[ZRN] Omnath, Locus of Creation

5-0'd

https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/3423382#online

If you are running a companion, you always have something to do with your Omnath mana and you don't have to run cards like Ugin that might be dead draws if you can't stick and Omnath.

As for particular tech, Sevinne's Reclamation is great, as a value card, as a mana sink for Omnath mana, and as a way to hit multiple land drops in a turn if you need to (used it against Dredge to get back Tabernacle).

Had several powerful sequences enabled by Omnath such as

  • Companion Tax on Lutri, Ancestral, Lutri
  • Omnath, Draw Narset, fetch, into play Narset, reveal and cast Time Walk (had an extra Blue)
  • Sevinne + Flashback on multiple planeswalkers.

Omnath was also a Green card for Force of Vigor, which was pretty nice against the Golos Stax deck.

I favor this approach to a ramp deck that is all in playing Omnath, Locus Creation. While you might associate your build as a control deck, the presence of 28 or so lands really cuts down on your ability to interact with the stack and that will make things difficult in Vintage given the density of combo decks.

I also had experience playing Ugin in Vintage and this is not the metagame for it. The first times were during the Treasure Cruise era when I was trying to Drain a Cruise into an Ugin. The second time was a Rector Flash build with Narset unrestrict and a lot a Arcanist decks running around. Ugin does well against the URx decks that can't remove it while it just picks off all the creatures and walkers. Against Shops, Combo, and Dredge with Hollow One, Ichorids, Vengevines, it's not a good answer to the threats. Certainly not for the investment.

If someone argues that this isn't a true Omnath deck, I think a very reasonable approach is to try and explore Yorion next. But I did feel that Omnath gave a style of deck that had fallen out of favor a very real boost.

@chubbyrain1

Congrats on the finish.

I think you are definitely into something in terms of a mana sink. I’m not sure if a Companion is the best option there, they are nice for the guarantee, but the deck limitations are pretty severe for the effect now with the tax included in their cost.

What other mana sinks are there? Well there is Urza, and there is also Golos. That is a couple of very powerful ones, especially with big spells in your deck.

You can also just go down the route of using him to reliably generate 4 different colors of mana. This may be the intersection with a companion, Jegantga, but that would exclude basically all pitch spells. So the deck would need other ways to interact. You can throw in a Coalition Victory here as an out to instant win some games.

This is to say there are probably a few routes one could go with this.

Some scattered thoughts...

Maybe both Golos and a companion can be used, in order to have multiple mana sink options? Golos might want to pull in black mana sources (black lands, Deathrite Shaman), which then opens the door to tutors, which in turn could bring more consistency to a highlander deck. Not to mention the Coalition Victory dream...

Alternatively, if going down the Yorian route, perhaps the Risen Reef/Young Pyromancer/Chandra, Acolyte of Flame package could make sense. After all, both Omnath and Yorian’s ETB have some synergy with Risen Reef. Your RUG Elementals deck thread noted that the inability to run Force of Vigor due to lack of green cards hurt the deck; maybe the addition of Omnath and Sylvan Library can help reach the required critical mass of green cards. Also, I think the cost of having a card like Blightsteel in your deck diminishes the larger your deck size, as the probability of drawing it decreases, so Yorian might justify bringing in a Tinker package...which might warrant bringing in Golos as a potential Tinker target.

Volrathxp appears to have tried a Yorian Elementals deck, using an inferior Omnath.

@john-cox I don't think so. it needs you to trigger omnath twice and then search, which is probably a bit too much to rely on.

The benefit of Yorion is that your manabase actually gets better since you can play more duals, and fetches in the larger deck. Its restriction is probably the easiest to deal with in terms of deck building since it still lets you play pitch spells in high numbers. Flickering your Risen Reef and friends sounds interesting.

last edited by vaughnbros

Second trophy with identical 75.

alt text

Will probably start brewing with Yorian + Omnath next but I think it is best in Legacy.

Regarding Panglacial Wurm, timing is difficult and I was trying to avoid scenarios where you drew cards that were dead if you didn't draw Panglacial Wurm.

@chubbyrain1 Congrats on the wins. But I have to say I can't see this being a sterling endorsement of Omnath being good (or viable) in Vintage.

