Main Deck Back to Basics in the Current Metagame

Beyond Dominia: The Type 1.5/1.X Magic Mill: Main Deck Back to Basics in the Current Metagame

By Tracer Bullet, the DanDan Man (Tracer) on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 03:16 am:

Am I the only person who has realized that maindeck B2B is a bomb in the current metagame? With so many decks running around that just roll over to B2B, and just as many that are hurt by it, why do we not see Forbiddian builds running this card? Just a quick look at the matchups-

Junk- Solid Gold. Your only route to winning, as this is an otherwise horrible matchup.
DiskDeed.dec- Otherwise known as The Rock and His Millions, Back to Basics actually allows you to play mana denial in this matchup, as Kegs will sufficently shut down their elves/birds.
U/r Trick- ok in this matchup, allowing for an extra 2-3 turns to build up your counter base as it will more often than not shut down at least one of their lands. It will increase the game one margin from 60-40 to about 65/70-35/30. Game two this is still a tough matchup, and will depend upon independant builds.
Op. Dumbo Drop- Just laugh as you out counter them when this Dumbo Drops. They will scoop at that point.
Oath- Against both U/g and 4cU Oath decks this will be your route to victory. The U/g matchup used to depend upon who could get their Thawing Glaciers running first, and now, with their Wastelands dead and your B2B shutting down 6-12 of their land, you hold a significant advantage. Completely shuts down 4cU oath because their creatures are so damned mana hungry.
Reanimator- Force food, side into the Furnaces/Rivers.
Forbinkel-Random 2-3-4cU decks- THis is where the Back to Basics are so good, as they allow you to turn otherwise bad matchups into favorable ones with a single card. Almost no decks out there will be unaffected by B2B, and that shows the card's true power.

For comparison, my current version of Forbiddian

Fishy Beats.dec
4 Force of Will
4 Counterspell
2 Dissapate (and people wonder why I play this over Forbid)
2 Forbid
2 Mana Leak (I really like Mana Leak, a great early and late game counter)
4 Ophidian (the badass himself. People will often suggest going with FoF in his place, and they don't realize how much he'll matter just as a 1/3 wall.)
2 Morphling (The best kill card in the deck, would be a 3 of with no Masticores but all those damned River Boas....)
2 Masticore (Once again, I'm not too fond of him, but he is there to stop things Masta 'Mo can't.)
4 Powder Keg (A must. No questions about it)
1 Nevinyrral's Disk (used to be two, bad synergy with B2B, and with 4 nasty creatures, found 2 was no longer necessary)
4 Opt (Better than Brainstorm because we no longer have Thaws shuffling, they will provide the early mana smoothing so desperately needed)
3 Impulse (Godly, but one needed to be an Opt for mana issues)
3 Back to Basics (The reason I'm still playing Mono-U, as without this power, you lose.)
1 Phyrexian Furnace (I really like having at least one maindeck, it's solid gold in a lot of matchups, and cycles in others.)
22 Island
1 Back to Basics (Duh)
4 Submerge (The best card in the game against Stompy, has many uses against a great many other decks as well, as that big fattie SF just sac'd a creature to play is no longer in play.)
4 Dandan- (The namesake of the deck, also my sn. Beautiful when opponants side out their creature kill as they just don't have enough speed to deal with him. Forces Trick to play Illusions sooner than they would have liked, as they desperately need 20 life.)
4 Chill (Sligh turns into a bad matchup without these, really a metagame call. I've often though about Rushing River and the last Furnace in this slot, will have to test it.)
2 Phyrexian Furnace (Duh).
What do you guys think? Have many other people thought about it and what successes/pitfalls have you found? I've personally found them to be awesome in most of my matches, so I was wondering if i'm a fluke, or if i'm really on to something. Any and all feedback is appreciated.

By Drizzt on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 09:27 am:

Yeah, this was something I was considering running in my U/B Zombie Go deck in place of either one of the Worb's (since it serves the same purpose) or the Upheaval. I thought it could be solid as I can Vampiric for it, and at worst it's a FoW pitch card or 1/2 of a Zombie token in matchups where it isn't good.

