Posts made by Brass Man
posted in Workshops read more

The list absolutely needs some more testing and tuning, but don't let the "3 card combo" fool you. True, 3 card combos are traditionally weak, but when you play Mystic Forge you rapidly start churning through 6 or 7 cards in a turn, so your chance of finding the other two cards shoots up. Having either Top or Inspector means you draw even more. In almost all of these games I end up playing Ballistas and Walkers at 0 mana, putting them right into the yard, to dig for the kill cards.

My sample size is still low, but in something like 20 goldfishes, I've never had slower than a turn 3 kill. Sometimes it comes from the full Forge/Inspector/Top combo, sometimes it's Forge drawing a bunch of moxes to sack to a Ravager, sometimes it's just an early plating with no Forge at all.

I'm sure many (if not all) of these draws would be slowed or stopped by Force of Will, Force of Vigor, Shattering Spree, etc, and when you're talking about Memnites even the smallest blockers can make a difference, but if we're JUST measuring goldfish speed, the deck is easily a consistent turn 3, if not faster.

posted in Workshops read more

@zias I think Orb of Dreams stops the Divining Top from being a kill entirely. It comes into play tapped, so you can't use it to draw a card the turn you play it, so you can't use it to draw your whole library with Foundry Inspector.

You could still just draw a bunch of cards with Forge, and maybe sacrifice the Orb to Ravager on a turn you plan on winning, but I suspect you wouldn't want to run Orb and Top in the same list.

Another approach to the deck could be using Forge just as a value play instead of a kill, in which case adding Orb and cutting Top isn't so bad. Sphere might not be terrible in that sort of list either.

posted in Workshops read more

@jimtosetti no problem, there's a lot of Forge threads going on at once right now 🙂

posted in Workshops read more

@jimtosetti that's fine, but this is a thread specifically talking about how to use the new card in a specific workshop aggro/combo deck. It'd be better if we kept metadiscussions about whether wotc is doing a good job in the community board, or at least the single-card-discussion thread about Mystic Forge.

I think it makes quite a bit of sense to get into the technical qualitative values of a card if you're trying to figure out how to play with it, or against it. I would hope that most TMD users are interested in that sort of thing.

If every decklist thread was filled with commentary about which cards are mistakes, it would be impossible for anyone to talk about Vintage between all of the "Black Lotus is too good" posts.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

@khahan said in [M20] Mystic Forge:

Having a ravager and this in play basically means your opponent always has to consider the next turns attack lethal - even if he's at 20 health.

Ah but Ravager can pump a creature the turn you play it, which means your opponent has to consider the next attack lethal if you have ANY creature in play.

@Wagner said

However, Top is a pretty bad card to play in Shops in general since it has very little shuffle effects.

This is true, but it's not completely worthless. Arcbound Ravager cycles Tops by stacking the draw trigger and then sacking it. Karn lists that already run Voltaic Key can use the Key-Top combo to draw an extra card each turn. And you can flip top on your upkeep, draw it and cast it, to ... uh ... untap Traxos, Scourge of Kroog.

Okay that last one was a stretch.

posted in Workshops read more

@boogdish said in Tiny Forgebots:

I think Reality Hemmorage or Complete Disregard may be possible sideboard cards to remove a Collector Ouphe as they can both be played off the top of the deck while Forge is in play. Might need to rejigger the manabase a little for it though.

This is interesting, I hadn't considered the Devoid spells, but I'm not sure you could run them with the mana as-is. This post reminded me of Spatial Contortion. It should be easier to cast Contortion than Hemmorage or Disregard, but amusingly it's ALMOST as hard to get colorless mana as it is to get a specific color. The list has 8 colorless sources, vs 4 of any specific color. Neither seems that consistent. I think if you really wanted a removal spell, you might have to just run Dismember and accept the fact that you can't play it off of Forge. A handful of extra colorless mana (Wastelands? Grim Monoliths?) could change that though.

posted in Workshops read more

@protoaddict said in Tiny Forgebots:

Speaking of combo, has anyone tried throwing a salvagers in here?