This is a Lutri deck with a miser's Omnath. The deck overall looks very solid, and I don't see much synergy with Omnath at all (outside of Sylvan, which is good on its own). I'm wondering how many of your 10 game wins came on the back of Omnath vs how many times you won because it's just a good Lutri deck with an Omnath floating in the pile. I'd love to hear if you faced games where you were dead, but topdecked Omnath and pulled out the win - or at least dropped a turn 2-3 Omnath and put your opponent in an unwinnable position off the bat.

My suspicion is that your deck did what it would normally do without Omnath and you beat down with Goyf, Mentor, Oko elks, and Lutri with massive CA most games. I'm thinking you probably saw Omnath less than half the games and he was just decent in most situations. Using a great 60 cards + 1 suboptimal card can still win 5-0 if you rarely see the 1 card (or if it's not absolutely godawful). Heck, even sedge troll was a win in a deck because the other 59 made that 1 card irrelevant.

This is even more true if you as a player are better than your opponent whitch chubby seems to be in most cases.

The answer is I’ve won several games with Omnath and it’s never a bad card because of the cantrip and pitching to Force. I’ve sideboarded Goyf out frequently and this card never. The odds of drawing a 1-of in your opening hand is low, but this deck draws a lot of cards, so I estimate I’ve seen Omnath in a 1/3 to 1/2 of games.

For actual game play, it’s really hard for any deck that wants to attack to beat the 4-7 life a turn you gain, in addition to the card and body. It’s really hard to lose if you untap and have access to 9 mana and your Companion.

Sylvan Library is not the only interaction. Please read other posts.

And to quote a friend:

As someone who died to omnath
Lolololol

Edit: is it just one “suboptimal” card? We went through a similar discussion with Cindervines were people compared it to a bad Kambal. Growth Spiral is a meme. Sevinne’s Reclamation is not really a vintage staple. There are not one but two Triomes. And Lutri has hardly seen much play since the Companion nerf.

last edited by chubbyrain1

@chubbyrain1

At this point we can probably agree omnath is reasonable to good in the deck you put together. This then leads to the natural questions:

  1. do you think there is something better for that slot?
  2. do you think omnath is good enough for other decks who do not have to go singleton?

I have played exactly 3 matches with the deck omnnath did not impress me but it did not seem bad either. Seemed like an ok card in my limited experience. Hard to cast but while it is in play it is nightmare fuel for aggro shops.

last edited by Botvinik

@botvinik I can totally see it being a decent card. I have a hard time seeing it being a great card. It's definitely not mentor-2.0. It's never dead as it cantrips and pitches to FoW...but so does any one-mana blue cantrip. Being blue and drawing a card are certainly great features, but if you see it in 33-50% of games and are pitching it to FoW maybe 50% of those times...it's pretty easy to see going 5-0 with or without this.

@chubbyrain1 Sevine's Reclamation may not be optimal, but it's certainly not bad at all. I like that card. Cindervines I've always liked. It's worse than Kambal vs storm, but certainly gets its damage in - and kills a hollow one or oath, which kambal sucks at. I dunno if your 60 is the absolute best pile ever....but it's certainly solid. My point is that, with that list, if Omnath were pretty much any other blue cantrip (Uro, for example), the deck would have 5-0d.

@botvinik said in [ZRN] Omnath, Locus of Creation:

This is even more true if you as a player are better than your opponent whitch chubby seems to be in most cases.

I always find this reasoning odd. We aren't talking about someone else's results - we are talking about my own results. I played each and every game of every match and are describing first-hand experience with the card. You aren't inferring a card's merits based on LSV's play, whose rationale you aren't privy too. So you are attributing my success to my playskill, but denying that I have the level of insight to realize why I am having that success, and furthermore, that you have more insight than I do into the games and matches I actually played.

@botvinik said in [ZRN] Omnath, Locus of Creation:

@chubbyrain1

At this point we can probably agree omnath is reasonable to good in the deck you put together. This then leads to the natural questions:

  1. do you think there is something better for that slot?
  2. do you think omnath is good enough for other decks who do not have to go singleton?

@botvinik said in [ZRN] Omnath, Locus of Creation:

I have played exactly 3 matches with the deck omnnath did not impress me but it did not seem bad either. Seemed like an ok card in my limited experience. Hard to cast but while it is in play it is nightmare fuel for aggro shops.

So, this is a shift in perspective from where I think you were originally where you were much more down on Omnath's utility and asking what you could do with the mana generation. Which is good, it's why I put the effort into making this thread, to have this sort of dialogue and talk about how a card could evolve to see play based on how people use it, ideally getting different ideas and inputs along the way.

