Posts made by craw_advantage
posted in Vintage News read more

@protoaddct said in SMIP Podcast # 88 - The "London" Mulligan in Vintage:

the first and most obvious culprit would probably be Serum Powder

I've seen comparisons of the odds of finding Bazaar now vs. under the London mulligan system, but has anyone run the numbers on finding it using London mulligans but with Serum Powder restricted?

posted in Vintage Community read more

I always think of "fairness" (regardless of format) as a measure of how closely a deck sticks to core Magic gameplay: advance your mana by approximately one per turn, play a small number of spells per turn, answer your opponent's threats, attack with creatures, gradually lower your opponent's life total. On that scale a deck is "unfair" to the extent that it seeks to bypass that gameplay and play a different way. So for example, Shops is an unfair deck because it advances its mana way too quickly, Storm is a more unfair deck than that because it completely refuses to even engage with what its opponent is doing beyond answering their disruptive plays, and Dredge is the least fair of all because it sidesteps the basic rules about how cards are drawn and played.

This a relative term, though. In the grand scheme of all things Magic, I don't think there is a viable Vintage deck that is truly fair... decks that are commonly described as fair do still have game-breaking cards like moxes and lotus and stuff like Monastery Mentor or whatever, and I would also say that while countering spells is generally considered a fair tactic, playing a card that just stops your opponent from playing most of their spells (i.e. Lavinia) is probably not. I would still say that it's a useful term even if it isn't perfectly descriptive though, since it does refer to a class of decks that is sometimes worth talking about as a group, and I think people generally know what you mean when you say it, barring a few edge cases.

posted in Xerox read more

@rat3de said in Jeskai Xerox:

@PugSuperStar Why not run something like Mana Drain then? I would be surprised if they did not have access to UU when paying 1U when all of their duels are blue. I could be wrong but it seems off.

They do have a couple of colorless lands in the deck, along with a ton of cards that cost a single U, so any time they have two duals and one Strip Mine/Wasteland they'd be able to play a cantrip and still hold up a 1U counterspell. It probably doesn't come up that often, but in this deck the opportunity to make really great use of Mana Drain mana probably comes up even less often. I wouldn't balk if it did have Mana Drain instead, but playing these cards makes sense to me.

posted in Vintage News read more

@nsammael I agree with this. It's not even a criticism, this is an excellent look at the NA (+Snapcardster) community. I'd love to see follow-up articles about the other scenes worldwide, although obviously the research for those would be a bit more challenging.

BTW @volrathxp: I have no idea how you crank out so many high-quality articles as fast as you do, but thanks and great work. 🙂

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@rodtrav said in Phoenix Brew:

Yes you are indeed correct about probe I should have looked thanks. I felt that this deck and survival were different but I could have been mistaken. Survival feels more like a grindy Toolbox deck that has answers to everything. When i was brewing the above list I was more worried about if it would just be a worse dredge.

Survival's strength is that it can opt into playing either the grindy toolbox style or the explosive comboish style, depending on what's appropriate to the matchup and/or game state. Not to say that Phoenix isn't worth trying, but getting some games in with Survival might bring the strengths and weakness of this deck into relief somewhat. Something that jumps out at me is this: is there much synergy between Phoenix/Buried Alive and Bazaar/Rootwalla/Hollow One? In Survival the latter package works because Rootwalla and Hollow One are reanimate Vengevines, so the only "extra" card is Bazaar which works with all of it, but unless I'm missing something you just have two separate game plans, right?

posted in Combo read more

@13nova said in Dark Petition Storm Sideboarding:

If you want to beat outcome, you can sideboard Sadistic Sacrament. This card will beat the pants off most outcome lists.

I always wonder why Cap effects aren't played more often, when there are so many decklists out there that have all of 1-3 win conditions.

posted in Combo read more

@john-cox said in Dark Petition Storm Sideboarding:

There's got to be something better that black knight?

Order of the Ebon Hand? 😉

posted in Vintage Community read more

@nedleeds said in Is anyone enjoying this new meta?:

@craw_advantage said in Is anyone enjoying this new meta?:

@nedleeds said in Is anyone enjoying this new meta

Let me know when you choose not to include a card in a new deck (without your own 3.8 Missteps) because it gets countered by Force of Will.

I think this effect has been somewhat overstated. Most decklists I see still tend to favor 1cmc spells over 2cmc alternatives, even when the latter exists as a stronger version of the effect.

And those decklists all play Misstep. Even Dredge. Outcome with Preordain is maybe the lone exception among the 4 decks that get played in Vintage.

Yeah, but I don't think that's such a mitigating factor. Decks play Misstep if it fits into their gameplan because it's a powerful card. Protecting your own spells is nice, but you'd rather use it to counter something your opponent plays, right? If Misstep were really fundamentally distorting the value of 1cmc versus 2cmc spells, I think people would choose to play superior un-Missteppable versions of cards and thus preserve their Missteps in hand and pull way ahead in the Misstep wars.

posted in Combo read more
  1. I used to bring Mindbreak Trap in for PO, but I started just racing them pretty much. It can be useful against shops as well sometimes, but there are better things to bring in against them (Tinker, Hurkyl's, etc). Maybe better players disagree with me, but I wouldn't bring it in against Xerox... imo DPS should almost always be taking an aggressive posture, so prioritizing trying to stop Xerox from executing its plan is probably not going to set you up for success most of the time.