Surely not in this Workshop build, right? The deck has Petal/Pearl/Lotus/Opal for 4 total white sources (assuming the 2nd Opal gets cut for Lotus). LED would make it 5, but you can't cast Salvagers with LED. You'd need to change a lot of cards before you could ever expect to cast a white spell consistently, even if you didn't mind the fact that you can't play Salvagers off of Forge.

Maybe there's a Salvagers/Forge deck but I'm guessing it wouldn't share a lot of cards with this one.

posted in Workshops read more

My thinking on Chalice is that you play it at 0 and just run your 0 drops into it. You basically get to cycle your dead-to-Chalice cards and your opponent doesn't. If you assemble the combo you're still lethal with a Chalice-0 in play, and if necessary you can sack it to a Ravager. Playing it at 1 cuts off the combo, but could still be sometimes correct, as you can cycle your 1's and the rest of your deck is just workshop aggro.

Remains to be seen if it's worth the slot in practice, but Chalice 0 on the play is so strong it's hard to pass up.

posted in Workshops read more

@protoaddict said in Tiny Forgebots:

LED does not feel combo to me, since you are playing off the top for the most part. I guess part of my question would be how many cards are you holding in hand on average and saving for later vs how much are you just trying to draw gas to make things go.

There's basically not any reason to hold anything in your hand. You're kind of playing everything you can cast, whether you have a combo draw or an aggro draw, so that part of LED isn't really a problem. My concern with LED is that it's "win more", only working with Forge which is probably already going to win you the game whether or not you have LED.

This is different than Cranial Plating, which can do something with Memnite or your other threats that they can't do on their own. Plating probably turns your 7-turn clock into a 2 or 3-turn clock, but LED turns your Forge from a 1-turn clock into ... a slightly more consistent 1-turn clock. It's a lot less bang-for-your-dead-card. This is all conjecture though, if it turns out that LED or another pure-combo card consistently speeds the deck up a turn, then it's probably worth it.

posted in Workshops read more

In general, my instinct is to keep combo-specific cards (like LED) out of the deck... But that's just the way I build decks. If someone adds Keys and LEDs and it speeds up the goldfish by a turn, it's probably worth it!

posted in Workshops read more

Haha, missing Lotus is an oversight, not a typo. It should definitely be in the deck. My turn 1/2 goldfishes were with a Lotus-free test deck. 😅

There absolutely is a Karn list with Forge and Keys, but I don't know that it makes the list noticeably faster, and it does make it more vulnerable to removal, counters, null rod.

posted in Workshops read more

Frogmite is interesting, I bet Myr Enforcer is too expensive. Maybe the right number of Memnite+Frogmite is more than 4... I hadn't realized that was a possibility.

Defense Grid is for sure the better anti-counterspell card, and it provides some coverage for Cranial Plating vs instant speed removal. I don't know if that requires its own sideboard slot though? My thinking is that Spheres might be a necessary disruptive card to slow an opponent down, rather than something to defend your own cards (which are already fairly counterspell-resistant)

posted in Workshops read more

I suspect that Lodestone Golem costs too much, not just specifically in regards to Mystic Forge, but also this deck has a much lower mana count than typical Workshop decks. It's almost certainly bad in goldfishing, but maybe when the deck has to sit down against Outcome and Xerox, the extra disruption is worth the extra clock speed.

Weirdly, in this brave-new-vintage, the scariest opposing combo deck might be Combo Karn, which is slowed down by Thorn of Amethyst but almost entirely ignores Lodestone Golem. The metagame is in such flux right now that it's hard to pin that kind of thing down.

posted in Vintage News read more

To respond to the posted article, I just want to say that I have not played X-Men Legends, but it sounds like Forge really knows what's up.

posted in Workshops read more

Tiny Forgebots

0_1561402726541_Mystic_Forge_EN.png

Starting a thread to talk about the new card Mystic Forge, specifically in the context of a "Tiny Robots" style aggro workshops list. I had the honor of being able to talk about this card on the Team Serious podcast here: http://themanadrain.com/topic/2799/serious-vintage-ep-42-heating-up-mystic-forge-free-wizards-preview So I've had a head start building around it.

