Posts made by Botvinik
posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

Dragon is correct under the standard definition of strictly better you must have all of the same upsides with either additional purely positive abilities or better stats. For example if tomorrow they printed a Thalia guardian of Thraben that did not have first strike but was a 7/7 it would not be strictly better. It would be vastly better yes but strictly better is like ancestral vs jace’s ingenuity not like necropotence v greed.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

Doomsday is the only deck I have found to be faster than me who does not fold to leyline, the matchup was horrible before the trickbinds were added to the board. My sample size was small but if felt like uncounterable disruption was the only solution. 2 of the 3 people I play vintage with regularly play at least some doomsday so I am very hesitant to shave them. Given, if doomsday is a smaller portion of your meta it may make sense to and is probably the objectively correct board. My creature plan so far has been win before they matter and it’s been petty successful so I would love to hear what creatures have been causing you trouble enough to be worth running the seize.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@john-cox said in New Build of 2 Card Monte:

Might try Manifold Key in place of Voltaic, and I would suggest a few Thoughtseize in the board.

Manifold is strictly better even if I do enjoy the iconicness of voltaic and would you sub duress for the thoughtseizes or what would you take out?

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

I have recently been tinkering with a new build of monte I was interested in playing the deck as the recent trend toward graveyard decks make me want some main deck leylines. I built it to be a faster than normal version and since I knew that dodging FOV would be impossible I opted to overload it with targets and play a thoughtcast package. Ritual is present to help speed up the clock and by only playing 2 colors I don't have to worry about making a 5 color mana base work. This results however in a slight deck slots problem where there is simply no space for FOW and the deck is too blue light to take full advantage of them. I chose sphinx for my tinker bot because my playgroup includes a moat control deck sphinx may not be right for everyone but I think it is right for my situation. The sideboard is a work in progress 4 nix for hogaak where it counters every card they cast I care about. 4 trickbind for doomsday because it's REALLY funny when they deck after doomsdaying. 4 steel sabotage for shops and 3 duress for controlling decks. I am not confident in those but that's why I picked what I did. I have been having a surprising amount of success with the deck and in fact the only matchup I find myself consistently losing is shops. I would love some help refining the deck and I am eager to hear if you all get the same results I am having with this pile.

4 Leyline of the Void
4 Helm of Obedience
4 Painter's Servant
4 Grindstone
4 Dark Ritual
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
1 Timetwister
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Black Lotus
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Crypt
1 Lotus Petal
1 Time Vault
1 Voltaic Key
2 Mox Opal
1 Tinker
1 Sphinx of the Steel Wind
2 Defense Grid
4 Thoughtcast
4 Polluted Delta
2 Underground Sea
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Vault of Whispers
4 Mishra's Workshop
2 Seat of the Synod

4 Nix
4 Trickbind
4 Steel Sabotage
3 Duress

If you have any thoughts I am eager to hear them.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

It is probably better in the more human lists amusingly. The little bit of testing that I have done on it says that is is not great for white eldrazi as not being able to be cast off cavern actually stresses the deck’s mana base. Solid card overall but for eldrazi human mixes I think it may be best to stick to only two types.

My list plays 21 colorless sources(counting caverns and 4 of the moxen) so if you play less your result may be different.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@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.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

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?

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

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?

posted in Vintage Community read more

@brass-man said in MTGO 2020:

@80percentbuffoon said in MTGO 2020:

Unfortunately this forum caters primarily to paper players so the above paper bias in the responses is expected.

Obviously obviously I have to respond to this, though I hope I don't sound bratty or defensive.

TMD does not explicitly cater to paper players in the sense that I have taken zero active steps to provide anything specifically for paper players. I genuinely have no idea what part of the site could be considered paper-centric, maybe the Tournament Announcement forum that nobody's posted in for months?

I think you'll find that paper players don't really use TMD either. There aren't many living paper communities out there any more, and there tends to be a pretty big overlap between people who don't like playing online and people who don't like internet forums, for obvious reasons. If I try to pin down what I see as "the paper community", I think of places like the New York metagame that until recently ran regular large events. Players who play at an astounding level and just have no interest in an online forum. I don't think Joe Brennan even has a TMD account. I think the majority of active TMD posters (myself included) are _ex_paper players. People who used to go to tournaments regularly and for whatever reason no longer can, who drop by now and then to brainstorm some new spoiled card just to exercise their Vintage muscles. Then we recede back into our neighborhoods where there just aren't any paper Vintage tournaments to go to anymore.

I've tried catering to paper players. I've also tried catering to MTGO players. I ask people what it would take for them to use TMD more. I ask people that a lot. I'm guessing a lot of people I know are sick of me asking them. I almost never get an answer beyond "ban ____, I don't like them" and "I don't go there because no one goes there".

The fact is, people don't want to talk about Vintage on a forum. I keep it running out of a sense of obligation, and because I can afford to, but it's just not something people are passionate about enough to contribute to.

If could think of a way to cater to paper players, I'd do it in a heartbeat. If I could think of a way to cater to MTGO players, I'd do that instead.

I know this all sounds kind of defensive, and maybe it is, somewhat ... I do feel bad when people dislike the site ... but more than that, I don't think you would have said that if you didn't feel like you were somehow being excluded ... and I don't want people to feel like they're being pushed out of the site when I've been so desperately trying to make people feel like they can participate (a fact that some people have told me is the biggest problem with TMD).

