You are on the play against an unknown opponent and your opening 7 is
Mox Ruby
Fetchland
Sensei's Divining top
Ancestral Recall
Flusterstorm
Trinket Mage
Sai, Mater thopterist

You lead Ruby, fetch and tap the ruby for top which gets misstepped. There is a second top in your deck. Whats your play - do you:

  1. Crack fetch and flusterstorm to resolve top
    -Without Sai, this seems to not be the best play. However a turn 2 resolved Sai means while slow, each turn you are looking at the top 3 cards of your deck and generating 1/1 flying thopter for 1 mana if you keep the top in play.

  2. Crack Fetch and Ancestral Recall - To me this seems to be the best play. You are letting the top get countered but more comfortable resolving your Recall since they are on their opening hand and used misstep. They could have a second, but its a low chance. This refills your hand (this is what I did and I drew FoW, Tolarian and Mentor), keeps mage handy to get the other top if you need it.

  3. Let the misstep resolve and pass the turn. Aside from 'not giving away any info' this approach seems like a good way to lose.

What would you do?

I think your play is pretty clearly the right one even without knowing much else about your gameplan. Resolving Ancestral in blue matchups is always critical, and this seems like a great opportunity to do so.

With Ancestral and Flusterstorm in hand, I an inclined to always go greedy, and Ancestral in response to the opponent putting an instant or sorcery on the stack.

But without a second sources of blue, I likely flusterstorm to keep the top, since it can't protect the Ancestral.

@khahan said in Whats the play?:

Crack Fetch and Ancestral Recall

This.

I like the Ancestral plan but think it's best to wait and do it during the opponent's upkeep, to dodge Mindbreak Trap, since you've already used your land drop and are unlikely to draw into any immediate action (Mox + second Top, etc).

@evouga said in Whats the play?:

I like the Ancestral plan but think it's best to wait and do it during the opponent's upkeep, to dodge Mindbreak Trap, since you've already used your land drop and are unlikely to draw into any immediate action (Mox + second Top, etc).

The chance of drawing your own Misstep makes Ancestral right now way better.

I feel like playing Ancestral there is just praying to get blown out though. A second Misstep means you just lost the game. I'd either let Misstep resolve or Fluster, probably Fluster. Depends if you know what you're playing against. Either way you're more likely to resolve Ancestral next turn.

last edited by fsecco

Your 1st scenario revolves entirely on drawing a mana source on turn 2, otherwise you can't play Sai. You can always top to see a second card, but that seems really slow.

@fsecco said in Whats the play?:

@evouga said in Whats the play?:

I like the Ancestral plan but think it's best to wait and do it during the opponent's upkeep, to dodge Mindbreak Trap, since you've already used your land drop and are unlikely to draw into any immediate action (Mox + second Top, etc).

The chance of drawing your own Misstep makes Ancestral right now way better.

I feel like playing Ancestral there is just praying to get blown out though. A second Misstep means you just lost the game. I'd either let Misstep resolve or Fluster, probably Fluster. Depends if you know what you're playing against. Either way you're more likely to resolve Ancestral next turn.

This is an interesting opinion. I'm curious why you think waiting until next turn gives you a greater chance to resolve Ancestral compared to now. Say your opponent does have a second Misstep - what are you hoping to accomplish between now and your next turn that would make your Ancestral more likely to resolve? I feel like giving your opponent a turn to do whatever (cast Preordain or god forbid an Ancestral of their own, or just play a fetch and pass the turn back) would make it far less likely for your Ancestral to resolve on your second turn.

last edited by revengeanceful

@revengeanceful said in Whats the play?:

@fsecco said in Whats the play?:

@evouga said in Whats the play?:

I like the Ancestral plan but think it's best to wait and do it during the opponent's upkeep, to dodge Mindbreak Trap, since you've already used your land drop and are unlikely to draw into any immediate action (Mox + second Top, etc).

The chance of drawing your own Misstep makes Ancestral right now way better.

I feel like playing Ancestral there is just praying to get blown out though. A second Misstep means you just lost the game. I'd either let Misstep resolve or Fluster, probably Fluster. Depends if you know what you're playing against. Either way you're more likely to resolve Ancestral next turn.

