Zvi Mowshowitz on Type I Acc Blue: It has lots of weaknesses and Keeper is just better

Beyond Dominia: The Type One Magic Mill: Archived threads of the Beyond Dominia Type I Mill: Zvi Mowshowitz on Type I Acc Blue: It has lots of weaknesses and Keeper is just better

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Monday, August 27, 2001 - 12:02 pm:

May use this for an article, but you guys are welcome to the rough draft

----- Original Message -----
From: Oscar Tan
To: Beyond Dominia e-group ; Bad Magic Tech e-group
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2001 12:04 AM
Subject: Zvi on Accelerated Blue: Keeper has always been better

I had a very interesting talk with Zvi.

As you know, he played the Acc Blue in last year's Invitational, and we won't see a refinement this year.

He disclaims that he doesn't know what he's talking about, but you guys might want to read this and comment.

I'll post it, too.

a***[email protected]***o.com
rakso on #BDChat on Newnet
Manila, Philippines
Type I, Extended and Casual Maintainer, Beyond Dominia (http://www.bdominia.com/discus/messages/9/9.shtml)
Featured writer, Star City Games (www.starcitygames.com/magic.php)
Proud member of the Casual Player's Alliance (www.magic-singles.com/cpa)


<Rakso> Mind if I ask you about Acc Blue in Type I, especially how it was going in Neutral Ground?

<Zvi> I didn't see it

<Rakso> It was getting really played in Beyond Dominia online tourneys

<Zvi> but you can't "AccBlue" with 1 monolith and 1 vault :)

<Zvi> it's something else

<Rakso> A bunch of players took your last Invitational deck and turned into a lethal anti-control

<Rakso> I don't have your e-mail though

<Zvi> just flood it in here

<Zvi> it's easier to work with anyway

<Rakso> 4 Mana Drain

<Rakso> 4 Force of Will

<Rakso> 4 Mana Leak

<Rakso> SB: 1 Misdirection

<Rakso> 2 Misdirection

<Rakso> 1 Ancestral Recall

<Rakso> 1 Time Walk

<Rakso> 4 Fact or Fiction

<Rakso> SB: 1 Powder Keg

<Rakso> 3 Powder Keg

<Rakso> 4 Morphling

<Rakso> 1 Mox Sapphire

<Rakso> 1 Mox Ruby

<Rakso> 1 Mox Pearl

<Rakso> 1 Mox Jet

<Rakso> 1 Sol Ring

<Rakso> 1 Black Lotus

<Rakso> 1 Strip Mine

<Rakso> 3 Wasteland

<Rakso> 1 Library of Alexandria

<Rakso> 1 Mox Emerald

<Rakso> 4 Impulse

<Rakso> 14 Island

<Rakso> 1 Tolarian Academy

<Rakso> SB: 2 Nevinyrral's Disk

<Rakso> SB: 3 Mana Short

<Rakso> 2 Back to Basics

<Rakso> SB: 2 Back to Basics

<Rakso> SB: 2 Control Magic

<Rakso> SB: 4 Hydroblast

<Rakso> Sorry it's not organized

<Rakso> Can kill Keeper with Back to Basics but it's inflexible as hell

<Rakso> Really overrated, though

<Rakso> Imagine how kids look at it

<Rakso> So you're not impressed?

<Zvi> well...

<Zvi> I'm not saying I'm not impressed

<Zvi> just that it only does what it does

<Rakso> Would you play this deck?

<Zvi> one thing I found was that trying to play a deck based around turbo-Morphling is quite risky when people maindeck 4 diabolic edicts ;)

<Rakso> Who do that? :)

<Zvi> Darwin Kastle... :)

<Rakso> And the guys who play turbo-Morphling in 4s play 4 Mis-Ds with boards :)

<Rakso> Oh...

<Zvi> beat him but I got dawn lucky :)

<Zvi> other thing is this build has some gaping weaknesses

<Rakso> Wasn't that his Sligh deck that didn't have some power cards and even Lotus?

<Rakso> What kind of weaknesses?

<Zvi> well sorta, yeah

<Zvi> I didn't really know what was going on :)

<Zvi> but stuff like...

<Zvi> game 1 turn 1 Oath is basically game :)O

<Rakso> That's been the foil of choice on my website.

