Rakso's Choice -- Brian Weissman's 2001 "The Deck" and why Impulse is not in it

Beyond Dominia: The Type One Magic Mill: Archived threads of the Beyond Dominia Type I Mill: Rakso's Choice -- Brian Weissman's 2001 "The Deck" and why Impulse is not in it

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By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Saturday, March 24, 2001 - 11:02 am:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian Weissman"
To: "Oscar Tan"
Sent: Friday, March 23, 2001 10:23 PM
Subject: "The Deck" answers...


> Hey there Oscar, thanks for writing. Well, presently I'm not a bid
> advocate of using Impulse in the Deck. This is for two reasons. First off,
> I believe that it already has sufficient search, in the form of 3 tutors,
> Ancestral Recall, and Four Fact or Fiction. Secondly, I think that by
> adding four Impulse you reduce the quantity of "business" spells in The Deck
> so much that you just wind up drawing all search and land. I've played
> against a lot of four impulse verions, and found myself winning games simply
> because I had more counterspells or other useful cards.
> For reference, here is a list of what I currently have together:
>
> Type I The Deck
>
> Non-Mana Producers
> ------------------
> 4 Mana Drain
> 4 Force of Will
> 1 Counterspell
> 2 Swords to Plowshares
> 2 Gorilla Shaman
> 1 Disenchant
> 4 Fact or Fiction
> 1 Jayemdae Tome
> 1 The Abyss
> 1 Morphling
> 1 Zuran Orb
> 1 Balance
> 1 Regrowth
> 1 Demonic Tutor
> 1 Mind Twist
> 1 Mystical Tutor
> 1 Vampiric Tutor
> 1 Ancestral Recall
> 1 Time Walk
> 1 Stroke of Genius
> 1 Yawgmoth's Will
> ------------------
> Total Non-Mana Producers: 32
>
> Mana Producers
> --------------
> 4 Tundra
> 4 Volcanic Island
> 3 Underground Sea
> 4 City of Brass
> 1 Library of Alexandria
> 4 Wasteland
> 1 Strip Mine
> 5 Moxes
> 1 Sol Ring
> 1 Black Lotus
> ---------------
> Total Mana Producers: 28
>
> Sideboard
> ----------
> 2 Disenchant
> 2 Swords to Plowshares
> 3 Pyroblast
> 2 Gorilla Shaman
> 2 COP: Red
> 1 Mana Short
> 2 Dwarven Miner
> 1 Mirror Universe
>
> I hope that helps answer some of your questions Oscar. As to the
> inclusion of Obliterate, I really don't see the point. The game always
> comes down to a Mind Twist war in control on control, and against random
> decks....well you just don't lose :) Let me know if you have any more
> questions, take it easy.
>
> Brian Weissman


By White Knight (White_Knight) on Saturday, March 24, 2001 - 11:15 am:

Just a Morphling? The deck is good enough and Brian is right about Impulses and Obliterate I think.

I'd replace that lonely Counterspell for another Morphling. Just that.


By JP 'Polluted' Meyer, the Archivist (Jpmeyer) on Saturday, March 24, 2001 - 03:48 pm:


Quote:

Secondly, I think that by adding four Impulse you reduce the quantity of "business" spells in The Deck




This is exactly why I cut them.


By Matt D'Avanzo (Matt) on Saturday, March 24, 2001 - 06:48 pm:

Well, I don't play with them, but I always want to. My friend manages to squeeze three in without to much trouble. He cut Merchant Scroll to do it, but felt the Impulses smoothed his very shakey mana base. Four might be overkill, but 2-3 might be nice.

I think the Tome sucks--that ought to be a second Morphling. I think the counter is good as it is although Misdirection might be better depending on the area. In fact I'd replace one FOF with another as I like ten counters total. I'd then add sylvan, cut a plow, use Edict instead of the other, plows, add a merchant scroll, and then....have my deck.

Seriously though the only thing that I think qualifies a "mistake" is using Tome and not using Academy. Sorry, but multi-colored mana isn't as important as blue. Force of Will is a 5cc spell that you don't want to pitch stuff to ideally. Morphling, Stroke, and FoF are all quite robust in cc.

I wonder what his thoughts on Duress, Misdirection, Merchant Scroll, etc. are.

--Matt


By Matt D'Avanzo (Matt) on Saturday, March 24, 2001 - 06:51 pm:

Rakso,

Can you ask him what his sideboard is and what/how he sideboards against different decks, particularly control decks?

--Matt


By badapple on Sunday, March 25, 2001 - 04:27 am:

ummm....i think he did list the sideboard. i've actually played against brian and he seems to know what he is talking about. i haven't tried the FOF over impulse yet, but i see how it could be huge.
i agree with matt that the tome should be a second morphling because a) sometimes out right winning is better than taking control, b) against what deck is having a tome out better than a morphling? and c) artifact destruction is generally more common than cards that can kill morphling.
another way to look at is, all things being equal, one player has morphling out the other has tome, who will win?


By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Sunday, March 25, 2001 - 04:55 am:

JP: Your comments inspired my asking the father of "The Deck". :) Glad they're confirmed, right? :)

Anyway, Brian's reasoning on Tome is that if it gets in play, it just wins.

On the other hand, that's what Morphling does, so you may have a point...


By Milton (Milton) on Sunday, March 25, 2001 - 12:54 pm:

Let's not forget that Gorilla Shaman can kill an opponent as well. Counting the sideboard, there are seven creatures. Against Keeper if your opponent takes out Abyss, you sideboard in 2 Gorilla's, 2 Dwarven Miner and you can kill your opponent without even using the Morphling.

