@vaughnbros Thank you for the suggestion. I wanted to go in hard on the Mystic Sanctuary loops, so I chose mostly spells for the SB. You game plan is to loop Ravenous Trap (which you can draw at instant speed with Gush), Surgical, Force of Vigor, etc. The Tabernacles aren't as effective as I wanted against Dredge and some of the HollowVine variants, so I'm actually thinking of something like Tangle and literally switching to a turbo fog strategy. It's kind of just a cool thing about this style of deck that might not be apparent.
The main thing is that you get a lot more value out of spells than permanents. Ouphe is fine and gives you more options - I had a singleton main in the first variant and you could definitely push more in that direction if you wanted. Your deck doesn't have much synergy with it in that you don't attack mana wastelands or attack life totals with more creatures.
@serracollector The interaction with Mystic Sanctuary is cool. My concern is that I don't have Moxen to take advantage of it and I run a lot of countermagic, many of it situational (showing my opponent a Flusterstorm, MBT, or Misdirection lets them play around it). I am also trying to make Pyroblast worse by avoiding more expensive Blue spells with Uro being an exception since it has Escape.
@brass-man You are able to play around one-shot graveyard hate because you have multiple Sanctuaries (You try to Sactuary back Time Walk, they try to exile it, you fetch another Sanctuary which you may or may not have put into play at Instant speed of a Growth Spiral...).
I don't have a huge sample size against Leyline of the Void effects but the Brazen Borrowers are an attempt to have a flexible maindeck answer. Other considerations are adding a MD Force of Vigor as a Mystical Tutor target. You actually end up hardcasting your Forces more than you would expect and looping Force of Vigor is a broken line against Shops that would help if Leyline is a concern.
My answer is "Probably about the same as Arcanist decks if not slightly better since your dead cards tend to be more useful than a 1/3".
A good observation and perhaps I could have been more clear but Uro is actually the equivalent of Time Vault in this deck. You assemble, Gush + Time Walk + 2 Mystic Sanctuaries and the consistent extra land drop from Uro lets you take the rest of the turns in the game. Even without that, you can still take a 8+ turns with Daze, Growth Spiral, and Gush. If the opponent is representing removal, you don't have to run you cards out there. Just wait and build up your resources so when you decide to go for it, there is no way your threat dies. It's similar to Vault - Key. Could your Blightsteel get swords and your 1 of Jace Pyroblasted after you take a ton of turns? I guess, but I'm not going to add True-Name Nemesis to the deck for that purpose. It's just not an avenue I'm particularly worried about fighting.
As for the situational counters, I generally favor them as 1-ofs because you get value if your opponent plays around them while not getting blown out if they play around them while you have multiples in hand (never a good feeling to have 2 MBTs in hand and then they cast 2 spells each turn and slowly win that way).
Force of Vigor is not necessary as a turn 1 play in this deck. When it happens, great, but you have the 6 Blue Forces for that, so you get the ability to use your cantrips to find the second green card. Once you reach the late game, the goal is to start looping Force of Vigors with Gush like you would with Time Walk and hardcast it to destroy all of your opponents threats, 2 at a time. That's something Nature's Claim can't really do and why I didn't want to make a simple substitution. Might sound impractical and it's something I want to test more, but in the 2 matches I've played/seen, it's worked really well.
@protoaddict Rarely, if ever? I know I have few win cons so I play around creature removal and grave hate. For instance, you can protect Uro from instant speed graveyard removal by stacking the triggers so the sacrifice ability resolves last. You gain priority before your opponent and you get to Escape Uro. I used that against Brian Kelly's on-board Soul-Guide Lantern a month or two ago. Or I found Mindbreak Trap when I knew the opponent had Supreme Verdict to protect my Uro. The Brazen Borrowers are actually there in part to fight Leylines and Rest in Peaces as well as be win cons. Sometimes you have to work harder for wins but you get the advantage of having more interaction in combo matchups where cards like Tarmogoyf are less powerful.
As for JTMS and Oko, they tend to be hard to defend in these matchups since I lack creatures or removal spells to protect them. Oko is less powerful with only 2 Moxen to animate. Jace is not a very strong card in Vintage right now, the prevalence of Pyroblasts really makes paying 4 mana rough. You see him in a couple Big Blue style lists from time to time but largely decks have opted for cheaper alternatives. Uro getting Pyroblasted is not as big a deal because you will eventually just Escape him back and be up a card in the long run (or two if they didn't have a mana up).