<Rakso> Took guys a while

<Rakso> But their control decks just stuffed Oath, Blessings and a Spike

<Rakso> Morphling with 20 +1/+1 counters

<Rakso> They board Disks or Capsize

<Rakso> But Rootwater Thief works wonders

<Zvi> same principle at work here

<Zvi> you're basing the entire deck on Morphling

<Zvi> and the creature is far from immune to attack :)

<Rakso> How would you play a more traditional 5-color Keeper deck

<Rakso> I side in 4 REBs and 4 Thiefs

<Rakso> Weissman's Dwarven Miners just don't work.

<Zvi> that's reasonable

<Zvi> but I'd definitely be testing

<Zvi> since I basically have no idea to be honest :)

<Rakso> Voice of experience?

<Zvi> well my experience doesn't really apply all that much here, my Keeper was pretty old and damn weird

<Zvi> had 4 tithe and such...

<Rakso> I saw it :)

<Rakso> But I figured you're really good with mono blue

<Rakso> Didn't really describe how your T1 mono blue last invitational did though

<Zvi> well if I was thinking about this matchup

<Zvi> last year I was out of it, I don't play too well when I'm losing :)

<Rakso> Can't blame you

<Rakso> You think you could've nailed the Keeper decks?

<Zvi> your goal is to deal with the threats

<Zvi> oh sure, np :)

<Zvi> but as a Keeper player aware of the issue

<Rakso> They weren't boarded for you, right?

<Zvi> you would want to deal with the threats

<Zvi> not really, no

<Zvi> except ofr the Edicts

<Rakso> :)

<Zvi> which are a bitch :)

<Zvi> your problems are BtB and Morphling basically

<Rakso> And everything but Keg is a must-counter

<Zvi> and the threat of FoF into card advantage

<Zvi> red blasts deal with all 3

<Rakso> Fof radically transforms the T1 match

<Rakso> Forces you to counter in your turn

<Zvi> thief deals only with morphling

<Zvi> and if they drew one it doesn't do all that mcuh

<Rakso> I side in both...

<Rakso> I noticed that Keeper vs mono blue turns into a slugging match

<Zvi> If I could design the mana so it worked

<Rakso> You deplete both sides of counters and threats

<Zvi> I would prefer to maximize the REB/Pyro count

<Rakso> Then the mono blue player, playing 3 more Morphlings, topdecks one while you have nothing

<Zvi> your plan is simple, keep the game winners off the table while setting up Yawgmoth's Will

<Rakso> Yeah...

<Zvi> and play a few Edicts to deal with that problem :)

<Rakso> But that isn't all that simple to execute? :)

<Zvi> didn't say it was

<Zvi> that's the PLAN

<Rakso> A first-turn Thief is game, though

<Zvi> but monoblue has about what, 14 counters?

<Zvi> NO

<Zvi> it isn't

<Rakso> How so?

<Zvi> they go turn 1 keg (example 1)

<Zvi> you take 2 cards out

<Zvi> they don't matter that much

<Zvi> and you have to tap out for 2 turns to do it

<Rakso> Well

<Rakso> I tried it and figure they'll side out Keg anyway

<Rakso> Since you can't side in Miner or Shaman

<Zvi> basically, if they have a Morphling in hand then taking cards out of their deck is not a big deal

<Rakso> I figured that if they do, barring a draw 3 in hand, you only have to win 1 counter war?

<Rakso> Let them cast it, waste a few counters, untap, force Edict or Balance?

<Rakso> Sit back and let them deck themselves?

<Zvi> but if the monoblue takes control while you're taking out Morphlings...

<Zvi> they WILL win that war

<Zvi> because they'll have like 8 counters with the Morphling :)

<Rakso> Devil's advocate.

<Rakso> Say you side in 8 REBs.

<Rakso> I figure, though, they're more capable of fighting over the FoFs.

<Zvi> can we assume you have the color setup to make that work?

<Rakso> Yes

<Rakso> 4 Cities, 4 Volcanics, 1 Mox Ruby, 1 Lotus?

<Zvi> you're fighting 4cc instants with 1cc instants

<Zvi> and mana leak starts looking iffy

<Zvi> well that's a little low for 8 but it's a good start :)

<Rakso> Do you agree Mana Leak here is better than Counterspell though?

<Rakso> In the blue deck?

<Zvi> the point is the same regardless

<Zvi> well yeah

<Zvi> but your plan is the important thing

<Rakso> For the first turn counter or so you can run Wastes?

