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posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

Newest attempt - doing better!

// V_1_Agent Maralen

// 61 Maindeck
// 10 Artifact
1 Mox Jet
1 Sol Ring
1 Black Lotus
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Bolas's Citadel
1 Sensei's Divining Top

// 8 Creature
1 Maralen of the Mornsong
4 Opposition Agent
1 Notion Thief
2 Snapcaster Mage

// 13 Instant
3 Surgical Extraction
1 Mental Misstep
1 Ancestral Recall
4 Force of Will
2 Force of Negation
1 Dig Through Time
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Brainstorm

// 17 Land
4 Wasteland
1 Strip Mine
2 Swamp
2 Island
4 Underground Sea
4 Polluted Delta

// 2 Planeswalker
1 Karn, the Great Creator
1 Narset, Parter of Veils

// 11 Sorcery
2 Thoughtseize
1 Demonic Tutor
2 Scheming Symmetry
1 Tinker
1 Time Walk
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Ponder
1 Gitaxian Probe

// 15 Sideboard
// 8 Artifact
SB: 1 Mycosynth Lattice
SB: 1 Sorcerous Spyglass
SB: 1 Crucible of Worlds
SB: 1 Ensnaring Bridge
SB: 4 Grafdigger's Cage

// 4 Enchantment
SB: 4 Leyline of the Void

// 3 Instant
SB: 3 Mindbreak Trap

Still a work in progress...but it pushes through/protects Agent much better. Maxing out on moxen makes it a turn 1 play often. Could probably use a tinkerbot. Needs work, but rough draft is more promising than GB.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

@vaughnbros Honestly, in testing vs a variety of things, I think this is just best in a BUG or humans build or something as a value SB card that you can drop turn 2 sometimes. Making a controllish deck with draw and cutting all the symmetry/surgical/etc means I'm basically just running BUG and splashing this guy. BUG can play this guy with DRS/moxen fairly easily on turn 2 as just a 3:1 that has long term value. It's a good SB card, and decent main deck. I think building around it is actually what makes the deck bad. It's a great splash effect, but building around it just doesn't work as far as I've found, since removing it makes so much of the remaining deck worse.

Possibly a UB rogue deck could work - Vendilion clique, this guy, notion thief, utilizing cavern, and FoW/FoN/Seize/Surgical/Scheming. A singleton Marelen for combo maybe. You need some form of threat that works on their own and definitely counterspells to push Agent through/protect it. I REALLY like the interaction with Agent and Scheming and also with Scheming and surgical. I'm high on maindeck surgicals anyway, esp with discard/wastelands.

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@vaughnbros Maralen is really the only "dead" card. Symmetry is still fine with surgicals and fields, and surgical is solid on its own in a lot of matchups, especially with 6x duress and land destruction. But there's just not a lot of pressure and no value cards besides Agent. The deck is built to abuse agent, but without agent, there's just a lot of "okay" cards.

Vs Jeskai Mentor, which I happened to test against since I knew it'd be a tough matchup (as opposed to Doomsday which you should just blow out if you flash Agent in), they just have a lot of removal spells in addition to counters and a much more efficient clock. The Snapcasters and Arcanists flashing back bolts and plows just makes it impossible to fight through all that hate and stick an arcanist. Dack is also a whooping.

Testing vs Doomsday seemed pointless. I either have a turn 1/2 agent and blow them out, or I don't, and they ritual/DD/win. Vs bazaar, I either have a strip/surgical and hope they didn't just go turn 1 -> 16 damage on the board, or lose. Vs Shops, it seems it could swing either way as all shops matches go: I either get to play some mana and trade answers for lock pieces, or they turn 1 sphere me out and I never play magic. Jeskai seemed the only match that was "fair" but still tough...and their amount of removal just makes a resolved Agent near impossible to keep in play. BUG I haven't tested yet, but they have the decays and Oko in addition to counters, so I assume Agent is equally toast in that match too.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

Here's my updated list - obviously could still use tweaking. I'm trying out crypt since you can decay it or Karn-kill it.

// V_1_Tyrant

// 61 Maindeck
// 5 Artifact
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Sol Ring
1 Black Lotus
1 Mana Crypt

// 15 Creature
4 Deathrite Shaman
3 Collector Ouphe
3 Maralen of the Mornsong
4 Opposition Agent
1 Ramunap Excavator

// 10 Instant
4 Surgical Extraction
4 Assassin's Trophy
1 Abrupt Decay
1 Mental Misstep

// 20 Land
4 Wasteland
1 Strip Mine
1 Forest
4 Bayou
1 Nurturing Peatland
4 Verdant Catacombs
3 Swamp
2 Field of Ruin

// 1 Planeswalker
1 Karn, the Great Creator

// 10 Sorcery
4 Thoughtseize
1 Demonic Tutor
2 Duress
3 Scheming Symmetry

// 15 Sideboard
// 5 Artifact
SB: 1 Mycosynth Lattice
SB: 1 Sorcerous Spyglass
SB: 1 Crucible of Worlds
SB: 1 Ensnaring Bridge
SB: 1 Grafdigger's Cage

// 1 Creature
SB: 1 Collector Ouphe

// 4 Enchantment
SB: 4 Leyline of the Void

// 5 Instant
SB: 1 Abrupt Decay
SB: 4 Force of Vigor

Update: This is getting WRECKED by Jeskai Mentor. Main bolts/Abrade/Plow just utterly destroy agent, and the deck without agent is pretty weak.

