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posted in Vintage News read more

Describing what is or isn't a pillar of the format is certainly difficult, but I think that Smmenen's comparison of Workshop and Gush as pillars does not accurately describe the metrics that make something a pillar. Pillars hold up their own section of the format, and in tandem with other pillars allow for an equilibrium to be reached. In other words, to be a pillar it is necessary to provide structural integrity to both the surrounding archetype and the format as a whole. Gush is ultimately one of many blue draw engines in the format that have come to define blue decks other the years when unrestricted (although Gush does lend itself to a certain style of blue deck). I think that there was an argument for Gush as a pillar of the format prior to Mentor and the Delve spells, but these cards in particular have blurred the line between the Comer and Weissman schools. Gush is no longer a defining feature of these decks as it was in RUG Delver or UR Pyromancer, but rather just another part of an amalgam of blue card advantage/velocity spells. Gush no longer supports a distinct archetype as it once did, but rather just made the best blue deck better by being unrestricted.

Conversely, I believe that Workshop is still necessary for the artifact prison decks to be viable, and that these decks provide an important check to other parts of the format (mostly fast combo).

This post is really not meant to address Aaron's post though, because he put quotes around "pillars of the format" almost as if to distance himself from the actual meaning of the term.

I too dislike that there is a need for this detente between the format's best decks to avoid one of them taking over. I still think the best way to solve this is to create some kind of replacement for Workshop that allows the deck to survive even if shop becomes restricted. This would relieve a major pressure point of the format that would hopefully not need to be counteracted given that shops decks are currently ahead in terms of metagame share and perhaps power level.

posted in Workshops read more

You need any 1 mana artifact AND any 0 mana artifact in hand or grave to go infinite with the aforementioned 3 cards. You just need to sac everything to pay for the 1 mana artifact so that the Trawler and Retriever triggers are put on the stack at the same time AFTER the cards have been binned. KCI + Trawler + Retriever + 1 mana artifact cost a total of 10 mana to cast and you get 10 mana from KCI by looping the 5 cards. You just need some additional advantage from the loop to make it do something. If the 1 mana artifact draws cards (as Chromatic Star or Sensei's Divining Top do), you can draw your deck. If the 0 mana artifact makes mana, you get infinite mana. The deck is also much more capable of setting up the full combo than it appears, because KCI + Scrap Trawler is a very powerful engine. Ichor Wellspring Draws 2 cards for free and lets you recur a Top, which then essentially allows you to Ponder for free (or draw a card and net 1 mana) and recur a 0 drop. You then have 2-3 mana from saccing and/or tapping the 0 drop to play whatever you drew and go down the chain again.

posted in Workshops read more

After seeing the KCI deck tear up modern over the last couple of GPs (and just winning GP Hartford) I'm starting to wonder if the deck might have legs in the format with the best artifacts and mana acceleration. Being vulnerable to counters, graveyard hate, AND artifact destruction is definitely a concern, but I think the shell is powerful enough to overcome this. I don't have a finalized list yet, but would like to go through my thought process for constructing the shell for the Vintage version of the deck

For those unaware, the KCI deck has been revisited in modern because of the discovery of a way to go infinite with KCI, Scrap Trawler, Myr Retriever, and any 1 and 0 mana artifact that is explained in detail here:

Core Combo Pieces:
4 Krark-Clan Ironworks
4 Scrap Trawler
4 Myr Retriever
These are the core cards for going infinite. There is an argument for 3 Myr Retriever but I think it is good enough.

Best Mana Acceleration:
1 Black Lotus
1 Mana Crypt
5 Moxen
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Vault
4 Mishra's Workshop
4 Ancient Tomb
1 Tolarian Academy
Not much to say here. These are simply the best mana accelerants available and the reason to port the deck to Vintage in the first place.

2 mana artifacts:
4 Defense Grid should probably be in the 75 in some configuration. It is the best way to fight countermagic

Ichor Wellspring and Mind Stone are reasonable ways to churn through the deck to find the full combo. Not sure how many we want though. Maybe 4 and 2.
Grim Monolith: This is worth considering but isn't really necessary. The deck has plenty of mana acceleration at 1 and 0 mana
Time Vault (with Voltaic Key): Another consideration but it doesn't actually win the game so I don't think we need it.

Other 1 mana artifacts:
4 Sensei's Divining Top: This is a huge upgrade to Chromatic Sphere and Star, and doesn't require colored mana like Ancient Stirrings. I think we should play 4.
Pyrite Spellbomb: This is a decent way to kill while also having utility against creatures, but requires mox opal or ruby to use the shock. Walking Ballista is usually better but it is good to diversify win cons with things like Surgical Extraction and Phyrexian Revoker / Pithing Needle/ Sorcerous Spyglass in the format. I would play 1.
Skullclamp: I like the idea of playing a 1-2 of these. It is very good with Myr Retriever and Walking Ballista in particular.
Voltaic Key: As stated on Time Vault this probably isn't necessary, although it does have a cute interaction with Sensei's Divining Top to draw more cards.

Other 0 Mana Artifacts:
Mox Opal: We probably want access to some of these for redundancy but perhaps not the full 4
Lion's Eye Diamond: powerful but not necessary. We will hopefully be drawing a lot of cards so saccing LED would be detrimental.
Walking Ballista: The win condition and great utility removal. I would play 3-2.

Other lands:
The only other lands I'd consider are Inventor's Fair and Buried Ruin. We don't intend to take enough turns to want more than 9-12 lands, but if the game gets into a grind fest we might appreciate these.

Overall the biggest issue is that I'm not sure how the deck can fight through graveyard hate. You can't play something like Silent Gravestone because it interferes with your own combo.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

This being a cast trigger makes it much worse, albeit less susceptible to blowouts with the artifact on the stack. If it were an etb trigger, then you could immediately play a mox and float the mana to pay for the effect. As such, this card is very slow. Brown Mentor this is not.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

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This card seems quite strong in Shops. It has the magical 4 casting cost that makes it a fairly consistent early play, and a flying 4/5 doesn't have to contend with much in combat in current Vintage. The card selection is amazing and a rarity in brown, only missing out on Lands and Dismembers in Shops. The only issue is the Crew 3, which is a bit awkward with the creatures currently typical of Shops, many of which have 1 or 2 attack. You can always play 2 creatures and double crew it though. It also puts a lot of eggs in one basket against Swords to Plowshares, Phyrexian Revoker, counterspells or artifact hate. Getting this stolen by Dack Fayden would also be a disaster. Overall I could see the card being a roleplayer.

EDIT: now correctly posted to single-card discussion 🙂

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

A deck with Jace, Vryn's Prodigy; Jori En, Ruin Diver, Dack Fayden, and/or Baral, Chief of Compliance could probably make this work.

posted in Vintage Community read more

How about Vintage Taking Turns with Baral, Burning Wish for Time Walk, Regrowth, and Snapcaster?

posted in Vintage News read more

Surprised not to see Collective Brutality in the lineup here. It seems quite eternal playable! Vintage is a bit of a stretch but I fully expect it to be played in Legacy Reanimator.

I also think Bedlam Reveler is better in a Steel City Vault shell than in a Pyromancer shell. You can dump your hand quickly with all the moxen, and wheel effects make discarding instants and sorceries easier. The deck often dips into green for Ancient Grudge flashback, and I could see the deck putting in Traverse the Ulvenwald potentially to find the Reveler or Academy/Library.. This card is also great in Grixis where it fuels your yard for Yawg Will and plays well with discard and Vampiric Tutor effects.