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posted in Vintage News read more

I feel obliged to point out that there have been significant attempts at creating MtG Turing machines before:

The main difference in this preprint is that the Turing machine runs fully automatically, and continued operation does not depend on any player choices including agreeing to play all "may" abilities.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

For decks with access to colored mana I think Engineered Explosives has too many advantages over this land and plays the same role.

I agree this is one of the few ways Shops can deal with Null Rod, but

  • the slowness and dissynergy with Workshop is unfortunate
  • Null Rod is more of a nuisance than a silver bullet against Shops anyway.
posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

It's a fun effect, but textbook win-more. Not sure where this would find a home.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

Notice this Teferi is nuts in Landstill.

  1. Bounces any pesky creatures that your opponent managed to resolve pre-Standstill.
  2. Stops your opponent from cracking Standstill on your EOT, or from countering your counterspells.
  3. Any time you feel like it, bounce Standstill, play out your hand, replay Standstill. Opponent can't take advantage of the window.
posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

I'm replying to the great excitement expressed above at the -2 ability. I never argued that Saheeli is unplayable.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

Hmm the passive effect is clearly playable at two mana, and almost certainly playable at three mana with more flexible color requirements as well.

Being a Planeswalker is a boon in some matchups (the control mirror) and a liability in others (anything creature-based that can go around or through a few Servo tokens, e.g. Shops).

I'm not so convinced about the utility of the activated ability. What exactly are you copying from and to? Copying a tapped Time Vault onto an untapped artifact is game-winning. You can also net 1-2 mana by turning a Mox into something like Mana Vault, Mana Crypt, or Black Lotus. But these seem more like ancillary bonuses than strong reasons to play Saheeli in the first place.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

How much early-Wastelanding is this guy going to stop, though, at the WW price point?

posted in Vintage News read more


Restricting powder may actually be pointless because people may stop using it all together

You may well be right about that, although it's important to note that Serum Powder is significantly more powerful under the London system than Vancouver, since you can tuck away cards that are crucial to your game plan (dredgers; Bridge from Below; etc) before exiling your hand. It doesn't sound crazy to me that it might be optimal in a post-London world to aggressively mulligan and Powder not just for a Bazaar, but for a Bazaar as well as some supporting cards.

posted in Vintage News read more

Great point! Here are those curves. To keep the plot simple I limited the data to the three most interesting scenarios:

  • the status quo (Vancouver mulligan with no cards restricted)
  • London mulligan with no restrictions
  • London mulligan with Serum Powder restricted
  • London mulligan with Bazaar restricted


The x-axis is cumulative, i.e., the leftmost column is the probability of finding a Bazaar under any circumstance, the second column is the probability of finding a Bazaar and at least one other card in hand, etc.

One interesting result here is that restricting Serum Powder, and instating the London mulligan, would increase the overall chance of Dredge finding a Bazaar, but decrease the probability of Dredge having three or more non-Bazaar cards left over after mulliganing. Of course, since the London mulligan allows the Dredge pilot to sculpt that hand, having fewer expected total cards in hand at the beginning of the game may not impact the deck's performance much.

posted in Vintage News read more

Here is the additional analysis you asked about in the podcast:

Probabilities of finding a Bazaar under the Vancouver system:

Bazaars\Powders 0 1 4
1 38.58% 41.45% 51.77%
4 86.50% 88.70% 94.18%

For the London system:

Bazaars\Powders 0 1 4
1 58.04% 62.14% 75.52%
4 97.18% 98.08% 99.57%

Methodology: I assumed you

  • keep any hand with at least one Bazaar
  • use Serum Powder whenever you draw it and do not have a Bazaar
  • under the London system, tuck any extra Serum Powders back in your deck before any use of Serum Powder.

Mathematica source code: