Type 1 $150 Tourney at the Nerd Garden (Top 8 Finish)

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By Spooktor Spoctor on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 11:31 pm:

Type 1 $150 dollar prize tournament at Neutral Ground August 25, 2001

Round 1 Versus Jason Deitsch Playing Survival

Game 1
He gets a turn 1 survival via mox and land. and gets a few critters via the
survival a couple birds a wood elves before I manage to dismantling blow it
he plays squee and begings to beat down but I vamp tutor for ancestral and
then I get a big stroke off a mana drain of one of his critters
after which I yawg will and ancestrall and vampiric tutor
again and get out a morphling which staves off his critters rush and eventually
kill him.

Life Totals
Me: 20 17, 16, 15, 13, 10, 7, 6, 4, 3
Jason: 20, 19, 14, 9, 4

Game 2
He plays an early oath of ghouls which I have to force and then he gets a crypt
I ancestral early and then I regrow the ancestral ancestral and then get out
library of alexandria and draw alot of cards. I vamp tutor for a morphling
and beat him down with the morphling and a mishra.

Life Totals
Me: 20, 19, 17
Jason 20, 15, 8, 0

After Round 1 Stats
Games 2-0
Matches 1-0

Round 2 Versus Dennis Tsao Playing Red White Jank

Game 1
He gets out a turn 1 savanah lion followed by a white knight which start
start to beat on me and things look bad he gets out a land tax. But I
ancestral and manage to edict him and he sacrifices the savanah lion.
I get out a mishra and manage to block the knight and pump it to 3/3
to kill off the knight. I start to beat him down with the mishras
until he lays another knight amd then we just sit there until
I lay masticore and kill his knight and then beat him down with masticore
and mishras.
Life Totals
Me: 20, 18, 14, 12, 10, 7, 4
David: 20, 22, 20, 18, 16, 14, 8, 2

Game 2
He gets a turn 1 lion again. I have a turn 1 library. and I draw into
ancestral I keg his lone lion and lay a gorillay shaman. he lays a
soltari priest after that and I lay a masticore and tap out to lay him,
holding a misdirection for that disenchant or plow but he lays a seal and
kills off my masticore. I tutor for morphling and race his soltari and
Life Totals
Me: 20, 18, 17, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 9, 7. 5, 3, 1
David: 20. 16, 15, 10, 5, 0

After Round 2 Stats
Games 4-0
Matches 2-0

Round 3 Versus David Kaplan playing Sligh

Game 1
He lays a turn 1 cursed scroll. I get out a lotus and mindtwist him
for 3 getting 2 mountains and a lightning bolt. I ancestral myself
and draw some cards. I get out the abyss which stops any critters he
he has he bolts me and then continues to scroll me I then finally draw
the dblow for his scroll. I then get out a morphling and beat him down
with the morphling and a mishra.
Life Totals
Me: 20, 18, 16, 13, 12, 10, 8, 7
Dave: 20, 15, 10, 3 0

Game 2
He drops a scroll first turn. I lay two moxes and a sylvan hoping for
no mox monkey. I use the sylvan to find some land and he bolts me
gets in a lucky scroll and then bolts me again before I can demonic
tutor for a cop red. In response to me laying cop red he prices me
for 6 puting me at 6. I lay a masticore and proceed to beat him
down, he lays a scald which I don't really care about having a few
moxes, library and an academy as land. He lays a shaman and eats my
moxes but it doesn't matter masticore beats his head in.
Life Totals
Me: 20, 17. 15, 12, 6, 4, 3
David: 16, 15, 11, 7, 6, 2, 0

After Round 2 Stats
Games 6-0
Matches 3-0

Round 4 Versus Steve Sadin playing Keeper

We ID and play one game in which he beats me cause I keep a hand with a
Library and a wasteland for land and my library gets wastelanded and I
am left totally land screwed and then draw 3 cities as my only land
so I'm taking alot of pain and he lays a morph and kills me.

After this game I take a break for dinner.

After Round 4 Stats
Games 7-1-1
Matches 3-0-1

Round 5 Versus Matt D'Avanzo
We ID and play for fun. In the fun games I lose 2-0 tho
first game he comes back with a nice will and in game 2
I have to paris and am just land screwed.

