Starting a thread to talk about the new card Mystic Forge, specifically in the context of a "Tiny Robots" style aggro workshops list. I had the honor of being able to talk about this card on the Team Serious podcast here: http://themanadrain.com/topic/2799/serious-vintage-ep-42-heating-up-mystic-forge-free-wizards-preview So I've had a head start building around it.
I killed on the first turn with my very first goldfish, my rough-draft list has been getting consistent turn 2-3 kills, but I'm sure there's room to improve it.
So what's going on here?
Mystic Forge + Sensei's Divning Top is a powerful draw engine. You can activate Top to draw a card, and then use the Forge to cast the Top off of your deck. You can repeat this to draw your entire deck, if you have a cost reducer which makes the Top free, e.g. Foundry Inspector. Once you've drawn your entirely library, you can win with whatever kill you want, in this list you just cast Arcbound Ravager, Walking Ballista, and 20ish Artifacts.
This is not an entirely new combo, as you could do this with Future Sight before - but what's new is that all 3 cards are Artifacts, and all 3 cards provide value on their own, giving the deck unprecedented synergy and threat density. Even the kill cards are top-tier threats on their own. Compare naturally drawing Tendrils of Agony in an Outcome deck to naturally drawing Walking Ballista in this.
A three card combo on its own would not be very exciting, but this fits so very cleanly into an already powerful aggro deck. Unlike trying to assemble Show and Tell/Omniscience/Enter the Infinite, all three of these cards are great on their own, and two of them actively help you dig for the others. You should expect to find the other parts of the combo very quickly after resolving a Forge, and if you don't, it's probably because you killed them before you found the combo. Some of the turn 3 kills don't come from assembling the combo at all, but from the fact that Cranial Plating deals a lot of damage, very quickly.
The Tiny Robots focus over a traditional Ravager Shops keeps the mana cost super-low, so that Mystic Forge can be expected to draw tons of cards even when the combo isn't fully assembled. Over a third of the deck is "free" cards that can be cycled off the top of the deck to quickly dig to the combo. I think there's a case to add some number of Mystic Forge to regular Workshop decks, but building this way means you consistently win the turn you play, or the turn after you play an undisrupted Forge.
What's particularly exciting to me is how the failure states of this deck are so strong. When your opponent shuts your combo off with Null Rod, you're still playing 2 or 3 creatures a turn. When your opponent counters your Mystic Forge, you still have 3 to 6 power on the table (compare that to sinking 2 Dark Rituals into a Bolas's Citadel and getting that countered). Mystic Forge can do so much on the turn you play it, sorcery-speed removal like Shattering Spree and By Force and Energy Flux, normally great against an aggro draw, could really backfire against this deck.
I don't think you can cleanly take a strategy you've been running to beat combo decks or shops decks and directly translate it to this. On the other hand, maybe the deck has new weaknesses, Grafdigger's Cage comes to mind.
This is a combo deck that overwhelms Force of Will.
This is an aggro deck that races Dredge.
Preliminary thoughts after initial testing
In goldfishing, Phyrexian Revoker is bad, of course, but that's to be expected. I do think you want some disruptive cards that goldfish poorly, and it's PROBABLY Revoker, but it could be something else. You really can't maindeck Sphere of Resistance, and I think that's going to turn a lot of people off, but I think this deck might be fast enough that you don't need Sphere in the same way that traditional shops does (Outcome doesn't run Spheres, either). There's a chance you could sideboard them for certain matchups.
Skullclamp felt slow. Probably too slow to be useful, and there won't be as many runaway value games as there was when the deck had Genesis Chamber, I think Mystic Forge is your value card and Skullclamp gets cut.
I think it's probably important that you have some card that makes 0CMC Walking Ballista and Hangarback Walker do something. When you have Forge out you're very likely to play several of them off the top of your deck for free. This could be Genesis Chamber, Chief of the Foundry, Metallic Mimic, or surely something else I'm not thinking of. I suspect you want Chief of the Foundry. More maindeck 3-drops make Forge less consistent but I think it's worth it, and I think it would really boost your game against Rods and Collector Ouphes. Chief is, of course, a proven, quality Workshop card even in games where you don't see any combo pieces.
For sideboard-building, Forge has anti-synergy with Grafdigger's Cage, and otherwise good cards like Dismember and Leylines could slow your Forging down. I think, if you worked the Chiefs into the main, you'd want a combination of:
4-6 lock pieces (Sphere of Resistance/Trinisphere/Lodestone Golem)
3-5 cheap/free grave hate Tormods Crypt/Relic of Progenitus
4-6 Cards to hedge against lock pieces and Null Rods (maybe City of Traitors/Precursor Golem, not sure)