The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

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RytelCSF
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby RytelCSF » 28 Oct 2010, 15:06

Oh, I know it can be good in the right deck. That's beside the point, since my deck is hardly Myr tribal. The former four cards all currently see play in EDH decks of mine, and the latter two were cornerstones of my pet deck up until Alara block left Standard.

They're not good decks, but they're fun decks, and I still win enough for me to walk away happy.

I apologize, but I annoys me greatly when people assert that you must have a competitive focus in order to enjoy the game, and think of everything in terms of its mechanical worth. Making a deck more powerful and making a deck "better" are not necessarily the same thing.
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby ecocd » 28 Oct 2010, 15:10

I have a rainbow fatty deck that was a wonderful mess and not at all efficient so I can appreciate smashing face with the Angels. Spiritmonger followed by a 6/6 flying dragon was awesome.

What I think you're finding is that you're already playing it like a control deck since you keep winning with the Ascensions. I can't believe I skipped over them. Token Generators are a classic white control finisher.

You *want* it to be a turbo fatty deck where you're dropping an angel on turn 4. That's pretty much exactly contrary to Ascension. Ascension likes a really long game to be effective and in multiples, to boot. Turbo fatty means you want to blow your wad all at once and establish an overwhelming board position by turn 5.

If you're winning all your games with the Ascension, then you'll probably win even more games if you go with a complete control game that I was referring to earlier. I think if you drop your creature count substantially (Emiria brings back fatties that happen to be killed thereby increasing your late game threat count to infinite). You'll find the Wraths to be much more effective and to your liking.

If you would really rather your Angels be winning the game, then that needs to be the focus. The Ascensions go, because they just get in the way of the early acceleration game. If you don't have 2 fatties attacking by turn 7, you've lost the game anyway. You need even more mana acceleration - Gold Myrs are perfect and in fact better than Chalices. You also need to drop the Emirias (when do you *ever* want to draw a land that comes into play tapped in a deck curved to drop a Serra on turn 4?).

See what I meant by focus? The Ascensions and Angels kind of contradict each other.
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby ecocd » 28 Oct 2010, 15:18

RytelCSF wrote:Oh, I know it can be good in the right deck. That's beside the point, since my deck is hardly Myr tribal. The former four cards all currently see play in EDH decks of mine, and the latter two were cornerstones of my pet deck up until Alara block left Standard.

They're not good decks, but they're fun decks, and I still win enough for me to walk away happy.

I apologize, but I annoys me greatly when people assert that you must have a competitive focus in order to enjoy the game, and think of everything in terms of its mechanical worth. Making a deck more powerful and making a deck "better" are not necessarily the same thing.

When did I say competitive? Good deck design is important even in fun decks. Mana curves are important, card advantage is important. For as much as the LRR guys are playing, they're absolutely vital concepts. I doubt you threw together your pet deck and never tweaked it. I bet those tweaks made the deck run more smoothly. They probably even followed the advice I gave Matt on focusing the deck.

Everyone has fun in different ways. Riptide Replicator can be really fun, but you have to survive long enough to be able to activate it.

Take a gander at a very old article I had up on StarCityGames. I know how to have fun. Neither of those would win you a tournament, but they're loads of fun to unleash on your friends. That said, if the deck isn't built efficiently, your friends will slaughter you before the combo ever goes off.

There's nothing wrong with good deck design.
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby Matt » 28 Oct 2010, 15:28

The advantage with the deck layout right now, is that I can get an ascension in play on turn 3, and still have the serra out by 4. If my oponent removes the ascension, then I have the angels in hand to play. If my oponent stands against my angels, I can start cranking the generator by turn 7 and over-run them with relative ease.

I like that diversity - and it's working fairly effectively - so I'm not sure I see an advantage to comitting entirely to one over the other in the deck build.