Have put a couple of leagues into developing this, most recently picking up a trophy with the UG version here:
I have been experimenting with Mystic Sanctuary since its release, first by just throwing it into Arcanist shells that release weekend on MTGO (wasn't very hard to find on MTGO then), and later building around it more with the RUG Walker list that used Wrenn and Six. A key synergy is Gush and two Mystic Sanctuaries lets you recur the instant or sorcery of choice from your graveyard, whether Time Walk, Ancestral Recall, or something more boring. However, you are limited by the number of lands you can play in a turn.
Fast-forward a bit...In fooling around with Vintage Unleashed, I started with a Gush-Fastbond deck and was incredibly impressed how powerful that engine has become with the addition of Mystic Sanctuary. Sanctuary means you keep Gushing for as long as you have life points and you can recur whatever you want - you don't need to make use of the format's unrestricted Yawgmoth's Wills. I was winning with Hedron Crabs, Lurrus, and infinite Time Walks at that point but the shell is malleable. With the change in the companion rule, I was consider Uro - the life gain from Lurrus was helpful as it made up for the Fastbond life loss and allowed you to go infinite.
And that brings us to the current approach. Growth Spiral was being talked about as in the context of the Arena PTs as both something player's thought was busted (it's the internet and I have no opinion really on formats I don't collect data or play in) and were sick of since it's been in Standard for nearly two years and good the entire time along with Wilderness Reclamation (that one makes more sense to me...). And for better or worse, if cards are great in Standard, they are generally powerful enough to be fringe playable or better in Vintage. That's just the state of power creep in recent sets.
Growth Spiral fulfills the function of being able to play additional lands in the Sanctuary recursion engine (as does Uro for that matter). It does that while pitching to all three Forces in the deck, ramping up to 4 Islands, and cycling. As a card, I was very impressed by it. There are also fun things you can do like Daze back a Sanctuary, Growth Spiral it into play at instant speed to put a Mental Misstep or Misdirection on top of your library, then Gush into it or otherwise draw it at instant speed. The main
consideration though is these additional land drops mean you just get to take a bunch of consecutive turns and win the game. I took 8-9 turns on stream last night during which my Landstill opponent killed my first Brazen Borrower, but I was able to find, play, and attack for lethal with the second Borrower. Both Uros had already been pathed.
By no means is this a finished product. There are other color combinations - I typical start minimalist to identify certain needs and then add colors that I think will help plug in the gaps. For instance, I started with a Bant version for Swords and Mentor, because I thought I would want Swords to deal with threats like Sprite Dragon and Mentor to win the game. After a 3-2 league, Mentor wasn't necessary since you take so many turns that you can literally attack with a 3/1 flier, and Swords was mostly clunkly in my hand without Dack Fayden to filter. I figured a bounce spell was enough to buy time against Sprite Dragon and Brazen Borrower could condense the slot while allowing me to cut White. I didn't get to play against Hatebears or Eldrazi, which would have presented more of a challenge for a deck without Swords.
Oh, and you need a bunch of lands to maximize your explore effects and the odds of having three Islands for Mystic Sanctuary. I cut Black Lotus to help find the slots, but I recognize that not everyone will be interested in this, regardless of the reasons behind it. Just keep in mind that deck design involves balancing competing elements so if you trim lands, that has an associated cost. I actually went from 20 lands to 21 after the first league because I thought it was too few.
@desolutionist This really isn't the place to talk about B&R, but I would say that once you make balance a part of UX and subject it to the competitive pressures of MTGO, you will have to restrict cards. Just like what happened when Vintage hit online, the format will iterate rapidly and you will see the diverse metagame collapse in on itself - similar to what you saw with Pioneer. This doesn't keep people from having fun. This shouldn't keep the format from existing. But it's unrealistic to ignore what continually happens in large new formats regardless of initial card pools - there is never balance and broken things are discovered and optimized.
Regarding my analysis of this card, I like it. It definitely should exist as an option for Black decks. I would have played it in some Grixis decks where I literally was running Dreadbore as a card with a similar affect. The difference between 1-2 mana is considerable though and not many Black decks exist currently that would play this without also having access to Abrupt Decay.
@desolutionist It sounds good in theory but what happens is the opponent finds protection or a second Narset off of the -2. The format was filled with the best possible removal spell in Pyroblast and Narset still put up 7/8 decks in the top 8. Doomsday would be unviable with unrestricted Narset where it's now a good deck in the Vintage metagame, winning the Vintage Showcase.
The Narset restriction was one of the least controversial restrictions in Vintage with over 90% in favor of it in the Twitter poll I ran.
