seeks to chain instants without leaning heavily on artifact mana (in order to dodge Null Rod/Stony Silence) and I'm not sure such a shell wants to pay a four-mana setup cost.



  • I'm thinking about this card in the context of what it does vs. Hatebears and it is. . . not good. . . for hatebears :( facepalm. This card may single-handedly spell the death knell for hatebears as we know it currently. DPS now has a reliable way to go "Kill your Thalia, Kill your Teeg, Kill your whatever" all while "going off." PO decks will use this for the same reason. It basically shoves Chain of Vapor and Tendrils into the same slot in certain scenarios. Ugh, just ugh.



  • @stormanimagus Yes, clearly the "death knell" for hatebears was a 4 mana quasi-removal spell that somehow answers Gaddock Teeg. If I didn't know you better, I would have assumed your post was sarcasm...



  • @chubbyrain Oh, true, thank christ for Teeg! Yayayyyyyy. I mean, hatebears are still dead because this card can, ya know, come down before the teeg. But sure, whatever. I mean, do you realize how compact a win con this actually is? and how easy it is to get 3 instants/Sorceries in 1 turn? This is a DPS and PO players wet dream.



  • @evouga This card would be clearly too bonkers if it triggered on non-creature spells (I mean, at that point, we're probably maximum artifacts and casting this contraption off of Workshops).

    Seems fine enough, but likely too slow. If we still had 4x Probe/Gush, it would probably be beyond stupid, but we don't so I don't think it's good enough.

    (though--there might be a dedicated deck with a bunch of Manamorphoses, but that's such a reach.)



  • @neo_altoid Why is everyone looking at this "all or nothing?" You don't have to "go off" for this card to be pretty stupid. Like even 3 instants/ sorceries in 1 turn and you can kill planeswalkers, little dudes or just go to the face all while just durdling. Am I the only one who sees the grotesque potential here?


  • TMD Supporter

    This seems better against Storm out of a Workshop deck's sideboard than in Storm. The deck it can punish the most, I imagine, is Xerox decks and their endless supply of cantrips. Generally, though, this card will probably cause the opponent to take one damage from their Shattering Spree and not do much else.


  • TMD Supporter

    @hierarchnoble I don't think it works they way you're interpreting it. This only triggers off of instants and sorceries cast on your turn.



  • @hierarchnoble Ummm. . . You might want to read the card more carefully. Whenever an instant/sorcery spell is cast "during your turn." How is Shops getting more than 1 damage off this thing at time whenever an opponent forces? How is that good, like, at all?



  • Alriiight, lets talk about this thingy, because i think its very interesting. When i first saw this card i thought it was pretty great until i saw the "instants or sorceries" clause, instead of just spells, then i was pretty down on it, but the more i think about the card, it seems more useful.
    I know some people, and myself, are often not that high on overly comparing spoilers with existing cards ("its just X with the expection of Y") because this often results in an oversimplificatation, however i will use some comparisons here. Keep in Mind i do not want to push a this "its just..." conclusion at all. This card is its own thing.

    first of all:

    the damage scales quadratically with spell count

    This is not quite true, scaling quadratically would mean that the it would output i.e. 36 for the input 6.
    What this does (just like aetherflux reservour) is summing up all the numbers from 0 to n, where n is the number of spells you cast this turn. The sum of this (the total amount of damage done after casting n spells) is output by this common function (small gauss) f(n) = (n+1) *n/2

    Alright with that out of the way i can see this card used in 2 archetypes:
    Storm-like (or light, with witch i mean possbile decks that use this card over the cause of maybe 2 turns) Decks that try to cast as many spells as possible in one single turn to end the game right there and on the other hand Xerox style controlling Decks witch focus on hindering the opponent while constantly pinging them over a large number of turns.

    In Storm this comes down to the differences between a "upstream" (win cons that you play before stringing a lot of spells together) and a "downstream" ("""""after""""""), finisher in this kind of Decks. I thought about this difference a lot when Aetherflux came out. With a mostly pure wincon like Aetherlufux Reservoir i had this to say in another Thread:

    • Its a win con you have to plant before or as you go off as opposed to the finisher after it. As such it is not a absolutely dead card in your hand, when you are not about to win, and can provide some marginal lifegain over a few turns.

    • Planting it a turn early before going off also frees up the 4 mana, which is not possible with Tendrils, but makes it pretty vulnerable.

    • Beeing colorless makes it much easier to cast of course, but beeing an artifact makes it very vulnerable and way easier to handle than when Tendrils hits the stack.

    • Having to play it before or while going off, makes some lines of play, that work for a tendrils finish storm decks more risky. If you don't have the card in your hand, trying to find it while going off might result in you finding it too late and not having a critical mass off spells left to trigger it. This can be played around however (holding some not needed Mox opals and such), and the card counts how many spells have been played before it hits the battlefield, so playing it while going off, will still give you a ton of life.

