[AFR] Tasha's Hideous Laughter

If I were to try this out in a list it would have to be some Mana Denial strategy with strips/wastes, maybe spheres of some form or another. The idea being that this will continue to mill (exile) all Moxen/Lands it hit's until it hits the CMC requirement. No you may not hit that key combo card, but you are likely to hit 5+ mana sources. Throw in spheres/Thalia's, wastelands, Revokers, Null Rods, Ouphes, etc etc, you can easily mana screw any current list. Just my thought on it.

@serracollector Your post reminds me a famous logic problem:
I will reveal cards from the top of a 52card deck of playing cards one at a time. At some point before I reveal the last card, you must tell me to stop. Then, we will reveal the next card on top. If it is black, you win. If it is red, you lose. What strategy gives you the best chance of winning?
A common attempt is to do something like, "once you've revealed more red cards than black, cards, stop". Unfortunately, such a strategy doesn't work  any strategy you come up with always succeed with probability 50%.
There is a very elegant proof of this fact: it is obvious that once you stop, revealing the bottom card will give you the same odds of winning as revealing the top card, so we can change the rules of the game to do that. Once we do that, it is obvious that all your strategizing on when to stop revealing from the top will be irrelevant. If we play this game repeatedly, 50% of those games will have a black card on the bottom, and so your strategy will win 50% of those games, regardless of your strategy.
It is easy to see that this proof can be applied to show that your mana denial strategy is misguided. Your chances of drawing a mana source from the bottom of your deck is unaffected by the milling of cards from the top of your deck.

@dshin to play devil's advocate, actual manabases are not entirely fungible. if there are 4 lands in my deck, 2 fetches and 2 fetchable, and you exile 2 of them at random when you exile half my deck, there is a 1/6 chance that i now have effectively no lands in my deck (if you hit both duals the fetches are dead draws). if on the other hand you hit both fetches i have the prior proportion of lands, not a higher one. I don't think that this effect is truly worth considering in a mana denial role, it's less effective than stuff like needling a 4x fetch, but it is a nonzero effect.

@blindtherapy Yes that’s a fair point. Should be a minor factor though as you point out.

I'm pretty sure some sites include the average mana cost of cards in each decklist. It would be a good starting point to see on average how many cards this will hit for each deck.

I’m having trouble finding a single deck from recent results that this card would be effective against. What is the average mana value of a deck this would be good against?
Even if we have a deck with average cost of 1, which is much lower than all of the decks that see the tournament results page, you’re only exiling 20 cards. Aren’t there some cards that do this already?
This card would only be good against a deck that has an average mana value of 0. This deck doesn’t exist.

Is there a deck this shuts down? Maybe Oath? Pre oath you can hit oath targets, post oath you can mill the rest of their deck (if they milled alot to hit a creature).
Seems ok with dauthi voidwalker maybe? 
@johncox I don't think this interacts with dauthi voidwalker.

It seems fine as a sideboard consideration at least. I mean, it's usually hard to Doomsday with half of your deck exiled (lots of key cards). If this is the best thing to do with a 3 mana sideboard slot is a different and probably very personal argument

This won’t come close to exiling half of anyone’s deck.
There’s 9 five drops in doomsday, 1 at 8 mana, 7 at 3 mana, 6 at 2 mana, 19 at 1 mana, with the rest at 0.
Average CC = (45+8+21+12+19)/60 = 1.75
Tasha’s Hideous Laughter will exile only 11 cards on average from Doomsday. As far as hitting key cards, there’s only 2. You’d have to hit both Thassa’s to disrupt the combo.
You could exile more cards with Ashiok Dream Render if you really wanted that effect

I'm not sure if this card is my jam ... but just to mention ... this card works in multiples in a way that an allornothing [[Telemin Performance]] can't. If two of these consistently killed someone, finding 2 of 4 and paying 1UU each would be a very reasonable kill, same total mana cost as Painter/Grindstone, fewer dead cards, and no vulnerability to Null Rod or removal. Sometimes the first will win the game by exiling key cards, or just exiling relevant enough cards to give you time to find the second. But as people have pointed out already, I don't know if two of these is a consistent kill against a lot of decks.
Milling/exiling cards isn't an inherently bad strategy, it's just that mill cards are balanced such that you'll almost always find better ways to win with damage. If they keep pushing mill (and I think this is pushed mill), eventually this card becomes a reasonable Lava Axe. I don't really think we're there yet, though.