Edit: Just do the math here - the likelihood of having your "plan" in hand is 10-40% depending on the number of copies and then you have mulligans. And it's a bad plan. The Narset metagame was completely warped around Narset. Every Blue deck in the top 8 was running it, every deck had removal spells for it, and almost every deck was running a ton of creatures as the most optimal way of interacting. Restricting Narset changed the metagame completely. That was their plan. Not the inclusion a friggin Smother for planeswalkers.
The argument that "the unrestiction of cards would make them easier to plan for and deal with" ignores the math involved and the results we've had from metagames, pre- and post- restriction. When cards are problematic to the point of warping formats, there is a threat/answer imbalance that makes the answers impractical solutions. One can only look at the state of Standard where they keep having to ban cards because they think they have adequate answers to powerful, robust threats and they simply don't.
@evouga PO literally draws cards, Yawgmoth's Will "draws" the cards in your graveyard. They generate considerable value when cast. This doesn't. You have to resolve some other spell or some other ability to derive value from it. The concept of a "do nothing" card is frequently used in card evaluation to describe cards like these and would not describe Yawgmoth's Will or PO.
Also, it would be helpful if you kept reading...
It is not the sole reason it is unplayable - again, it's more you drop this for 4 mana and it does nothing that is the issue. But proper card evaluation requires you to account for the summation of circumstances in which you draw the card in a deck in which you would play the card. Which will include those times you go nuts and the times it gets Pyroblasted or shut down by Narset.
I go back and forth on whether or not it's beneficial to participate in these single card discussions because it's rarely productive. People never critically evaluate their ideas, they never learn from mistakes, they never seem to play with the cards they are actually discussing, and all meaningful discussion evaporates once cards are released. The result is a repetitious forum of bad evaluations after bad evaluations. People lost their minds with Damping Sphere and then they lost their minds with Deafening Silence, even though the cards had similar limitations. Shenanigans was panned as the best artifact removal spell while people were crapping on Force of Vigor.
So here we go again. One of the only players who has actually played with the "Double the amount of cards you would draw" effect in a Vintage event (I think Dan Miller and Brian Kelly were the others of course) chimes in and players are making loose and often irrelevant comparisons like "But Jace. But Yawgmoth Will. But PO."Comparisons that are not functionally equivalent should be banned. They lead to horrible card evaluation and discussion.
This card isn't JTMS. It's Thassa's Bident. Worse. Thassa's Bident you can atleast play off of Mishra's Workshop. So I guess Coastal Piracy. It's Thopter Spy Network, but you don't get the 1/1. It's Kefnet (Both Kefnets). And both Thassas. It's Jace's Sanctum. It's the Jeskai Enchantment from the old new set that draws cards whenever you cast a noncreature spell. Not Song of Creation but the one that's much worse. The problem with crappy comparisons based on superficial characteristics is they just tell you nothing, absolutely nothing about a card.
@thewhitedragon69 The primary issue is it generates no value or impact on the board on its own. I don't know why you are bringing up Jace when I literally posted my top 8 result with Alhammarret's Archive and talked about the limitations and experiences I had with a card that has almost identical text. Saying people were wrong about a previous card is not a sufficient defense of that card, especially given the selection bias involved.
I also think you misunderstand the "dies to Doom Blade" argument. While cards are not rendered unplayable solely to being susceptible to certain removal spells, they become better and worse based on the prevalence of certain removal. 4 toughness creatures are better in a format where the primary removal spell is a 3 damage burn spell than a Doom Blade. Part of deck building is adjusting your threats and removal based on the metagame. Enchantment is typically a beneficial type maindeck as it is difficult to remove but being a Blue Enchantment in a format where Pyroblast is played in 48% of decks is a significant detriment. It is not the sole reason it is unplayable - again, it's more you drop this for 4 mana and it does nothing that is the issue. But proper card evaluation requires you to account for the summation of circumstances in which you draw the card in a deck in which you would play the card. Which will include those times you go nuts and the times it gets Pyroblasted or shut down by Narset.
And I'm not discounting the positives. I built a deck that really tried to maximize the brokenness of the doubling effect. Preordain is a bit tame - Scry 2, draw 2? I went for Thoughtcast for a 1-mana draw 4 since that was more powerful. But why stop there? I ran draw 7's and Thirst for Knowledges. Even Notion Thieves. I was trying to maximize the chances that Alhammaret's Archive won the game for me. There was no Blightsteel in the main - it and Jar were my main Tinker targets.