By bogey on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 11:38 am:

Yep, your right, I've been using Back to Basics maindeck for about a month now, and I have yet to lose to a deck with no basic lands.. Definitely the right metagame decision in my opinion.

By bogey on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 11:39 am:

Oh yeah, I also found that Propaganda in combination with Back to Basics is game over if they already have creatures about before the Back to Basics.

By Loser on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 01:56 pm:

yeah, but propaganda is more of a stasis card, but i agree that B2B is good.

By BrianB, the Patron of Elves and Silly Combos (Brianb) on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 02:27 pm:

It has been demonstrated that 4cU oath can do just fine in a prolonged game without untapping its nonbasics or playing islands (cause a few angry DanDans are are on the other side of the table). That's all I'll say about that. :) Seriously, though, B2B main is a decent metagame call since none of the mono-color decks appear to be tier 1 right now. However, you have to be aware that decks like stompy, sligh, WW, secret force, etc. are easy to play and easy to build, so they show up more than they ought to, especially in the early rounds.

By Tracer Bullet, the DanDan Man (Tracer) on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 02:56 pm:

True, but none of those decks are bad matchups, maybe excepting WW. Personally I've found that I have a record better than 65-35 match against stompy. Secret Force is a rather fair matchup, with me taking game one 60-40 and games two and three going about 50-50, depending on their sideboard. I've personally never lost a game to Secret Force (3 matches, all well built and well played).

By Tracer Bullet, the DanDan Man (Tracer) on Sunday, December 30, 2001 - 08:56 pm:

Just as an update, I managed to win a small tournement today, with Back to Basics being my bomb. It won me 4 out of six games, no questions asked.

By The_Tenman on Wednesday, January 02, 2002 - 09:02 pm:

I am using a similar deck and am starting annuls over mana leaks and furnaces standard over dissipates and is otherwise same construction. Morphling with card advantage just wins, oh I am also starting rushing river over the disk works better w/b2b. Will continue testing deck this week. I had no trouble beating Wbu white weenie splashing for duress, meddling mage and infiltrators, of course, the b2b was a bomb vs. this deck with the dependence on the dual land(including post). B2B played much like an armageddon, but deck might be weak vs. donate and reanimator as is, but I will have those matchups tommorrow most likely. I think Annuls standard are strong given the heavy enchantment/artifact base of the current environment, in fact, I am considering fitting in 3(ie. Aluren, Illusions, Deed, kegs, seals, c. scrolls, contamination, and a host of other targets).

By Sammy B on Thursday, January 03, 2002 - 07:56 am:

3 maindeck seems too much. I agree with you that they are solid gold, but sometimes they are completely dead. 2 was great in my deck, but regrettably I had to cut one to run more morphlings.

By The_Tenman on Thursday, January 03, 2002 - 08:17 am:

I will continue to run three and see if they hurt me. I have dropped the counter base to use them by dumping the dissipates and I have yet to not draw a handful of counterspells. An early netherspirit could be a real problem. I prefer Annuls in the sidebaord over Dandan in your version in order to deal with aluren. My current listing:

counter x 4
FoW x 4
annul x 2 (considering 3 over 3rd furnace)
forbid x 2
rushing river
B2B x 3
opt x 4
impulse x 3
morphling x 2
ophidian x 4
furnace x 3 (I wouldn`t mind drawing 1 in every game because of gaeas, ak, hidden herd and netherspirit amongst other nasties)
masticore x 2
powderkeg x 4
islands x 22


disk x 2
annul x 2
b2b x 1
furnace x 1
misdirection x 1
chill x 4
submerge x 4

I will run a version of this at a PTQ this weekend. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

By the_tenman on Thursday, January 03, 2002 - 06:48 pm:

Dropped 1 furnace to sideboard for a 2nd rushing river out of sb goes misdirection. I am concerned about an early netherspirit with no decent answer except 2 furnaces and the base removal of the deck only to see him next turn. Junk is run very heavily here. I played monoblue trix and oath today and went undefeated.

