@vaughnbros said in [ELD] Deafening Silence:


I’m not solely a dredge pilot. I play every deck in the format.

I don't think I've ever seen a your name in top 8 that wasn't on a Bazaar deck.

You will play that maindeck card in your opening 60 in 100% of matches.

You will play that exclusive Dredge hate card in your game 2/3 in ~5% of matches.

The main deck card choice is in your deck ~10-20 times as frequently played as that hate card.

This isn’t that hard, but you seem to want to make it so.

Your math here is super misleading, and it reveals two key flaws in your reasoning.

To begin, Frequency of Use (that is, number of times a card is played per tournament) is not the same thing as Significance or Importance. DPS players will cast Dark Rituals many more times than they will cast Yawgmoth's Will or Necropotence or Tendrils of Agony (or nearly equivalent finisher), but those cards are just as strategically significant.

Moreover, if a player plays with 4 "Random Card X" in their sideboard, but a 1 "Random Card Y" in the maindeck, like a Brian Kelly Peek or Sorcerous Spyglass, for example, although the 1 "Random Card Y" may technically be played more (meaning, actually cast) during the course of a tournament, but the 4-of "Random Card X" may actually be far more important in determining whether the pilot makes Top 8.

Thus, again, frequency of use (rather than appearances) is not the same thing as importance or significance, where importance and significance is how and where a card helps a player win matches or games.

But aside from how you are conflating 'frequency' of use in a tournament with strategic importance in a tournament (they are not even close to the same thing), there is an even more fundamental problem, and it's your main blind spot here: there is no such thing as a "sideboard card."

Again, is Pyroblast a sideboard card? Force of Vigor? Stony Silence?

What makes a card more likely to be played in a sideboard v. a maindeck has nothing to do with a card's inherent qualities, and everything to do with the structure or composition of the metagame, and how that card interacts with that structure.

Simply put, cards that are excellent against certain strategies, but weak against most of a metagame are more likely to be used in a sideboard. Whereas cards that are great against a wide range of strategies, but weak against a smaller portion of a given metagame are more likely to be played maindeck.

So, for example, in a metagame that is 70% blue decks, Pyroblast is more likely to be a maindeck card, and if the metagame is only 10% graveyard based, then Tormod's Crypt is more likely to be a sideboard card.

But if the compositional structure of a metagame shifts, so that graveyard strategies are 70% of the metagame, and blue decks are 10%, then then positions of Pyroblasts vis-a-vis Tormod's Crypts between maindeck and sideboards shifts accordingly.

Some decks, like transform boards and Dredge, use most of their SB in every matchup so that is certainly different. But these are atypical from Blue/Shops/others that devote large portions of their SB for 1 or 2 MUs.

The other part of my argument. Leyline vs Crypt vs Cage is again marginal differences. Just like this card vs Pyroblast vs Kambal vs Flusterstorm are only marginally different in power level. Just like me choosing to eat chicken wings vs a fried chicken sandwich. I’m likely to get very similar utility from it.

I could not disagree more with this principle that strategic answers are basically fungible or just different at the margins. The differences between options at a tactical level are actually massive gulfs in any particular event, even if the oscillations between the value or utility of options changes so frequently that in the very long run the differences appear marginal. Optimization per tournament matters. It can be the difference between making Top 8 or not, and winning a tournament or not.

If you are guaranteed to have X copies of a particular effect the existence of the card is only responsible for the additional marginal value it is providing you. This card might win you a few more games against Storm than a Flusterstorm would, when they Duress you before going off. But could also lose them too, when they just bounce it and go off.

Yes, but the card that actually wins you more games in a particular tournament is the optimal card. And tournament results, in the aggregate, are the means by which we observe this, combined with experienced judgment and insight of players in assessing this.

This is dramatically different from the impact of say Bazaar of Baghdad or Mishra’s Workshop that make an entire class of decks possible. Comparing the frequency of Bazaar top 8s to the frequency of Bazaar-hate cards top 8ing is missing the entire context of the results.

No, actually - they are interrelated. That's what makes your original comment that frequency of appearances in a sideboard top 8 is irrelevant so erroneous.

Large scale use of a particular tactic in sideboard of Top 8 decks is indicative of some underlying fact or set of facts, which we then use our judgment to discern.

If there are alot of Workshop or Dredge hate in a sideboard, then that may tell us both about the prevalence and/or power of the Workshop and Dredge strategies. We then use our experience and judgment to know the difference, and whether it is one, both or something else.

In the case of Grafdigger's Cage, part of the reason the card saw so much play wasn't just that was optimal in any particular matchup, but that it was broadly useful and hyper-efficient in a range of matchups. Thus, for example, it could be used against Oath and Dredge. If we see alot of Grafdigger's Cages, then it's a signal to see what role it's playing in the metagame, to try to understand why it's there, and then we can glean new insights about the structure of the format and the dynamics in tournament play.

On top of this all, top 8s frequency or prevalence in general as a measure of success, as Mikey just pointed out, can be highly inaccurate even for MD cards.

That's why we look over time and in the aggregate rather than a single case.