Getting your Alhammeret's Archive Dack'd was the worst part of running Alhammeret's Archive in Vintage. Not that I would know. This is a strict upgrade in that your opponent can only Pyroblast it, not steal it outright. I think it's going to be held back by the desire of most Vintage players to win games of Magic and not do absurd things like play Palinchron, Mikokoro, and Minamo, in an Academy-style combo deck.
I built a Gush Shops deck that ran it. UR with Batterskull and Archive as Shops payoffs, and JVP, Gush, Dack, and Blue draw spells as Archive payoffs. It was not terrible...Batterskull and Shops helped in the Shop matchup but then you would run into issues with opposing Dacks. The big issue is this card ends up being a win more or trades with the even more prevalent Pyroblast or they counter you draw spell. Gush is restricted now and doubling up on Preordain is not worth it since the first couple are just replacing the cards and mana invested in the enchantment. Narset also hoses this card, hard.
I enjoyed playing this on stream and hope to continue doing so.
I know I have a reputation as a pro-restriction voice, but I actually think the Vintage Unleashed restriction list could be further reduced. The tutors haven't been as powerful in my experience since most of the key cards are unrestricted. The cantrips provide a similar level of consistency but also enable Forces and fuel Delve spells. It might be something to consider as the format develops.
I agree with Brian. It had been a confluence of life factors that has impacted my ability to play paper Magic (school, health, etc), rather than a flaw in paper events. When I used to go to events, it was a 1.5 to 2 hour drive each way. I also think there are going to be challenges going forward with COVID-19 - for instance, my school strongly discourages nonessential travel at the moment and the policy is evolving with regards to screening and quarantine. The situation is complex ethically, and likely outside the scope of this thread. But as it is now, paper events aren't really on the table for me.
@desolutionist Nothing against Brassman, but any type of voting process is going to be flawed and disenfranchise portions or players. This is an English speaking board...how are you going to poll non-English speaking players who play MTGO? What defines Vintage players in general? Commander was literally created by the people on the council...Vintage has no such ownership outside of Wizards.
I would also not extol American representative democracy given our current situation...
@thewhitedragon69 The alternative is people fighting over the interpretation of the "rules", for instance, whether or not Dig counts as draw, or selection, or whatever. The legal profession exists because people don't agree on the execution of rules, especially in how they are implemented when their own interests are at state. This execution is worse than simply having people vote on whether or not to ban or restrict certain cards based on potential for unforeseen consequences of certain rules. One could easily try to get a rule passed that obliquely restricts Bazaar, Shops, or any hated card without obviously doing so as a de facto loophole. While I recognize that your intent is good, the practicality is tremendously flawed, in my opinion.
Cards do not exist in a vacuum - they interact with each other in the context of a deck and metagame. The failure to grasp this is often one of the greatest hurdles in card evaluation and deck design and it's one of the reasons most players and not very good at both.
I would categorically object to rules-based approach like this.
@smmenen Because, again, you blatantly misrepresented my post. Your argument was constructed on a lie. You could have made that argument without involving me but you did, so I feel obligated to push back and call out your deceit.
I operate as a scientist. I collect data and form my opinions based on it. When the data is obvious, I call it as I see it. The pattern was concerning from the first week but not certain and my 9-post thread was meant to reflect that, but over another week of league results and weekend of challenges, it was clear that countermeasures weren't sufficient and Lurrus was going to continue to increase in prominence. And it did. You asked me for my opinion and I gave it to you. Was I wrong? Lurrus almost hit 80% of the metagame before the banning.
Now this is something that makes me uncomfortable because I have imposter syndrome and I don't actually view myself this way. But you yourself looked at data from the challenges and said I had an over 70% winrate and even remarked "maybe you might be ChubbyRain good". My win rate in the challenges has been about consistent, even in metagames I don't enjoy. My success tends to come from my ability to analyze and anticipate metagames, not really from technical play. My lists are almost never refined and sometimes they are arguably suboptimal in omiting Black Lotus.
I don't think it takes much to look at metagames, play a few games, analyze data, iterate, and reach accurate conclusions. I apply this to B&R. You'll note I'm never one of the first ones to yell for a PO restriction after Narset or Karn or whatever gets hit and I said I didn't think Breach would warrant anything close to restriction when it was printed. I don't look for cards to restrict. But I call it when I see it.
This is the last I'm going to say on it. You are attacking me in these last couple of posts under thin veneer (If I were to be snarky, I would do this...really, Steve?) and I'm not going to turn this into a battle of ad hominens.