<Zvi> as I said, sure, I agree with that

<Zvi> what I mean is against the monoblue

<Rakso> Which reason, though?

<Zvi> well a mix of all of them

<Zvi> but stay with me here for a second :)

<Rakso> Okay

<Rakso> I'm all ears

<Rakso> Eyes... :)

<Zvi> you go 2nd turn ancestral/pyro or something

<Rakso> Me as in Keeper?

<Zvi> their best response is to double counter

<Zvi> yeah

<Rakso> True

<Rakso> Or Misdirect

<Zvi> your pyros keep them from BtBing you

<Zvi> well you can play it safe if you fear that

<Zvi> but the point is play for a while

<Zvi> get a decent graveyard

<Zvi> then just win :)

<Zvi> sac the lotus for RRR

<Rakso> And cast Will

<Zvi> cast Yawgmoth's Will

<Zvi> right

<Zvi> they can't stop it

<Rakso> What if you get into a Morphling standoff?

<Zvi> you have edict to win those

<Rakso> How many would you use main and board?

<Zvi> well at least 1 main

<Zvi> to tutor

<Rakso> 1 do

<Zvi> more if you expect a lot of monoblue

<Rakso> In place of an StP

<Zvi> well basically yeah

<Zvi> you can SB up to 3 or so

<Zvi> that's all you'd want

<Rakso> Though they're dead before Morph hits

<Zvi> well yes and no

<Zvi> they can't be cast

<Zvi> they're not dead

<Zvi> explanation:

<Zvi> they let you tap out

<Rakso> And deal with his only threat...

<Zvi> later on

<Zvi> after you've Mind Twisted him for 5 :)

<Rakso> So Keeper, in your opinion, would still be stronger than this deck

<Zvi> your goal is just to use the blasts to force through one of your bombs

<Rakso> If sideboarded properly

<Rakso> All 8, huh? :)

<Zvi> well if it has the proper plan

<Zvi> and the mana works out

<Rakso> What would you remove for 8 blasts, though?

<Zvi> well as I said, needs testing

<Zvi> I don't even know what my maindeck would look like!

<Zvi> but Keeper has the tools

<Rakso> True

<Zvi> the key is to utilize them properly, that's all

<Rakso> Sylvan Library alone kills mono blue

<Zvi> I mean, try this one;

<Rakso> Can't even be Hydroblasted

<Zvi> Defense Grid!

<Rakso> Defense Grid?

<Rakso> In Keeper?

<Zvi> think about it.

<Zvi> after SBing.

<Zvi> I mean...

<Rakso> He loses more counter abiity than you do

<Zvi> put one out.

<Zvi> they can't play their game

<Rakso> City of Solitude perhaps

<Zvi> you win a counter war on your turn over Ancestral

<Rakso> Can't keg that?

<Zvi> then one over Twist

<Zvi> sure

<Zvi> that works too if you have the mana

<Zvi> the point is you can DESTROY them with your spells

<Rakso> Some use Sylvan and side Compost and Oath, so a number do

<Zvi> they can only play Morphling

<Zvi> that's easy to recover from :)

<Rakso> You've certainly livened up my spirits :)

<Rakso> I only played online recently

<Rakso> And all the people were hyping mono blue

<Rakso> I picked up Keeper and could beat it

<Rakso> This deck's main selling point is that a 12-year old can win with it consistently :)

<Rakso> BTW

<Rakso> Would you remove the Impulses?

<Zvi> I would not remove Impulse.

<Zvi> Impulse's problem is fitting the damn card in.

<Zvi> if you can do that, there's no problem.

<Rakso> Well

<Rakso> Some players like 16 or more counters

<Rakso> I fit in 14 and played Impulse

<Rakso> My thinking was that you want to dig for the FoFs or Morphlings faster when needed

<Rakso> It worked okay.

<Rakso> Playing this deck is like topdecking half the time, so I used Impulse, but the online T1 people are kinda split on that issue

<Rakso> Hey thanks for the advice... it's 11:30 PM here and I guess I gtg... last question, though... would you change anything big in the list above?

<Zvi> the deck runs Impulse. :)

<Rakso> "The Deck"?

<Rakso> Weissman hates Impulse.

<Zvi> the list is reasonable.

<Zvi> And why are you listening to weissman?