After Round 5 Stats
Games 8-2-2
Matches 3-0-2

Top 8
Me playing Keeper
Mike Pustilnik playing Keeper
Matt D'Avanzo playing Keeper
Steve Sadin playing Keeper
Eric Wilkinson playing Keeper
Dan Kaplan playing Sligh
Jason Deitsch playing Survival
Some Dude playing Suicide Black

Top 8 Versus Eric Wilkinson
Game 1
I get out an early library which he doesn't
draw a wast for and I out draw him and counter
his card drawing and start to beat down with
a morph. I manage to mindtwist him and
he conceeds
Life Totals
Me: 20. 19, 17, 16
Eric: 20, 19,18, 16, 14, conceds

Game 2
We both lay land for awhile till I get a mishra
out and start beating him with it. We have a
counter war over his morph and I lose. I manage
to throw spells at him to suck up counters untill
I manage to Yawgwill and I ancestral, he misdirects
it t him and I have to use a mana drain from the grave
which messes me up in that I don't get to timewalk.
I have to edict his morph and play my own and that
taps me out. So ok what can he draw that will mess
me over, balance or yawgwill and guess what he top
decks yawg will and kills my morph gets his back
and kills me.
Life Totals
Me: 20, 19, 18, 13, 8, 3
Eric: 20, 18, 17, 15, 13, 11,10, 9, 7, 4, 3

Game 3
I open with a nice lotus land duress, mindtwist
for 2. I then lay a mox monkey and start attacking
with it. I then make bone headed play #1 and after
draining his EOT FoF I forget to turn the mana into
my own FOF burn for 4 going down to 15. I try to
FoF at the end of his turn and he counters and
I fight a counter war over it and lose. On my
turn I try to lay a sylvan but it gets countered
On his turn he lays a morph :( and he beats
me with the morph.
Life Totals
Me: 20, 19, 15, 4,12, 8, 4, 0
Eric: 20, 19, 18, 17, 15, 13, 12

Final Stats
Games 9-4-2
Matches 3-1-2

Eric for wining the Tournament
Yan (Negator) for standing up for Steven Sadin when
his opponent was being unsportsmanlike.
Neutral Ground for hosting the $150 prize type 1 tourney.

Steve's unsportmanslike opponent.
Neutral Ground for not awarding prizes to top 8 or even
top 4 and giving prizes to only top 2. 100 and 50.
Me for not getting enough sleep before the tournament.

Spookor Spoctor

By JP 'Polluted' Meyer, the Archivist (Jpmeyer) on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 11:53 pm:

The real question:

Where are the pictures? No one will leave me alone about them!

By Spooktor Spocktor on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 01:05 am:

I showed them to Matt, you didn't show up so you didn't get to see em. The Type II sucks sign didn't come out but When I scan it I will photoshop it in. If someone can get me a new motherboard and chip and ram or sell the soul certain person to the devil so I get my motherboard ram and cpu back for my scanner computer to work I will scan them. Also its a pain when I do networking game parties just ask Matt or Eric

By Yamo (Yamo) on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 01:12 am:

Where are all these mon blue decks that are supposedly flooding and killing T1?

Another myth debunked?

I say, let's ban Keeper. 5 of the 8 top decks? Totally environment-warping. The DCI needs to do something. I recommend restricting FoF, FoW, and all duals. :)

By Matt D'Avanzo, the Sylvan Librarian (Matt) on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 01:26 am:

I recommend you be quiet! :)

Where were the mono-U people? Eliminated by the Suicide Black people (props to the mono-black guys!) that's where.

Keeper deserves to be where it is. It's not a brainless deck that I can hand to any 10-year old--in fact a bad Keeper player is likely to get himself killed pretty damn quickly as soon as he's put uner pressure. Furthermore it runs dead cards and 4-5 colors (read: fragile manabase that make it shakey in other matchups. In otherwords Keeper, unlike mono-U, has a ton of disadvantages that balance it's power.

J.P., I look like a dork in those pictures (shut up to whoever was about to predictably say, "but you always..."), so I'm not exactly going to pressure Vinny to send them out in a hurry (and if he does post a pic use the one where the type II sucks is pretty visable--my big mop is tied back too so I look less ridiculous).


P.S. Vinny if we go to Jersey you ought to win the tourney since you NEVER seem to lose against aggro. Maybe I should try 'Core...

By Yamo (Yamo) on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 02:59 am:

I don't get Keeper players sometimes. So often, they see to have very snotty attitudes. Like they and/of their deck are God's Gift to Magic, or something.

I mean, it's a good deck, don't get me wrong. Some of the boasts people throw out are just ridiculous, though.

Keeper is the "smartest" deck? Please! Drop Abyss. Wait. Cast Ancestral three dozen times. Wait some more. Play Morphling. Win. Oh, yeah, you need to be a regular Stephen Hawking to pull that one off. Kudos.

