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posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

Ironically I JUST had a post about "How do I beat shop's sphere-heavy hand while on the draw" (thinking particularly about my WG deck) and the answer outside of FoW/dredge was "there's no free-mana answer to sphere lock, sometimes you just lose." Now we have this beauty. How did WotC jump into the future to read my thread and then go back in time a year to develop this answer? They really are "Wizards".

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

@fsecco said in [WAR] Narset, Parter of Veils:

Remember, friends: spot removal is bad against PWs exactly because you can only do it after they already gained advantage. That's why CA generating PWs are always the best, and why REB/Pyro will be much more prominent than Bolt in the following meta.

OMG, I so hope this is true. My decks will be so happy if bolt is less used and REBS ramp up.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

Well, I did at least get some ideas out of the discussion.

I know sometimes you are just going to get rolled. I don't mind when I get T1 POed, but dislike getting sphered out of a game and it taking 10 turns to kill me. More like a cat playing with a mouse before killing it.

I'd love to win them all, but there definitely has to be an equal chance for bonkers in several builds.

I was never actually complaining. I'd like to find ways to get out of spheres with 0 mana plays...but that doesn't mean I don't recognize that I will just lose some games. I was kinda hoping there was an obvious tactic I overlooked, but it seems not. Tabernacle was one I didn't consider, so this wasn't all for naught.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

Perhaps I should edit the title to include "sphere-heavy hand". I think it's clear through the discussion, but I can see how the title is a bit misleading.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@serracollector I'm not treating shops as if they always have trinisphere in reality. I know they don't always get the nut draw. 50% of the time I win the coin flip and I'm not even on the draw twice.

But that's not what I ever said. I can beat shops just fine. I actually consider it one of my favorable matchups.

What I am looking for is all the ways to beat a sphere/waste heavy shops opener when you are on the draw. It happens about 10% of the time, but that's what I'm looking for.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

How good do you think mindbreak trap is vs shops? They are going to drop their jewelry or inspectors before sphere. Only problem is that they are 100% dead in hand after turn 1.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@serracollector I don't think this would work for the situations I described. At 2 mana, SFM wouldn't be castable. As a 1/2 with an activated ability as well, ballista or revoker would shut her down before using her ability. If I can get to a spot where I can cast a 2 mana spell, I'm not locked and can probably win anyway (ET for Serenity for example). If fragmentize is too slow/uncastable vs the shop hands I described, I don't see how SFM can cut it.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@grizzly I think that's exactly what I'm looking for. I'm not saying I can't beat shops. I'm saying I find it very hard to beat shops when I'm on the draw and they get the nut hand+follow-up draws. It may be that everyone has this challenge. That's what I'd like to solve - and not just for my depths deck.

If I'm on the play, I have more than enough to disrupt them. If they play an all-aggro hand, I can play through it fast enough and win. The hands I want to beat is when I'm on the draw and they get a hand that either makes my stuff cost 1 more or removes 1 of my mana sources every turn, turn after turn. The answer may just be "outside of dredge/FoW it can't be done," and that's fine...but I'm hoping there are ways.

Tabernacle seems like a way. 0-mana EE seems like a way. Stage/tomb/depths is a way, but as fragile as tabernacle. Bazaar-> Hollow One (or 2) is a way. Abolish is a way, but that's really a bad 1-for-2 trade. Not sure what else works.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

So...I didn't want to post my deck (even though it's been on RomancingTheStones tourney post) because I don't want this to be about MY deck, so much as how to get out from under a sphere-a-turn sequence when shops is on the play against ANY deck. The 1-for-1 answers don't seem that viable. I run fragmentize, and even that is often too slow or just doesn't hit enough to get value. I think I'm looking for "free" answers (bazaar-hollow one, tabernacle, EE, etc.) that have a big impact. Goyf seems interesting, but as a vanilla beater in a matchup against a deck with no instants or sorceries, it seems he'd be a 2/3 far too often. Costing 2 mana might also just be too expensive when you are on the draw and face the sphere, revoker, golem, metamorph sequence with waste/strip thrown in just because. Serenity is probably the cheapest wide-sweeping answer, but at 2 mana, it may never be castable.