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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby ecocd » 28 Oct 2010, 15:34

That's cool. Late game to a fatty deck. Still might want to consider those Gold Myrs if you don't like the Wraths, though. I can almost see the glee in your eyes as you sit with 3 Angels and a Gold Myr while James is at 2 life and you choose to attack only with the Gold Myr "just in case." James then replies, "f*ck you, Matt."
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby Matt » 28 Oct 2010, 15:37

ecocd wrote:That's cool. Late game to a fatty deck. Still might want to consider those Gold Myrs if you don't like the Wraths, though. I can almost see the glee in your eyes as you sit with 3 Angels and a Gold Myr while James is at 2 life and you choose to attack only with the Gold Myr "just in case." James then replies, "f*ck you, Matt."


To be fair, james has two decks which routinely give me trouble.

A vamp deck (with fucking Malakir Bloodwitches ><), and a burn deck that does a hideous amount of direct damage, and so totally hamstrings the ascensions right out of the gate.

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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby Cybren » 28 Oct 2010, 15:46

I'm not efamous enough for magic help :(
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby Trymantha » 28 Oct 2010, 16:08

Cybren wrote:So here's my Slimey Vampires deck:
4x Llanowar Elves
2x Elves of Deep Shadow
4x Cultivate
4x Bloodthrone Vampire
4x Reassembling Skeleton
4x Mitotic Slime
1x Fists of Ironwood
2x Canopy Cover
4x Overwhelming Stampede
2x Snake Umbra
4x Giant Growth
1x Nim Deathmantle
2x Nature's Spiral
2x Disentomb
9x Forest
1x Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
6x Swamp
4x Savage Lands

The Sideboard contains
4x Naturalize
4x Doomblade
2x Leyline of Lifeforce
1x Leyline of Vitality
2x Asceticism
1x Jinxed Idol


THE PLAN is to get out the bloodthrone vampire and the slime, then have the vamp eat the slime, and all the little slimes, and all the littler slimes. THE METHOD is mana ramping with elves and cultivate. Snake Umbrae provides draw power and protection for my vamps, while canopy cover and fist of ironwood allow it to deal damage (need flyer to block canopy cover, and ironwood gives trample. as a bonus ironwood gives two saprolings the vampire can immediately eat). Nim Deathmantle does triple duty, giving my vampire intimidate, providing recursion for my slime (allowing me to double dip on a single mitotic slime in one turn), and giving me something say in a badass yu-gi-oh voice (this role is also shared by ORAN-RIEF, THE VASTWOOD). The Skeletons are awesome because they can keep me alive against big or small beaters indefinitely, and can be used to pump the vampire. Finally, overwhelming stampede comes into play as the most fun card in all of magic. So i have four elves, two vampires, and a slime. Four 1/1 elves, a 1/1 slime, and a slime becomes four 15/15 trample elves and a 30/30 trample vampire. Use as many giant growths as you have available in response to your own stampede, too, for added fun.


the problem with this is your losing all your board position loading it in to one card and what happens if i fog all you creaters are dead except for one and you've done zero damage. yes you have some things to deal with creature removal but there is still enough ways to get around a single attack, than after that you have only one creature while you opponent has multiple.
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby Cybren » 28 Oct 2010, 16:16

Uhh
how do i lose all my board position using one slime (that i can get back in multiple ways) to pump a vampire?
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby RytelCSF » 28 Oct 2010, 16:20

ecocd wrote:Everyone has fun in different ways. Riptide Replicator can be really fun, but you have to survive long enough to be able to activate it.


First of all, with Rosheen Meanderer as a General and a liberal amount of untap effects, getting X to equal a lot isn't as hard as it sounds. (In fact, the main risk of that particular card is going all-in with the X cost and risking it getting destroyed before you can even get one token out of it, versus leaving four mana open but having significantly weaker tokens every turn.)

But I understand that even casual decks should be well-built in terms of card advantage and mana curve. I love big huge creatures and big huge effects, but a deck full of nothing but them but never get to do them in the first place, so any deck I build is going to build up to those huge effects, whether through mana acceleration, controlling until I get enough land, and so on. I'm not trying to say that competitive decks can't be fun, nor am I trying to say that casual decks shouldn't be tinkered with and analyzed.