Against the entire meta this card will exile 12.7 cards on avg.

@brassman said in [AFR] Tasha's Hideous Laughter:
no vulnerability to Null Rod or removal.
trading null rod/removal for flusterstorm/pyroblast/force of negation (with the printing of urza's saga grindstone can often be uncounterable) is not necessarily getting ahead on the trade. if 2 castings of this was actually a kill, which it probably isn't against all major decks.
@vroman just dividing total cmc by 20 doesn't actually get you the average number of cards exiled, because it keeps going until the total is at least 20; ie if the total is currently 15 it might take multiple small cards to stop or it might stop on a single force of will. also if you expect to on average hit N more cards and hit a zero, your new expectation is not N1, it's slightly less than N. I think i'll use the numbers you've used as indicative of the decklists and run the actual math.

here's the output of running 100,000 tests of each distribution in python
they are a bit over half a card, on average, more than merely summing the deck's CMC would predict. hatebears is the lowest discrepancy.
code:import random DEBUG = False num_iterations = 10 ** 5 total_card_count = 0 decklist = { '0': 22, '1': 12, '2': 12, '3': 6, '4': 1, '5': 5, '6': 0, '7': 0, '8': 2, } for iteration in range(num_iterations): if(iteration % 10000 == 0 and iteration>0): print ("Iteration number "+str(iteration)+". Current average: "+ str(round(total_card_count / iteration,2))) cards_in_hand = { '0': 0, '1': 0, '2': 0, '3': 0, '4': 0, '5': 0, '6': 0, '7': 0, '8': 0, } deck = [] for card in decklist.keys(): deck += [card] * decklist[card] random.shuffle(deck) this_casting_card_count = 0 this_casting_cmc_count = 0 while this_casting_cmc_count < 20: cards_in_hand[deck.pop(0)] += 1 this_casting_card_count += 1 this_casting_cmc_count = 0 for cmc in cards_in_hand.keys(): this_casting_cmc_count += (int(cmc) * cards_in_hand[cmc]) total_card_count += this_casting_card_count print('average number of cards exiled: ' + str(round(total_card_count / num_iterations,2)))

Where are you getting your lists? I haven't seen much Hermit druid out there.

@johncox I am just using vroman's numbers, no idea where he got them.


UB mill is one of the best decks to play right now in modern. Between Archive Trap, Fractured Sanity, 8 crabs, and blue control such as Counterspell and graveyard hate, it seems to have enough to get there against fast combo and aggro decks. I think the real appeal to playing mill is Visions of Beyond. Once you get your “Ancestrals” online, it becomes as easy as firing off a few more mill spells to win the game. Unfortunately Tasha’s Hideous Laughter exiles, so it won’t work to enable visions.

I think the analysis of the pure volume of cards milled actually misses a bit of the point of this card.
Beside the fact that the cards are exiled, it is selective in how it works. You can garner a lot about a cards role based on the CMC, as higher CMC cards very often have a different purpose in a given list than the lower CMC ones, be they pitch cards or game enders. It may be different deck to deck but there is very often a trend. If this card only mills a few cards, it is likely because it hit high CMC cards, which is not bad. Exile milling 3 cards against Oath is not bad if the 3 cards were the only oath targets in the list for instance, as the deck would then struggle to win if it even could anymore.
Likewise if you are removing all the small CMC stuff, you may similarly cut off your opponent of options. A card that just said exile every card from your opponents deck with Mana value 3 or less would very likely be quite powerful.
I don't think this card is comparable to Glimpse the Unthinkable, but rather to Sadistic Sacrement or Jester's Cap in that the matches you would side it in for are ones where you know that removing key cards can be backbreaking.

@protoaddict said in [AFR] Tasha's Hideous Laughter:
I don't think this card is comparable to Glimpse the Unthinkable, but rather to Sadistic Sacrement or Jester's Cap in that the matches you would side it in for are ones where you know that removing key cards can be backbreaking.
It's not going to reliably hit the key cards, though. let's say oath is our example. the oath deck has a good number of 3s and 5s in walkers, force of will, also probably a dig through time, in addition to its targets (let's say 2 griselbrands). if the card is only successful if it hits both griselbrands, it's a pretty bad card. that's only going to happen about 2.4% of the time, maybe a bit more or less depending on the list.