I actually don't care where people rank the card on the axis of "ok", "good", "reasonable", "Mentor 2.0" or whatever. Such rankings are I guess fun to discuss but have little practical merit when it comes to building decks. During deck construction, what matters is the card's functional roles. With that in mind, to answer your questions:

  1. Omnath is the newest and perhaps best "Banedrifter" - card that enters the battlefield, generates both value and board presence. Vintage is a format that is becoming increasingly dependent both on board presence and on card advantage. For instance, you have the Bazaar decks that can generate 10+ power in a single turn and PO decks that can draw a ton of cards if you can't keep up with answers. The ability to have a threat that also generates value with card draw/mana generation/or even pitching to Forces, is really really strong. It's important to identify the role of your deck at certain situations. Like against HogaakVine, you kind of need to stick a Mentor or an Omnath asap or you are going to be overrun. The mana, life gain, body, and card are all relevant there. Against Combo, you may just need to pitch it to Force to not die. That's actually a pretty good use of a card. If you have to choose between pitching your non-blue win condition and Ancestral Recall against Doomsday on turn 1, you probably want to toss that 4/4 away.
    Very few cards have the same functional role. Mentor generates pure board presence (or is effectively a storm kill). It doesn't have the other variables and I actually board out Mentor frequently against Combo decks. Snapcaster, Arcanist, etc, all have less of an impact on the game, though Arcanist can be close. JTMS is not longer a great card at managing the board state. Oko does not fight along the card axis. The closest card is Uro and Uro is obviously insane in other formats but is limited in Vintage due to the unfavorable interaction with Moxen and other taxing effects on the graveyard such as Dig and Cruise. You can argue for more unplayable options like Dream Trawler or some Oath packages but those are very different decks. So no, I don't think there is a functional replacement for the card here.
  2. Yes. There is only one of me. I can't build and play every possible shell in which I think a card might be viable. A reason I made this post was to try and convey my thoughts experiences and encourage others to brew decks they might enjoy with this card. It's not to convince people a card is an arbitrary metric of playable. People want to try it with Coalition Victory or Panglacial Wurm, don't let your memes be dreams... The companion mechanic had not been seeing a lot of play since the nerf and if I think a new printing can revive a previous archetype, I will often try to explore that.

@thewhitedragon69 said in [ZRN] Omnath, Locus of Creation:

@chubbyrain1 My point is that, with that list, if Omnath were pretty much any other blue cantrip (Uro, for example), the deck would have 5-0d.

You didn't play the games. I played the games and disagree with you. My opponent played the games and disagrees with you.

Also, I have put up more results than anyone else with Uro in Vintage. A deck with singleton cantrips lacks the card velocity to adequately fuel Uro and the two Delve spells. The 4 color manabase running two Triomes cannot reliably cast a late-game UUGG spell against Wasteland decks. I was running a Breeding Pool as a 5th Tropical island in my one Uro deck.

last edited by chubbyrain1

@chubbyrain1 said in [ZRN] Omnath, Locus of Creation:

@botvinik said in [ZRN] Omnath, Locus of Creation:

This is even more true if you as a player are better than your opponent whitch chubby seems to be in most cases.

I always find this reasoning odd. We aren't talking about someone else's results - we are talking about my own results. I played each and every game of every match and are describing first-hand experience with the card. You aren't inferring a card's merits based on LSV's play, whose rationale you aren't privy too. So you are attributing my success to my playskill, but denying that I have the level of insight to realize why I am having that success, and furthermore, that you have more insight than I do into the games and matches I actually played.

@botvinik said in [ZRN] Omnath, Locus of Creation:

@chubbyrain1

At this point we can probably agree omnath is reasonable to good in the deck you put together. This then leads to the natural questions:

  1. do you think there is something better for that slot?
  2. do you think omnath is good enough for other decks who do not have to go singleton?

@botvinik said in [ZRN] Omnath, Locus of Creation:

I have played exactly 3 matches with the deck omnnath did not impress me but it did not seem bad either. Seemed like an ok card in my limited experience. Hard to cast but while it is in play it is nightmare fuel for aggro shops.

So, this is a shift in perspective from where I think you were originally where you were much more down on Omnath's utility and asking what you could do with the mana generation. Which is good, it's why I put the effort into making this thread, to have this sort of dialogue and talk about how a card could evolve to see play based on how people use it, ideally getting different ideas and inputs along the way.