This is an interesting opinion. I'm curious why you think waiting until next turn gives you a greater chance to resolve Ancestral compared to now. Say your opponent does have a second Misstep - what are you hoping to accomplish between now and your next turn that would make your Ancestral more likely to resolve? I feel like giving your opponent a turn to do whatever (cast Preordain or god forbid an Ancestral of their own, or just play a fetch and pass the turn back) would make it far less likely for your Ancestral to resolve on your second turn.

Agree here 100%. Even with 4 missteps in the deck, the chance of 2 in the opening hand are pretty low. And a lot of misstep players dont play 4. Usually its 2 or 3. A good number even play 1 and once they show it, they know your play patterns will revolve around the potential for the next misstep.
So to begin with, you have a very low chance of a second misstep. But by letting them have a turn you are giving them 1-6 extra chances to get that second misstep.

I'm not sure I follow this line of thinking and wouldn't mind a more thorough explanation form Fsecco. Is there a nuance I'm missing?

@Khahan @revengeanceful My point is that you're betting your whole game on the fact that he doesn't have that 2nd Misstep in hand. If he does, the game is over for you. Maybe you are willing to take that risk, but I wouldn't. If you defend Top (which is what I'd probably do), your chances to find more permission on the next 1-2 turns are big, which will help you defend your Ancestral better in the future.

If he has 2 missteps and responds to your Fluster countering your Top, then that's 2 less missteps to screw with your Ancestral. This hand is built on Top or Ancestral resolving. If you get both countered (specially on a 1-to-1 basis, which mean by Misstep or Mindbreak), game is over. There's also a chance letting Top get countered and leaving Flusterstorm up so you don't lose to a big turn 1 from them is also a good play. I'd just not bet my whole game on him not having a counter for Ancestral.

last edited by fsecco

@fsecco said in Whats the play?:

@Khahan @revengeanceful My point is that you're betting your whole game on the fact that he doesn't have that 2nd Misstep in hand. If he does, the game is over for you. Maybe you are willing to take that risk, but I wouldn't. If you defend Top (which is what I'd probably do), your chances to find more permission on the next 1-2 turns are big, which will help you defend your Ancestral better in the future.

If he has 2 missteps and responds to your Fluster countering your Top, then that's 2 less missteps to screw with your Ancestral. This hand is built on Top or Ancestral resolving. If you get both countered (specially on a 1-to-1 basis, which mean by Misstep or Mindbreak), game is over. There's also a chance letting Top get countered and leaving Flusterstorm up so you don't lose to a big turn 1 from them is also a good play. I'd just not bet my whole game on him not having a counter for Ancestral.

Gotcha. I think I was interpreting your post as option 3 - just letting everything go and saving AR and fluster for later. One thing to keep in mind though, there is a trinket mage in hand and a second top in the deck. Defending the top has value which is what made me pause and think about this for a few mins in game. I think w/out the immediate opportunity to get the second top in play pretty quick defending top has more value to it, maybe enough to push me into defending it like you suggest.

@fsecco said in Whats the play?:

@Khahan @revengeanceful My point is that you're betting your whole game on the fact that he doesn't have that 2nd Misstep in hand. If he does, the game is over for you. Maybe you are willing to take that risk, but I wouldn't. If you defend Top (which is what I'd probably do), your chances to find more permission on the next 1-2 turns are big, which will help you defend your Ancestral better in the future.

If he has 2 missteps and responds to your Fluster countering your Top, then that's 2 less missteps to screw with your Ancestral. This hand is built on Top or Ancestral resolving. If you get both countered (specially on a 1-to-1 basis, which mean by Misstep or Mindbreak), game is over. There's also a chance letting Top get countered and leaving Flusterstorm up so you don't lose to a big turn 1 from them is also a good play. I'd just not bet my whole game on him not having a counter for Ancestral.

That makes some sense, thanks for the clarification. There certainly seems to be more nuance to this scenario than I initially thought.

@revengeanceful this is a great example of why I like having Misstep in the format. It makes this plays much more deep and way more interactive.

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