It does seem to be a little risky to run only one Morphling, though. If you run four Fact or Fictions and one Morphling, it seems like the Morphling could find it's self in the graveyard pretty quickly. Without Timetwister, this seems risky.

By the way, it seems that Timetwister is slowly becoming a thing of the past in Keeper decks, doesn't it?


By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Sunday, March 25, 2001 - 01:30 pm:

No more Necrodeck.

How is Twist against Pox, though?


By Azhrei (Azhrei) on Sunday, March 25, 2001 - 01:34 pm:

Twister is good still, even with no Necrodeck. It's kinda nice vs. Obliterate too.


By JP 'Polluted' Meyer, the Archivist (Jpmeyer) on Sunday, March 25, 2001 - 02:34 pm:

I took out Twister. Then I put it back in.


By gizzard on Sunday, March 25, 2001 - 11:58 pm:

Mmmm, lots of interesting stuff. First, is anyone else here playing 4 FoF? They are quite tasty, but adding 4x4CC spells to my deck was too much. I am running 3xFoF and 3xImpulse as my untargetted search. I dont run green for Regrowth, so my searching capacity is about the same as Brian's in the end: he has the Tutor suite, 4X FoF, Tome, Regrowth - I have Tutors, 3X FoF and 3X Impulse.

As far as the Impulse specifically, I'm curious if Brian has an insight into why 4 of 4 Keeper players had them at the Invitational? Is he the odd man out disliking Impulse? (Hey, should we all vote for Brian next year so he can go and represent T1?! Hmmm, some good.)

Also, whats up with the Twister? I sent it to the sideboard a while back and havent missed it at all, why did JP put it back in? I think there are one or two more Twister fans on the Mill as well?


By Exeter (Exeter) on Monday, March 26, 2001 - 06:38 am:

gizzard: Yeah, I'll vote for Brian Weissman. Mikey P is invited already, too, so it should be a good show.

I wouldn't play 4x FoF, but 3x sounds really good. I like the idea of replacing Twister, Stroke, and Braingeyser with FoF (since I still use Blessings), which allows me to side in Ivory Mask without worries.


By JP 'Polluted' Meyer, the Archivist (Jpmeyer) on Monday, March 26, 2001 - 07:27 am:

I missed the total recursion, the reset against Mind Twist, the ability to get broken draws, and the fact that I always draw Mind Twist off it.


By gizzard on Monday, March 26, 2001 - 06:03 pm:

Hmmm, well, if JPs Twister says "Draw 6 Cards and your Mind Twist" I guess I can see why he plays it. Sadly, mine says "Draw 6 Lands and a Mox". (Just like Bob Maher's apparently!)

So is Rakso reading this thread? Can you ask Brian why all the Invitational Keeper players went with Impulse? I understand Brian's logic for not playing it, I wonder why he thinks everyone else did - it would be a nice counterpoint to his own thoughts.


By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Monday, March 26, 2001 - 10:55 pm:

I still don't understand the Mind Twist role in control vs control, but get a load of this guy who replied vehemently to Obliterate in "The Deck"...

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian Weissman"
To: <g***[email protected]***r.com>
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2001 6:53 PM
Subject: Re: [meridianmagic] More "The Deck" questions for Brian [ ;) ]


> Sorry, but I just have to comment on your last statement, I can't help it!
> You say that The Deck is not a good option to use in Type I these days
> because of Obliterate??? Are you kidding me? Why don't you try actually
> playing some games of Type I against a skillful player using a control deck,
> and see how many times you live long enough to actually get the 8 mana into
> play needed to cast Obliterate. Most people don't realize this, but The
> Deck and similar designs are more about LAND DESTRUCTION then they are about
> anything else. Between 5 strip mines, 3 tutors, tons of other card drawing,
> Yawgmoth's Will, Disenchant, Regrowth, Balance/Zuran Orb, and 2 Gorilla
> Shamans, it's very common to have an opposing deck completely bereft of ANY
> permanents as late as 20 turns into the game. Not only that, but you have
> Mind Twist whenever you need it, so you can twist away their hand whenever
> they might get close to obliterate mana. Sure, they can always top deck the
> spell with eight mana in play, but it's not like you can't hold back three
> mana sources and a few drains, etc. I've had people obliterate me, and the
> NEXT turn I have six mana sources in play and a Morphling!
> Why don't we play some games online and you get to play with as many
> Obliterates as you'd like, and we'll see how many games the spell wins you.
> If I overextended like and idiot and didn't see it coming it might win you
> one game. Once.
>
>
> >From: Patrick Minton
> >Reply-To: g***[email protected]***r.com
> >To: g***[email protected]***r.com
> >Subject: Re: [meridianmagic] More "The Deck" questions for Brian [ ;) ]
> >Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 14:17:54 +0200
> >
> >Obliterate doesn't really cost two much in a Format with Moxes, Lotus,
> >Mana Crypt, Sol Ring, and Tolarian Academy (note to self: avoid that
> >stuff R&D was smoking). Obliterate is just too good not to play, getting
> >your ass out of a lot of situations. And it's also one reason that "The
> >Deck" isn't a very good choice in type I: Obliterate just destroys you.
> >
> >My .02
> >
> >--
> >"They misunderestimate me."
> > --George W. Bush


By Azhrei (Azhrei) on Monday, March 26, 2001 - 11:07 pm:

I agree, if less vehemently. Obliterate is easy to play around in expected. It's really pretty bad.


