Empty the Warrens in DPS Sideboards



  • I see many DPS players have up to three Empty the Warrens in their sideboards. May I ask against what matchups anyone would want three copies of this card? What are the strategic thoughts behind this? Against Workshops I can see the appeal for making 8-12 goblins t1 on the play but I would imagine the plan against shops is to load up on Hurkyl's Recalls and maybe bring in Tinker/colossus. Adding another 3 cards seems like overboarding. Also, Ballista is kinda rough on 1/1 tokens.

    So is it against "fair" blue decks?

    Any advice would be great thanks 🙂



  • @nevilshute Yeah, fair blue decks had difficulty dealing with a bunch of goblins and their countermagic can make it difficult to fire off a Tutor into a Will into a Tendrils. Empty the Warrens gives a win condition with less of an investment.



  • I never liked the Empty plan, and i think 3 is way too many. Against fair blue decks i rather board in more Defense Grids or Discard.


  • TMD Supporter

    Empty is a versatile alternate win condition. You wouldn’t want Blightsteel against a 4x Dack Fayden deck, but they could also have something clever such as Leyline if Sanctity; so it’s just about having alternate win conditions that are versatile and very strong against something like Fish



  • @nevilshute Empty lets you "go smaller" so to speak--it's a lot less reliable of a kill, but you can empty for Storm 5, and that's going to win a high, high portion of the time.

    My personal favorite loss to Empty was I go t1 mox, Land, Ethersworn canonist. I lost on turn one to land->3xMox->Sol Ring->Empty the Warrens--which is sort of demonstrative, in that Empty sacrifices being certain kill for actually being a card when you're only half-way going off.



  • Empty is insane. It gives DPS game vs. Xerox, Hatebears, BUG Fish and any other random tempo/prison deck. It is not terribly good v.s the card "Walking Ballista." So, if you ask Danny Batterman, he would suggest Pulverize for that matchup instead. Empty fills in the gaps in the hard matchups much better than other options cause it just bypasses so much hate. It's definitely the best approach in running rituals right now to have the 3 Empty plan out of the sb.


  • TMD Supporter

    @stormanimagus What does a DPS list look like that can support 3x Empty and Pulverize out of the board? That's much more red than I typically have seen.



  • I never liked running red at all - I think the stability of a 2 color manabase is just better than empty. Against Control, just board in flusterstorms and leverage their spells for storm.



  • @13nova And how are you beating Kambal? How are you beating RIP? How are you beating (insert similar effect here)? Empty is precisely for all the splash hate that exists for DPS that comes because of the existence of PO decks. And to the earlier point about how do you support Pulverize? Easy, You run 1-2 Volc, and 1 Badlands, and 1 SB Mountain. It really isn't that hard on the manabase and you also gain Wheel of Fortune as well as a Seething Song out of the sb. Pulverize is ABSOLUTELY necessary vs. Shops as well. The hurkyl's plan alone vs. Shops for DPS hasn't been good enough for a while. PO can get away with it because they structurally do better vs. shops cause they can just lay out all their mana sources right away. DPS often wants to hold it's rocks for storm count whereas PO gets and ungodly storm count out of nowhere when it goes off.



  • @stormanimagus said in Empty the Warrens in DPS Sideboards:

    @13nova And how are you beating Kambal? How are you beating RIP? How are you beating (insert similar effect here)? Empty is precisely for all the splash hate that exists for DPS that comes because of the existence of PO decks. And to the earlier point about how do you support Pulverize? Easy, You run 1-2 Volc, and 1 Badlands, and 1 SB Mountain. It really isn't that hard on the manabase and you also gain Wheel of Fortune as well as a Seething Song out of the sb. Pulverize is ABSOLUTELY necessary vs. Shops as well. The hurkyl's plan alone vs. Shops for DPS hasn't been good enough for a while. PO can get away with it because they structurally do better vs. shops cause they can just lay out all their mana sources right away. DPS often wants to hold it's rocks for storm count whereas PO gets and ungodly storm count out of nowhere when it goes off.

    Chain of Vapor, Repeal, Rushing River...

    Or, for Rest in Peace, just not being a Donkey and winning through it.



  • @13nova When you are also facing 4x Misstep, Fluster, MB Trap, and Snapcaster Mage good luck always being able to BE that patient. Empty is precisely for allowing you to play 8-10 tokens on turn 1 before the hate can come down or a Jace TMS or Dack can put the game out of reach.



  • I agree with @13NoVa here. I dislike diluting the manabase to more than 2 colours unless it's absolutely necessary. I don't think Empty the Warrens is a sufficient reason for this. You can win without needing to rely on Empty by using Chain of Vapor or whatever else along with Defense Grids. Rest is Peace is absolutely not difficult to win through. You shouldn't be relying on your graveyard that much in post-SB games anyway.

    I also disagree that the Hurkyl's plan is bad against shops. If anything, with the restriction of more and more prison pieces, it's become a lot more viable of a plan than it ever has been in the past few years. It's actually fairly trivial to cast Hurkyl's with the lack of lock pieces presented by a shops opponent these days. You don't need to necessarily hold your moxen because you can generate storm count in other ways, so you can make a judgement call based on the game.

    Perhaps the plan isn't viable because you're destroying your own manabase by not playing basics since you play 3 colours? I'm not sure. Hurkyl's has never been easier.



  • Empty is basically a cheaper minds desire in that it can win the game with lower storm count but it still requires you to commit more than half of your hand usually, which is hard to come back from for a ritual deck if things don't go your way. There are also usually better things you could be doing if you get to a point where empty would be viable. Playing 3 colors is also not the best idea in a deck with 11-13 lands. There is no reason to play red anymore in a rituals deck since we have more than enough threats to make Wheel of fortune obsolete and Cheap artifact removal is no longer needed to supplement the Hurkyl's plan vs shops.


  • TMD Supporter

    Empty and Mentor are good, but there are a lot of options in straight UB for playing around hate cards. Other than blue's bounce spells and Tinker, black has a strong creature game with cards like Pack Rat and Phyrexian Obliterator. I like to just play whatever I think my opponents will be the least prepared for.



  • @desolutionist Pack Rat was good before ballista was printed, now its just pretty bad in my opinion.

    In general splashing 1 additional color for eather Mentor or Wheel and Empty is pretty easy and there is just a bit downside to it. However, my current build is pure UB and features tinker bot in the maindeck instead of Mentor or Empty. I dont really miss wheel a lot, i have to say, but wheel would definetly be the main reason to but a badlands in there again, not really Empty. However i dont object to empty as much as i did a few month ago, i can see it as a small number, what alienates (get it?) me is people playing 3 or even 4 copies.

    Against Shops i rather board in a huge amount of bounce spells and aim to win with 1 of them resolving at the end of their turn, or try to win early with a tinker. ( i play 1x Hurkyl's maindeck, and 1 chain of vapor, and i bring in 3x hurkyl's, 1x Rebuild, 1x Echoing Truth and 1x Island. cutting mostly discard spells and defense grids)

    Against most blue control decks i board in more defense grids and sometimes more discard (depending on the state of my sideboard at the time).
    So generally i much rather board in cards that force through my 2 main win cons (tendils and bot) instead of boarding in additional win cons.


 

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