PSA: Containment Priest isn’t good

I think it's pretty clear that people are talking over each other in this thread. Despite ironically dubious references to it threads past, the principle of charity is a good one, and I think this thread could use a little more of it.

Could wfain have used less extreme language in his opening post? yeah, sure.

As a player who likes Containment Priest, I felt attacked by the title "Containment Priest isn't good"... is wfain saying I'm an idiot? But even upon brief reflection I realized that no, no he wasn't saying that. He was just saying that he expects the meta to shift a little, and make Priest worse. Which is pretty reasonable and could, in theory lead to a good discussion.

When wfain says "[Cabal Pit is going to be more popular] thanks to LSV" I understand why a player who ran Cabal Pit a few weeks ago might feel attacked or jealous. But was it wfain's intent to say "no one before LSV matters" ? No. Of course not. But I think it's completely reasonable to say that when a well-liked and respsected player does well with a particular card in a very public setting, that card may get more popular.

Now if it was worded differently perhaps drama wouldn't have cropped up. But the fact that it was worded in a provocative way doesn't mean we have to assume the worst. It's possible to just assume that you're not under attack, or to ask clarifying questions until we figure things out.

I'm thinking more and more that real problems on TMD tend to spring from people personally identifying themselves with a topic, argument, idea, card, or most often, a deck, and interpreting any statement about that subject as a serious threat.

In particular, once deck attribution starts sneaking it's way into the conversation, things feel like they get personal very quickly, and it's almost impossible to recover a thread from that point. Note the point in the thread where, unprompted, Stormanimagus says people give Mike Noble credit for creating Noble Fish. Mike (heirarchnoble) responds:

Much love, Noah. I'm the 100% originator of a deck myself, but it too was much more successful in the hands of a better pilot. ❤

"originator of a deck." I don't believe he's even talking about noble fish here, he's bringing a third deck into the discussion. But since we're talking about deck attribution, things get entirely personal, and Stormanimagus felt the need to respond defensively, giving proof for creating the deck that nobody in this thread has claimed he didn't make.

Another classic source of trouble is the word "tier", which, once used, will invariably make someone upset. I'm willing to bet that vaughbros and stormanimagus have the exact same opinion about how good Containment Priest is, but since vaunbros used the term "tier 3" to describe that opinion, and Stormanimagus uses the term "tier 3" differently, a micro-argument popped up there as well.

On the subject of provocative language and making it hard to recover a thread ... once you start making an analogy to racism (or any other politically charged topic), it gets incredibly difficult not to take things the wrong way. Even if it's a perfect analogy, it's pretty hard not to read that in a post and think "wait, now this guy is saying I'm a racist, too?" Once someone feels like they themselves are under attack, they're never going to agree with you ... even if they agree with you.

I could have just deleted this thread (and maybe I should have) but I didn't want to just get rid of it and have everyone think "oh, BrassMan killed this because the other guy got out of hand". A lot of people got out of hand. A thread doesn't go bad when one person is an asshole, a thread goes bad when multiple people take the worst possible interpretation of each other's posts and play off of each other.

Here are some super boring arguments in this thread that nobody actually brought up, and people got defensive over anyway:

  • Was LSV the first person to play Cabal Pit in a Dredge deck?
  • Are you a bad player if you've run Containment Priest before? (this one was my fault)
  • Is LSV a "tech thief"?
  • Did Mike Noble invent Noble Fish?
  • Did Mike Noble invent (other deck he didn't name)?
  • What does the word tier 3 hate mean?

In contrast, here are some genuinely interesting questions that have been raised in this thread:

  • How much impact does the appearance of a card on the VSL/a stream have on the metagame?
  • If we see an increase in the amount of Cabal Pit in the metagame, how does that affect the card Containment Priest?
  • If you're running Containment Priest as part of an anti-Dredge plan, what other cards (if any) are necessary or helpful to run alongside it?
  • In a Dredge deck, is Cabal Pit or Barbarian Ring a better anti-Containment Priest card?

Any and all of the second group of questions still have merit, and I'm willing to be that everyone in this thread still has interesting things to say about all four of them .

Let's please make an effort to detatch ourselves a little from our decks and ideas, and to not assume the worst from every post.

What are the merits of Cabal Pit over Barbarian Ring? In a vacuum the Ring is a strictly more versatile card, doubling as a win condition in addition to creature removal.

Pit lets you cast black spells (in practice, Cabal Therapy, Stinkweed Imp, and Darkblast) and Ring lets you evoke Ingot Chewer. Presumably if you are running either of these lands, you are also running plenty of five-color lands in order to pay their activation costs, so the color of mana produced is most relevant in the beginning turns of the game. Here I would think evoking Ingot Chewer is more valuable than casting Darkblast or Cabal Therapy: Darkblast is rather redundant if you've already found Cabal Pit, as Containment Priests do not prevent you from dredging Dakmore Salvage or filtering with Bazaar in search of a second black mana source.

@evouga I would say Dakmor Salvage is exactly the reason Pit would take the advantage.

Cabal Pit vs Barbarian Ring is not a clear cut choice, and depends on the amount of other red sources / cards that your deck is running. Id argue that as their primary purpose is activating to kill a Priest/Jailor/ Deathrite/ect, the activation cost is generally more important than what they are tapping for. So generally Cabal Pit is the better card when played alongside of Dakmor Salvage. However, there could be some Dredge builds where tapping it for mana is more important due to having a high red count, or you have an abnormally high R mana count and its very reliable to get a second R.

Containment Priest as a hate piece is still valid, but its not nearly as strong as Leyline, Rest in Peace, Jailor, Cage, ect due to the answers being stronger for Priest. You'd need to have a deck that already has a good maindeck matchup against Dredge to use it as a primary hate piece. Or you can use it as a secondary hate piece to complement exile effects (which help protect Priest from threshhold).

I would guess that a list with Gurmag Angler would also tip the scales more toward Pit > Ring. I feel like ultimately the color of the other cards in your deck ends up being a much bigger motivator than the difference between 2 damage and -2/-2.

@brass-man your big post is very smart and well written. Thank you for taking that level of time and thought on what amounts to a hobby or vanity project for most of us.

The genius of this plan, in my estimation, is how compact it is. With Ring you’ve got to also have City of Confluence in your deck, and in play, likely in addition to Bazaar. The Loam/Salvage/Pit plan is, I think, easier to assemble since you don’t have to quit dredging to do it (like you would to just find Ring w/o Loam) and you don’t have to have that extra land in play (in the case where you run Loam anyway). It seems to me you can, against Priest, get the whole thing running much more quickly and with far less exposure to Strip Mines.

On a note unrelated to Pit- Loam can help you grind Bazaar to find a bunch of Hollow Ones against Cage.

@hierarchnoble yeah, Trap is still good. But I don’t think Priest is good enough to play over any of Crypt, Leyline, or even Faerie Macbre at this point. If people decided this whole shift is true and Priest isn’t totally worth it at this point and thereby “revive” Oath then maybe I’d change it back, but as of now I think 3-3 Trap/Crypt is good, or 4-2 Leyline/Trap.

last edited by wfain

@brianpk80 i am glad oath exists because it makes people play suboptimal dredge hate.

@brianpk80 lol.

@vaughnbros I’d like to issue an apology to you. I accused you of doing the same thing I was doing (failing to understand your point, and not being honest about really trying). I’m sorry. You deserve better. Your perspective in this matter is valuable and legitimate, and I didn’t treat you as such. I hope you’ll accept my apology.

last edited by wfain

@wfain Apology accepted. Sorry for derailing the thread.

  • 39
  • 5358