By the_tenman on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 08:36 am:

I placed top 20 with this:

mana leak x 2
forbid x 2
counterspell x 4
FoW x 4
back to basics x 3
impulse x 4
opt x 4
phyrexian x 2
nevs disk x 1
powder keg x 4
ophidian x 4
morphling x 2
masticore x 2
islands x 22

back to basics x 1
furnace x 2
submerge x 4
chill x 4
dandan x 4

rd 1:
game 1: played against a green/white thing didnt really do anything but managed to beat me with a mongrel the first game when I failed to draw and removal unless you count both Morphs I drew which tapped me out to chumpblock....sheesh, lol

game 2: sided in the submerges and feel pretty good against my chances the opponents deck wasn`t much of a threat. Opponent lays turn 2 albino troll and I submerge it after echo and then counter it with mana leak. He plays a llanowar elf and I draw both Morphs again in early game. I drew no further removal as he buts two armadillo cloaks on the elf and wins......had no counters for 2nd cloak plan was to chumpblock with a morph after he played the first one, besides my odds of drawing a submerge or a keg are pretty good I figure...wrong. I can`t believe I lost like that.

rd 2: priest of titania, elves and kaerveks torch....had no troubles here.

rd 3:
game 1: he mulligans down to 5....alarm bells went off. I am thinking he needs 1 certain card and knows my deck...maybe. He lays and island and so do, he then lays island 2 and I return the favor he impulses and I mana leak....he forced it throwing b2b out of game. Boom stasis! Thought I had a mirror mtchup there for a second. I conceded after 20 minutes of watching him play and figure I better go to the Dandan theory, especially with only 25 minutes left to win 2 games.

game 2: Got the Dandan, so does he...we exchange damage a little bit and I don`t tap out. He finally blocks and I lay an ophidian with 2 blue open. He casts stasis I counter he dazes I force he forces stasis hits. With so few cards he couldnt keep stasis in the meantime I drew and cast another Dandan..he loses.

game 3: 7 minutes to play this round and his deck has to play aggro in order to avoid the draw. My deck has more aggro potential and I win.

round 4:
game 1 zombie-go...I drew the perfect hand in opening with disk/furnace in opening hand he doesnt hit a duress I develop and win.

game 2 my sideboarding of additional furnaces keeps the game out of his reach.

round 5:
game 1 junk b2b turn 3 I win
game 2 force of willed his duress with b2b in hand. b2b turn 3 I win

round 6
game 1 vs. Gwr herds, werebears, swords, incinerates, tithes, mongrels, etc. I get an early b2b and he loses.
game 2 he land grants and I see this hand 2 seals, 1 pyroblast and a choke.............ouch....I lost
game 3 I draw 1 fow the whole game(no other counters)and 6 spells to 12 islands.....arghhhhhhhhh he lays a choke and I then topdeck a counterspell, lol......I lose.

round 7 went much the same as round 5

round 8: With a win I will place 2nd or 3rd in the amateur class and get a bunch of here goes.
game 1: vs junk.....I have the b2b opening hand he goes first Savannah tithes on my discard to get the black. I lay island and opt on his discard he lays a treetop...I am thinking he has the deed in hand and is next turns play. I lay an island, done. he plays deed...FoW answer my turn
game 2: turn 1 duress...turn 2 verdict....turn 3 verdict....turn 4 pernicious deed....I was helpless.
game 3: I draw no counters the whole game and get 10 land to 6 spells when choke hits....boy was that fun! By this time, I was getting a lot of attention from my deck and people were wanting its listing.

conclusion: 1 undiscovered paradise and 4 thaws will be coming into maindeck. The opts should be replaced by brainstorm. Another furnace maindeck would really help with werebear threshold and elephants and open the sideboard up to improvement. Sideboard should drop to three chills and a couple rushing rivers should come in vs. green. Also disrupts or forcespike standard might be strong to hlp with the duress and verdict...not to mention impulse, tithe and other goodies(I like disrupt best)

