Question about "Oathstill"

  • Hi all.

    I'm a very new vintage player, at this point just proxying decks to play with friends. I was listening to So Many Insane Plays and a deck was mentioned that was Landstill but with Oath of Druids mixed in (referred to as Oathstill).

    This deck is really fascinating to me, and I've browsed through a list, but I can't get over how un-synergistic Forbidden Orchard seems to be with the Landstill strategy. It's just hard for me to imagine it all hanging together in the face of that interaction.

    Are there any here who have played with or against the deck who would be willing to explain how it plays out in reality, and how the deck plays around giving the opponent spell-free creatures?

  • Even with regular Oath decks, Orchard can be a huge burden. With regular Oath decks, I try to not use Orchard at all unless it specifically triggers Oath.

  • You're relying on the manlands to be able to block if they get too far ahead on tokens, otherwise if you can't leverage the tokens off oath you just avoid tapping it

  • TMD Supporter

    Paging @tattoocek

  • @Stasis_Kismet Hey, not sure if you're still around, or how I missed a juicy topic like this one. But I play this deck on a daily basis in my home against all kinds of common vintage decks. I love it.

    That being said, your question is a really good one. The 'right' one, if I may be so bold. What about the unsynergy between Forbidden Orchard and Standstill, or in otherwords, how bad is it to play turn 1, Orchard + Mox + Standstill. Well, here's the math on it. Assuming you keep a hand of 7, and assuming that the hand has Orchard + Mox + Standstill and does not have a Mishra's Factory in hand already, (Let's just assume the only Manlands in the deck are 4 Factories.) Then there are 53 cards left in your deck. Then on your next turn you will be attacked down to 19 life, then you draw a card. That draw (4 Factories out of 53 cards) is a 7.5% chance of being a Factory. The draw after 18 life is a 7.7% chance (assuming you haven't hit yet). The draw after 17 life is a 7.8% chance... Then 8%, 8.1%, 8.3% and so on. You get the point.

    The overall chance of drawing a factory before you hit say... 10 life, is about 58%. The chance of hitting before you reach 5 life is 74%. Factor in as well, that you are probably running a Library of Alexandria. (I do.) So the odds of drawing that each turn are 1.5%, and as soon as you draw it. It will then double your chances on each ensuing turn of drawing a Factory, since you are drawing 2 cards per turn.

    And if all else fails, one has to bail out on the Standstill plan altogether. To do this, one waits until the end of the opponent's turn, then plays any instant spell one might have to trigger the Standstill and force the opponent to discard. I carry Brainstorm, Dig, Ancestral, 4x Abrupt Decay. All of which can almost certainly be played in that scenario. (There should almost certainly be enough lands in play and cards in the graveyard to fuel up a Dig Through Time.) The plan then becomes to land an Oath of Druids, Show and Tell, Tinker, or some other very powerful spell on your ensuing turn and to win the game.

    Keep in mind, that is the worse case scenario, stemming from a hand that you keep which can play turn one or two Standstill of and Orchard only, but without the presence of Mishra's Factory. In my particular build, there are 19 cards that would make that sort of play unnecessary. (9 green sources that aren't Orchard(8 of which tap for green as well), plus 4 Oath of Druids, plus 4 Mishra's Factories, plus Brainstorm, Ponder, and Ancestral, which one should play first in the situation where Standstill can only be played by giving up the token.

    The chance of drawing an Orchard and a Standstill together in the opening hand is right around 11% to begin with. The chances of none of the other 19 cards showing up in the remaining 5 cards are about 13.5%... and 13.5% x 11% = 1.5% of opening hands of 7 where you will keep and play a Standstill giving your opponent a token. If you just hold fast all the way down, you will then die to that token without anyone ever breaking the Standstill, about 20% of the time, assuming you don't ever use an instant to break the Standstill. (Which of course you would in the real world.) So the unsynergy between tokens and Standstill causes actual death in about 20% of 1.5% of opening hands, which is about .003% by my math?

    Of course there are other interactions like enemy wastelands to consider, or turns where you wait until turn 2 before you have the choice and the opponent might have already done something... but those are very complicated to calc. Sufficed to say, if one keeps this potential problem in mind during deck construction, it's certainly very manageable.

    On the upside, the deck has very good chances of doing good things early on. It's in the neighborhood of 30% for casting a Standstill, or and Oath with a Token by turn 2, and has a bunch of outside, less than 5% chances for casting early Jace, Tinker, Show and Tell into Emrakul or Grisselbrand, or an early Channel into Emrakul.

    So anyway. I hope you get this and that it answers your questions. @tattoocek has played a version of this deck to good success, so if you can ever get in contact with him, he is probably the foremost expert on it.

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