OK, gonna respond to a bunch here. Played in the daily last night and went 2-2, got some additional testing with some cards I hadn't tried yet (Sphere, Flashfires).
Out of curiosity, why does lightning bolt not make the cut?
So we don't play any 1s on purpose - the reason is twofold. One, the deck is designed to just cast and play 3s and 4s. Two, it's originally a Legacy Chalice deck - while we're restricted to the single Chalice, we also make Mental Misstep a completely dead card.
I dont think you need 4 Chandras. But I figured the deck plays so many redundant copies of cards because of chrome Mox.
Blue decks with a bunch of singletons get away with it because there's so much selection and card draw. We are almost always stuck with what we draw in our first 10 cards. Every single piece needs to be as redundant as possible.
Ideally wouldn't this deck just run moxen, lotus, sol ring and crypt?
So it's not immediately clear from the decklist, but this deck often struggles to produce red mana without a moon effect. Additional artifacts (that will get turned off by Null Rod anyway) don't help us there.
We also, absolutely, under no circumstances, can play Mana Crypt. It will kill us. Often times, we do nothing for turn after turn once the lock is in place.
1 of stranglehold seems legit too.
Agreed. Hadn't previously considered this.
Finally: Is Sulfur Elemental supposed to be in the main and Ensnaring Bridge in the side? I would have naively thought it should be the other way around.
Yes, because our only other maindeck answer to a good Mentor hand is a Fiery Confluence that somehow doesn't get countered.
That being said, I did lose 2 games straight last night where Rich Shay just tinkered for the Colossus and I didn't have a bridge.
Another question: Is this a deck that wants to play any other sphere effects? In Legacy, I understand that it runs more Trinispheres, but since you can't do that in Vintage, maybe you want some normal Spheres of Resistance instead of other random cards.
I tried this last night with 3 Spheres of Resistance. It is no bueno. Making your 3s cost 4 and your 4s cost 5 hamstrings you SO MUCH. I had a game against Ravager Affinity where I had a sphere in my hand and 2 mana on the board, but couldn't cast it because it would lock me out of the only potential outs I had.
Since this is deck is playing 4 Null Rods, I think we shouldn't be playing any Chrome Moxes. As you said, Ruby and Lotus are fine replacements for the first two, but maybe the last 2 should be Lotus Petal and maybe a Crystal Vein or an off-color Mox. I just don't want to two-for-one myself in a deck like this; it lives and dies by its opening hands, and so I don't want to lose a card if I can help it.
Off-color Moxen don't work. This deck NEEDS to be able to produce 2R on turn one with the average hand. Lotus Petal is not terrible.
I'm still very happy with the Ricochet Traps in their spot - it's been a good card.
I also tried out Flashfires in the sideboard, but I don't think it is where I want to be. Yes, I can't turn off my opponents' mana completely, but if I'm going to play anything, it needs to be Boil.