<Rakso> Lots of non-pro players felt that Impulse dilutes the deck

<Rakso> You remove too many tools?

<Rakso> Okay... mind if I get your version?

<Zvi> i don't have a listing, i haven't played t1 since that invitational

<Rakso> Brian W also figures the control mirror revolves around mana denial via Shaman, Miner and Wasteland

<Rakso> I mean your version of Impulse in The Deck :)

<Zvi> brian is wrong, the mirror revolves around Mind twist and yawgmoth's will :)

<Zvi> well I don't have a version of the deck :)

<Rakso> He said that too of course

<Rakso> I can send you one if you give me a sec

<Zvi> no, that's fine

<Rakso> But he didn't like Finkel's build at the Invitational

<Zvi> hmm, Brain vs. Jon, who to trust...

<Rakso> In Type I?

<Rakso> Well... didn't Brian make that deck popular? :)

<Rakso> He's a really nice guy, I suppose

<Zvi> why doesn't that matter? :)

<Zvi> that works on both objections btw

<Rakso> What do you figure Impulse contributes

<Rakso> To a deck with 4 Fact or Fiction and a lot of search already?

<Rakso> Tutors with no card disadvantage?

<Zvi> the deck is not what it was when he was playing it, neither is magic and neither is t1

<Zvi> impulse smooths the mana and gives you a better shot at the power cards

<Rakso> I think he knew that, to give him credit

<Zvi> well sure

<Zvi> but Brian's no pro anymroe

<Rakso> As you said, though, it's fitting the thing in!

<Zvi> Yeah.

<Zvi> if you can't, don't worry too much about it.

<Rakso> Which aspect of the deck would you dilute? :)

<Rakso> Unless you know the metagame inside out

<Rakso> It's tough

<Rakso> You only have 3-4 creaturekill spells, 1 or 2 of which cost 4 mana?

<Rakso> And it's tough to remove tutors and drawing :)

<Rakso> Would you be scared of Sylvan Library in the deck?

* Zvi not scared of Sylvan Library, at least not as such :)

<Zvi> but the point is the same


<Zvi> :)

<Rakso> I figured your guesses are good :)

<Zvi> these things take weeks of intense testing

<Zvi> weeks I don't have :)

<Rakso> Years of playing blue?

<Zvi> I can't even hazard a guess at this point, ask someone who actually plays the format :)

<Rakso> You have a high rating...

<Rakso> Besides I play the format and I need a third opinion :)

<Rakso> And you already discounted Brian's :)

<Rakso> Maybe I should hit up EDT for a game

<Zvi> My opinion is that you shouldn't play Impulse until you know what you can cut.

<Zvi> better to cut nothing than cut the wrong card.

<Rakso> Good one, I suppose

<Rakso> Oh...

<Rakso> Would you play more than 1 Morph in The Deck?

<Zvi> I'd definitely CONSIDER 2

<Zvi> dunno if I'd actually use 2

<Rakso> Well, thanks.

<Rakso> Very insightful, for a guy who claims not to know the format :)

By Marco A Toso on Monday, August 27, 2001 - 01:21 pm:

"Why are you listening to Weissman?" LOL!

Thanks Rakso, that was highly entertaining.

By Stephen Michael Menendian (Smmenen) on Monday, August 27, 2001 - 05:03 pm:

True, but I thought it was arrogant to imply that Weissman wasn't worth listening too simply because he wasn't a pro. Would I listen to Finkel over Weissman in type one, hell yes, but not just because Weissman isn't a pro.

Also Rakso, Sylvan Library sucks (zvi knows it) and it makes you look silly trying to promote it. :)

Stephen Menendian

By Raven on Monday, August 27, 2001 - 05:08 pm:

Quick, everyone hide, I hear Matt comming!

By Deranged Parrot (Parrot) on Monday, August 27, 2001 - 05:37 pm:

Oh, he's right about Impulse. It's pretty good, though I can't find room for 4. I'm using 2 as it is, over the stupid pointless Merchant Scroll and an Island- back down to 27 mana.

Comparing BBS to Keeper is like comparing, say, Stupid Red Burn to Null Rod WW. One is obviously much more elegant and skill-intensive, but which would you rather take into a gunfight?

There should be a BBS Kernel thread. Hmmmm....

