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posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@vaughnbros said in How do you beat W&6 with fair hatebears?:


My main point is the stuff like Rest In Peace and Shroud enchantment are nice effects, but they aren’t threats. Reducing your threat density hurts the strategy.

Ah, I see what you mean now and I agree, but only to a certain point. This is a question of speed vs disruption which is actually a very complex topic. Basically, you want to win while preventing your opponent from winning, but if you prevent your opponent from winning at all, it doesn't really matter how fast you kill them.

You could also look at this from a "time" perspective, ie. how much time do you give your opponent to win? However, time is a relative concept in Magic, and I think it's a misconception to look at it in terms of turns (as in how many turns do you give your opponent), because it doesn't really matter how many turns they get if they can't do anything with them.

Hatebears have always played non-creature threats (or answers or whatever you want to call it), for the reason that the disruption those cards provide is higher than that of creatures. Chalice, Thorn, Stony Silence, Misstep, Grafdigger's Cage, or, if you go way back, Choke, etc. come to mind. Conversely, Tarmogoyf isn't a hatebear either, but it might be a good card to play still.

If, say, Rest in Peace lowers your opponent's chances of winning enough then it might be a valid call to play that card even though it doesn't attack. At one time, most Dreadhorde players literally had no way of winning through a Prelate @ 1 but I would never attack with it because I didn't want it to run into a Snapcaster Mage, and it didn't matter at all when I started attacking. Similarly, Peacekeeper is technically a Hatebear, but it might as well have been an enchantment because, well, it can't attack.

When all this is said, I do agree that you probably shouldn't just load up on enchantments or artifacts and try to prevent your opponent from winning, but rather find the right balance between speed and disruption. This is what the most succesful Hatebear-like strategies (Shops and Eldrazi, which, technically, are using the same strategy) are so good at.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@chronatog said in How do you beat W&6 with fair hatebears?:

@griselbrother said in How do you beat W&6 with fair hatebears?:

I remember you played that green enchantment that gives your creatures shroud at some point (I forgot its name) - perhaps that's something to look into again?

Dense Foliage?

Hmm, no it wasn't that one. I don't remember the name sorry, but Stormanimagus likely does, as he was the one playing it.

@vaughnbros said in How do you beat W&6 with fair hatebears?:


The power of hate bears and hate walkers is that they aren’t just a lock piece. They also threaten to kill your opponent (or bury them in CA for the walkers).

Uhm, Yeah. Sorry, I'm not really sure what your point is?

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

When BUG was at its highest, I found that a combination of Rest in Peace and Mirran Crusader was devastating. Rest in Peace to stop Deathrite and Tarmogoyf as well as their card advantage engine like Snapcaster Mage and Delve spells. Mirran Crusader was the hot techonology against Oko and was almost unbeatable for BUG.

Recently, however, BUG has become BUGR with Wrenn and Six and Bolts, which is much worse as Wrenn and Six is indeed a major problem for Hatebears and Bolt is bad news as well. However, I've found that these decks are still very soft to graveyard hate, whether they're playing Tarmogoyf or Dreadhorde or whatever, and it's also the case for the non-black versions.

I still think that Rest in Peace is a great card against these decks, but the main problem is that Rest in Peace is not that stellar against Bazaar decks these days. And of course if you yourself is on Deathrites and/or Knight of the Reliquary, Rest in Peace might not even be an option.

I also like Sanctum Prelate (as you likely know), as Prelate @ 1 is devastating against Dreadhorde decks, but admittedly it's not that great vs the black versions that run Trophies and/or Decays.

Another card I've always been fond of is Thalia 2.0 (both in general and against Wrenn strategies in particular), which isn't killed by Wrenn, slows their land recursion down and is generally a good card in many matchups.

Of course you could also run stuff like Deathrite Shaman (which I think you already are) and Scavenging Ooze which I think is pretty good at the moment.

I don't think there's any crystal clear solution, any one card that destroys Wrenn based decks, but a combination of cards that give you a small edge against these decks should give you a fighting chance.

I remember you played that green enchantment that gives your creatures shroud at some point (I forgot its name) - perhaps that's something to look into again?

Best regards.

posted in Vintage News read more

@chubbyrain1 said in SMIP: 2020 B&R Roundup:

@griselbrother The issue is that Chalice and Misstep are pretty effective in Bazaar strategies. The most played anti-Bazaar card right now is Surgical Extraction at 49% of lists because exiling Turn 1 Vengevines is often important for buying yourself time to deal with the rest of the deck. And the majority of Bazaar decks were running Chalice of the Void.

