Power Nine Challenge (October report)


  • TMD Supporter

    @socialite URW Delver and URW Mentor have been sharing almost identical draw shells, counter suite and mana base for long time (minus full p9 for some lists). And despite trying some hybrids (like Nahiri control, Kelly Oath, etc....) the idea behind is the same.

    Lists are tweaked a little bit and archetypes evolve or adapt. That's the dynamics of our format. The lack of tournaments of decent size does also contributes to this slow pace of evolution. If we were talking about any other format, where a lot of tournaments (big and small) are run every weekend, we would be talking about fast pacing evolution and a different meta every week adapting to the previous one...But Vintage is a beast of different nature.

    More and more the idea of tweaked lists that adapt to "play styles" is something I tend to defend in Vintage conversations. Different people can approach the same archetype in different ways due to "play styles" and slightly modified lists as in the end the way we play the game is fruit of our "autopilot" unconsciousness and being confortable with the list we play and the cards we have available during a certain match.

    Cards are so powerful in our format that sometimes the way we play them (more than having them in our 75) may be the difference between winning and losing.



  • @Khahan But the thread is concerned with the Delver deck @stsung played and the variants that were mentioned later. Your post has merit on the general utility of Pithing but doesn't translate that to the topic at hand. I think the relevant question to ask is "What roll do you see for Pithing Needle in these Delver lists?" rather than defend you use of it in a different archetype.



  • @PeAcH said in Power Nine Challenge (October report):

    @socialite URW Delver and URW Mentor have been sharing almost identical draw shells, counter suite and mana base for long time (minus full p9 for some lists). And despite trying some hybrids (like Nahiri control, Kelly Oath, etc....) the idea behind is the same.

    Lists are tweaked a little bit and archetypes evolve or adapt. That's the dynamics of our format. The lack of tournaments of decent size does also contributes to this slow pace of evolution. If we were talking about any other format, where a lot of tournaments (big and small) are run every weekend, we would be talking about fast pacing evolution and a different meta every week adapting to the previous one...But Vintage is a beast of different nature.

    More and more the idea of tweaked lists that adapt to "play styles" is something I tend to defend in Vintage conversations. Different people can approach the same archetype in different ways due to "play styles" and slightly modified lists as in the end the way we play the game is fruit of our "autopilot" unconsciousness and being confortable with the list we play and the cards we have available during a certain match.

    Cards are so powerful in our format that sometimes the way we play them (more than having them in our 75) may be the difference between winning and losing.

    When you are no longer evaluating cards on objective merit then the theory and subsequent points of argument are null. "Play style" is not a reason to run a card and it's most definitely not a meaningful point to make.

    Fundamental understanding of this archetype comes into question if you're making comparisons between Delver and Mentor that are beyond topical; with topical comparisons also lacking relevance.


  • TMD Supporter

    @socialite I am no longer evaluating cards because both archetypes share a shell of 85/90% same cards. We have been playing with and against Mentor and UR delver for veeeeery long in the LCV (you can check the top8 results to see it has been having a great year in our LCV).

    I am no longer evaluating cards because other people have already talked about this. I have tested your build and given my opinion about it. I could post my testing deck lists for URx Delver and UWx Mentor and try to add something to the conversation on that "list matter issue" "these are two different archetypes" but I guess you already have been providing information and I really appreciate it. That's why I have invested my testing time trying your build.

    And you know? I liked it :) it adapts to my play style (and I know many people who would not play that simply for that reason). Not because the list is not powerful, but because it's not the way they play.

    I have added my comments with the changes I would make in case I would play it because as it is posted above it seems to be lacking something for me as I have already stated.

    Additionally, on the Mentor/Delver topic, it has been played by LCV players (my testing partners) with great results in paper tournaments not only in the LCV, but also all over Europe in TopSeries, BoM and MKM Circuit (it's in the books) all over 2016.

    Also, I (like you) have been testing Delver and Mentor lists for very long time. Against each other and against the major archetypes of the format, over and over and over again (on both sides of the table). I know how they win and how they lose. And I have my opinion about deck lists, main and sideboard. Just like you :)

    Finally but most importantly I refer to "Play Style" when I talk about Vintage in Magic in general in a world where people play right and play the cards when they have to. I don´t want to get into people playing mistakenly, not doing what they are supposed to and not approaching the games taking roles when they should not. I am not talking about all this.

    I assume that the only difference between two players of the same level is the way they play. Thus I use the term Play Style.

    I hope you try to understand my point of view as much as I try to understand yours and add some value to the conversation :)


  • TMD Supporter

    Congrats to @stsung who is currently 6-0 and in the top eight of this power nine challenge.



  • @stsung good job on the finish in the latest P9! Curious how's you felt about some of the more debated card choices from this thread after the event, specifically 2 vs 4 baby Jace, wear/tear, dack fayden and echoing truth (I've found echoing truth underwhelming the past year or so)

    Congrats again!



  • @p3temangus Thank you. After reading through TMD I came to the conclusion that no matter what I say it will most probably end up being flagged as subjective and without any kind of arguments behind my card choices or observations and I regret posting here.
    The first article out of 3 I mentioned earlier is up on puremtgo.com (http://puremtgo.com/articles/afterthoughts-october-power-nine-challenge-part-1). It talks about URx Delver from my perspective and sums up what I already said partially here. If you want, you are free to check that out. (the second article is just report from the DE, part 3 talks about roles and proactivity from the URx Delver position. it was supposed to be one article but I had to divide that into 3 parts.)