By Begbie on Monday, August 27, 2001 - 05:49 pm:

As for the SRB to Null Rod WW, I'll take the WW =)

I thought that Zvi had a few decent comments. The interesting thing is how conservative he estimates pros to be, going with Rebs and Edicts over more elaborate (and perhaps better) solutions like Oath/Thief and whatever.


By Acolytec (Acolytec) on Monday, August 27, 2001 - 06:16 pm:

I think that Zvi had a lot of things right. First of all, Weisman's T1 deck sucks in the modern environment. Mana kill does -not- win games unless it is hoser mana kill such as BtB or choke or flashfires or something.
Second, his solution as to how to beat blue is -very- apt= running 8 red blasts is exactly how keeper needs to sideboard in order to beat down blue games 2 and 3. I have known this for a very long time, and have been wondering why none of the keeper decks have done this yet. The simple solutions are often better than more elaborate solutions. I do side in BEB's against anyone who is going to run over 3 REB's, and that is a bad place for the blue player to be.
Rootwaterthief is cool, but it -does- make you tap out for 3 turns in a row while blue rushes through its deck and finds at least 2 copies of morphling. Oath is still a super cool card and can foil blue, but only if the deck is made correctly. In other words, back to basics can shut down the deck running oath and blue can power through the oathed creatures.
Praise be to parrot for finally deciding that scrolls do indeed suck and that impulse should be in acc blue.

By Deranged Parrot (Parrot) on Monday, August 27, 2001 - 06:23 pm:

Zvi's views are interesting though- I actually agree with him on the Theives. They have won games against me, but I really can't stand them myself becuase they're so fragile and random. Kind of like Misdirections, only not flexible.


And it is very refreshing to see a pro say "I don't know." All of the semi-pros here are arrogant and still think that Combo is the best deck simply becuase their favorite-player-of-the-month(Alex Borteh, who actually is not a bad guy) won the Sideboard Team Challenge over Scott Kasliner's BBS by savagely ripping cards off the top of his deck, which really doesn't prove a whole lot(I'm not complaining that Kasliner should have won, I just think that winning by topdecking practically tells you nothing about a matchup.). I told them to proxy a combo deck up and try it against my myriad of T1 text-decks, but they only would do it if I'd put like $50(which could buy my Thawing Glaciers and Dust Bowls instead of fueling egos, mine or theirs) on the match against what I thought was the best deck. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.



By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 12:54 am:


Praise be to parrot for finally deciding that scrolls do indeed suck and that impulse should be in acc blue.

Now I hear Az coming...

Wow what a rant... it sounded intelligent... gawd!

By TomM on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 03:39 am:


Combo is still the best deck. Accept it and move on :)

Pandeburst is king.


By Meridian (Meridian) on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 09:16 am:


Comparing BBS to Keeper is like comparing, say, Stupid Red Burn to Null Rod WW. One is obviously much more elegant and skill-intensive, but which would you rather take into a gunfight?

Actually, in a gun fight I'd probably rather just have a gun. I think you'd look pretty stupid trying to shoot people with a magic deck.

By Stephen Michael Menendian (Smmenen) on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 11:23 am:


Thing is, even if a Keeper were able to side in 8 blasts, then what would be removed? Keeper would definately have to digout countermagic to fit that stuff it.

Stephen Menendian

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 11:38 am:

That's what I told Zvi.

I also figure I don't want to go over 4 Blasts because it's a bit like putting all my eggs in one basket.

8 Blasts would be good only against mono blue since other control decks have lots of nonblue threats.

For example, it's fun winning against a Sligh deck by casting Mind Twist when they have a hand full of REBs :)

By Liam (Liam) on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 11:51 am:

impulse is very neccesary as it saves you from topdecking. when you draw impulse in the midgame, hold it for the topdecking war. Many ppl make the mistake of blowing it right off, then say it's no good.

By Razor (Razor) on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 11:58 am:


re: Sylvan Library. Alone, it is inferior to Greed isn't it?

Personally, I don't play either. I prefer the Intuition, Squee, Bazaar of Baghdad engine. I'm "that Bazaar-guy" locally.


By Sylvester (Sylvester) on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 12:24 pm:


It doesn't cost as much, and it doesn'T require mana to activate.

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 12:36 pm:


re: Sylvan Library. Alone, it is inferior to Greed isn't it?

You kidding? It can fit into Keeper and be played first turn to get four extra cards vs another control deck.