What bothered me, and I'll admit I may be projecting, is Matt essentially saying "Hey guys, check out this Angel deck I've been playing. I've been happy with it and I think it's pretty good," and you come along and say "Let's see... you're playing too many small guys; you're playing too many finishers; you're not playing 4 Day of Judgment; hell, you're not playing any Wrath of God, you're not playing 4 Everflowing Chalice; you're playing Survival Cache, which is terrible; you're playing Iona and Emeria; you're doing it wrong."

I'll admit the deck isn't as streamlined as it could be, but I don't see anything abjectly wrong with it enough to go on for several paragraphs like you did about it.

Just as you said, everyone has fun in different ways. That's the whole point I'm trying to make. Fun is subjective. You could give me the most competitive, most streamlined deck in the world, with nothing but hyper-efficient 4-ofs, and I would find it boring because it does the same thing every single game. I love silver bullet 1-ofs that might as well be blank 9 times out of 10, but the 10th time completely saves your ass.

I would rather lose a nail-biting, back-and-forth battle than win a curb stomping. I've removed cards from decks for being ineffective... and also for being too good.

Now, as I said, I could be projecting. Perhaps Matt does want his deck to be perfectly streamlined and just doesn't know how. That's fine if he does; I'm not trying to discount any particular way to build, and if one ever wants to play competitively that's absolutely the way to go. (Granted, if you're playing competitively you shouldn't be building your own deck in the first place, but that's a whole new can of worms.) What I'm trying to say is that not everyone equates fun and victory and tries to make decks as efficient as possible, and your overtly thorough analysis of the flaws in his deck when he barely at all seemed to ask for it appeared to imply that.
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby Cybren » 28 Oct 2010, 16:26

Yeah but matt ostensibly posted the cardlist for the purpose of constructive criticism
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby Trymantha » 28 Oct 2010, 16:42

Cybren wrote:Uhh
how do i lose all my board position using one slime (that i can get back in multiple ways) to pump a vampire?


because the slime is designed to give you a better bored position post its death the way your playing the card is as pump instead of a creature. im not saying its a bad deck also the type of environment you want to play this in would be helpful, im looking at it from a competitive 1v1 type 2 deck(which i wouldnt play it in) but it sounds quite fun to play as a casual deck.

also you should check out a card called sign in blood
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby Cybren » 28 Oct 2010, 16:45

the slime isn't a creature.

It's a card that reads "give one of your vampires +14/+14 until end of turn".


The elves, skeletons, and vampires are creatures that all give me board position
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby Matt » 28 Oct 2010, 17:22

Whatevs, I'm open to advice, and I like learning the theory.

I reserve the right to ignore it, but I'm interested in learning it.

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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby Trymantha » 28 Oct 2010, 17:31

Cybren wrote:the slime isn't a creature.

It's a card that reads "give one of your vampires +14/+14 until end of turn".


The elves, skeletons, and vampires are creatures that all give me board position


fair enough i just don't see that card that way is i think why i'm not liking the deck, i just think its to easy to stop to deck, there is nothing wrong with it except maybe to much reliance on the one card whats your plan if you never draw a vampire? or your enemy kills the vamp before you can do anything with it?.

side note: i don't mean any of what i'm saying as an attack or anything, i'm just trying to help, i don't want to offened and you don't have to listen to a thing i say, its just so hard to convey tone of voice and what not on a forum.
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby Cybren » 28 Oct 2010, 17:42

if i don't draw a vampire i use my other creatures to attack. Say I have a slime and some elves. Giant growth the slime and it's a 7/7. Overwhelming stampede now and it's a 14/14, supported by 8/8s, all with trample. I still whomp you. If I lose the slime i get more slimes, and i still have recursion. If I lose the vamp, I still have recursion.
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby Trymantha » 28 Oct 2010, 17:52