    A lot of this applies to this card as well, however it is immune to Null Rod/Stoney Silence, Revoker and other such effects, since it is not an activated, but a triggered ability. In short i would say using an upstream wincon like this produces more risk, but allows for easier combo turns and some freedom of how and when to combo out. When iam talking about a downstream win con in Storm i am ofcourse talking about Tendrils.
    Since this card does not trigger from artifacts but just from instants and sorceries i do not think this is suitable for your everyday PO List, in which i believe Aetherflux would mostly be at home if it would see any play. That leaves Ritual Storm lists, with their high inst/sorc count. This Deck often relies on artifacts to produce enough storm for a lethal tendrils, but remember we do not need a storm count of 9 to make this card lethal, but just a count of 6.
    The question is if that 3 less storm needed does actually counteract the loss of artifacts as a "storm" source. Iam not sure about that. My current list plays 11 dedicated fast mana artifacts and 7 dedicated fast mana inst/sorc. If i assume to use about 4 fast mana spells in my combo turn to achieve lethal tendrils that means iam using about 1.6 non artifact fast mana spells in that turn. By that very crude and possibly (certainly) incredibly oversimplified calculation you would only lose 2,4 Storm which seems to be less than 3. So needing 3 less storm does seem to counteract the loss of artifact stormcount. That is ofcourse ignoring that decks playing this as a main win con might opt to cut something like LED for another CabalRit.

    Now since storm count doesnt seem to be huge problem, lets see if the added vulnerabiliy i talked about above (artifact destruction, opponent "seeing it coming", easier to counter than an actual Tendrils.) does overshadow the inherant bonus this card had over Aetherflux Reservour: The possiblity to use this as removal over the course of some turns or at the beginning of your combo turn to clear the way. This is really the huge factor that sets this card apart from Aetherflux or other upstream win cons (like Mentor, which is harder to deal with, but very much slower and does rarely have the potential to win the game in the same turn it was played. I do not consider Mentor a upstream win con that has the potential to usurp Tendrils). Using this as the threat of removal, over a few turns or in the same turn you plan to go for the win, is the real strengh of this card for sure.
    Possible targets you would want to remove are plenty: Thalia and other taxing creatures, Revoker, Spirit of the Labyrinth, Eidolon of Rhetoic, Kambal , Scab Clan Berserker... just to name a few of the ones that are actually stopping you from going off. In addition this can be used before actually winning to just buy time and control a bit. Targets here would be aggro shops creatures, Delver, Mentor and Pyro as well as their tokens...you get the point.
    I did not name cards like Etherswon Canonist since with its 2 life pared with the ability is immune against this kind of removal (Pack your sideboard with that bad girl if you are scared of Sentinal Tower), and Leovold since the card is absurd and should never have been printed in the first place.
    You could also ping away some orchard spirit tokens but that doesnt really seem sustainable since you would need to consistantly be able to cast an instant at your EOT. Maybe it buys you a turn.
    Wow, having your Win con in a neat package together with removal seems to be a huge deal, however keep in mind that playing this with the intential to control for a turn or two does open you up to lose your win con pretty quickly: Any artifact removal or Dack will shut this off, and just slamming it out there to remove a pyromancer and then losing it to something like that does not seem worth it.
    This approach however seems to be pretty neat in a xerox style deck to be honest. Playing a xerox Deck with control elements, countermagic and other removal (you all know what kind of shell iam talking about) could absolutely make this to a must remove threat. Imagine your cantrips to double as removal and then flip over to be a win con if you need it. This can go on over a number of turns with you defending it, effectivly making this a less powerful but way cheaper Sphinx bone wand (my favorite casual control win con) . 4 generic mana is not really a problem if you ask me in such a list. Is it way easier to handle than your usual win cons in that deck? For sure! But its also not just a win con, but a control element, turning win con when the time is right.

    As for Storm Decks i think this can very much be the perfect secondary win con. I wouldnt cut my Tendrils, its just way safer and harder to handle, however i can totally see playing this as a second win con maindeck. I see people playing stuff like a second Tendrils (not a fan at all!), Empty the Warrens or Mentor as secondary win cons. I think this is just better. Having the old reliable hard to interact with, extremely powerful finisher in Tendrils and a, above all flexible, secondary in your Deck seems pretty cool.
    I will definetly try this as a one of in my Ritual Storm Deck and maybe brew some other decks that are more centered around this (even though i believe this card is best in low numbers).

    I love this card design, its suprisingly deep, lends itself to different play styles and functions in different shells, has a lot of potential and is still easy to handle and not over the top. Very interesting card.

    Edit: @Serracollector said:

    Neither Null Rod/Stony Silence or Revoker shut this off

    Totally missed that, that makes this card a good chunk more resiliant, i removed any mention of that interaction in the post.

    TLDR:
    Upside: Very flexible as a removal/win con to different degrees in different shells.
    Downside: Not very resilient, easier to handle for most Decks than usual win cons.
    Has potential in xerox decks and ritual storm decks, mostly as a secondary win con.
    Needs testing.



  • Neither Null Rod/Stony Silence or Revoker shut this off, and using it to kill Leovold (or friends) lets them draw 2++ cards. It is an interesting card, but I honestly don't see it having a ton of impact in Vintage.


  • TMD Supporter

    @stormanimagus @revengeanceful

    I didn't see "your turn", @Stormanimagus didn't see the casting cost. No one's actually reading this card because it's not worth reading.



  • @hierarchnoble Well I just bought a playset. We'll see who's right.


 

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