That was a key issue with Mentor in that even if you dealt with the card, you still ended up behind most of the time. Or you warped your deck and played Sudden Shock, Illness in the Ranks, and Sulfur Elemental to compensate. And that eventually stopped happening as people just started playing more Mentors. In the meantime, Shops was consistently at a 60% match win rate.
In all cases, you end up with a format warping card.
Got ya. The way I read your first comment I was responding to almost made it sound like you were saying, "dont use this to answer her because it a bad answer." As opposed to, "answer her with what we've got even though what we have sucks." Big difference.
Bolt (and any other card that deals with Narset once it hits play on a 1 for 1 basis) is a really bad answer as your opponent has already fired off an Impulse. It's basic card advantage - you are down a card and your opponent is even with likely a restricted card replacing Narset.
Sometimes you just have to deal with a board state though which means a bad answer is better than no answer. Since there is truly no answer to narset that is not card disadvantage, you might as well use the most efficient answer you have available. Assuming narset resolves and your opponent immediately -2 her, would you rather spend a card to stop another -2 next turn or let him gain even more card advantage from it?
I'm going to go ahead and say that a red force of will that does not play well with actual force of will is the key to opening up the game a bit more and making it less blue.
A red force of will actually makes sense:
Spell Burn 3RR
Counter target spell
Instead of paying this spells casting cost you may pay 1 life and exile a red card from your hand
flavor text: crimson the red didn't have time to waste with this encounter. Rather than waiting to see what his opponent would throw at him, Crimson used all his resources to burn the magic out of his opponent as soon he started chanting a spell.
Vintage is still blue. Decks are either blue or their strategy revolves around something that beats blue. Despite shops being the best deck in the format, imho, its a not a shops format.
Shops main deck card choices are typically chosen to beat blue. Blue decks main deck choices are typically chosen to beat blue. If you go into a relatively unknown meta you are more likely to find 2-4 mental misstep than you are 2-4 hurkyl's recall for example.
Vintage is blue based.
@vaughnbros getting locked out on the draw means they play sphere turn 1.
You lead with land, mox.
They play revoker turn 2 naming your mox
You drop a land.
They drop another sphere effect.
You drop a land
They waste/strip. Meanwhile because their lands produce 2 and 3 mana a pop they are playing a sphere and another aggro piece and suddenly on turn 4 you are 5-10 life and facing lethal.
Happens all the time because the deck has 1/4 to 1/3 of its cards tailored to stop you from executing your game plan. If you can get this far where you can resolve a spell or two - you now have the advantage because they've probably emptied their hand and are in top deck mode. But you now have 1, maybe 2 turns at most to stop them before your life total runs out. This goes back to what Chubby was saying a few posts up. If your game plan is just, "resolve some solid anti-artifact cards after you get a couple of mana sources in play" then you are going to lose. Fast and hard. But if your game plan includes what to do after those anti artifact cards are played and how you recover and stop them from re-establishing themselves you are a lot closer to winning.
If you are a creature based deck, you'll do much better in those lock scenarios as you have a board presence to slow down the aggro onslaught, at least until ballista comes down. Perhaps you are using energy flux to wipe their board with creatures to beat them down. Getting EF into play involves at least 3 mana so you need to make sure you aren't missing land drops.
If you are a combo deck you are looking for something like hurkyls to force them to reset their board and remove their sphere effects at the end of their turn. You aren't just doing this as soon as you draw hurkyls. You are either doing it when you a) can win on your turn so you hurkyls EoT or b) need to stop lethal so wait until they commit and force them to reset, buying yourself an extra few turns or c) wait until you are in a position where you can stop them from redeploying their board so fast maybe by having a null rod in play for example to slow down their mana and development after a reset.
Shops has like 7 sphere effects now. If you are getting "locked out" by them then you are doing something wrong with your manabase and/or mana curve. There are about 1000 solid options for anti-artifact cards after you get a couple mana sources in play.
This is a very simplistic view of shops. You dont get locked out by sphere effects. You get locked out by sphere effects, revokers, wastelands, stripmine, chalice. That's 14 cards or roughly 25% of the deck attacking a mana base and your ability to cast spells. And 5 of those 14 cards are beating you down each turn putting a clock on you.
Add in 2-4 phyrexian metamorphs and those numbers just grow more.
To an extent you are right though about the mana base, but even that's not full proof. Shops can still wreck you. To be a bit more specific though:
- Don't break your fetches too early.
- When you do break fetches, try to get basic lands if you can as this limits them to 1 strip effect instead of 5
- If you must get a dual, get the one you can do w/out the most.