By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 02:20 am:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian Weissman"
To: <g***[email protected]***r.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2001 5:36 AM
Subject: Re: [meridianmagic] More "The Deck" questions for Brian [ ;) ]


> Hey Oscar, thanks for writing again..okay, I'll try to answers these
> inquiries briefly:
>
>
> >Though, mind telling us how you got the 6 mana and Morph, Brian? Held >back
> >a Lotus and Yawgmoth's Will?
>
> That was basically exactly it...the guy Obliterated, I untapped, played a
> mox and the black lotus, cast Yawgmoth's Will, brought back the Lotus, a Sol
> Ring, another mox and a land, cast Time Walk and Morphling out of the
> Graveyard, then untapped and played another Blue source, giving me a total
> of seven untapped mana and an active Morphling, all essentially the turn
> after the guy cast Obliterate! But wait, doesn't that spell just wreck me?
>
> >Anyway, I'm still a bit unclear on what you mean by the control vs >control
> >matchup being all about forcing Mind Twist. Care to >elaborate?
>
> Totally, it's all about mana control and the single Mana Short in the
> sideboard. Generally, you just destroy the other guy's lands at ANY cost,
> and try to keep him below four sources of Blue. If you implement your
> strategy well, you should be able to set up a large Mind Twist before he's
> really able to stop it. Of course, if the game goes long, you can also
> tutor for Mana Short, and just force a permission war during his end step.
> Then you'll have the luxury of untapping with him basically tapped out, and
> doing whatever dirty deeds you feel like.
>
> >Also, as a follow-up to my last Impulse query, might I have your >thoughts
> >on why the Invitational players used Impulse even though it >does seem too
> >weak for Type I control right now?
>
> My feeling is that people are just in the mindset that if the card is so
> good in other formats, it also has to be good in Type I. I remember playing
> control on control vs. Mike Long on the plane flight back from Rio De
> Janiero about four years ago. He had Impulse in his deck and I had Mystical
> Tutor, and over the space of three hours, Mike didn't win a SINGLE game
> against me. I totally attributed this to the fact that I used tutors of
> Impulse, and that I could get whatever I wanted at a moments notice. Mike
> on the other hand generally just used Impulse to get lands, and didn't have
> a way to reliably make sure he had Ancestral Recall every game. To me, with
> Fact or Fiction around, Impulse gets just that much weaker. The difference
> in two vs. four mana isn't much to a type I control deck provided the spell
> is instant, and Fact or Fiction is like and Impulse that lets you keep ALL
> the cards :).
>
> Hope that helps, let me know if you have more questions.
>
> Brian Weissman


By Arex (Arex) on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 09:26 am:

Yes, this is really interesting. Now how about using the G. Blessing? They work well with FoF, isn't it? But it seems that nobosy is using them anymore. I used to play a Keeper version with 2 G. Blessing to aviod decking myself. But then again, like Mr. Weissman, probably the game won't last that long. :) Any additional thoughts?

Arex


By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 01:14 pm:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian Weissman"
To:
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2001 7:02 PM
Subject: Re: [meridianmagic] More "The Deck" questions for Brian [ ;) ]


> I think the situation that you claim to have seen "a lot" in Type I is
> actually just what happened between Jon Finkel and Mike Long at the
> Invitational. As far as I can remember, when Jon Finkel "went off" in that
> situation, Mike Long had ALREADY been mindtwisted for his entire hand
> earlier, and was essentially helpless. I read that report and saw how
> everyone got so excited about what happened, but the truth of the matter is
> that Finkel TOTALLY had that game already. Mike Long was helpless to stop
> what was in Finkel's hand without him even casting Obliterate, and all Jon
> had to do was cast Yagmoth's will and all his other degenerate stuff. If
> someone does what you attempt, you can simply float mana in response to the
> Obliterate, leaving them with only the stuff they can bring back from the
> graveyard after they declare their attack step. If you haven't already lost
> the game in hand, then you can probably stop them with Force of Will. I'm
> telling you, the use of Obliterate that you're describing in control on
> control is essentially an 8 mana Abeyance! Go back and recreate the
> situation between Finkel and Long, and tell me the EXACT same thing wouldn't
> have happened if Finkel had just first cast Abeyance. Not only that, but it
> would have cost him 6 less mana and netted him a card too!
> Without a doubt, if you want a real weapon in control on control, main
> deck a single Mana Short. We used to do that all the time back in "the day"
> and most games came down to who used it first. Obliterate is just gimmicky
> and uneccesary, and it's really unlikely you'll ever see me using it.
>
> Brian Weissman


By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 01:36 pm:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian Weissman" To:
Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2001 6:13 PM
Subject: Re: [meridianmagic] More "The Deck" questions for Brian [ ;) ]