I actually don't care where people rank the card on the axis of "ok", "good", "reasonable", "Mentor 2.0" or whatever. Such rankings are I guess fun to discuss but have little practical merit when it comes to building decks. During deck construction, what matters is the card's functional roles. With that in mind, to answer your questions:

  1. Omnath is the newest and perhaps best "Banedrifter" - card that enters the battlefield, generates both value and board presence. Vintage is a format that is becoming increasingly dependent both on board presence and on card advantage. For instance, you have the Bazaar decks that can generate 10+ power in a single turn and PO decks that can draw a ton of cards if you can't keep up with answers. The ability to have a threat that also generates value with card draw/mana generation/or even pitching to Forces, is really really strong. It's important to identify the role of your deck at certain situations. Like against HogaakVine, you kind of need to stick a Mentor or an Omnath asap or you are going to be overrun. The mana, life gain, body, and card are all relevant there. Against Combo, you may just need to pitch it to Force to not die. That's actually a pretty good use of a card. If you have to choose between pitching your non-blue win condition and Ancestral Recall against Doomsday on turn 1, you probably want to toss that 4/4 away.
    Very few cards have the same functional role. Mentor generates pure board presence (or is effectively a storm kill). It doesn't have the other variables and I actually board out Mentor frequently against Combo decks. Snapcaster, Arcanist, etc, all have less of an impact on the game, though Arcanist can be close. JTMS is not longer a great card at managing the board state. Oko does not fight along the card axis. The closest card is Uro and Uro is obviously insane in other formats but is limited in Vintage due to the unfavorable interaction with Moxen and other taxing effects on the graveyard such as Dig and Cruise. You can argue for more unplayable options like Dream Trawler or some Oath packages but those are very different decks. So no, I don't think there is a functional replacement for the card here.
  2. Yes. There is only one of me. I can't build and play every possible shell in which I think a card might be viable. A reason I made this post was to try and convey my thoughts experiences and encourage others to brew decks they might enjoy with this card. It's not to convince people a card is an arbitrary metric of playable. People want to try it with Coalition Victory or Panglacial Wurm, don't let your memes be dreams... The companion mechanic had not been seeing a lot of play since the nerf and if I think a new printing can revive a previous archetype, I will often try to explore that.

@thewhitedragon69 said in [ZRN] Omnath, Locus of Creation:

@chubbyrain1 My point is that, with that list, if Omnath were pretty much any other blue cantrip (Uro, for example), the deck would have 5-0d.

You didn't play the games. I played the games and disagree with you. My opponent played the games and disagrees with you.

Also, I have put up more results than anyone else with Uro in Vintage. A deck with singleton cantrips lacks the card velocity to adequately fuel Uro and the two Delve spells. The 4 color manabase running two Triomes cannot reliably cast a late-game UUGG spell against Wasteland decks. I was running a Breeding Pool as a 5th Tropical island in my one Uro deck.

This is a hell of a post and the best part is most of it makes sense and is even probably correct.

  1. You find that reasoning odd because the way you presented it it makes very little sense. Here is a better developed version that might help you understand why people say things like that.
    A) Personal experience even from the best players is basically untrustworthy at all but the largest sample sizes. You must also see this point because you post results to support your argument rather than explaining how games went and why it mattered. Results should be what we use to define deck quality.
    B) The data you generate is shaped by how good you are. No matter the meta Reid Duke can make modern jund win 55+% of the time. Does this mean that jund has been a tier one deck at every point in modern history, no it means Reid is a great player. The results you post are on average expected to just be better than those of the average vintage player. So comparing the deck you used to theirs and saying it’s good because it wins more is a fallacy. Effectively by being better than most players you make your 5-0s less meaningful to deck assessment because less of the burden rests on the deck to cary you than it would for them. If you wish to argue the best deck should be decided by perfect rather than average play that is a different story and doomsday was probably the best deck in vintage all along in Mr. Menendain’s hands.

The argument is not your insight does not count or I know better it’s your results may be inflated by your play skill and so should be assessed with some skepticism. Or at least that was what I was trying to say I can’t truly speak for the other guy.