  2. Yeah, it basically just costs too much when you consider the creatures you're trying to kill with it. If your opponent is playing sphere creatures, you're better off dealing with the first one immediately and then going off, rather than saving up four mana and then seeing them play another sphere effect, then getting to five and seeing them play a third sphere effect, etc. It lines up even worse against Lavinia, because you're probably only playing 12-13 lands in the first place so you're actually pretty likely to get stuck on two lands and lose the game with Toxic Deluge in your hand and Lavinia on the board.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@brass-man I'm not an old school Vintage player, and "three deck metagame" does still seem very diverse to me taking into account that that phrase refers to the number of tier one decks, rather than the number of viable decks period. Three tier one decks, approximately twice as many tier 1.5/2 archetypes, with room for rogue decks to be brewed and played credibly just sounds like what a diverse metagame looks like to me, regardless of format. An un-diverse metagame in my experience is one in which there is a single tier one deck, or a single deck-to-beat and a deck that counters that one, or a paucity of tier two archetypes to spice things up, or an impossibility of playing anything outside of the dominant archetypes without getting completely blown out. I don't think any of those describe the current Vintage metagame.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@nedleeds said in Is anyone enjoying this new meta

Let me know when you choose not to include a card in a new deck (without your own 3.8 Missteps) because it gets countered by Force of Will.

I think this effect has been somewhat overstated. Most decklists I see still tend to favor 1cmc spells over 2cmc alternatives, even when the latter exists as a stronger version of the effect.

posted in Vintage Tournaments read more

I can't find the words to adequately describe the joy of seeing Arcane Denial in that Enchantress list.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@garbageaggro said in Competive unpowered decks?:

@fsecco Spirit guide+Oath is not a combo.

Sure it is: give your opponent a 1/1 with Forbidden Orchard, get a 2/2. You're way ahead!

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

Someone on Reddit helpfully noticed that they've already kicked around this idea:

What we didn't like: This mulligan was way too strong in Constructed, and encouraged big changes in deck building. Perhaps the most notable thing was in Modern and Eternal formats, where sideboard hate got a lot stronger since you could shuffle extra copies back into your decks. Similarly, combo decks got a huge advantage since they could mulligan away possibly useless cards. In one of our biggest rules violations for changing the mulligan rule, it clearly changed the parameters for deck building, and would have a profound impact on how older formats played out.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@cambriel said in Proposed New Mulligan Rule for Mythic Championship London:

I'm trying to find the MTG Arena angle that's almost certainly behind this, but I'm coming up blank so far.

It's because of the e-sports push. They took some criticism at whatever PT it was last year after LSV anticlimactically exited the top eight when he had to mull to four. Non-games like that are bad for the streaming numbers, which is what they're focusing on now.

posted in Vintage Community read more

I think that when you look up a deck on MTG Goldfish and see "Online: $250- Paper: $25,000," that's going to inevitably lead to the online metagame being substantially larger and therefore moving faster, becoming more optimized, etc. than the paper metagame. That doesn't necessarily mean that Vintage is fundamentally a digital format now--local metagames are just different from the overall metagame. Online discussions focus on the online metagame because it's something that is the same for everybody, but that doesn't mean you can't play something outside of that and do well and have fun at your local paper tournament.

My point here is that when we measure the format from MTGO we get Thorn restricted over Sphere. I would argue that Chalice may need to come off the list to help unpowered decks but that goes down the B&R rabbit hole.

Leaving aside the specific question of whether Thorn or Sphere is the more appropriate target for restriction, is this not the right result? Many more people are able to play Vintage online than in paper, both because of the expense and because of paper Vintage events are just not very common. Most of the paper events that do exist allow at least ten proxies. The vast majority of people playing Vintage are playing with decks that are appropriately powered. Shouldn't B&R policy address that reality?

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

That seems about right to me. There are a couple of other points in Lavinia's favor though, I think:

  • She will semi-frequently capitalize on an opponent who is in a dicey mana situation, a little bit like how you would play Vindicate because it's a versatile answer to powerful threats, but it would also sometimes come down as a Stone Rain on an opponent who missed a land drop and just lock them out of the game. Even on the draw, if your opponent keeps like a land and 1-2 moxes and doesn't find any more lands for a couple turns, Lavinia can frustrate their ability to play spells other than the ones she rules out completely.

  • At least for me, being two mana instead of three really changes what I want to get out of her. With Leovold's cost and stats, I kind of expect him to be a credible threat in addition to a disruptive card, so I'm always kinda bummed when he gets out-creatured and can't attack safely. At two mana Lavinia feels more like a Confidant or Meddling Mage to me, where the effect is worth the cost and getting some hits in is a bonus that you get sometimes. Maybe that's just me though.

Don't get me wrong, I still like Leo very much. I think they're both good enough to maindeck, but if they were competing for the same slots in a deck I'd probably go with Lavinia. She seems to do something in almost every matchup even if it's not a total slam dunk.

posted in Vintage Tournaments read more


That infect deck looks radical! I'm definitely gonna have to try a version of it.

posted in Decks read more

@john-cox said in Tickle me Elmo:

@juice-mane said in Tickle me Elmo:

The second rule of internet: don't feed the troll

First rule of internet is "don't talk about internet?"

If this is your first time on the internet, you have to internet.