> Bravo Oscar, very well said! I agree with all your counterarguements, and
> they're so well stated that you have saved me almost all the effort of
> replying :). One thing to consider is the fact that NOT EVERY deck in Type
> I is permission, and there are plenty of other strategies that people use.
> In control on control, there are much better cards than BOTH Impulse and
> Fact or Fiction, like Pyroblast, Dwarven Miner and Gorilla Shaman, and
> you've got to have something to remove to get access to those game-swinging
> spells. Against everything else, they are simply helpless to stop the
> avalance of card advantage generated by Fact Or Fiction; something they
> won't have a problem with when only facing Impulse.
> And seriously, if you think that you're going to merrily counter my Fact
> of Fictions with Disrupt, you've got another thing coming. I don't HAVE to
> cast the spell as soon as I get to four mana, and having 5
> ancestral-equivalents is going to do wonders for me getting into counter
> wars at the end of YOUR turn. I'm not going to be tapping any mana to stop
> your "during my end step impulses", so I'm not going to be forced into
> leaving myself open to wicked main phase sorceries. Once the game gets
> under way, you pretty much HAVE to counter every Fact or Fiction that I
> cast, and there's no way you're winning a game when you're going through a
> permission war with me five times at the end of your turn.
>
> Brian Weissman
>
>
> >From: "Oscar Tan"
> >Reply-To: g***[email protected]***r.com
> >To:
> >Subject: Re: [meridianmagic] More "The Deck" questions for Brian [ ;) ]
> >Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 21:18:50 +0800
> >
> >
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: "Sulemain"
> >To:
> >Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2001 8:56 PM
> >Subject: Re: [meridianmagic] More "The Deck" questions for Brian [ ;) ]
> >
> >
> > > > That was basically exactly it...the guy Obliterated, I untapped,
> >played
> > > a
> > > > mox and the black lotus, cast Yawgmoth's Will, brought back the Lotus,
> >a
> > > Sol
> > > > Ring, another mox and a land, cast Time Walk and Morphling out of the
> > > > Graveyard, then untapped and played another Blue source, giving me a
> >total
> > > > of seven untapped mana and an active Morphling, all essentially the
> >turn
> > > > after the guy cast Obliterate! But wait, doesn't that spell just wreck
> >me?
> > >
> > > This paragraph helps prove my theory that to be really great at type one
> > > control, you must have an ego about it. (I know I do when I play.) ;)
> >
> >Hmmm. No need to be sarcastic about it.
> > >
> > > *snip*
> > > > sideboard. Generally, you just destroy the other guy's lands at ANY
> >cost,
> > > > and try to keep him below four sources of Blue. If you implement your
> > > > strategy well, you should be able to set up a large Mind Twist before
> >he's
> > > > really able to stop it. Of course, if the game goes long, you can
> >also
> > > *snip*
> > >
> > > I don't think this is as true any more. One of the cards that most don't
> > > realize the significance of in this matchup is Teferi's Response. I
> >think
> > > land destruction is a little bit harder to pull off (but no less
> >important)
> > > and much more complicated in the mirror match because of this card. I
> >also
> > > think that this is one good reason why Dust Bowl may be no good. In the
> > > mirror, you would almost have to tap out to use the bowl and leave
> >yourself
> > > open to be wrecked by a well-played Response.
> >
> >True, but following your logic, Ancestral Recall and Mind Twist should be
> >removed from all Type I decks in case the opponent has Misdirection (and
> >this is certainly playable).
> > >
> > > > tutor for Mana Short, and just force a permission war during his end
> >step.
> > > > Then you'll have the luxury of untapping with him basically tapped
> >out,
> > > and
> > > > doing whatever dirty deeds you feel like.
> > >
> > > I can't say much about this, as I never found room for Mana Short. I
> >would
> > > have to find room for my fourth disrupt first..
> >
> >The Mana Short was in his sideboard.
> > >
> > > > against me. I totally attributed this to the fact that I used tutors
> >of
> > > > Impulse, and that I could get whatever I wanted at a moments notice.
> >Mike
> > > > on the other hand generally just used Impulse to get lands, and didn't
> > > have
> > > > a way to reliably make sure he had Ancestral Recall every game. To
> >me,
> > > with
> > >
> > > One of the big differences is that Impulse doesn't force you to lose a
> >card
> > > in the process. I used to use 2 mystical and 3 impulse, so I disagree
> >with
> > > this. However, it isn't real relevant now as you can only use one
> >anyways.
> >I
> > > think we all agree that you should use demonic, vampiric and mystical;
> >The
> > > rest may be in dispute:
> >
> >I agree with Brian; what do you remove?
> > >
> > > > Fact or Fiction around, Impulse gets just that much weaker. The
> > > difference
> > > > in two vs. four mana isn't much to a type I control deck provided the
> > > spell
> > > > is instant, and Fact or Fiction is like and Impulse that lets you keep
> >ALL
> > > > the cards :).
> > >
> > > I disagree again here. I'm not sure what you have against Impulse, but I
> > > have heard that you have always disagreed with its use in Type One
> >control.
> > > The problem with Fact or Fiction is that it costs 4! That is way too
> >much
> > > mana to rely on to get you the cards you need. It can't possibly take
> >the
> > > place of your lost mysticals or my impulses. I can see a case for
> >Merchant
> > > Scroll, but I think Impulse is now definitely the card to use now. 4
> >mana
> >is
> > > just way too much. Granted, it may be good against most decks, but
> >against
> > > control (as you said yourself) there are many fights over mana bases.
> >How
> > > good is your hand with 2 fact or fictions and some other high casting
> >cost
> > > card if you only have 3 mana? The other big issue is Disrupt. The more
> >FoF
> >
> > > you play and rely on, the more Disrupt is going to hose you at some
> >point.
> > > If you are tapping the majority of your mana out on the end of my turn
> >for
> > > FoF, what can you counter with? If you have Mana Drain and FoW and use
> >them
> > > both, all I have to do is use my Mana Drain and either a Disrupt or any
> > > other counter. Even though you are doing it on your turn, it doesn't
> >require
> > > much mana on my side to stop it. I can negate your effort with the same
> > > amount of mana...minus the four you used for Fact or Fiction. I think
> >this
> > > is very significant. Again, this is all versus a good player playing a
> >good
> > > control deck.
> >
> >I don't know about you, but I've been finding Type II permission decks more
> >troublesome precisely because of Fact or Fiction. Quite more consistent as
> >well.
> >
> >I think one other thing about Fact or Fiction is that it's yet another
> >broken instant that can't be Misdirected, and 4 mana isn't too tough since
> >it is an instant and the deck has so many mana sources. It can be played at
> >the end of your turn, and you have to calculate if you can afford to fight
> >it. Against permission and playing control, I always had the problem of
> >having nothing (in a casual environment with no sideboards) to bait a
> >counter war with aside from Ancestral Recall and Stroke of Genius (and
> >Disenchant on some occasions).
> >
> >Rakso
> >Type I Maintainer
> >www.bdominia.com