By the_tenman on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 10:46 am:

This is the current build I will be testing for next ptq:

masticore x 2(my opponents were siding out their boas, lol)
morphling x 2
Nevs disk x 1
disrupt x 2(considering force spike and daze)
impulse x 4
powder keg x 4
ophidian x 4
counterspell x 4
forbid x 2
brainstrom x 4(hides cards from hand distruct and is just generally good especially with thaw, undiscovered, impulse and furnace)
FoW x 4
Back to Basics x 2(yes, only 2....B2B is really nice against high tier but is often bad in low to midtier)
phyrexian furnace x 2(it wins)

islands x 17
thawing glacier x 4(yes, its not good vs. B2B, but getting the land out of deck is key in midgame or you just lose to tithe/sylvan or other draw engines)
undiscovered paradise x 1(nice vs. stasis and worbs....deck plays really well under orb also gives another pitch card to masticore/forbid and brainstorm bait in lategame and is unaffected by B2B))

Not sure if the thaw strat will be to slow, but it increases your odds to draw the B2B/furnace/kill card/removal/counterspell thats needed by thinning deck. It also stirs which is key behind an impulse that has say a morphling and a B2B in it.


Dandan x 4
chill x 3
furnace x 1
back to basics x 2
legacy allure x 4(this card would is so strong vs albino troll/werebear/and token creatures)
rushing river x 1
(for that choke that got through, lol)

By the_tenman on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 10:48 am:

oops was supposed to be disrupt x 3

By Tracer Bullet, better than Spiff (Tracer) on Thursday, April 11, 2002 - 05:54 pm:

Since people have been asking the question....

By Lord of the Goats (Goat) on Thursday, April 11, 2002 - 07:46 pm:

yes, b2b is good.... a game winner in a lot of matchups.... but i disagree with some of your analysis. although i'm looking at it from a more general point of view and not from your specific decks veiwpoint.

Junk- i agree... it's game every time.

Rock- they run enough basics to get around it enough..... granted rock isn't that great now, but i wouldn't have b2b in for game 2.

U/r Trick- not a match that needs to be worried about at this point.... also i wouldn't want b2b against them game 2....

Op. Dumbo Drop- just as bad as junk.... except they can fight over it

Oath- game vs 5 color unless they have 1 basic in
play... then they can weave every turn.... luckily they don't run basics. u/g you really don't want b2b against.... turboland laughs against it, and straight oath isn't affected much either....

Reanimator- shit in this match.... but it's another match you don't care about anyway

Forbinkel-Random 2-3-4cU decks- 2 color deck usually don't care about b2b very much. anything more than that it's a game winner.

you missed gro- assuming super gro, b2b is an annoyance, but since they fuction quite well under a winter orb, this won't really kill them.... out for game 2.

it's also crap vs sligh/stompy/ww. i really couldn't see myself maindecking more than 2. it doesn't do enough in a lot of matches to warrent more slots in my opinion. btw, i do think it's powerful..... i run 4 in my board, as well as adding red for 4 price of progress (and md fire/ice). that deals with oath and gro better.

disrupt is also very good.... i run 3 main. anyway, as i look back i realise that you're analysis is from december..... so i think my analysis is up to date. i also personally have used all of the mentioned decks except reanimator and dumbo drop, so i know how it is sitting on either side of the table

By Israel Casanova (Casanova) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 12:50 pm:

You know, losing Glaciers is too bad, and Back to Basics is a dead card against many decks, and Wasteland and Dust Bowl + Glaciers was enough... Ok, ok, so sometimes you might want to have it in your hand, but, even so, it doesn't give you enough time to get the game controlled (did you notice that almost all these multicolored decks run disenchanters? they just keep them in hand, drop two or three lands, then disenchant your b2b. b2b shouldn't be in table more than 4-5 turns against decks with disenchanters)