I wish I could lay out some action plan I have for fixing any issues you have with the site, but I think I'm all tapped out.

Brass Man or Mr.Probasco whitch ever you prefer I want to make it very clear to you that you are doing gods work. I learned about vintage through the vintage super league and as a result have started to play. I lack the financial means to play in paper or even go to tournaments, but I have played vintage on xmage and tabletop with friends I am trying to bring into the format. I enjoy this and I would go so far as to say vintage is my favorite way to play magic. This would not have been possible without 2 things. Your website and MTGTOP8. I go there for decks and come here for understanding. I have spent hours trawling the archives and reading and just recently chose to make an account so I could participate first hand. Don’t, please don’t, believe that you are screaming into the void. The work you do matters, it may not to anyone else but it has mattered a lot to me and I want to thank you for keeping this cite open and running for as long as you have.

P.S. Mabye get aversion of dredge with less than 4 grave trolls for the front page.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

I think the best way to think about this walker is in relation to two cards: dark confidant and Dack. You ask yourself when would I rather have him than DC and the answer I can come to is if you were playing a R/B delver/pyromancer/arcanist style deck with a very low curve, only 2 colors, and a few massive spells it could be awkward to take on the life total like delve cards and blightsteel. It could well have a home there unfortunately that is the exact type of deck where Davk shines most. He lets you replace the blightsteel (if you chose to run it) with a real card, gets rid of the extra lands you don’t need because of your low curve, helps with the iffy shops matchup, and fuels delve. Because of this I don’t think jace really has a home in vintage the only place where I would really run him the slot is occupied by a walker a) I already often don’t run all 4 of and b) is more synergistic with the deck.

Mabye if they printed more mana drains and big blue became a thing again it would have a good niche but as is I find it a hard card to be hopeful about.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@thewhitedragon69 said in FOW vs White Eldrazi:

I was thinking more "humans" build, since you said "humans package", but Eldrazi is a bit different. Even still, with DD or belcher or anything that will win the turn it plays means you counter the mox. If you can win on your turn, the rest of their hand is irrelevant.

If you can't win on your turn, then you are basically saying you will 2-for-1 yourself to hopefully provide a speed bump you can't capitalize on in your next turn. And that's assuming they don't have a second mox. If they don't have cavern, your FoWs are still very useful. If they follow with ancient tomb, thorn of amythest, how much would you wish you held that FoW now? Sometimes the math is important. Yes, if they have cavern and thalia in their other 6 cards in hand, you are in rough shape...but any of the other 4 games out of 5 where they don't have one of those, you just dropped a counterspell and a potentially useful blue card on the hope you could slow that worst case 20% scenario by a single turn for no great followup (we already ruled out the times you would win on your next turn). Playing against the math and playing not to lose as opposed to playing to win is how poker players go home empty handed. Follow the numbers and make your decisions based on the odds and you will be rewarded more times than not - that's actually the whole point of odds.

Slight quibble with this here, odds of happening are not all that must be considered when rationally acting with statistics. This is most easily shown with money would you take a 80% to win 5$ knowing you will loose 500$ if you fail? As a rational actor no. The magnitude of the outcomes is important.

This is not to contest your conclusion I think you are generally correct, but the way you used math to back it up perpetuates a misunderstanding of statistical analysis that I take issue with and feel obligated to point out.

P.S. Also belcher usually does not win the turn it plays, there is no variant with the current B&R list that I have seen that kills on one more that about 35-40% of the time.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@thewhitedragon69 said in FOW vs White Eldrazi:

@botvinik I think you let the mox resolve. The odds they have cavern AND thalia is about 20%. If they don't have cavern, you counter Thalia. If they do have cavern, they may not have thalia. If they have both, odds are they will have a 2nd land drop and you'll still be facing thalia on turn 2 while you 2-for-1nd yourself to stop a mox they wouldn't need after turn 1 anyway.

Save the counter. The exception being if you have a one-turn win in hand with doomsday. Then anything you can do to take your turn unimpeded will be gg, so the counterspell will be unneeded later game anyway.

First thanks for answering my question and that is solid reasoning. But what if I say in return, any hand where they have a cavern force will be effectively dead? Also, does the equation change if the card I am pitching is another force of will or even force of negation that would be blanked if a cavern were to be played?

Also would you make a different argument for belcher, a deck that folds hard to Thalia on the first turn?

My point in raising that idea is that the downside of a resolved Thalia and a blanked force is much grater the downside of force pitching something that is not vital in the match up, like preordain or dack, and not countering a particularly good spell. So a raw odds of success v failure like you run there may not be a good way of understanding this problem. Forces often go blank versus eldrazi and if that happens to yours before you can make use of it that is a 0 for 1 whitch as far as card advantage goes is as bad as forcing a random mox on turn 1.

Not claiming you are wrong or bad but I think the problem may be more nuanced than that.
PS. White eldrazi runs reality smashers they need the mox for a while.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

I play a few blue decks but most commonly doomsday and grixis thieves and my friend plays a lot of white eldrazi. He plays a humans package that includes 7 Thalias and 4 caverns. I have recently run into a strategic puzzle and want to find out what you all would do so I can improve my play. Would you force a mox blind? The play pattern I fear if I do not is: mox, resolves, cavern naming humans, Thalia. Then I am at a great disadvantage but if I force it I am 2:1ing myself on a mox. What am I supposed to do? Thanks in advance for the thoughts.