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posted in Single-Card Discussion read more


If you are running a companion, you always have something to do with your Omnath mana and you don't have to run cards like Ugin that might be dead draws if you can't stick and Omnath.

As for particular tech, Sevinne's Reclamation is great, as a value card, as a mana sink for Omnath mana, and as a way to hit multiple land drops in a turn if you need to (used it against Dredge to get back Tabernacle).

Had several powerful sequences enabled by Omnath such as

  • Companion Tax on Lutri, Ancestral, Lutri
  • Omnath, Draw Narset, fetch, into play Narset, reveal and cast Time Walk (had an extra Blue)
  • Sevinne + Flashback on multiple planeswalkers.

Omnath was also a Green card for Force of Vigor, which was pretty nice against the Golos Stax deck.

I favor this approach to a ramp deck that is all in playing Omnath, Locus Creation. While you might associate your build as a control deck, the presence of 28 or so lands really cuts down on your ability to interact with the stack and that will make things difficult in Vintage given the density of combo decks.

I also had experience playing Ugin in Vintage and this is not the metagame for it. The first times were during the Treasure Cruise era when I was trying to Drain a Cruise into an Ugin. The second time was a Rector Flash build with Narset unrestrict and a lot a Arcanist decks running around. Ugin does well against the URx decks that can't remove it while it just picks off all the creatures and walkers. Against Shops, Combo, and Dredge with Hollow One, Ichorids, Vengevines, it's not a good answer to the threats. Certainly not for the investment.

If someone argues that this isn't a true Omnath deck, I think a very reasonable approach is to try and explore Yorion next. But I did feel that Omnath gave a style of deck that had fallen out of favor a very real boost.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

Currently 3-0(6-1) in the Vintage leagues.

Finding things to do with Omnath mana has not been difficult, nor has been triggering Landfall. I think I punted game 1 against Dredge but that was going to be rough anyway. Omnath gaining me 50 or so life through blocks and triggers was important but I misunderstood some key interactions that proved critical and prevented me from decking the opponent. It was a really neat game and Omnath was certainly more impactful than a Planeswalker that would have died to Ichorids.

The way I determine a card's "playability" is to try a build the ideal deck for a card. I incorporate as many synergistic elements as I can think of and that are reasonable to include so that even a single copy in a deck can work as well as theoretically possible. If a card does not perform well even in that ideal circumstance, that's when I start to question the card's viability (though of course one has to consider if the shell was really ideal and if it could be improved).

To that end, I am wondering what the deck you tried looked like @Botvinik?

Also, I beat a Belcher deck with the Omnath deck. That should put an end to the Belcher vs Omnath debate.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more


Yeah, to be clear, I don't think cards have to be the next reckoning in Vintage.

I have a very low threshold to play cards I find interesting and this card certainly meets that criteria. I just tried to share a bit of why I thought it was interesting and how I intended to explore it.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

@thewhitedragon69 said in [ZRN] Omnath, Locus of Creation:

you should just be playing something like tezzeret and winning on the spot, not durdling and gaining life with a 4/4. This is vintage, where the game should be close to wrapped up with 5 permanent sources of mana.

Wow, I just saw this and I feel personally attacked. Brian Kelly and I will durdle as much as we want, thank you very much.

More seriously, I established the scope of the comparison along the lines of value and mana generation, not vintage playability. The purpose of the comparison was to help people conceptualize why the card is seeing so much play in formats like Pioneer and Modern. Pointing out things outside of the scope does not invalidate the comparison and does not really add much. I'm pretty sure most people are able to process that Omnath does not have haste, is a 3/2, is card #50 in Shards of Alara, and had a different artist. It is not incredibly useful to compare these metrics as Bloodbraid Elf sits in play as a 3/2 while Omnath continues to generate life, mana, and potential damage as the game progresses, giving each a different functional role. Also, I think both Dominic Domingo and Chris Rahn did a great job on the artwork for each of the cards despite different styles.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

Oh wow, the conversation has really taken off...

@lienielsen said in [ZRN] Omnath, Locus of Creation:

So in conclusion all you’re really getting here is a cantrip 4/4, which is good enough for limited, but not Vintage.


I think it’s probably good enough in Standard as well.

The card has already put up league and tournament results in Pioneer and Modern. It is unsurprisingly quite good with Uro, Growth Spiral, and fetch lands.

As for Standard, uhhh...
Uro is certainly the most powerful card in the format, but Omnath has undoubtably established itself as beyond "probably good enough".

One particular interaction that @Botvinik and others seems to be missing is the ability can be triggered on the opponent's turn so you don't have to make mana off a fetch if you aren't using the mana. The key synergy that hasn't been explored in Vintage or Legacy is with Sylvan Library where you turn the 7 life from a fetch into 2-3 cards a turn. This card has the making of a control finisher. Along those lines, it has a lot of value pitching to Forces in those control decks.

Edit: If people want comparisons, is this card that different from a massively power crept Bloodbraid Elf? It draws a card when it comes into play and gives you the mana to cast it if it's a spell. There are differences of course, but the value and mana generation are similar. You also have additional utility in the life gain and the damage.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more


Set has been spoiled and this card appears to be the early chase mythic with multi-format implications. It replaces itself with the triggered ability, can fuel an incredibly potent card draw engine with Sylvan library (trigger landfall on your and your opponent's turn to draw the extra two), pitches to the three relevant Force of Wills, and has other potential with the mana generation and planeswalker sweeping ability. I am curious what shells people can imagine for the card in Vintage.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@thewhitedragon69 It says copy "the next instant or sorcery spell...when you cast it" not "copy the next spell if it is an instant or sorcery". Following with a Mox or Lotus doesn't matter and can be a good play for hiding information from the opponent on what you might be casting. The reason to not counter it is it's really not an effective bluff. The opponent gets to resolve a 2/1? Again, a 2/1 body is very slow and very easily dealt with in today's metagame.