By gizzard on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 03:41 pm:

Very nice, a lot of interesting stuff. (Btw, how do we (can we?) vote for players in the Invitational? I'd love to send someone like Brian who takes T1 seriously.) Anyway:

Impulse/FoF: I certainly wouldnt give up any of my Tutors for Impulse (as he implies Mike Long did in their games together?!); compared to "The Deck" the cards I gave up are Tome, FoF #4 and Regrowth. I'm surprised that Brian likes FoF so much as to run 4, while totally dismissing Impulse. I see them as being very similar in a certain way - I see them as a way to blast through your deck looking for the cards you need. For 4 mana, FoF gives you the additional possibility of card advantage, but to me, the 2 CC of Impulse is its strength - you can cast it early against Wasteland/Shaman (which Brian notes is very important) and you can cast it a lot off Will.

His comments that Mike "just used Impulse to get lands" also puzzle me a bit. I mean, land is important and all, but when I played Control on Control I was almost always Impulsing for Counterspells. My supposition is that Mike was really hurting in that game, he was getting his Mana ripped up by Wastelands/Shaman and he needed to get some land on the board to get back in the game. Or maybe his Impulses just sucked. ("Hmmm, no Counters, I might as well lay some land.")

Obliterate is interesting also. I dont think its as bad as Brian says, but it is a desperation card - "I'm not gonna win this game, so lets start a new one now: KaBoom!" - and thats always a bit janky.

One of the great chess masters said "The threat is stronger than the execution" and I think this applies to Obliterate. I am not hoping to win games by Obliterating, I am hoping to win games because my opponent's hand gets clogged with mana and tricks he is planning to play "after Obliterate hits". Still, casting Obliterate doesnt win any games. You can gain some advantage by expecting the Obliterate, but thats probably offset by whatever disadvantage forced you to destroy the world in the first place. And, as Brian mentions, 8 mana can be pretty hard to get when you are losing.


By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 10:37 am:

I got EDT's attention and he did write back. :)


----- Original Message -----
From:
To:
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2001 11:12 PM
Subject: Re: [meridianmagic] Obliterate, Balance...Fireblast...


>
>
> On Wed, 28 Mar 2001, Oscar Tan wrote:
>
> > EDT: YOUR DECKS SUCK!!! HEAR ME? S-U-C-K-!-!-!
>
> If all the people who talk about me on this list would only vote for me at
> the Invitational I would be a shoe-in.
>
> The reason I haven't had time to write is that work has been very
> demanding recently (and that I've been slacking). As usual I have a half
> dozen half-written articles that I only need to polish up.
>
> I'm very surprised at Weissman's ideas on Obliterate. They are well
> thought out and they certainly seem to be correct. I am left wondering
> why so many excellent type 1 players and innovators (like Pat Chapin)
> still play obliterate. I don't think that the kind of type 1 players that
> I know play it because of any herd instinct. I'm also not quite sure why
> Obliterate is more useful than an equally flexible but much cheaper spell
> (like recoil) is. Why don't people play at least 1 recoil in their type 1
> decks by the way? Especially if land destruction is the name of the game,
> a recoil your land at the end of your turn is very nearly instant-speed
> land D. Recoil is good vs both fast decks and slow decks.
>
> It may be that type 1 is finally going to die off by the way. It's not
> that WOTC killed it by quitting support, or that people can't find power
> cards, no what might finally kill type 1 is that 5-color 250 is becoming
> very popular, and it is stealing away all the type 1 cards for its own.
>
> --- edt


By Azhrei (Azhrei) on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 11:01 am:

Dammit stop posting things that guy says.

Let's run a Tithe engine and no Mox Ruby and add Thawing Glaciers because even though they are SLOW AS MOLASSES IN THE ARCTIC they're nearly as good as the Library of Alexandria. And hey, let's all cast Obliterate ignoring the fact that it only helps you to win if you're already in a superior position to do so and just delays a loss otherwise.

I was in favor of Recoil until I read that. :P


By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 11:36 am:

Oh, yeah. I didn't read the part about Recoil.

I was mainly amused at the novelty of having someone post back after I posted "YOU SUCK!!!"


By Azhrei (Azhrei) on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 01:30 pm:

Maybe he thought you were joking. :)


By gizzard on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 02:15 pm:

Obliterate doesnt just help you win if you were already winning; there are certain large classes of games that it essentially resets (and therefore gives you a 45/55 chance of winning where before you had 10/90).

