I am playing a blue white BTB control deck. The lists I saw online were playing cages rather than RIPs. Is Hogaak really fast enough that the cages are better even give that the deck plays only 2 moxes? I have been very happy with RIP especially since the invention of force of vigor since blowing it up still leaves the player having to rebuild their yard. Is there something I am missing as to why cages are better?

@botvinik Cages are better only in the sense that you can cast it off an island or off-color mox. And if they are on the play and you don't have a mox, they'll get up to 2 activations of bazaar (maybe 3 if they have bazaar #2 in hand) which is enough to poop out a Hogaak before you hit enough mana for RiP. Outside of that, RiP is probably superior in that matchup - however cage is also good in stopping tinker in other blue decks, so there's a broader application there. RiP also shuts off your own Dig/Cruise delve shenanigans.

I prefer Containment Priest myself vs bazaar decks as Force of Vigor is a 4-of post sb, and they rarely have a way (outside of one or two sickening shoals and few black cards) to remove it.

This is one of those questions where the answer is going to end up being dependent on your deck and on the metagame. Because those things shift around over time, it might be helpful to try and think in terms of heuristics, e.g. not "which is better" but "what might make one better." I'm not up to date on the metagame enough to give a great answer, but here are maybe some factors you can think about:

Does your deck have any cards that are hosed by Rest in Peace but not by Grafdigger's Cage? (perhaps delve spells).

Are there other matchups you care about where those cards are relevant? A lot of people choose to run Grafdigger's Cage because it doubles as a disruptive spell against Tinker, Oath of Druids, Bolas Citadel. You might be able to fit more Cages in your list than Rest In Peaces if you're already dedicating space to beat those other decks. This might be a good reason to run a mix of Cage/RiP as well.

Seems like you're already accounting for the popular counter-answer cards in the current metagame (Force of Vigor) but keep in mind that kind of stuff changes all the time. Tabernacle of the Pendrell Vale was very good against graveyard strategies last year, but it looks like those decks have adapted by running more Strip Mine effects. Against Dredge decks with Force of Vigor I tend to share your instinct for running cards that generate some value even when they get removed, but I'm not sure how the latest crop of Hogaak lists changes the equation.

Like white dragon I'm also a big fan of Containment Priest, but I think you aren't wrong to be concerned about your ability to play 2 drops in a deck with only two moxes.

Tormod's Crypt and Ravenous Trap are cards that works really well alongside other hate cards. Crypt just buys time ... you won't win if you just draw Crypts in a slow deck ... but because they're free and create value through Force of Vigor, they can shore up the weaknesses of other hate cards (or make you more likely to win with a card like Tinker).

Some decks naturally lend themselves to run cards that are relevant in a match, but might not be something specialized. I've found cards that interact with the board to be reasonable (e.g. stuff like Tarmogoyf and Swords to Plowshares) as long as they're part of a larger strategy. I've had success with Scavenging Ooze+Deathrite Shaman+Tormod's Crypt, which are all cards that aren't particularly powerful enough on their own. When you're already running some number of those cards, that changes the value of other options. I don't like Surgical Extraction but I admit that it gets better in a deck with 4 Snapcaster Mage. Other cards to pay attention to are Wasteland, anti Hollow One cards like Dack Fayden, and creatures that sacrifice themselves to kill Bridge from Below. I suspect that your deck doesn't have any of these? Which might mean you have to dedicate more space than another list would.

The details of your deck are important here. My assumption from the name blue white BTB is that you're going to be too slow to rely on just Crypts/Traps/Leylines ... and I'm guessing you don't have enough creatures to make Containment Priest affect your clock, but you do have enough counters to try and fight off Force of Vigors. My instinct here is that you need a way to interact consistently on turn one. I would say if you're only able to dedicate 4ish slots to the matchup then Cage is the only thing that's going to get you there. If you're willing to dedicate more space (and I suspect you should), then you can run a mix of (Crypt or Trap or Cage for turn one interaction) with (Rest in Peace or Containment Priest to seal the deal).

It looks like the dredgey decks are pretty popular right now. As an "advanced excercise" you might want to look at a metagame and identify if there are any of those "relevant-but-not-dedicated" cards that happen to be good against several of the top decks. Skimming mtgGoldfish right now I see Golos stax, HogaakVine, and Outcome, and I notice that Dack is relevant against Golos/Hollow One/Mox Opal; Wasteland is relevant against Dark Depths/Bazaar/Academy; Null Rod/Collector Ouphe is relevant against Mirage Mirror/Mox Opal. If you were to play a RUG deck with those cards you'd already be down a path that pushes your sideboard in a strong direction. None of those cards replace your sideboard, but they act as force-multipliers to make your sideboard cards more effective, and inform which cards you should use. This won't help you tune a deck you already have built, but I find myself building decks sideboard-first quite a bit, and those lists have been pretty effective for me.

Thanks for your replies. I have been running a board plan of cutting the dig through time and bringing in 3 RIPs and 3 peacekeepers is there a reason I never see any peacekeeper decks I have found the card to be great in the matchup and basically an instant KO if combined with stony versus shops. Is there a reason the card sees so little play that I am missing?

@botvinik peacekeeper is an expensive spell at 3 mana, and once in play remains vulnerable to mana denial. there are other cards that likely win the game against shop when combined with stony that are better on their own than peacekeeper is on its own.

@blindtherapy said in Cage V RIP:

@botvinik peacekeeper is an expensive spell at 3 mana, and once in play remains vulnerable to mana denial. there are other cards that likely win the game against shop when combined with stony that are better on their own than peacekeeper is on its own.