Greed is mana drain bait, and Bazaar is not something you play with in every deck.

By Stephen Michael Menendian (Smmenen) on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 12:39 pm:

Green is not an ideal color in Keeper. Sylvan demands having more than just cities in there to support it. Trops suck considering the alternatives of : Volcanics, Underground Rivers (I assume seas are already as much a necessity as Tundras), and Adarkars.

Stephen Menendian

By Shadow (Shadow) on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 11:53 pm:

Well, green gets you:

Blessings, which are usually great, but not if your game-plan is to maximize the effect of Yawgmoth's Will.

Regrowth, which is decent and which you can support with cities, and your green mox, and maybe an Und. Paradise.

Sylvans, which are good, but needs more mana support.

Choke, which is good vs. mono-U.

Oath, which is good if you have blessings.

City of Solitude, which Zvi thinks would be decent vs. monoU if you had the right mana base.

When I think about the number of games I have lost/should have lost essentially at the moment Will resolved, that seems like a pretty good plan to me. Essentially, Will and Mind Twist are your bullets vs. control. That means you either wouldn't want blessings at all, or would want to side them out v. monoU, or would want to side them in v. other stuff.

The problem, I guess, is that you can't have lots of spells of five different colors. You can have lots of spells of three colors, and a very very small amount of spells in one or two other colors.

Something to consider, if you want to include green for the cards mentioned above: drop wayyy back on your white content. The problem there is that you lose two big bullets: Mask and Moat. You could still hold on to Balance, and maybe a Seal or two, or an STP or two.

If you want to make green a major color, you may be able to replace Moat with Oath. That would be interesting, since Oath is good, given proper support, vs. a higher percentage of decks than Moat is. Ivory Mask might be more of a problem. I feel like Keeper needs Ivory Mask somewhere.

If you want to make red a major color, you have to ask what you are getting besides red blasts in your sideboard. If you expect next to nothing other than blue-combo, BBS, and other Control, red blasts might be reason enough to bump up your red mana base. If you want to test blast, I think you should start by testing four blasts in the sb. If you find them not sufficiently effective against what they're supposed to be effective against, add two. If the situation isn't much better, test eight. Try siding out vs. monoU: maindeck Wastelands, Moat/Abyss/non-useful creature elim, and maybe a Counterspell or two. What else could Red give you? Urza's Rage? *cough* Dwarven Miner? Mox Monkey? Of those three, I think only Mox Monkey's might be worth a shot, and that's only because I lost to them a day or two ago.

Other red cards to think about, (probably briefly, right before bricking me):

Wheel of Fortune - Does it help your opp. more?
Fork - for Ancestrals/Strokes/Fofs?
Torch/Fireball - hell, I don't know, they kill things
Lightning Bolt/Incinerate - yes, I can see, it: Red keeper. Okay, maybe not
Goblin Welder - just kidding
Earthquake - good vs. stompy, stacker, jackal pup
Guerilla Tactics - vs. monoBlk?

I dunno, I just don't see all that much else that red can contribute, outside of the blasts.

One last thing to consider: siding a few extra duals, to switch your color intensity when you side in off-color bullets.

Disclaimer: Shadow doesn't play Keeper, so listening to him might be dangerous. Hell, listening to me is dangerous period. I don't know wtf I'm talking about. *banks on luck to win him games*

By Stephen Michael Menendian (Smmenen) on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 12:37 am:

While making lists of good tech cards is well and good, the mana base has to be solid, and that I think is where the fundamental problem in my mind lays. I build my mana bases extremely conservatively and adhere to strict mathmatical estimations of chance. I'm not saying Green shouldn't been in Keeper, I have choke in my side, it's just got not to disrupt or force a rebuild of the mana.

Adding Red demands that.

Stephen Menendian

By Shadow (Shadow) on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 08:16 am:

Well, yeah, didn't I say something like that?

*summarizes his previous post*

I was also sort of pointing out that red doesn't offer much to Keeper other than red blasts, and if the mana base is going to be rebuilt, that's something to consider. I think green offers more in the way of bullets (Oath, Choke, Blessing, City), if one didn't feel like WUB offered enough to pick on BBS. In order to add that much green, however, the mana base would have to change. To do that, I was suggesting either siding extra duals or lightening up on white, maindeck.

