@desolutionist @desolutionist Re: Original Riddler - the deck name was a nod to the game play. Face-down had the whole "what am I?" factor. Sometimes it was drednaught, sometimes it was welder (original '04 version)...sometimes it was a drednaught I payed 4 to play with mask so the opp would think they could profitably block a "juggernaut" with their 3/X. Being able to sneak in 1cmc bombs through trinisphere or chalice @1 and being uncounterable was fantastic. Then WotC killed mask's ability, and the whole strategy died. End of an era.
Re: New Riddler - the name seems to be a nod to Riddlesmith, which is a key card in the deck. It uses ovalchase as the card to discard to riddlesmith so that every moxen you cast is a straight-up cantrip. Really good with PO. It also activates the mana reduction on hollow one (which cantrips itself on riddlesmith). The deck appears to be fun and has divergent, but somewhat synergistic lines. The issue comes when you draw multiple ovalchase when you want gas and have no bazaar or riddlesmith...or bazaar and riddlesmith when you have a single moxen and no PO or hollow one. You'll dig into what you need eventually, but should be dead by turn 3 if you haven't won by turn 3.
So this deck does actually look pretty neat. I like the riddlesmith/ovalchase interaction. I'm not entirely sure it's better than just straight up PO (4c or Jeskai or Esper). It seems that when the engine is assembled, it will just cycle through its deck and win...but then there are times where you are faced with divergent paths in the opener and it is clunky. I think traditional PO decks (or even those backed with lavinia/teferi) are more streamlined. I suppose this has the backup plan of hollow ones, but it doesn't seem that great as opposed to mentor or tinker/BSC as far as Plan Bs go. It's not going to out-aggro hollowvine decks, and I doubt it is going to out PO dedicated PO consistently. Maybe I'm wrong, but just watching a few vids shows me hands where you have multiple hollow ones and no way to discard or multiple riddle smiths and drawing not-moxen. It looks like a solid, fun deck...but it may run into some consistency issues like divergent-path decks tend to do.
Looking at these "Vintage challenges" it's kind of disheartening to see that the only acceptable decklists come from the 42-62 weekly lists (usually the same MTGO players) and that these challenges constitute the totality of Vintage awareness for the most part (there are rogue exceptions). Are the 80ish featured MTGO players really all there is to Vintage in the world now?
Been playing with card designs, mainly for Modern/Pioneer, and came up with a card that might be good across the board, but not particularly broken (I don't think).
My main concept was to design a card that could ramp to 4 mana on turn 2 in Pioneer, but would come at the expense of being vulnerable and costing your turn 1 without being reusable. It would also be useless in tron builds in modern, mostly, as it needs colored mana to cast and takes up the time needed for turn 1 map/stirrings.
@serracollector Nice! Lavinia for sure. Solid plan.
Actually...If you just play Lavinia, Crucible, and strip/waste, you kinda are already doing what this deck is trying to do in a much more concise package. Of course, there's always land, bolt/plow/REB that destroys that soft lock...but I dunno how you're going to stop land drops before turn 2 reliably ever.
You'd need lavinia + thorn/sphere/trini + crucible + strips...and then you may as well drop lavinia and just sphere/strip them out and be stax. maybe Thalia/Glowrider in a humans shell. I'm having trouble seeing this be a consistent win in a typical Vintage meta.
You most definitely want Horn of Greed. With Horn and Limited Resources, you could, in theory, play fastbond with land #1, workshop, horn of greed, then lands into more lands until you drop LR on the same turn. otherwise, you'll never hit 10 lands turn 1. Most vintage decks can win on 1 land, though, and some with 0 land...so it's gonna be tough sledding to be competitive with this strategy.
@desolutionist Ahh, I misread your post then. I was thinking you were saying Ankh vs a deck using gush is as good as Null Rod vs a deck like PO. Many decks, like Jeskai, use Gush and mystic Sanctuary, but, since Gush is restricted, will be taking at most 8-10 damage and just winning the game, whereas Null Rod vs PO is basically turning their deck off until they remove the rod.