  1. Playability metrics. I disagree with you here but that may be because we are using them to mean different things. I want to know how “good” a card is inside and outside a deck because if it’s mentor 2.0 I need to find the shell that’s good enough to get this thing restricted and start grinding with it ASAP. Where as if it were just ok or reasonable in a specific deck I should consider it for other decks in the colors but not be forcing it in like mentor and gush were in every blue deck before restriction. We treat black lotus differently from lotus petal when we think about, build, and modify decks and I haven’t seen anyone playing burglar rat in vintage yet. Understanding how good a card is in an absolute sense is very useful information when brewing and deciding wether or not to add it. Knowing how good a card is in the context of a spesefic deck is also very useful stinkweed imp and shambling shell have the same purpose in dredge but I will cut shells and never imps because I know shell is barely playable in the deck and the imps are essential to its function. Goodness is very useful information for both construction and play.

  2. And finally let’s be a little kinder to dragon I think the idea that he was trying to communicate was on the aggregate scale rather than for your individual matches. And read that way the post raises a valid point about the card and deck even if it is ultimately incorrect.

Regarding Omnath in a singleton deck. Do we think that perhaps a singleton deck needs a slightly higher sample size to determine it's value because of the inherent variance it is going to have? Lutri is guaranteed if you need access to him but you can only really judge how good Omnath is based on the games he was drawn or otherwise came up as relevant.

I want him to be a good card but it seems like a very narrow slot for him to have an impact and I would be interested in how the same 75 with something in his stead actually fared as a comparison.

You guys are impossible......he just went seriously into depth about how 1 single card can't possibly replace it and do all that it does. Just because your deck is singleton doesn't mean it can play ANY 60 cards

@botvinik

  1. I have spent the last several years collecting Vintage data and I wrote a post that broke down Max's "100 games with the best deck in Magic", talking about sample sizes and confidence intervals. My argument is not based on the record, it's based on all of the supporting reasons I've given, which is theory combined with actual game play. It means I don't have to deal in as many hypotheticals:

"What would have happened if I played a cantrip over Omnath?"

  • I would have died to a Hogaak since I gained 16-20 life off of triggers before turning the game around. Was better than Mentor since Mentor would have just traded some tokens and let the opponent replay the Gaak.

"What would have happened if I played a Managorger Hydra?"

  • I would have died to T1 Tinker into Bolas Citadel because I really had to Force that.

I'm literally asking myself "How good is this card?" every time I draw it. That's part of brewing and testing a deck. But I'm doing it with every card in the deck. Every card. I've cut Black Lotus from decks because I'm wondering if the negative card advantage is disadvantageous in certain control heavy metagames.

I get really, really tired of people with no experience with the deck explaining to me that, yes, I could play something else instead without actually providing a reason for that. It's lazy and I feel like the onus should be on the other person to provide a reason for why I should play any of the 10,000's of other Magic cards in Vintage instead of the card that I've chosen to play for the specific reasons that I typed out in previous posts. It is, however, an incredibly common response.

At the end of the day, there isn't a sample size that can be realistically generated in Vintage to measure the effect of a single card on a deck list with any degree of confidence (excluding obvious cases like building a deck of 60 Islands). I did build this deck almost entirely with the one of Omnath in mind. Even the Cindervine is there because I thought I could use the 4 damage as reach to close out a long game in which Cindervine was active against Blue (also ups Green count).

And the main reason to list a record is because people pay attention to records and trophies. I had hoped that it would get people to read the rest of the argument, not infer playability from that.

  1. Regarding playability metrics, you can evaluate cards and build decks however you want, but I have found my success looking at cards, decks, and metagames holistically. You want to play the right combination of cards in the right metagame, not the absolute best cards in a vacuum. It's why I'm taking time to describe why I'm playing the card and in what specific instances and roles I am using it, rather than give blanket statements about the cards playability. Again, where did I ever say this is Mentor 2.0? You and others are trying to pin it on some scale, but that just isn't how I work. I find an interesting idea, evaluate it, refine it a bit, then get bored and move on to next interesting idea.

  2. He does this all the time, but if you are talking about jamming cards in decks without considering the synergy of other cards in a deck or metagame implications, that is not a valid point. A card's utility does not exist solely in a vacuum. As I said in the previous post, this deck doesn't have the mana base to run Uro. It doesn't have the cantrips. You can tweak both to make Uro better in the deck, but it's not just substituting a single card. And I'm pretty sure I'm still the only person who has won a
    Vintage challenge with Uro.

@botvinik

Small tangent, but shell is actually the one dredger you can't trim on in current lists because you need the green count for force of vigor, and you get to fudge on the numbers by being able to dredge into your green card.

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