- Build your decks mana base to deal shops gameplan of mana denial. An extra land or two can go a long way.
What I disagree with Vaunghbros on is his comment that if you get locked out by shops sphere effects you did something wrong. No, shops is more than capable of locking out an opponent by turn 2 with a very short clock for recovery. It doesn't mean you did something wrong, especially when you are in game 3 on the draw against shops. They get to lead with one of their sphere effects and put you back on your heels. Buts its also not as helpless as others make it seem.
Our May event would fall on Mother's Day. Unfortunately there was not another good weekend that would fit our schedule for May. So we'll be taking May off just like we had a month or two off for various reasons last year. We'll be back in June on June 9th for the next Vintage event in Boyertown.
And here is Nick DiJohn's first place decklist:
3 lavinia, azorius renegade
3 snapcaster mage
1 monastery mentor
1 young pyromancer
1 jace, vryns prodigy
3 dack fayden
4 force of will
4 mental misstep
1 ancestral recall
1 time walk
1 gitaxian probe
1 treasure cruise
1 dig through time
2 swords to plowshares
1 subterranean tremors
1 black lotus
1 mox ruby
1 mox sapphire
1 mox pearl
3 flooded strand
2 polluted delta
2 scalding tarn
3 volcanic island
1 library of alexandria
1 strip mine
2 swords to plowshares
1 rest in peace
2 containment priest
1 ghostly prison
1 cavern of souls
2 by force
2 pithing needle
And we can't forget our DMIG Invitational standings. We have a new points leader as Ryan McKinney takes the lead from Greg Hoover. When he defeated Greg in the quarter finals he pulled into a tie for first and when he got another point in the semi finals he took sole possession of first place. Congratulations to Ryan, our point leader at the end of the first quarter.
Standings year to date are:
We currently have an uncontested top 8 players, though 2 ties within the top 8 gum up the pairings. But there is still a lot of Magic to play and a lot points to be earned:
- Ryan McKinney 55
- Greg Hoover 54
- Joe Brennan 46
- Dean Harris 42
- Nick DiJohn 39
- Chuck Grebe 39
- Dan Barkon 38
- Zach Dobbin 38
Very close in the standings are you can see are Josh Barkon, Jason Beaupre and Evan Hunterdmark and Stephen Ganter. And dont count out Stephen Harvey who is pushing his way into the mix with only 2 events under his belt this season.
On a side note I want to give a little top 8 report on my match with Ryan McKinney:
Game 1 I'm on the play. I open with Mox, Workshop Lodestone Golem that does not get countered. Turn 2 I drop Tolarian followed by Phyrexian Metamorph on the lodestone. Ryan scoops without an attack from me.
I keep my hand in game 2 with Ryan on the play. I had a chalice, workshop, I think a crypt and then some action. He goes turn 1, black lotus, 3 mox and a land. I stare at my hand think, 'well, that makes this a lot worse.' I take my turn 1 and play out my mana and drop chalice on 2 to shut him off Oath. I figure I'm more likely to draw into ballistas and 3 drop threats than he is to draw into his creatures.
He takes turn 2 and hard casts Archon of Valor's Reach naming artifact. On turn 2. Hardcast. I scoop without an actual active combat phase.
Game 3 I'm on the play and keep a risky hand with a land, a lotus and a lodestone and some semi-relevant stuff. I land the turn 1 golem and feel pretty good. First swing on turn 2 connects. On turn my turn 3 he abrades the golem. He follows up on his turn 3 with an oath. I respond in turn 4 with a cage followed the next turn by another cage. I land a revoker and chip away. I get ravager and a factory and feel pretty good about things. I dont have a lot of mana to play with as 1 land is a workshop, the other is a factory and I have a mox, crypt and ancient tomb. I sac the crypt to get out from under my own pressure but constantly have to use my tomb to deploy threats like my ravager and revoker so my health is getting low. And then he drops dack followed by another hardcast Archon. I go in at dack with ravager and a spirit token and revoker at him. He chumps the spirit token, I sac a sphere to ravager to kill dack. We swing back and forth. he has lethal next turn and I've deployed 3 factories under his archon - the last on this turn. I swing in with everything. he does no blocks and I leave him at 1 health no matter how I play it. With a ballista in hand that I can't cast. I was at 2 life and he had the archon on board for the win. Games 1 and 2 were pretty over the top manhandling of each other but game 3 was quite the intense and exciting game. Thanks for a great match Ryan.