Currently live in Phoenix area where I teach A.P. English and play a in a Vintage league.
Thanks for sharing the video with us.
While watching, I was talking out, predicting the piles you would/should put together. I haven't played with Gifts Ungiven in a long time except for a stint where I played a Thought-Knot Seer Gifts Ungiven deck not long ago. It had more deterministic Gifts piles though as it sought to assemble Vault/Key and not lethal Tendrils of Agony piles. It's an incredibly complicated card that rewards very sharp play and a keen knowledge of one's deck and board state. I had forgotten how difficult of a card it is. I do miss the days of Fact or Fiction and Gifts Ungiven piles.
I found myself thinking out different lines than you did. Would they have changed the outcome of the game? No idea. I recall playing Gifts in its heyday and remember committing several piles to memory for common game states. A common one that I don't recall you talking out is the triple tutor and flashback spell pile (MT, VT, DT, Snap) during an end step Gifts in search of Yawgmoth's Will.
Don't be sorry for venting. I don't think anybody thinks you are anyway. Despite me not knowing a darn thing about what it is you are studying, I can tell you from a test writer's perspective that you have to read into questions and answers exactly as the writer sees fit. It's really not fair because so much of standardized tests are subjective and therefore put you at the whim of the imperfections of human beings. For those that I help prepare for test taking is to continue reading and taking relevant practice tests to get to know how the writers of the tests like to frame their questions and answers. If you are struggling with a particular concept, set the practice test aside, study up on the concept, then revisit the test. I would encourage you to try writing your own test questions and possible answers like a test writer would. The exercise prompts you to pay close attention to details and differentiate between subtlely different and distracting answers.
Great show as always. I especially liked the analysis Steve provided on the importance of the Disenchant effect within the color pie and also the significance of the Lodestone Golem restriction on opening up deck construction. Very informative and the main reason I tune in to SMIP. Keep up the good work.
I don't know about randomization, however I witnessed via Twitch one match where he missed two Chalice of the Void triggers (his own Chalice and his own spell). In both cases a judge was called and the ruling came down in his favor. I didn't get a definitive justification but it sounds like the ruling was a correct one in both cases and he got a couple warnings. Granted Chalice of the Void is a bugger to keep track of at times and this was especially the case in the match I watched when Steady Progress was cast to proliferate the Chalice's counters. It was a bizarre situation.
Great article. Great article I really like getting your insight.
I think one thing you didn't emphasize about the strength of Force of Will is the mana advantage it provides. In the example you provided with using Force to counter Ancestral Recall, you would also be up one mana in the exchange, not a significant amount but perhaps that's a testament to the strength of Ancestral. Using Force to counter a two-plus spell may be closer to providing a card.
Perhaps exploring the mana advantage provided by free counterspells is an article itself.
Thanks for the work you do analysing and promoting the format.