Cybren wrote:if i don't draw a vampire i use my other creatures to attack. Say I have a slime and some elves. Giant growth the slime and it's a 7/7. Overwhelming stampede now and it's a 14/14, supported by 8/8s, all with trample. I still whomp you. If I lose the slime i get more slimes, and i still have recursion. If I lose the vamp, I still have recursion.


okay look i can see how the deck works though i would still highly recommend 4x sgin in blood.
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby ecocd » 28 Oct 2010, 19:09

Matt wrote:I reserve the right to ignore it, but I'm interested in learning it.
-m

That's pretty much my thought. I didn't even know if you'd follow up on the thread. Anyway, glad you read through my post. :)

All of the strategy articles I know of are really, really old and talk about cards you've probably never heard of. Tempo and Card Advantage haven't really changed so EDT's (Eric "Danger" Taylor) classic still applies almost 12 years later.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar wrote a good article about manabases that still pretty much apply today, too.

Oscar Tan was (and for all I know still is) the #1 expert in Type I Magic. He wrote 15 articles on The Deck as it was known in the day and you'll learn practically everything you could ever want to know on how to run a control deck.

Mike Flores appears to have now moved to tcgplayer.com and when I was playing was one of the best theoreticians in the game. I hear he's also a complete asshole, but an asshole that knows what he's talking about.
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby Cybren » 28 Oct 2010, 19:30

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar wrote a good article about manabases that still pretty much apply today, too.

oh man according to that i can run 19 lands in my deck!!!!!
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby MowDownJoe » 29 Oct 2010, 06:15

Matt wrote:Oh balls.

I just found This.

I want to find a way to put it on this,

while this is in play.

:|

-m

Soverigns of Lost Alara? Was used alot with Eldrazi Conscription before Scars rolled into Standard.

Anyway, I came up with a rather silly idea for a Prototype Portal deck. Here's what I came up with:

4× Sanctum Gargoyle
4× Ethersworn Canonist
2× Filigree Angel
3× Glassdust Hulk
4× Vedalken Engineer

4× Prototype Portal
4× Scourglass
4× Mimic Vat
4× Fabricate
3× Cumber Stone

4× Ancient Den
4× Seat of the Synod
4× Glimmervoid
7× Plains
5× Island

I want to add some metalcraft stuff, maybe Stoic Rebuttal, possibly Indomitable Archangel. Not too sure about the Archangel, though, since the thing that made me want to make this deck was the idea of putting a Scourglass on Prototype Portal. If I had my old Thirsts for Knowledge, I'd consider a random Kuldortha Phoenix, and if I had money, I'd add 3 Mox Opals.
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby ecocd » 29 Oct 2010, 06:48

Cybren wrote:I'm not efamous enough for magic help :(

Part of that was I'm not at all familiar with the cards, whereas Matt's deck fit rather nicely into a trope - white control, turbo fatty, etc. I didn't really give many individual card recommendations so much as evaluate (and criticize, to be fair) the cards in the deck. I can't really do as much with yours other than general combo strategies.

I believe your deck is much more on the casual side and Trymantha had a lot of good points. At it's core, combo is most effective when it only needs two cards to run - WotC has eliminated these from the game outside of Vintage and for good reason. All combos these days are 3 cards.

There are a few rules of thumb for a combo deck. First off, when the combo "goes off" it has to kill the opponent. You're going to be expending all of your resources to get 3 cards together and your opponent will be expending all of their resources to prevent that from happening. You don't want to get it all together and deal 15 damage to an opponent with 16 life. Your combo is Bloodthrone Vampire - Mitotic Slime - Overwhelming Stampede and I would suggest that as your focus.

A good combo deck tries to find the pieces to the combo as fast as possible. This means tutors (direct search in the deck) and card draw. I would suggest looking for a few useful cantrips (cards that let you draw another card with a good effect). The Cultivates aren't bad, because they're thinning your deck of land as well as fixing mana and accelrating yourself to Overwhelming Stampede.