In Control v. Control where the games are all about 1) playing more land, 2) drawing more cards, 3) keeping your hand full of counterspells and 4) beating someone down with Morphing, the Obliterate is an interesting threat. It destroys all the land (#1) and all the Morphlings (#4). It punishes people for keeping a handful of counterspells and nothing else (#3) and if you are playing with mega-drawing power like FoF but no recursion (no Twister, Blessing) then drawing more cards (#2) has to be managed carefully lest you get decked.

So it clearly has a strong effect on the game, even if the opponent is expecting it. When you get close to 8 mana, the opponent has to play without overcommitting in either land, card drawing or Morphlings. The threat is a drag on their game and that's good for you.

Of course, there are large classes of games which you are going to lose anyway; games where your opponent Mind Twists Obliterate away before you can play it, games where he plays his Yawgmoths Will off a Lotus the turn after you Obliterate (but that's an example of how the threat of Obliterate works - do you think Brian would have waited to Will if he wasn't thinking about recovering from Obliterate?) etc. And in games where you are winning, you dont need to play it (Finkel's Obliterate-Will play notwithstanding. As Weissman notes, Finkel had that game locked up without the Obliterate). So thats the problem with the card, its only good in a certain set of situations.

Of course, as soon as EDT stops talking about Obliterate I don't think I agree with another thing he says. :-) Not Recoil, and certainly not 5-Color killing T1. "Hey, now that you bought that Mox you have to decide whether it goes in your T1 deck or your 5-Color deck. No! Stop moving cards between decks! Judge!" Personally, I'm hoping that the increasing popularity of 5-Color and Highlander help people remember the older cards that are such an important part of T1.


By Cloud on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 02:48 pm:

Fact or Fiction is broken, it simply must go in.
The fact there is a dispute of this over impulse is ridiculous. Fact or Fiction is simply that much better, the only thing that could make it an issue if FoF was a sorcery, and it is not so thats that.
I don't agree with yawgmoth's will. The last thing the deck wants to do is remove cards from the game for any reason. I find the will does nothing to improve the situation of the deck much more than a couple if blessings would do. Although highly noted is the situation of the obliterate play. There will was simply incredible! But such an occurence is rare!
Looking at this deck it would appear as though twister sees a lot of action versus discard spells. Twisters versus discard however is a lose/lose situation. The last thing you want to face after a bunch of duress and hymns is more duress and hymns! Blessing keeps you from doing that too often by placing the much needed counterspells back into the library and does not give the ill effect as twister does.
I also don't agree with 4 FoW! This is simply maddening as this is nothing but pure card disadvantage. To run 4 of these things is to say that something incredibly amazing is gonna come from that other guy before you even draw a card!
I'd play 4 counterspell and only 2 FoW, 4 is simply gross unless the enviroment you play in is simply mad with combo and consistent 1-3 turn kills. Otherwise, simply play 2 and 4 counter, put the other 2 FoW in the SB for that counter war over mind twist vs. control.
Also, why not dismantling blow over disenchant? The extra cc is negatable mid to late game when kicker becomes an option. The tome simply must go, replace it with soothsaying. Sooth is the card that wins and is a top decking MACHINE!
Also, why is tolarian academy not in there? Its the king of mana acceleration in t1 with moxes. It also allows mana to be open for counters after a huge mind twist, morphling, stroke, etc.


By Matt D'Avanzo (Matt) on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 03:22 pm:

The debate isn't over FoF vs. Impulse first of all--it's over Impulse itself.

>I don't agree with yawgmoth's will. The last
>thing the deck wants to do is remove cards from >the game for any reason.

How about if it makes you win? B2: remove 2-10 target cards from the game, win target game.

>I find the will does nothing to improve the >situation of the deck much more than a couple >if blessings would do.

What? Okay...you're being beaten down by a Morphling. You topdeck a blessing! YEA! Maybe you'll get the one edict or blessing as the cantrip resolves! Hmmm.....what's this? A Yawgmoth's Will? Oh wel in that case....kill your morphling, mindtwsit your hand, draw bunches of new cards, tutor for my morphling, time walk, regrow a counter. Done. Okay, take my timewalk turn. Don't tell me this is a rare thing because I do this sort of thing at least once just about every tourney.

If you play without 4 Force of Will you never be able to reliably counter first and second turn madness. Furthermore, unless there is a DRASTIC gap in our mana differential you will never win a counter war if I'm holding a mix of drains and forces and you have all mana drains/counters. Card disadvatage, yes--but when you draw 10-40 extra cards a game a one for 2 here and there won't kill you--especially if it forces a Y. Will, Mindtwist, etc. into play.

--Matt


By Cloud on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 07:39 pm:

Your argument for will is all in a single burst of plays. And for that single burst alone! Blessing concentrates the deck throughout the game, every draw becomes meatier as you lay your moxes/lands throughout the game, leaving ur deck more concentrated in counter and control. Blessing is subtle, it allows you to put the tutors, counters, ancestrals back into your library so you can draw them again!
As far as 4 FoW, AGAIN! I say unless your playing in an enviroment heavy in control and/or combo, then play 4, if not, play 2 and stick the other 2 in the SB. If again those archtypes pose as a threat to you in the given enviroment.
Besides, a counter war over mind twist becomes a lot easier when your twist for 7 came from a pumped up academy as opposed to your hand destroying FoW's.
And as for impulse itself, if you're going to put it in, what are you going to take out?!
When being beatin down by morphling you Diabolic Edict or balance.
Which, btw, you get a chance to RE-USE once you blessing them back in.