People claim PO is non issue because of Null Rod. (LOL) meanwhile there’s another two mana artifact called Ankh of Mishra that has similar affect against Gush strategies.
I just had to LOL at this. 2 damage per land vs not being able to use any artifacts or develop mana. Doesn't seem similar to me.
@desolutionist I doubt chalice will ever be unrestricted again, because it's decidedly "unvintage." You get to play all your moxen, then stop your opponent from playing any of theirs, for 0 mana. When you are on the play, it's like a free karn, great creator. Null rod at least stops EVERYBODY'S moxen. It's only good after turn 1 when your opponent is playing things like PO that want to cast moxen more than once.
I think WotC has been looking at restrictions to balance more than unrestrictions lately because they want to slow the game down and avoid the "coin flip" perception. If you unrestrict everything, sure, you could viably play any number of strategies, but then you get to where every archetype is so uber-powered, it can win on turn 1. The foil to that would be running 8+ free counterspells, but then you get into the matches of "turn 1 win" vs "counter your opponent's turn 1" and the matches generally become decided on if you had the free counterspell or not on the opener. I think WotC (and most players) want to avoid that situation.
I kind of see it like Magic is a skilled sword fight, and WotC is trying to limit the length and strength of swords to make a balanced and good fight. Although the argument that "everyone could have bazookas" would make no single deck superior is true, it doesn't make for fun, skillful samurai showdowns.
@guli @Stormanimagus While Wrenn alone may not be the ONLY problem card, it is a card that eats thalia and friends all day long. In addition to the waste/DRS issues, it's a big thorn. One card that I tried to good effect in the fastbond post-unrestriction meta was Tomik. Tomik not only stops your lands from getting ravaged, but allows you to replay your own wastes without DRS exiling them and stops Wrenn from generating CA.
Tomik is out of Wrenn's ping range too, and he flies over goyfs and oozes. He's a helluva human in the color you already run. Just for the shear fact that he stops waste/strip, I find him to be maindeckable in a lot of white decks. For 2 mana, a 2/3 flyer with that ability is sweet. The fact that you run a ton of utility lands you want to stick around, stopping wastes is even more important for you. He's a solid option.
And I still think, Wrenn or not, you will find value in Icon. It is CA + added clock in addition to the buff against Wrenn, which isn't bad.
A janky card, but possibly workable is Icon of Ancestry. For 3, you get +1/+1 to all your humans and you can start fetching humans off the top in the midgame if you need to rebuild. Even if you run ouphe, the +1/+1 is always there and is hard to remove (nobody is bringing in artifact hate vs humans). It adds to your clock while making thalias able to beat vengevines and such. It's a neat little card in a tribal deck.
One card I found to be decent tech is force of despair. Of course, you have to be in black to do it, but when they go turn 1 bazaar, hollow, memnite, reanimate 2 vengevines and you cast FoD, they get a big frown. Of course, it is a terrible topdeck after the initial onslaught, and they can just keep recurring the vengevines (which they somehow always seem to be able to do with relative ease vs me), but it survives the turn one 16 damage on the board, which I tend to find myself staring down 80% of games vs hollowvine. I hate that matchup, no matter what deck I'm running.
I've found that of those hate pieces, wasteland is almost always the MVP. If they don't open with it, they'll bazaar to go 10 cards deep and likely get one FoV. Then your leylines are garbage. Even if you can rav trap, and they dont use their 4x FoW, they still have hollow one. If you can cut off bazaar and land tabernacle, you should be good - kill their engine and clear their initial onslaught.
Another option I like is extirpate (if you have black) or surgical. They can FoW it, but if you cast on their turn (when they are most likely to activate to get hollow one + 2nd creature for vengevine triggers), you can hit their vengevine and remove their main grave threats. If you combo it with wasteland, you hit all 4 bazaars and they are basically a sitting duck at that point. I'd say 4-5 strip/waste is top slots, then 2-3 tabernacle OR 3-4 surgical if you have other ways to handle that initial 9+ power that drops on turn 1.