Keeper is the most "refined" or "elegant" deck? Hardly. The mana base is vulnerable and unreliable and it's based on outmoded design principals that are years out of date. Only the fact that almost any deck that makes room for half the restricted list is going to be at least marginally competitive has kept it afloat this long. It's a dinosaur and has already started showing its age.

Keeper is the most "original" deck? Not by a long shot. It's nothing more than "let's see what Brian Weissman was doing six years ago."


Braingeyser = Stroke of Genius
Recall = Yawgmoth's Will
Disenchant = Disantling Blow
Serra Angel = Morphling
Swords to Plowshares = Diabolic Edict
Strip Mine = Wasteland
Jayemdae Tome = Fact or Fiction

Play it if you want, but it takes a lot of nerve to claim that it's anything but "The Deck" with a handful of cards upgraded to their more powerful counterparts.

I've just had it up to here with the snobbery. Keeper is just a deck, nothing more. It's not any more intelligent, well-designed, or original than anything else out there. Putting down other decks just to make yourself feel special because *you* play *Keeper* is childish and silly.

By TracerBullet on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 03:03 am:

I do not play keeper, I do not have power, yet I do respect it. It is easily one of the most difficult decks to play, much more so than "complex" decks like Trix. I don't think it's neccesary to tell these people that they think of themselves as snobs.

By Raven on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 03:21 am:

I don't play Keeper either, and I still belive it takes far more skill than any deck I have run. However I will admit my old stasis was pretty difficult. But Keeper really is far more difficult than BBS. With 4 of so many cards, the deck is very redundant, repetitive, and personally extreamly boreing for both ends. It also is so consistant that it takes little to no skill to play BBS succesfully.

Keeper really isn't a deck that can be put into a 10 year old's hands and they can succesfully play it. Where BBS is.

Because it is so far from being redundant or even consistant, weather or not you win really depends on your gameplay, and the decisions you make dureing key points in the game. I borrowed a freind Keeper for a few games and it was anything from easy. You have to really understand your deck to play it well, what to tutor for is really a huge decision.

And my personal experince with keeper deck players is very good. You can tell that a players deck and playing style really reflects there personality. Keeper players tend to be fun going, and out to have a good time and enjoy the game. Yet they know how to be competive when the time comes. Certainly anything from "Snobby", where as my experience with BBS players is the totall opposite. They tend to be far more uptight, and serious to the point of acting almost rude. Real rules laywers as well, they are also very arrogant and cocky, and are poor sports and cannot stand to lose.

The reason why no BBS decks made top 8 is because the aggro decks finally did there job and eliminated BBS. BBS would rather consentrate on running main deck B2B and hope that kegs will take care of all there aggro needs, while keeper tends to deal with all threats equally. They are two completly different decks, BBS being weaker to aggro, but stronger agains controll, and Keeper being stronger vs. aggro but weaker vs controll. They are both equal in there own rights, but BBS is currently a better option because there are far more controll decks than aggro decks.

It's simple metagame choices.

By Yamo (Yamo) on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 03:30 am:

Hey, it's a great deck and I respect it. Moreover, I enjoy playing it! It's only when people take the position (overt or implied) that it's somehow inheriently superior to other decks, which are "dumber" and generally inferior that I feel the need to call snobbery. Mutual respect is all I ask. There are more kinds of skill than the ones required to play Keeper well. It's arrogant and narrow-minded to believe otherwise.

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 08:54 am:


There are more kinds of skill than the ones required to play Keeper well

Unfortunately... not really.

It's a factual comment that Keeper is the toughest deck to play.

Honestly, Yamo, I'm going to have to ask you to stop bitching whenever someone says something about Keeper or BBS because it's getting really tired. It doesn't contribute anything anymore.

I mean... Keeper is an offshoot of The Deck, so there's no need to belabor the point of originality.

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 09:01 am:


I don't get Keeper players sometimes. So often, they see to have very snotty attitudes. Like they and/of their deck are God's Gift to Magic, or something.

Can it or I will.

By JP 'Polluted' Meyer, the Archivist (Jpmeyer) on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 10:41 am:

I beg to differ. It is harder to play Rec/Sur (and espescially Wheaties and FEB) correctly. The timing rules in FEB are beastly as well.

By Redman (Redman) on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 10:55 am:

I have to diagree with you all...Slivers is by far the hardest to play...at least if your playing a 8 person free-for-all who have made a pact to never let a Sliver deck win... :)

And, hold on a sec, did I just see Matt use a stupid graphical smiley?