I think that, especially in the contest of a back to basics mana base, you are underestimating the guy. It is great versus Hogaak and dredge who typically have at most two ways to remove it in the 75 witch they may not even bring in if your main board shows few or no creatures. Those decks have no way to get to 20 without attacking so the effect frequently completely locks them out. But it’s not only good in the graveyard matchups. Eldrazi tends to board out creature removal for more disruptive elements when you show a creature light or devoid main meaning it can beat them in a single card as well. Without a stony silence it is only a stumbling block vs shops but it can frequently buy enough time to get one online especially if you have the ability to counter the first ballista. Now your point about being venerable to mana disruption is true but I have found great success recently playing more fetch dependent decks that run less duals and more basics and they can be very solid and hard to attack. I have found even with more normal man bases once I get to 3 man it is very hard for shops to drop me to 1 mana. While I will admit 3 mana is a lot peacekeeper is not inherently more expensive and slower than the other grave hate effects. Since they have to stop creatures from entering play and he can stop them once they have already resolved coming down a turn later is not actually any slower to come into effect.

Now I want to be clear I am not making comment directly about your conclusion you may be correct or not, but I think you were much more dismissive of the card than it, deserves wether or not it is ultimately the best option.

Also I cannot think of another card that is so effective versus that spread of decks, doges force of vigor and thorn effects, and does not care about force of negation. If you can name such a card please speak up as I would love to try it out.

@botvinik I run Magus of the Moon often. Without bazaar, they're dead, and it is universally a useful card. However, 3 mana is a lot, and you can die before turn 3 easily enough.

@botvinik said in Cage V RIP:

It is great versus Hogaak and dredge who typically have at most two ways to remove it in the 75 witch they may not even bring in if your main board shows few or no creatures. Those decks have no way to get to 20 without attacking so the effect frequently completely locks them out.

speaking with regard to dredge, not hogaak, i would point out that dredge often plays creeping chill, and thus only needs to have attacked for 8 to eventually kill you. dredge also still sometimes plays dread return, and ashen rider, elesh norn, or flayer of the hatebound off a dread return will kill peacekeeper, and anyone playing dread return will likely have at least one of those as a target.

It is probably controversial but I think folks may still be underestimating the power level of rest in peace. There simply aren't many enchantment cards that does what it does with a 187 effect and then provide a static effect. It provides value even if they FoV and you don't have a counter later and you can build so you break the symmetry. I attribute 100% of my middling, above average vintage play to rocking a md RiP and getting people g1. Because I also think folks rely on the gy way too much in blue now too. If you look at current meta of this post, md RiP has splash damage against: BUG (shutting off drs, goyf), jeskai (shutting off arcanist, snaps, dig, cruise), golos shops (those with the crucible), breach (basically just gg g1) and traditional dps with yawg will. It is just so wide. The only width you get with cage is maybe shutting off forge in shops and an edge in oath.

I'm biased but if you are trying to make a go of it with u/w (already an uphill battle) I reccomend trying a singleton RiP md and building around it. It has brought me a ton of wins.

last edited by DtC80

Amidst all this conversation let's not forget that there is some benefit to be had by diversifying your hate options. Having more cards with more crossover to cover more strategies can let you get more coverage out of your sideboard and insulates you from some counter hate cards.

Just a made up example, but a deck that runs 4 Grafgidders cage and 3 rest in peace in the side may find it more beneficial to run a copy of Ashiok, Dream Render over the 3rd rest since it is useful against a wider variety of decks. It is all dependent on your deck but having versatility in the sideboard is super important in larger events.

My newer iterations use enlightened tutor and maindeck RIP, arcane lab, energy flux(sometimes stony if I expect more PO), and of course back to basics. I have found this silver bullet approach to be very effective vs a variety if unfair decks and BTB cripples most "fair decks" to the pont where I don't feel bad about mainboard enlightened tutor.

last edited by Botvinik

@botvinik I took a similar approach in my Jund Oath build. E-tutor was an allstar. Got maindeck RiP, Stony, Chains, Vault/key, and of course...oath. It was Emrakul/oath, so it had the added bonus of upkeep fetching dragon breath to always put it on top to mill for a hasty Emmy. I loved a maindeck RiP in many games.

@botvinik said in Cage V RIP:

My newer iterations use enlightened tutor and maindeck RIP, arcane lab, energy flux(sometimes stony if I expect more PO), and of course back to basics. I have found this silver bullet approach to be very effective vs a variety if unfair decks and BTB cripples most "fair decks" to the pont where I don't feel bad about mainboard enlightened tutor.

Just curious, since you like 3CMC blue enchantments, what about Propaganda?

@protoaddict said in Cage V RIP:

Amidst all this conversation let's not forget that there is some benefit to be had by diversifying your hate options. Having more cards with more crossover to cover more strategies can let you get more coverage out of your sideboard and insulates you from some counter hate cards.

Just a made up example, but a deck that runs 4 Grafgidders cage and 3 rest in peace in the side may find it more beneficial to run a copy of Ashiok, Dream Render over the 3rd rest since it is useful against a wider variety of decks. It is all dependent on your deck but having versatility in the sideboard is super important in larger events.

I agree completely. I think right now I have 0-1 cage md 1-2 rip md and 0-1 ashiok in my beloved hatebears

@chronatog

If I planned to run prop I would rather just run moat and be done with it.

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