By FBI, the Phyrexian Bloodhound (Fbi) on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 07:50 pm:

YawgWill is absolutely broken. Blessings are as you say...far more subtle. basicall YawgWill wins games all by its lonesome (you know what I mean) and I just don't see Blessings doing that in virtually ANY situation


By White Knight (White_Knight) on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 08:23 pm:

While playing Keeper Yawgmoth's Will has proven too far, way too far broken to not use it. Like Matt said it: you pay 2B, play loads of spells which are removed from the game, yes, but you know what? You get to win the game unlesse something very bad happens (although I can't think of such thing happening).

Playing 5-color control and not playing Will; playing Will over Gaea's Blessing is a suboptimization which you don't want unless you're using Oath of Druids.


By White Knight (White_Knight) on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 08:30 pm:

Oh boy... Sorry for my english errors.


By Cloud on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 09:05 pm:

the deck is designed to take you to late game. If the game is over by turn 5, you lost horribly!

therefore blessing becomes stronger each time you play it and the more cards you draw. This version of the deck has very little in the way of GY recursion and stands a chance of decking out vs. control.
In addition to all this, blessing works well with FoF, ultimate recursion.
Will is a one shot deal, blessing is infinite.


By Andrew, the Sphinx Slayer (Andrew) on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 09:09 pm:

Will can win any game, blessing can only win long games. Keeper wants a chance vs speed.


By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 11:34 pm:

True, Andrew. Will at just 4 or 5 mana is already broken!


By Cloud on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 - 10:57 am:

am I the only guy who's drawn a will as a dead card as there was only crap in the GY early game?
Either that or not sufficient mana to cast what you want.

Besides all that, this deck doesn't win turn 5, it wins turn 25 when control has been established and the only thing left to do is lay morphling.


By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 - 11:40 am:

You actually believe control is established turn 25 and not turn 5?

Looks like you're the only guy... :)


By Cloud on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 - 07:55 pm:

:p

well turn 25 is obviously an exaggeration, put the point is, control doesn't come till late game. This is of course REAL control. Control to where it no longer matters what your opponent is doing because you have an answer for everything. I'm sorry, but that does not happen turn 5. Duress, hymn, balance well timed will ruin your day as by turn 5 you will not have all answers. The argument here of course is you must have a superior mana base to establish control. And this comes only mid-late game.
Even as such, an early will is no good. Will late is good for a single burst.
As such it begs to question whether you play will or blessing. Knowing the deck is designed to take it to late game, blessing is the only choice IMO.
Blessing is a steady stream that rises slightly with each permanent dropped, concentrating the deck in sorcery and instants as you go along.
Will late is good for that huge single burst, Which, granted, may very well win you the game.
But the thing is, will invites a counter war where as blessing does not.
I guess in the end its all a matter of preference. I still play timetwister and love it, especially since I almost always end up mind twisting for 7 right after. As such, I have no liking for removing key cards from the game, which is why I hate FoW and only play 2.

I guess my argument is this, blessing is easy to resolve and helps the deck immensely in late game draws.
Will, if resolved, wins you the game. Apparently.
My personal preference is the control establishment of blessing. It allows you more counters and control cards where will does nothing to help you here.


By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 - 09:25 pm:

I'm telling you that an early Will can be great if only for an Ancestral and you CAN build a subtle but undeniable advantage by turn 5. :)

SOmetimes, you know you just win.

I used to like Blessing too, though.


By LoA on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 - 09:40 pm:

Rakso, have you integrated Will into your Franchise deck or have you switched over to Dark Keeper and gone with Duress, etc.? In either case, I'd be interested in your current decklist.


By Cloud on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 - 07:56 pm:

hmm, I may try the will, simply to argue this point from 1st hand experience.


By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 10:22 am:

LoA: Just for demonstration...

Rakso’s Keeper deck, March 2001
Blue (17)
4 Mana Drain
4 Force of Will
1 Counterspell
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Ancestral Recall
3 Fact or Fiction
1 Morphling
1 Timetwister

White (7)
1 Balance
1 Moat
1 Ivory Mask
2 Swords to Plowshares
1 Disenchant
1 Dismantling Blow

Black (5)
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor
1 The Abyss
1 Mind Twist
1 Yawgmoth’s Will

Green (1)
1 Regrowth

Red (2)
1 Urza’s Rage
1 Obliterate

Artifact (4)
1 Mirror Universe
1 Zuran Orb
1 Tormod’s Crypt
1 Sol Ring

Land (24)
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Strip Mine
3 Wasteland
4 City of Brass
4 Tundra
3 Adarkar Wastes
1 Dromar’s Cavern
4 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island
1 Undiscovered Paradise

Latest change:
Swords to Plowshares &#61664; Merchant Scroll
Disrupting Scepter &#61664; Obliterate
Stroke of Genius -- > Fact or Fiction
Disenchant &#61664; Dismantling Blow
Adarkar Wastes &#61664; Dromar’s Cavern

My casual metagame, as stated before, involves a lot of creature decks and no sideboards, with Sligh-ish and permission decks being the worst threats to my casual deck. I also take this to tourneys to have some fun against Type II decks while waiting for registration to end. (Hence the main deck Ivory Mask, Moat and Disrupting Scepter morphed to Obliterate.) The Mirror Universe is simply there instead of a second Morphling to give me a funny combo with Urza’s Rage, and because it ends a game quickly when this is necessary.

1) Obliterate actually replaces Disrupting Scepter. I figure Scepter is worthless with all the Type II and casual decks packing Fact or Fiction. New strategy for this casual deck is to draw into Obliterate and play it when a threat goes out. Then, maybe Twist/Crypt to win.