By Stephen Michael Menendian (Smmenen) on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 12:12 pm:

Actually, I didn't see much in the way of discussion of mana in your previous post. Green does have good bullets Choke and Oath. But City I don't think is good in a Keeper side, and I don't give two tugs about blessings. Don't forget Obliterate in Red's Corner either.

Stephen Menendian

By Matt D'Avanzo, the Sylvan Librarian (Matt) on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 06:03 am:

Good lord. Apparently you all threw a crack smoking party, invited Zvi, and did NOT invite me. Where's my share of the crack damnit? Ah ha! Obviously the guy who said Sylvan is equal to Greed used my share as well as his own. :)

Okay, my views. Purely subjective except for #1.

1. Sylvan -- when I came here, like one of you had it in your deck, now a majority of the decks sport one *cough cough The Franchise cough cough*. It flat out wins games. I need not defend it anymore. Rakso has been converted. You all shall follow. Bow before it's greenly goodness. (on a side note: nowadays I might not use it off just 4 cities/jewelry, but if yuo run 2 Trops it's easy or those people running one Undiscovered as a 5th City should consider it).

2. Merchant Scroll -- it rocks in Keeper, but I'd just I'd rather have Impulse in BBS. I support 5 strips/14 Islands with no blue issues in my BBS---part of that is thanks to Impulse.

3. Green vs. Red in Keeper -- Um...can't we all just get along, lots of people play 5 colors. But seriously, if you cut one color I think you ought to consider your decks MAINDECK first and sideboard second (becausewhich do you see more often?). How does Green compare to Red?Regrowth (get target broken card back) and Sylvan (draw more broken cards). Mox Monkey (annoy target opponent). Fire and Ice (pitch to FoW). Those are the only red cards I'd use maindeck anyways.

I agree though--green in weaker as a sideboard color. If Duress weren't invented I would of course have Red in the deck for REBs. Now it's a question of, do I want any red cards maindeck or not?

4. City of Solitude -- Damnit where IS my share of the crack. Guys? Come on. Please??? No seriously I understand Zvi's point. We have the broken cards, they have the counters. Still this thing demands two things that push your deck in opposite directions: A) less counters and more must-counters B) enough counters to push a 3cc spell in what is usually your off-off-off or off-off-off-off color (read: not early game usually) through a wall of counters during your mainphase.

5. 8 blasts -- Blasts are god and duresses are good. BUT the fact is you cannot just side in more counters and play BBS' game. Even if you somehow managed to have as many counters after siding as a BBS deck....take a step back and look at the matchup. A BBS deck versus a BBS deck that dies to B2B and is vulnerable to color/manascrew and wastelands. No, at some point counters become too many and we need to find a different type of answer.


By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 12:11 pm:


Sylvan -- when I came here, like one of you had it in your deck, now a majority of the decks sport one *cough cough The Franchise cough cough*. It flat out wins games. I need not defend it anymore. Rakso has been converted.

It's candidate #1 in case I decide to experiment with Impulse by clearing slots, though... :)

About green over red, Compost looks pretty attractive to me. Having access to REBs is sure good enough for me, though. :)

About the 8 Blasts, I'm doing fine so far with 4 blasts and 4 Rootwater Thief.

By Liam (Liam) on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 12:15 pm:

hell at one point the general consensus was SOOTHSAYING was better. I'm slowly being worn away on the Sylvan matter. Not so long ago i was very against it, but now i waver.

By Elrond, the High Priest & Pokemon Slayer (Elrond) on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 10:01 pm:

Well, I also liked Soothsaying until I actually played with Sylvan rather than talked about trying it sometime. Soothsaying is great, but not until you have at least 4 or 5 extra mana (that is AFTER you leave mana to counter if need be) Unfortunately, by the time you are that far into a game, you are either shuffling for the next game or you will inevitably win. Now I only use Soothsaying in my casual Power Artifact/Grim Monolith deck as a permanent cheating device.:)

By Raven (Raven) on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 12:57 am:

Soothsain isn't good untill your actually already winning the game, were Sylvan starts working immediatly, and helps you to get into the position of winning the game.

Whoever made the ignorant post "More like I'm fireblasting him twice in 1 turn!" deserves to be Manslapped. I think this came from one of Matt's tourney reports.

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 07:03 am:

Soothsaying is best in the control v control matchup, but it was best against slow decks that aren't optimal anyway. Yeah, Sylvan is faster, even if it's not blue.