Anyway...nice report. I think the Masticore and Mishra's in your deck really work well (esp against aggro guys like me :( )

Though it really isn't true about handing a BSB deck to a 10-yr old. I proxied up a deck and let some 14-yr old Magic kids play my three deuce. I beat them quite soundly. Thing is, FoF piles are sooo easy to play Jedi mind tricks with. :)

Key to beating Mono-U is simply remembering that they can't counter everything, Morphling requires Mana to operate, and Powder Keg really can be played around. Not so bad, right? :)

Beleive me, if you told me next time at NG we'd be facing 20 Mono-u Decks, i'd be real happy, cause I could just go build a blue hoser deck and take the title. Tell me lots of Keeper, on the other hand... :)

I think I just exceeded my stupid graphical smiley (SGS?) limit for the week...

By Nevyn, the Village Idiot (Nevyn) on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 11:22 am:

I think your all nuts. My security detail deck is by far the hardest to play. You have to be a genius to win with it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, though, Control is almost always more difficult to play than Aggro, and there ought to be no question that Keeper is more difficult than BBS, if only because of the mana issues. Very few decks rarely get faced with 'Win or lose the game' decisions as often as keeper decks do.

This is coming from a non-keeper player, mind you.

And I wonder why Yamo seems to take this so personally. Obviously a lover of mono-blue, is he just reacting to the unpopularity of that deck?

By Matt D'Avanzo, the Sylvan Librarian (Matt) on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 07:00 am:

See the little smiley face? That means don't be insulted. I put aside my utter distaste of the little smiley face just to make sure you wouldn't get upset. *sigh*

I am not putting down any deck...except BBS because it's a deck that deserves to be made fun of (it's about all we can do to it). My friend calls it Dubya.dec (named after our wonderful *cough, cough* president) because it's dumb as hell and has no right to be as powerful as it is.

All I'm trying to say is that (especially if the DCI is watching and getting ideas) Keeper just sin't a problem. Why? Because a bad mono-U player or deck is still dangerous, but a bad Keeper player or deck (barring an amazing draw-- and sometimes not even that) just plain sucks. Keeper, to be a good deck against everything gives up a ton of stuff (like consistency)--mono-U doesn't give up anything and is still fairly strong against everything, but Suicide Black. I think that's fundamentally unfair.

>>>And my personal experince with keeper deck players is very good. You can tell that a players deck and playing style really reflects there personality. Keeper players tend to be fun going, and out to have a good time and enjoy the game

Hell yeah, were just a bunch of fun-lovin' freaks that have been playing for awhlie and want to lump all our cool cards in one place so we can play with them all at once!

>>>Certainly anything from "Snobby", where as my experience with BBS players is the totall opposite. They tend to be far more uptight, and serious to the point of acting almost rude.

I think BBS players have to be anal--afterall if anything hits the table they're dead. You know....gods forbid a spell resolve on YOUR watch soldier.

>>>Real rules laywers as well, they are also very arrogant and cocky, and are poor sports and
cannot stand to lose.

It comes from them saying, "No" over and over again (ever see the look of surpise when you have more counters than they do?). But seriously, I have to say Legend (although he acts totally differently on this board) is really cool to play with in person and, outside of his tourney reports, he's a good sport both winning and losing.

I dunno, I don't claim Keeper is the absolute hardest deck in the world to play either (although it's certainly up there). Depending on your draw Academy can be a no-brainer or a mind-bender. ReapLace, despite it's redundancy, is suprisingly difficult to play on an optimal level. I hear Doomsday is really hard to play (but no one can give me a damn decklist!).


P.S. If you told me the tourney was going to be all mono-U and I played your deck I'd likely be happy too (Nullrods, Legates, REBs, and fast Stompy guys sounds like really badnews from mono-U).

By Mako Satou, Rose among the thorns (Mako) on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 10:02 am:

Nice report Spooktor Spoctor. Could you list your decklist and sideboard please. Anoher person who plays Masticore XD, isn't Masticore gr8 masticore just wins against agressive decks and against control its card disadvantage yes but they still gotta kill it or it kills them. Pitch things like abyss or zuran orb to feed the beastie.

