How do I beat a sphere-heavy shops hand when I'm on the draw without FoW?

Perhaps I should edit the title to include "sphere-heavy hand". I think it's clear through the discussion, but I can see how the title is a bit misleading.

My point is, if you truly believe you can't cast a 1-2 Mana spell or creature on the draw versus a sphere heavy hand, then there is no answer. More lands, guides, and all the removal spells in magic have literally been named in this very thread. There are no more answers. Just realize your going to lose those 10% of games that happens. It's a random card game. 90% chance to win seems pretty damn good, why complain about the 10% you don't? Even if there was an answer, you'd still have to draw it, your simply not going to win 100% against....well...any tier 1 deck. That's kinda the point of it being a game right? Sometimes you lose and there is nothing you can do about it.

last edited by Serracollector

Ima start a thread about how to beat Ad Nauseum Tendrils on the draw with no FoW when the have a first-turn kill.

Well, I did at least get some ideas out of the discussion.

I know sometimes you are just going to get rolled. I don't mind when I get T1 POed, but dislike getting sphered out of a game and it taking 10 turns to kill me. More like a cat playing with a mouse before killing it.

I'd love to win them all, but there definitely has to be an equal chance for bonkers in several builds.

I was never actually complaining. I'd like to find ways to get out of spheres with 0 mana plays...but that doesn't mean I don't recognize that I will just lose some games. I was kinda hoping there was an obvious tactic I overlooked, but it seems not. Tabernacle was one I didn't consider, so this wasn't all for naught.


leyline of sanctity, like a boss.

last edited by Ten-Ten

Hey guys. Does Force of Vigor solve this issue? Seems like it to me. I want to say FoV is better than FoW against Shops. I want to say green cards are better than blue cards against Shops in general now. I’d probably rather have a green creature than a Preordain as well. 🤷🏻♂

last edited by desolutionist

Actually a Sphere-heavy hand is the one case where I'd think Force of Vigor is worse than Force of Will. What do you do in each of the OP scenarios?

  1. You can either destroy the Inspector and Mox on T1, or pass your first turn to catch Sphere and something else on your opponent's T2. The first line is probably better and is also better than FoW on the Inspector.

  2. You're screwed. You can destroy the Sol Ring and hope to lock the opponent under their own Trinisphere, and that may well be the correct play, but boy doesn't it feel good.

  3. You're screwed, but so are the blue decks.

  4. Again, you can FoV on their T1, but you can't target the biggest threat, which is the Golem. Waiting a turn and destroying it on their T2 is probably correct here but you're still on the back foot. Countering Golem feels superior.

  5. Again you have to pass your first turn and hope to destroy Sphere and a second juicy target on their T2. The psychic play here is to destroy both artifacts during their Upkeep or Draw steps, before they can play the Academy. Otherwise they play their second sphere and you're only in marginally better shape than if you FoW the first sphere instead.

Force of Vigor is a strong tempo play against non-sphere artifacts, and superior to Force of Will in a great many scenarios, but it's important to note that FoV is still fundamentally a one-for-one and strategically inferior in the Shops matchup relative to By Force, Shattering Spree, Ancient Grudge, etc. Blue decks win the Shops matchup by stabilizing and then outdrawing Shops in the late-game; green decks need to be doing something equally strong (such as recurring Vengevines) to win. Picking off threats on a one-for-one basis is not sustainable over the course of the match.

last edited by evouga

It’s one mana more expensive to hard cast than By Force . Don’t get so locked into the alternate mode that you lose sight of that.

The early game is all about tempo. This is 1-for-1 removal that actually gains tempo against Shops, with 3-ball being the one foil. And again, you still get your late game 2 for 1. It’s more like the green shattering spree than anything else. But I hate comparisons because they lead to discussions on why card X isn’t like card Y.

For example, comparing this to Force of Will misses the mark. Are people going to keep Force of Vigors in the SB over Force of Will (I do board out FoW on the play, but obviously the artifact hate comes in regardless)? Similarly, preordain let’s you find more Force of Vigors and the Green cards to pitch, so this is also a false dichotomy. “I’d rather have Force of Vigor over Preordain.” “Cool, I’d rather have both.”

I actually did the math on the number green cards and the probability of having a green card + Force. I’ll post it tonight.

@evouga I actually think this is going to be better than FoW in many scenarios in the matchup. But this does break sphere lock better than any option before. Even if you do 2-for-2 by pitching to cast it, you can get out from a single sphere and take away their accelerator with just 1 mana. Shops, even with 4 sphere, 1 thorn, 1 golem, 4 revoker, 1 chalice, etc., usually gets 1-2 spheres to start in their opener if they are keeping that line. If you can play a land and hit their revoker and sphere, now they have to topdeck the next lock piece as opposed to having 1-in-7 chance in their opener. They have no draw or scrying. Their metamorphs also now have nothing to copy. stopping their initial sphere-lock by killing 1 or 2 mana denial effects is usually all you need to develop enough mana to not fall so far behind. The sphere-lock hands are only bad because they only allow you to play 0 mana spells each turn by adding 1 lock piece each turn. Kill the first 2, and you won't be locked into mox-only spells.

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