    As I already said I'm no proactive player. Having such a deck in my hands feels strange and that is why I decided to play Wear/Tear, Dack Fayden and Echoing Truth. It gives me options and that is something I need. There is already discussion on Fragmentize and Disenchant and it is very similar. The thing is Wear/Tear is hardly efficient unless you play it under very specific conditions. But the card won me so many games against Oath and Vault/Key decks (and some strange White Eldrazi builds) that I will stick with it most probably. I've played with Fragmentize since the card was printed and I always just want to cross it out in my decklist and put Wear/Tear in. I sadly watch my opponent going -> Tezzeret, Tinker -> Time Vault not being able to deal with it when I have Fragmentize in my deck. So if you are interested how I felt, I felt exactly this. Whenever I had Fragmentize in my hand it did not do what I needed it to do in this deck unlike in Esper Mentor where the card was solid.
    EDIT: I know that most of the time many people see Wear/Tear as 2 mana artifact removal and 1 mana enchantment removal. During my games when I needed the Wear/Tear against blue decks I play it for 3 more often than you might think. Sometimes when I play Wear/Tear for 1 is because I want to bait out Misstep.

    As for JVP. I started with 1 in my deck than played with 4 for few months. I started cutting those Jaces later though because it's not instant/sorcery. Even though it can replay instant/sorceries it often was taking up slots I needed for something else. If I were to play 4 of these I'd have to cut Pyroblast and Dack Fayden. When I had 2 in the deck I never had too many of them or too few so I decided that this is the right number. But well as with Wear/Tear there is nothing else I can tell you about that. It's my subjective decision, nothing I really pondered about. JVP on the other hand is VERY powerful card and I always want to play it over Young Pyromancer. It's a tough call to decide what card I want to play because both win games and if you play JVP and then Pyromancer it can be an overkill but sometimes it can go wrong. Having 4 JVPs main deck is also something that would change my SB plan and I'd rather avoid this...

    As for Dack Fayden, on Magic Online the card hardly performed well even though it won the games when I played it. But JVP would have similar effect. Dack has an immediate impact though unlike Jace. But JVP outshines the card if the card sticks. In the paper tournaments I played Dack Fayden performed better and was my only way of actually catching up and helping me to win the game later. Only once I lost when my opponent needed to draw 3 specific cards and drew them with Ancestral Recall that I couldn't counter (my opponent got super lucky so I wouldn't count that...)
    I don't know why I had different experience with the card online and in paper. Maybe because I played against more Oath and Landstill decks IRL where I usually prefer having Dack than JVP.

    That single Echoing Truth is something that made me win games I couldn't have otherwise won and no other card would have won in those matches. It got rid of Moat, Marit Lage, army of hasty Zombies, Elesh Norn, Oath, Ensnaring Bridge, Fleetwheel Cruiser, Nahiri to name a few. I won those games. I even bounced my Pyromancer so my opponent with Griselbrand couldn't gain life, once I saved Jace this way because it was the only remaining card in my deck that could win the game. 10 turns later I milled my opponent with it. just because I had that Echoing Truth....I don't want to say the card is good and you don't need to play it if you have better cards to play and know how to use them. But if I look back at what Echoing Truth did for me ... I don't want to replace it.

    Actually the most notable cards during my matches during this P9C and the SCG tournament I played in were basic lands. My opponents weren't happy about them at all.

    I wanted to abstain from posting here. But I'll be around so if you want to ask me more questions or let me explain what I had in mind PM me. or message me somewhere else. I'll be happy to talk to you.



  • I enjoyed this thread and absorbing sweet Delver tech. So thanks @stsung.

    One piece of tech from other formats I'm interested in is burn attached to stuff, e.g. Smash to Smithereens.

    On the one hand Delver is so much more aggressive in Vintage against the decks it would want to Smash (or Searing Blaze/Blood), than e.g. Delver vs. Affinity/Infect/Zoo in Modern. The way the deck is positioned in Vintage, these actually become 2-for-1s.

    On the other hand it feels too far up the curve to be useful as more than a 1-of.



  • @ChubbyRain said in Power Nine Challenge (October report):

    @Khahan But the thread is concerned with the Delver deck @stsung played and the variants that were mentioned later. Your post has merit on the general utility of Pithing but doesn't translate that to the topic at hand. I think the relevant question to ask is "What roll do you see for Pithing Needle in these Delver lists?" rather than defend you use of it in a different archetype.

    And sometimes people just take a conversation in a different direction.



  • @stsung Feel free not to respond, and I am sorry you feel so strongly about not wanting to post further :( Your comments really capsulize (for me) the importance of understanding your meta game vs attempting to net deck. In my local Meta, Wear/Tear is very bleh because I seldom need to interact with my opponents artifacts or enchantments at instant speed. There are Zero vault key decks, and I would prefer Fragmetize with Baby Jace that can kill a sphere + a non sphere artifact for (3) total mana vs (5) total Mana with Wear/Tear, again, total Meta call.

    Perhaps I have been unlucky/untimely in my experience (wouldnt unlucky/untimely be a great split card name?) with Echoing Truth. Its blowout potential is obvious, but perhaps with the level of pressure you can apply with Delvers (Vs Say, Grixis Pyro) its effect is much stronger.


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