Anyway, since this keeps coming back to what MY deck can do, despite that being secondary to my main question, I'll post it here in hopes that it facilitates thought and discussion without pigeon-holing the focus. This is my latest iteration of Selesnya Depths:

61 Maindeck

// 8 Artifact
1 Mox Pearl
1 Black Lotus
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mana Crypt
1 Sol Ring
1 Sorcerous Spyglass
1 Expedition Map

// 6 Creature
4 Spirit of the Labyrinth
1 Mother of Runes
1 Kataki, War's Wage

// 10 Enchantment
4 Solemnity
3 Phyrexian Unlife
2 Stony Silence
1 Ghostly Prison

// 8 Instant
4 Mental Misstep
4 Enlightened Tutor

// 25 Land
4 Thespian's Stage
1 Strip Mine
4 Dark Depths
1 Karakas
4 Snow-Covered Plains
1 Arid Mesa
1 Flooded Strand
1 Marsh Flats
1 Windswept Heath
4 Savannah
2 Ancient Tomb
1 Wasteland

// 4 Sorcery
2 Into the North
2 Sylvan Scrying

15 Sideboard

SB: 3 Grafdigger's Cage
SB: 1 Sorcerous Spyglass
SB: 2 Containment Priest
SB: 1 Sylvan Safekeeper
SB: 1 Mother of Runes
SB: 1 Tomik, Distinguished Advokist
SB: 1 Rest in Peace
SB: 1 Stony Silence
SB: 1 Seal of Cleansing
SB: 1 Serenity
SB: 1 Disenchant
SB: 1 Fragmentize

First, as I said before, you can assemble the thespian/tomb/depths combo fairly quickly beneath a slew of spheres, so I like that.

Solemnity is also a bomb. Not only does it completely erase 12 of shop's creatures, but it makes 4 more (overseers) into vanilla 1/1s. If I play lotus/pearl+tomb/plains+crypt/mox+sol ring + plains into a turn 1 solemnity, Shops typically is DOA. They have golem, revoker, factory, and inspector and 13-16 dead creatures (ravager, balista, hangarback are all 0/0s). Solemnity also shrugs off tomik, negates a blightsteel, and can lead to turn 1 Marits. A common line in this deck is land into ET turn 1 for lotus or solemnity, turn 2 solemnity + depths. It's solid. Y'all can say it sucks as much as you want - it doesn't.

The combo with Unlife has also won many games and it's just a nice secondary card since I'm already on 4x solemnity for Marit and have 4x tutors to get the 2nd half. Alone, Unlife also means I can't die to tendrils and get a time walk vs a lethal attack at the worst.

So, as you can see from the list, I have:

  1. A combo that can activate under spheres
  2. 5x tutors for land
  3. basics, fetches, and sol-lands
  4. Crucible to recur killed lands
  5. main kataki
  6. 2x main stony, 4x main solemnity + 4x main tutors for them
  7. sideboard full of 1-for-1 artifact removal (seal is tutorable)
  8. A sideboard serenity as a tutorable nuclear option

...and yet it's not enough. When I'm on the draw and the opponent opens with sphere, then revoker + sphere, then wasteland + metamorph, etc., I can't win too often.

How do other decks do it? What can I add to make my list have a fighting chance? What other strategies altogether will do it?

So far the best options seem to be tabernacle or EE. Goyf is intriguing, but I doubt I can cast him through the line I described above since it costs 2 mana.

posted in Vintage Strategy read more

@josefk In my deck, I run Into the North (depths is a snow land!) and Sylvan Scrying. I also run 1 Expedition Map since I have 4x ETs for it. Crop Rotation is a huge liability with missteps and FoW in abundance. It's also tempo-negative as you spend 1 card and 1 land to get just 1 land. Into the North actually gains you a land (I sometimes grab a snow-covered plains just to ramp mana) for only 1 more mana, dodging misstep and not being devastating if FoWed. ESG is too much of a narrow lotus petal to me. I guess it has uses, but it's such a negative-value play beyond turn 1, that I rarely find it useful.