Still, here's my B2B Forbiddian:

4 Ophidian
1/2 Morphling
1/2 Masticore

4 Counterspell
4 Force of Will
4 Force Spike
3 Forbid

Reset Buttons
4 Powder Keg
2 Nevinyrral's Disk

4 Opt/Whispers
4 Impulse

2 Back to Basics

22 Island

By theseaker on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 03:21 pm:

i know this is a little of topic.......
wut exactly is a "patriot" deck. ive heard it mentioned a few times but the orriginal posts are deleated.....
By the way. what about FOF? its realy a very useful card. expetualy when compared to opt.
also whees is the force of will? its a must to stop early plays or it allows you to play an early ophidian without worry.

By whienot on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 04:10 pm:

the FoW is there. Right below Counterspell

By ControlUU on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 05:24 pm:

First of all, let me say that Back to Basics is so broken, I think it should be banned, but then there are people like you all, whom take cheese tho the ends of the earth for a win, but I will also say to you, that their are decks that anihilate your deck, even with mostly nonbasics, namely Miracle Gro, also if you want to make a deck that can beat the current format, make sure your creature control is superb, and remember the counter war isn't lost with two force of wills in hand of the oppoenent, there is daze, a very good spell agains decks like yours, also if you play against other decks with white in them, don't expect to just flat out win with one card, and forbiddian looses so bad to WW that it would make me laugh, another thing to consider is mono red..sligh and white weenie might be tier two, but they are still out there, and if you are willing to take on a game loss on a fluke, and lose making top eight..I would not play the main gauge of a deck...have fun..lamers..

By Vegeta (Vegeta) on Thursday, April 18, 2002 - 01:25 am:

*rolls eyes at the above post*

By Lord of the Goats (Goat) on Thursday, April 18, 2002 - 06:36 pm:

while controluu is just being an asshole, he does bring up a good point. b2b is not a good card to build a deck around. his examples suck, who the hell plays ww? but i could never see playing more than 2 main in exended. many decks can function even with it, namely gro and oath. don't overestimate the impact of b2b

By Tracer Bullet, Voice of Reason (Tracer) on Thursday, April 18, 2002 - 08:45 pm:

Don't get me wrong, it's not terribly good against Gro, but most forms of Oath (those that don't run more than 3 basics) die to B2B. It is a game-winning bomb.

By BrianB, the Patron of Elves and Silly Combos (Brianb) on Thursday, April 18, 2002 - 09:05 pm:

no, you don't need more than 3 basic lands. In fact, Pat, didn't I prove decisively that 3 basic lands in oath stops that B2B nonsense just fine.

P.S. Tracer will argue that he drew nothing but land while i played threat after threat, but he's just making excuses for the fact that he had 3 dandans and B2B in play and still let the board get so bad that he had to disk it all away.

By Tracer Bullet, Voice of Reason (Tracer) on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 12:57 am:

Hey now....Let's not get carried away........That Wild Research had badass timing......And I think you're the only person on the face of the planet who still plays U/W/r/g instead of U/G/w/r.

By BrianB, the Patron of Elves and Silly Combos (Brianb) on Friday, April 19, 2002 - 01:46 am:

Actually its Wugr, the base is white with blue secondary, green and red splashed. And i think i'm the only person on the planet who ever played that janky mana base except for Matt Place, who made the first extended research deck (which had blessings and 2 morphlings, but forgot oath) and Tom Guevin who played (badly) my deck at worlds (card-for-card including some poor sb choices that i had changed in later versions). That mana base makes tons of sense though, and i'm surprised it doesn't get used more. The most important card in a PedOath deck is enlightened tutor; two of the best silver bullets are white-intensive (aura and story circle); swords and seal (your early time-buyers) are white; and tithe is the best card-advantage color-fixer around. You can base in white and still support enough blue to get the job done (and 4 wastelands, which is vital)--you just lose your treetops. Still, it's a good trade. Anyways, i'm off the topic of the thread, so I'll stop.

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