Top 8 appearances of a particular card tells us how good a card is because, in the aggregate, cards help players win games, matches, and thereby tournaments.

If a card is really bad or just suboptimal, over time, it will be weeded out, even if a single player sticks with it. Tournaments are basically simulations of a format, over and over again, and aggregate results give us insight into optimization. It's just a hive mind attacking a problem over and over again.

last edited by Smmenen


I fundamentally disagree with like 99% of this post. I don’t think it’s worth continuing this. You are way too optimistic about the quality of this data, and value SB cards way too highly.

My most recent event publication is a 5-0 on a 4-color fish deck. That isn’t my most recent 3,4,5 win event, but there is a publication bias now towards 5-0’s and specific types of 5-0’s by Wizards. That brings us to yet another issue with Vintage data...

In my Depths deck, I run 4x eidolon of rhetoric since the misstep restriction. When the card lands, it wins games. If I can turn 1 stick it, I usually beat PO and xerox that give my deck fits. The problem is I often only have 1 or 2 mana on turn 1, and then lose before I get a turn 2 vs something like PO. This shaves that effect's cost to 1 mana (and can't be plowed) - this is a welcome addition to my deck.

I was so hyped for TPS since the mm restriction, but now iam just kind of bummed....This card is absolutely insane and should not have been printed like this. Way to cheap, way too powerful effect, but most importantly a very very boring effect.
However ofcourse there will be ways to play around it: It's time to play multiple Chain of vapors Maindeck I guess.

@aelien Or you could have your chain of vapor not matter because I run 4 of these in my deck (I'm a crazy person) and have 2 in play.


Ray of Revelation. Nature’s Claim. Abrupt Decay. There’s probably better answers than a utility bounce spell.

@vaughnbros Storm is going to be a UBGW deck now to accommodate Ray of Revelation? News to me. Also, Decay is the same single spot removal that Chain is. I think this card will be extremely difficult for Storm to weather because in most decks running it (at least the ones that I'd build) they'd run a lot of other lock pieces (Thalia, Collector Oupe, Sanctum Prelate, Wastelands etc.) in addition to the Silences. I think there may bw more dark days for Storm on the horizon. That's my weather forecast.


Tinker blightsteel is an option for DPS. A hatebear deck that runs multiples of this card would tend to be less threatening than the usual hatebear decks.

@full-rod said in [ELD] Deafening Silence:

Tinker blightsteel is an option for DPS. A hatebear deck that runs multiples of this card would tend to be less threatening than the usual hatebear decks.

Well I find that laughable. A hatebear deck running multiples of this card is going to be busted. And blightsteel? Elvish Reclaimer into Maze on their endstep finds that laughable too. As does Knight of the Reliquary. Is turn 1 Blightsteel still an issue? Sure. It is for any deck though. I also run 4 maindeck Containment Priest as a pre-emptive measure to blightsteel.

@full-rod said in [ELD] Deafening Silence:

Tinker blightsteel is an option for DPS. A hatebear deck that runs multiples of this card would tend to be less threatening than the usual hatebear decks.

I'm not sure how helpful that is, really. If you're on the draw (which is where this printing really hurts), Tinker still needs a turn to set up, during which they will likely play a sphere, rod, Containment Priest, etc. It seems nicer to me to just try to remove it although that's easier said than done too.

@stormanimagus I mean if you're gonna preemptively maindeck storm hate cards and laugh at their deck when you encounter them, that's your prerogative. I don't know how you'd consistently deal with xerox decks and other fair blue decks (which I'd guess you hate also) with that approach. Not every Storm pilot would want to warp their deck to deal with a fringe hatebear deck so I suggested a possible solution that, although not even close to being perfect, is simple and in line with their main game plan. And I know that hatebear pilots would just love for storm pilots to try and bounce every lock piece of theirs, since this distracts the storm pilots from their plan.

@craw_advantage I think it would be better than most of the other non-committal ways to deal with hatebear decks that play 4 copies of this and 4 copies of Containment Priest. We also have discard and bounce. I think if I cared very much about losing to such decks, I would play other color combinations like WUB, which allow the use of Mentor, Balance and Teferi. I would still avoid using spot removal that doesn't help us carry out our main plan though.

last edited by Full Rod

Maybe it's Pack Rat time again...

I see this primarily as a SB card - and that's coming from a Hatebears pilot. Of course it's great against Storm of various sorts, and although the effect is also good vs Xerox, your matchup as a the Hatebears pilot should already be pretty good against Xerox - especially against the Dreadhorde versions. However, the card simply doesn't do anything against Shops and Dredge. Against Dredge that's just a minor concern as the maindeck is already packed with cards that don't do much in that matchup, but you really just need to find one of your maindeck Yixlid Jailers/Containment Priests/Grafdigger's Cage to win game one against Dredge. But you simply can't afford to play too many dead cards against Shops - especially when they come without legs.

That said, I do think this deserves maindeck testing. I'll probably start by replacing some copies, or all, of Thalia, Guardian of Thraben with it.

last edited by Griselbrother
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