A major point in favor for this card is the interaction with Mystic Sanctuary and Dreadhorde Arcanist, which have largely replaced Snapcaster Mage as a way of recurring instants and sorceries from the graveyard. The ability to double the spells you are casting after you have cast them previously is quite powerful. This way, you can cast Ancestral on turn 1, play a Dreadhorde on turn 2, play this on turn 3 and attack with Dreadhorde to recast Ancestral and copy it (doing so for 1U that turn).

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@evouga said in [ZRN] Sea Gate Stormcaller:

@chubbyrain1 Heaven forbid we compare new cards to old cards! A completely useless form of analysis, to be sure. Every card exists in a complete vacuum and the 20 years of history and experience playing with similar cards is surely useless for drawing any inferences about a new printing.

How about we draw on our 20 years of history and experience actually playing Magic: the Gathering rather than making comparisons at the level of any literate person with an introductory knowledge of the game?

In the case of Sea Gate Stormcaller cards with similar functionality have seen play in Narset Transcendent and Chandra, something something fire, flames, or burning. They have different pros and cons which only serve to detract from the point of a comparison which is to highlight a specific point and in this case that is "yeah, we've played cards that copy the next spell in Vintage."

Why did we do that?

Well, in the decks that ran Narset Transcendent, such as John Grudzina's Top 8 list from Champs the year Brian Kelly won on Oath, it was because of the ability to double Dig through Time and other broken spells, which were not yet restricted. If you look at Chandra, which saw more fringe play in Potucek and my 4-5 color planeswalker brews, it was essentially there to force through game ending spells like Tinker, Yawg Will, Gifts Ungiven (was still restricted I think), etc. The point is that this type of effect requires significant upside to make the setup that you put into it worth it (Lance went into that part of the card quite well). And Vintage is still a format where doubling up on an Ancestral Recall will win you the vast majority of your games.

So the real cost of these effects is delaying casting your powerful cards to get a more powerful effect later. You can minimize the setup cost by running a bunch of powerful spells to copy so that you'll almost always have one (which is why Narset became less playable following the Dig restriction) but Stormcaller minimizes this with its restriction (Snapcastering back Preordain never feels like a good use of Snapcaster Mage so you are limited to Ancestral and situationally Time Walk, Merchant Scroll, Brainstorm, Demonic Tutor). Or you can play the maximum number of Stormcallers to try and always have a Stormcaller when you find your Ancestral. The issue with the later approach is that a 2/1 just really isn't cutting it in Vintage right now. Snapcaster still sees a lot of play according to Goldfish but only as a 1-of in almost every deck running it. It just matches up poorly against Ballista, Hollow One, and Dreadhorde, while providing a slow clock against the combo decks. And Wrenn is a headache and a half.

If you are running a card as a one-of, it makes more sense to run an effect like Snapcaster since you can play your powerful cards on curve, not knowing when you will see your one copy. I don't think you can reliably hold onto one of your 5-6 payoff cards while hoping to draw a 1-of, and I don't think a 2/1 body at this rate is great. While reasonably costed, I think this card falls outside the realm of most players' definition of playable.

Of course, I play jank and have a loose interpretation of playability. One interaction that is interesting to me is using Teferi, Destroyer of Other Formats with this card to have much more control over the trigger and get value out of the body. I did the same thing with Snapcaster Mage but a limitation was that it complicated sideboarding by preventing the inclusion of Grafdigger's Cage and Rest in Peace. The additional upside is actually realized because the games go long, you can play out SGS on curve early, bounce with Teferi and then kick it later. Pretty hilarious with Mystic Sanctuary as a way to buy back a Time Walk which you can then copy twice. But that is seeking a specific interaction in a specific shell for a particular style of play (My win condition is the opponent's desire to do something else with their time). Again, I don't believe it is generalizable.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more


I learned from the Teferi's Ageless Insight thread that bad comparisons based on superficial characteristics such as CMC are as inevitable as death and taxes on TMD and we are just going to have to put up with half the posts in single card evaluation being about how the newly printed card is or is not like other cards, rather than what the new card actually does.

Btw, I think this card is like Lutri, without Companion but you don't get blown out as much because of the templating. Discuss.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

To provide context, the rules change that is being referred to is from Ixalan and most relevantly changed how Blood Moon worked, removing things like lands come into play tapped and Dark Depths comes into play with 10 ice counters. The article specifically states that with the new rules "Humility causes creatures with modular to enter without their +1/+1 counters."

The creature never has +1/+1 counters in this scenario because the ability that grants the +1/+1 counters is ignored. If a card in play already has +1/+1 counters or is given +1/+1 counters, you apply the layers above and a 3/3 Walking Ballista becomes a base 1/1 in 613.4b and gets the bonus from counters in 613.4c. The result is a 4/4 Walking Ballista. It of course loses its abilities. Oko would also try to make a creature a 3/3 in 613.4b, so you would apply timestamps. It would depend on when the effects happened.