I killed on the first turn with my very first goldfish, my rough-draft list has been getting consistent turn 2-3 kills, but I'm sure there's room to improve it.

So what's going on here?

Mystic Forge + Sensei's Divning Top is a powerful draw engine. You can activate Top to draw a card, and then use the Forge to cast the Top off of your deck. You can repeat this to draw your entire deck, if you have a cost reducer which makes the Top free, e.g. Foundry Inspector. Once you've drawn your entirely library, you can win with whatever kill you want, in this list you just cast Arcbound Ravager, Walking Ballista, and 20ish Artifacts.

This is not an entirely new combo, as you could do this with Future Sight before - but what's new is that all 3 cards are Artifacts, and all 3 cards provide value on their own, giving the deck unprecedented synergy and threat density. Even the kill cards are top-tier threats on their own. Compare naturally drawing Tendrils of Agony in an Outcome deck to naturally drawing Walking Ballista in this.

A three card combo on its own would not be very exciting, but this fits so very cleanly into an already powerful aggro deck. Unlike trying to assemble Show and Tell/Omniscience/Enter the Infinite, all three of these cards are great on their own, and two of them actively help you dig for the others. You should expect to find the other parts of the combo very quickly after resolving a Forge, and if you don't, it's probably because you killed them before you found the combo. Some of the turn 3 kills don't come from assembling the combo at all, but from the fact that Cranial Plating deals a lot of damage, very quickly.

The Tiny Robots focus over a traditional Ravager Shops keeps the mana cost super-low, so that Mystic Forge can be expected to draw tons of cards even when the combo isn't fully assembled. Over a third of the deck is "free" cards that can be cycled off the top of the deck to quickly dig to the combo. I think there's a case to add some number of Mystic Forge to regular Workshop decks, but building this way means you consistently win the turn you play, or the turn after you play an undisrupted Forge.

What's particularly exciting to me is how the failure states of this deck are so strong. When your opponent shuts your combo off with Null Rod, you're still playing 2 or 3 creatures a turn. When your opponent counters your Mystic Forge, you still have 3 to 6 power on the table (compare that to sinking 2 Dark Rituals into a Bolas's Citadel and getting that countered). Mystic Forge can do so much on the turn you play it, sorcery-speed removal like Shattering Spree and By Force and Energy Flux, normally great against an aggro draw, could really backfire against this deck.

I don't think you can cleanly take a strategy you've been running to beat combo decks or shops decks and directly translate it to this. On the other hand, maybe the deck has new weaknesses, Grafdigger's Cage comes to mind.

This is a combo deck that overwhelms Force of Will.

This is an aggro deck that races Dredge.

Preliminary thoughts after initial testing

In goldfishing, Phyrexian Revoker is bad, of course, but that's to be expected. I do think you want some disruptive cards that goldfish poorly, and it's PROBABLY Revoker, but it could be something else. You really can't maindeck Sphere of Resistance, and I think that's going to turn a lot of people off, but I think this deck might be fast enough that you don't need Sphere in the same way that traditional shops does (Outcome doesn't run Spheres, either). There's a chance you could sideboard them for certain matchups.

Skullclamp felt slow. Probably too slow to be useful, and there won't be as many runaway value games as there was when the deck had Genesis Chamber, I think Mystic Forge is your value card and Skullclamp gets cut.

I think it's probably important that you have some card that makes 0CMC Walking Ballista and Hangarback Walker do something. When you have Forge out you're very likely to play several of them off the top of your deck for free. This could be Genesis Chamber, Chief of the Foundry, Metallic Mimic, or surely something else I'm not thinking of. I suspect you want Chief of the Foundry. More maindeck 3-drops make Forge less consistent but I think it's worth it, and I think it would really boost your game against Rods and Collector Ouphes. Chief is, of course, a proven, quality Workshop card even in games where you don't see any combo pieces.

For sideboard-building, Forge has anti-synergy with Grafdigger's Cage, and otherwise good cards like Dismember and Leylines could slow your Forging down. I think, if you worked the Chiefs into the main, you'd want a combination of:
4-6 lock pieces (Sphere of Resistance/Trinisphere/Lodestone Golem)
3-5 cheap/free grave hate Tormods Crypt/Relic of Progenitus
4-6 Cards to hedge against lock pieces and Null Rods (maybe City of Traitors/Precursor Golem, not sure)

posted in Vintage News read more

Hot take, but the Forgebots strategy is VERY good. Top-tier good.