2) May swap Tormod’s Crypt for Stroke of Genius; don’t own Fact or Fiction #4 or a Misdirection.

3) Still iffy on Dismantling Blow since I usually tutor for Yawgmoth’s Will instead of a second Disenchant if I need to remove a second key permanent. Still, if Tormod’s Crypt is in play and is not doing anything, it turns Dismantling Blow into a useful card instead of a dead one.

4) May swap Dromar’s Cavern for Adarkar Wastes, but the Cavern works better than Undiscovered Paradise so far. One Paradise is still in because I think 4 green sources is too shaky when you need Regrowth for Ancestral in the early game. The added red sources make Obliterate playable but make Urza’s Rage more useful as early creature-kill or Ophidian-kill.

5) Biggest problem is probably still a good Sligh deck.

6) Impulse would probably just dilute the deck.


By Meridian (Meridian) on Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 01:28 pm:

I really think Stroke of genius should be in there somehow. Fact or Fiction may be better than geyser without moxes and the academy, but its definately not better than stroke of genius.

I tried Dromar's cavern for a while, and I think its horrible. But if it works for you then use it I guess.


By Big Blue on Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 02:55 pm:

Hey, cool! An Undiscovered Paradise! :)

So you say, Cavern is better? Hmm... I'll test it, but I'm rather skeptical about it.

BTW, - only 25 mana sources? What about Fellwar Stones (I used to use them in my Moxless Keeper) - have you tried it? Because Balance is sooo much better with artifact mana...


By JP 'Polluted' Meyer, the Archivist (Jpmeyer) on Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 08:48 pm:

I also hate Dromar's Cavern.

I also love Stroke with Merchant Scroll. I really don't think that you should go without an X-card drawer.


By Matt D'Avanzo, the Sylvan Librarian (Matt) on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 03:12 am:

Ditto. I've won so many games by Mana-Draining something big (even in an envirionment without little kids playing overcosted monsters you have you have Morph, Force of Will, Geyser/Stroke/Mindtwist, etc.) and then tutoring EOT or upkeep for Geyser/Stroke. I've lost the Geyser for now, but no way am I playing without at least one X-spell.

If you like Lair Lands better than the Paradise, perhaps the Undiscovered Parsdise could be a Treva's Ruins since that gives you U, W, and G. Personally I'd just up the mana soures a little, play a Mox Diamond, and call it a day--Lair lands scare me as do Undiscovereds (although they are tech against back to basics) when you need to establish a mana base ASAP. If you don't run Duress main or Edict, perhaps 4 Sea is overkill? 3 would be alright then.

--Matt


By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 01:06 pm:

Lairs are better than Undiscovered, but still bad.

Mox Diamond sucks in an opening hand because it throws away a land drop that Keeper doesn't ever want to miss.

I run 4 Underground Sea and wouldn't consider cutting one since you still want to use the key black restricted cards ASAP, even a first-turn Vampiric.


By Cloud on Tuesday, May 29, 2001 - 09:11 pm:

k, I've tested will a lot now, and can say will is MUCH better than blessing.

as said before, blessing wins the long game, but will says to hell with that!!
I WANNA WIN NOW!!!!!
:p


By Azhrei (Azhrei) on Tuesday, May 29, 2001 - 09:22 pm:

This debate has been done to death, but I still hold to my original stance.


By Trikky on Thursday, June 21, 2001 - 07:28 am:

I think more of you should remove the impulses from your control decks. Then you should play against me in tourneys.

Thank you.


By Mako Satou on Thursday, June 21, 2001 - 02:56 pm:

I am in agreement that impulse doesn't make the cut. I don't think that it is not good but it just isn't good enough to warrant using when u have fact or fiction, ancestral and tutors. fact or fiction digs deeper by 1 card and u get to keep more cards 2 or 3 usually. There is just no space for impulse. I'm already at 61 cards in my deck. I know alot of u gonna say bad stuff about the 61 card thing but its a little trademark of mine

I did glance at Brian's decklist and I notice the single morphling. I recall a schools of magic article my bf pointed me to years ago that talked about why there where 2 Serra Angels in The Deck because in case one dies, or u need to plow one for life. Well wouldn't it be the same for Morphlings u need two, incase one dies to an edict or you have to ditch one to force of will?

I've had a sligh player eye me weird when I pitched a morphling to force of will after he cast price of progress and then he red blasted my mana drain. couple turns later I tutored for the second one and beat him.

Also I am surprised that Brian does not play the Sylvan library, with all the shuffling u do from tutors and with fact or fictions it is even better then ever.

As far as blessings I don't think 4 city of brass and an emerald can support blessings reliabilty and they are a little too slow for me. I play a more aggro version of 5 color control, with 2 morphling, 1 masticore, 2 mishra and a torch, my goal is to neutralize your threat to kill me then go to kill u asap. I hate getting called on time :(

I think Undiscovered paradise tho cute for back to the basics stunts your mana growth going back to your hand all the time, lairs are a little better but not much. Lair is bad as the only land in your hand then you have mox I'd keep that hand if it wasn't lair

Just my opinions

Mako Satou


By Gnu, the Lightbringer (Gnu) on Thursday, June 21, 2001 - 03:17 pm:

The only thing I noticed I wasn't agreeing with Weismann is the single Morphling!

I think 2-3 is good, without that many it's too slow & with 3 you can pitch them to FoW :-)


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