By mepersonthing on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 08:29 am:

The reason siding eight blasts is good is not to become a 'BBS deck that dies to B2B and is vulnerable to color/manascrew.'

You don't become just that.
While you are vulnerable to mana/colorscrew, you will be no matter what your sideboard plan is.

You have an immense advantage in that with all the counters floating around in this matchup it can't help but take forever, and that the longer it goes the more likely it is that your broken cards will win the game.

By Boltbait, the Master of the Hunt (Boltbait) on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 11:23 am:

As another one one of the soothsaying holdovers, my question is this:

Does Sylvan end up reading pay 16 life and draw 4 cards in a control matchup? Otherwise, after the first turn it really doesn't give you anything new, as you're only seeing 1 new card per turn again.

By Big Blue on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 11:24 am:

I can't belive that there can even be doubt that REB is the best anti-U card, provided your mana base supports the colour Red sufficiently.

Still, 8 blasts is overkill, but 4-6 is quite ok - depends how many Duress you have in addition. My favourite variant is 3 REB+3 Duress or 4 REB+2 Duress.

To add my crack to the pot: I don't play Sylvan in Keeper, since 4 COBs+1UP+1Mox are not sufficient IMO. I hate being colour-screwed and don't even play with Moat for that reason (well, actually, I don't have a Moat, but the grapes you don't reach are always the sour ones, right?).

Still, there can be no doubt that BBS is better than Keeper. Just look at the tourney results.

By Boltbait, the Master of the Hunt (Boltbait) on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 11:30 am:

*Ducks to avoid flying pottery* Before I get flamed out of existence, I really am asking a genuine question :). I tried Sylvan for a couple of games in my keeper, and I really didn't like it as much as I liked Soothsaying.

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 12:04 pm:


To add my crack to the pot: I don't play Sylvan in Keeper, since 4 COBs+1UP+1Mox are not sufficient


By Max (Max) on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 01:00 pm:

I think that Mono-U has some advantages and Keeper has some others: Mono-U runs only one color, so it does not need dual lands or generally non-basic lands. It has the ability of countering and drawing more than its opponent. Keeper is more versatile since you can metagame against everything. Also it has lots of "Silver Bullets" that Mono-U does not have. They have both weaknesses and strenghts, though I prefer Mono-Blue.

Max, Wizard of Countermagic & Mana Drainer

By Gzeiger (Gzeiger) on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 03:34 pm:

Boltbait - yes, it seems to me that Sylvan is an excellent way to draw extra cards against a control deck that can't punish you for paying life.

You also end up shuffling your deck from all sorts of tutors, so you can end up seeing more cards. That's not the main point though.

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Saturday, September 01, 2001 - 02:54 am:

Sylvan, though, can get clunky. Sometimes I figure I MAY wish for a more straightforward Impulse without denying Sylvan's effects overall.

By Will, the walking dude on Saturday, September 01, 2001 - 10:24 am:

For the red blast thing that Zvi mentioned. I think what you would do is (heresy mode on) side out the mana drains (heresy mode off)and non pitch counters for red blasts. The idea being not to have more counters than bbs but to have cheaper counters. Then you cast city of solitude with the cheap counter back up. Once city comes out. You can deal with every thing. B2b pyro it main phase, morphling edict main phase, disk blow main phase, and then cast mindtwist or will mainphase to just win. I think this requires more red and green mana than keeper often has. But it sounds like a very strong strategy.

__sylvan side story__
Once playing against Eric he cast sylvan and I let it resolve. Next turn he untaps and says “draw 3 cards”. I smack myself in the face and say “who doesn’t counter ancestral.” From that day forward I have always tried to counter sylvan.

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Saturday, September 01, 2001 - 11:34 am:


side out the mana drains (heresy mode off)and non pitch counters for red blasts. The idea being not to have more counters than bbs but to have cheaper counters

I'd rather not, and figure you can side out more things before that. Going up to at least 12 counters is important because you're not going to draw enough despite all your tricks with a deck that has at least 14-16.

You don't have to worry about forcing City of Solitude into play when you can force a card drawer. It's admittedly tough to understand, but you win against mono blue not by hosing it but simply by outplaying it, whether by winning the right counter wars and/or outdrawing.

And with that story... at least counter ZOrb! :)

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