You need to be able to protect the pieces of the combo or ensure they're resilient to removal. The Mitotic slime is, by definition, reselient. Your Vampire is relatively resistant since you can sacrifice a creature on the board to pump it in the face of direct damage. They're actually pretty good pieces, all things considered. Just remember that if the only evasion you have is Trample, you're going to need to be able to overwhelm each blocker, too, so don't shy away from dropping all your slimes on a single attack.

Finally, remember how the stack works (at least I think there's still a stack...). If you think your opponent is holding a lightning bolt, you're going ot have to play around that. Since your vampire is only a 1/1, that means if you sacrifice the slime, that effect goes on the stack and your opponent can respond to it. The thing is, you can respond to the lightning bolt by sacrificing two other creatures on the board to make it a 5/5 before the Lightning bolt deals it 5 damage. In the case of Lightning Bolt, you actually need two other creatures on the board to sacrifice to protect your Vampire.

Lastly, as a nod to Rytel, you can only make the combo as efficient as your playgroup allows. Combo decks are a blast to pilot, but incredibly monotonous to play against. You might only get 2 games out of each friend you have before they refuse to play against it again.
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby Cybren » 29 Oct 2010, 09:12

Canopy cover gives evasion (only blockable by flyer/reach) as well as making him untargettable, while snake umbra gives a one shot save from death and the nim deathmqntle gives me intimidate and allows me to bring a creature that dies back to play for 4.

I do believe I can take out the disentomb in favor of sign in blood (though I might go for more snake umbra because totem armor seems nice)
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby ecocd » 29 Oct 2010, 09:47

Cybren wrote:Canopy cover gives evasion (only blockable by flyer/reach) as well as making him untargettable, while snake umbra gives a one shot save from death and the nim deathmqntle gives me intimidate and allows me to bring a creature that dies back to play for 4.

I do believe I can take out the disentomb in favor of sign in blood (though I might go for more snake umbra because totem armor seems nice)

I saw those. My thought, though, is that you can't get your vampire up to 20-power AND Canopy without 2 more creatures so now it's a 5-card combo. Casual deck or not, it's difficult to get 5 cards to come together. How often have you been able to kill with only a 15/15 Vampire?

If you really like Dim Deathmantle, you might want to slip in a second so you have a chance to draw it by the late game, but rarely draw it early. If you like it as a surprise card to keep things interesting for yourself, then a singleton serves that purpose.

Maybe look for another card that has a lot of synergy with either the Vampire or Mitotic Slime? Make them useful without each other in case the combo doesn't come together? That takes some focus off the combo, though, which seems to be the fun in the deck.

Just giving you some things to think about. There are few things more disappointing in Magic, in my opinion, than have a combo deck fizzle and leave your opponent at 2 life while they smash you until you're dead.

edit: I think you'll like Sign In Blood in this deck. It's efficient for black if you can handle the life loss. If Gravedigger is okay in your playgroup you could try that in the place of Disentomb. It has great synergy with Nim Deathmantle and it gives you more food for your Vampire and a 2/2 chump blocker in an emergency.
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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby Matt » 02 Nov 2010, 10:15

So, I'm building a blue merfolk deck. I think I have a solid design, but I think it needs some mana accel. Any tips for adding that to a blue deck?

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Re: Magic: The Gathering: Whatcha mean, there's no thread yet?

Postby ecocd » 02 Nov 2010, 10:28

Matt wrote:So, I'm building a blue merfolk deck. I think I have a solid design, but I think it needs some mana accel. Any tips for adding that to a blue deck?

-m

Mana accel is pretty tough in blue and you can't really "splash" a mana accel color. I think you're pretty much stuck with Silver Myr and Everflowing Chalice. :?

Would it be possible to lower your mana curve so you have some useful early drops to keep up the pressure (or hold off pressure) until you get your bigger spells working?
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