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@blindtherapy Surgical is there to work with the symmetries and the land destruction. Surgical on its own is a huge boost vs grave strategies, and if you can waste/trophy/strip/field a MWS or Bazaar and surgical it, you have put them on their back foot a lot. Hollow vine and dredge without bazaar specifically is a really slooow deck.

Liliana is a filler. It could be something else. Maybe ritual. I don't really like ritual because it's a 2-for-1 if agent gets countered or answered, and with moxen/ring/lotus/DRS, you should have 3 mana on turn 2 (before they pop their turn 1 fetch EoT - unless they turn 1 fetch and open up to wasteleand). Ritual is also horrible after turn 3 as you should be able to cast your whole deck by then. I really only like ritual in doomsday/storm where your turn 1 ability to get BBB is ballgame.

@vaughnbros I prefer Ouphe over null rod since FoV is a thing and you need beaters as the deck is devoid of much besides control and lock. Chalice is a good add. Demonic grabs Maralen or Agent or Ramunap or Strip, which is great, since the deck really hinges on a couple key strategies (mana lock or search lock). Symmetry is also additional tutors for those few cards and is great combo with field/surgical (they HAVE to shuffle). Symmetry + agent is also backbreaking: get a card you want topdeck and grab their ancestral or anything? Could go to 2 Symmetry, cut 2x liliana, and add some more fast mana/3rd ouphe/Chalice. Similarly, you could go to 2 Maralen and keep symmetry to grab her. Having turn 1 flashed agent into turn 2 Maralen is awesome. I really want a Mana Crypt to facilitate turn 1 Agent more, but without tinker or any way to sac it, I think it kills yourself 9/10. Also nonbo with ouphe.

I also think Karn could be better than Chalice.

Maybe more mana elves? Is the -CA of ritual worth it in a deck that doesn't try to win on the spot with doomsday/storm?

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

I've been tinkering with a BG list and this, actually.

4x wasteland
4x verdant cats
3x swamp
1x strip
1x nurturing peatland
1x forest
2x field of ruin
4x bayou

4x Opp Agent
3x Maralen
1x ramunap ex
2x collector ouphe
4x DRS

1x Abrupt Decy
4x Ass Tropy
4x Surgical extraction
1x mental misstep
1x vamp tutor

4x thoughtseize
2x duress
3x scheming symetry
1x Demonic

2x liliana of the veil

1x sol ring
1x mox em
1x mox jet
1x lotus

SB:
4x LotV
4x FoV
4x FoD
1x Abrupt Decay
2x Ouphe

This literally was a 5 minute draft, but it does what you want it to do - forcing searches and having mandatory shufflers for when you don't have Agent. Lots of tutors to get an agent/maralen.

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@protoaddict I can't really see any reason you turn 1 this on the play. It has flash, so if you pass the turn and have access to 2B, your opponent will likely try to crack that first fetch and get a blowout play when you flash this in. If you play it and pass, they likely lead with their non-fetch land first and then can possibly plow or bolt. Casting this in response to the first fetch or EoT on your opponent's turn at least is always the optimal play it seems. Playing this out as a sorcery on your turn is probably the worst use of it.

posted in Vintage Tournaments read more

Gotta say, I am really happy with these top 16s. Yes, FoW, Bazaar, and MWS are STILL the "triangle" of Vintage, but these are varied decklists like I've not seen in a very long time. I'd gotten so used to the 4x MWS/2x dredge/2xPO top 8s, that I'd almost given up on seeing variety in vintage. Glad to see so many different strategies!

posted in Vintage Community read more

The best old decks that could utilize mana crypt back in the day were shops, I think. Juggies, Su-Chi, Trike...workshop + mana crypt meant a stream of 4/4 or 5/3 threats from turn 1 forward.

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@chubbyrain1 I definitely think this is a better way to feature omnath, as you presumably almost always kill with omnath or see him almost every game. Being a 1-of is fine in this context, because you have him hit play 95% of the time...not 5%. If you find that you are oathing and killing with breach almost every time, than omnath could be almost anything and it would make no difference...but I suspect you are actually doing a lot with omnath as a kill card. I imagine you are probably fetching after oathing up omnath and using that +4 mana to cast Sevine's for the Breach, which is displaying the power of omnath as much as anything. Again, I don't know if it's really better than GB here, but it should at least have some action when it hits play, nearly every game.

I never really though Omnath was bad...I just didn't care for 5-0 records of a singleton card in a deck that won 80+% of the games without ever seeing him as evidence of "he's good."