I don't think I have the complete list figured out yet, but the combination of speed and threat density is dumb (and possibly unique, historically)

Of course, who knows what the rest of m20 will bring?

posted in Official Tournament Results read more

@ajfirecracker It's really a Survival deck first, with Death's Shadows as a hedge. My gameplan is to quickly win with Vengevines and Hollow Ones, backed by disruption. The Death's Shadows shine when your opponent brings in a bunch of graveyard hate and needle effects and tries to cut you off from using Bazaars and Survivals. Between Thoughtseize, Street Wraith, Mental Misstep and my manabase, it really wasn't too hard to get Death's Shadow live. I tapped Nurturing Peatlands just to float mana and take a damage several times.

Opponent's playing around Death's Shadow is a feature, not a bug! Several of the games I won involved a 1/1 Death's Shadow that prevented my opponent from having any favorable attacks. A deck that need to attack to win, like Ravager Shops, Eldrazi, and Survival, can't really play around it without giving you a bunch of extra time to set up a lethal Survival. Because Shadow keys off of your life total, no matter where the damage came from, they may have to play around it whether it's in your hand or not. In games where you can't get your life total down, they're not as dead as they would be in something like a Modern Death's Shadow deck - Survival decks needs a critical mass of creatures to pitch to Survival, and you can trigger Vengevine with with Death's Shadow even if you're above 13 life, and of course, Bazaar of Baghdad's filtering rewards you for playing with conditionally powerful cards.

Damaging myself was never really a problem, but I could imagine running a handful of additional damage cards making it more consistent. I think the next best cards would be additional Street Wraiths, Mental Misstep, Dismember, but I didn't think any of them were good enough to make the cut over something else. I think Basking Rootwalla is a little less necessary in this list because of the high creature count, so I could maybe see going to 3 Rootwalla in favor of one of those cards. I thought about making the list BUG, but I didn't have enough testing time to figure out how to make the mana work. If I managed to work an Ancestral Recall and a Time Walk into the deck, then Vampiric Tutor and similar cards would be pretty appealing.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@protoaddict I absolutely do not want to downplay your story, because personal history is a big part of vintage for a lot of people. I think you're right that it's hard or impossible for some people to split the idea of collecting from the idea of Magic, it is after all a "Collectible" Card Game. I completely understand why many people enjoy the owning and collecting part of the hobby, and I myself have a personal attachment to a lot of the cards I've had for decades.

But I'm really bothered by the idea that someone who owns more expensive cards is somehow more invested in the format, or more worthy of respect. I can assure you, while some opponents and spectators might respect someone more for owning expensive cards, I absolutely do not.

The cheapest Lotus on CardKingdom right now is $10,000, compared to the $1500 you had to pay. Salaries haven't really raised accordingly. That means in order for someone to get the same respect you have for earning cards, they need to be 6 times richer or 6 times luckier than you were.

When I bought my Lotus from SCG, it cost $419. That's about the price of a played Volcanic Island today. If someone today buys a Volcanic Island, in what way are they less worthy than me with my Black Lotus?

Cards today are dramatically higher in part BECAUSE of people like us who got in cheaply and never cashed out. Our bargain-hunting and passion for the format helped drive the lower supply and higher demand that's made a Vintage deck prohibitively expensive to own. My income is somewhere within top 5% for Americans and there's no way I would buy power today if I didn't already own it. Frankly the decision to buy power is pretty irresponsible for most people. This is to say nothing of people who live in other countries trying to buy cards internationally with USD.

I can think of several people who don't one power, some of whom will never be able to afford power, who have made big contributions to the vintage hobby/community, by writing articles, community organizing, developing decks.

When you're friendly and welcoming, when you play to the best of your ability, when you drive the format forward, when you make an effort to improve the experience of the people around you... these are things that make me respect a player.

When I see Alpha power? "Meh, must be nice."