The way to conceptualize the Hollow One Bazaar decks is honestly a lot like Legacy Delver where you want to generate a quick clock and disrupt the opponent long enough for that clock to get there. This is Vintage though so instead of playing a 3 power flier, you get 6-12 power on turn 1, some of it having Haste. Chalice and Misstep are excellent for that purpose and will further exacerbate the swingy gameplay of which these decks are capable.

I think Lodestone Golem is a card that could be considered down the line as Shops isn't the metagame force it once was with FoV printed, but Windfall and Seal are easy unrestrictions that probably could have been unrestricted earlier.

Edit: I would also point out that Mental Misstep was the card that led most restriction polls for years before it was finally hit. Unrestricting Misstep and Chalice ignores how many players feel about these types of cards. I think it's actually better to unrestrict cards like Fastbond that spawn new archetypes and provide a different type of play experience, rather than slot into existing shells (examples, I think are Jar or even Channel).

Those are good points, and I totally agree that unrestricting Chalice and Misstep would benefit Bazaar strategies the most. However, that's not really those cards fault. The bad guy here is Bazaar - not Misstep or Chalice.

Chalice, I would argue, is a more controversial unrestriction than Misstep, which is nothing but a conditional 1 for 1 that actually decreases variance and slows the game down. I think that's great for Vintage, and my personal opinion is that something is wrong when a card like that is restricted. Then the DCI is looking at the wrong parametres when deciding what to restrict.

Chalice is much more powerful than Misstep and much more worthy of restriction, but I don't think it too powerful to be unrestricted. Again, the antagonist here isn't (or wasn't) Chalice but Workshop.

My point is that what really should be restricted is Workshop and Bazaar which would allow a lot of cards to come off the restricted list. Looking at these two cards objectively, it's crazy that they're still unrestricted. I know that these restrictions are not gonna happen, but it's my conviction anyway.

Assuming Bazaar and Workshop won't get restricted, I would still like to see Misstep and Chalice come off the list and Hollow One get restricted instead.

But hey, I might just be speaking from my own point of view here, as I almost exclusively play Hatebears and that strategy would benefit a lot from having Misstep and Chalice at its disposal.

posted in Vintage News read more

I'm on the "unrestrict a bunch of stuff instead of restricting more cards"-wagon, but if something needs to be taken care off, it's Bazaar strategies, which unrestrictions won't solve (unless you want to unrestrict stuff like Gush, Trinisphere, Flash etc. to compete with Bazaar). Restricting Hollow One would be a good idea, I think. Outcome is fine and not very dominant.

I do, however, think that Misstep and Thorn could safely come off the restricted list, and I would also like to see Windfall, Chalice, Lodestone and topdeck tutors come off the list (Imperial Seal at the very least).

posted in Hate Bears read more

It's cool that you keep on playing the deck! I don't play red in my builds so I can't comment on that inclusion, but Wrenn and Six seems like a big part of your strategy.

17 lands seems like too few to me. I would play 19 at least. I think that most builds with stuff like Wrenn and Knight of the Reliquary play even more. I'm also not a fan of Mox Diamond (especially with so few lands), although I see the synergy with Wrenn. If you really want a lot of acceleration, I would consider Elvish Spirit Guide, which is very good with Once Upon a Time.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@desolutionist said in The best format in Vintage history ...:


That’s actually a well designed deck. Probably just a land or two too many. But also too vulnerable to Null Rod. Why didn’t you just play Gush at this event?

I remember Steve and Kevin discussing the deck in depth in one their podcasts. Basically the idea behind the deck was to be the one who Mentored the hardest. I actually played the deck a lot because it was so much fun, and I also made a few other version sof it - one with Gush instead of Thoughtcast. I don't really recall which version was the best. I'm sure Steve can explain their reasoning behind not playing Gush.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@evouga said in The best format in Vintage history ...:

@griselbrother Yep. And during a large part of that window, Git Probe and Gush were unrestricted too.

I had completely forgotten that it was unrestricted for so long. It should have been restricted within a month and then perhaps we could still have Gush among us. Mentor is such a disaster of a card, though I did actually enjoy Menendian's and Cron's Outcome Mentor deck that they brought to the Worlds one year.

posted in Vintage Community read more

Wait a minute. Was Mentor unrestricted for 2,5 years?

posted in Vintage Community read more

Let's hope they:

Ban the companion mechanic
Restrict Bazaar of Baghdad and Mishra's Workshop
Unrestrict Mental Misstep, Mystical Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, Thorn of Amethyst, Windfall, Golgari Grave-Troll, Imperial Seal and Lodestone Golem.