I play keeper cause its alot of fun and challenging to play. Its fun to have all the toys and options. Monoblue is more inflexable.
I enjoy playing keeper because it is fun to play. The debates on this board discussing card choices in keeper are just funny sometimes. I don't think keeper is really originall either
but each keeper deck is slightly different because of the card choices of the person playing it. I wouldn't say its the hardest deck to play but making the right plays definately is hard sometimes. Its alot harder to play then like stompy or void


By Lord of the Squirrels on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 02:22 pm:

I hate to jump in and have everyone yell at me, but keeper is not the most difficult deck to play. I am not taking away anything from those who do play it, because it does require a good amount of skill and experiece to play correctly in many situations. However, it is also a deck that, like BBS, can just overrun an opponent with very little skillful play involved. PLaying sligh and the Abyss or Moat appear (not that anyone plays moat), and the skill factor is removed from the match up. I know no one agrees with me, but I think that BBS is right next to Keeper in play difficulty. It all comes down to matchups and opponents. BBS is, by nature, a very inflexible deck, and one mistake means the game. Keeper, on the other hand, had multiple answers to almost every problem, and has a much easier time overcoming slight play errors than mono blue does. If you force out a morphling at the incorrect time, or get caught in a counter fight over the wrong spell, mono blue often has no chance of winning the game. Keeper often has answers for the cards that slip through the cracks. And powder keg is not the answer for BBS, because unless it is sitting on the table at the correct number when the spell gets through, it is useless, often being much to slow to save the blue player.
Blue itself is an exercise in intellect, and just saying that the deck counters everything is completely untrue, as anyone who has played against an unskilled blue player knows. The entire deck is about putting up the illusion that you can and will always have a counter for the next threat, when in reality, you are sitting on 14 counters at most in the entire deck. With no graveyard manipulation, Keeper has a much stronger chance of winning in the late game than Mono U does. I just personally thing that after playing blue in T2, 1.x and T1, that it requires an incredible amount of intuition and intelligence to play, as one wring move is often fatal. Knowing when and what to get into fights over is the key, and without the proper skill and experience, the blue player is often in control for only a little while, until his hand is emptied of counters or he taps out for a morphling, at which time all hell usually does break lose.
Saying that and 10 year old can win with BBS is like saying that anyone with moxes can win with keeper. It is both untrue and a serious afront to the skill and play level of both the deck builder and the opponent.

By meh on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 03:05 pm:

i know it's anecdotal, but my experience over the last 6 years has shown that to be wrong. keeper is not a deck you can just hand to someone and have them play well. it is far easier for a new player to play counterspells-n-morphlings and win. the style of the two decks makes this so.

By JP 'Polluted' Meyer, the Archivist (Jpmeyer) on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 04:40 pm:

The problem is that due to the mana acceleration, large number of counters (I'm talking 16-20,) and potency of the silver bullets, blue IS easy to play. It CAN counter everything. Blue also is without cards such as Balance that often require careful thought and planning to execute lest you lose most of your land and hand.

Also, blue's redundancy allows it to handle mistakes more easily. The solution is usually "cast Morphling" or "cast Back to Basics."

The key is also getting that Abyss or Moat against Sligh. How will they disrupt my attempts? What do I need to counter to be able to survive (and remember, unlike blue we can't just counter everything above 1cc and Keg the rest?) How will I stay alive long enough to kill that Shaman so I can cast Zorb?

By Yamo (Yamo) on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 04:44 pm:

No deck can counter everything. That's an exaggeration. A deck could pack 40 counters and still not be able to counter everything.

By Yamo (Yamo) on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 04:48 pm:

"keeper is not a deck you can just hand to someone and have them play well."

I disagree here. As I said before:

"Drop Abyss. Wait. Cast Ancestral three dozen times. Wait some more. Play Morphling. Win."

Won't happen all the time, but my point is that it *is* possible for an inexperienced player to wield Keeper like a blunt instrument and still win their share of games by virtue of power cards alone. You don't need to be a genius or a Magic master to play it and win. It helps tremendously, of course, but that's true for any deck.

By Liam (Liam) on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 07:40 pm:

that's not today's keeper, Yamo. Matt's old Masturbatory.dec ran like that, and even still you are severly dumbing it down.

You like BBS. Fine. You think it's hard to play. You're entitled to that. But to claim an untruth (keeper is no harder to play then BBS) is wrong. You're loosing a lot of respect every time you whine about it.

By Yamo (Yamo) on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 08:00 pm:

Truth is more important than respect.

By Dr. Hannibal Lecter on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 09:22 pm:

i think the difficulty level of playing keeper is dependant on the skill of your opponent... if they are playing stompy with nothing but creatures and pumpers, then you can just be dumb and cast abyss and wait... on the other hand... if you are playing someone who has different kinds of threats, and the knowledge of when to play them, then keeper becomes tough, and more powerful... exhaust your resources to get that abyss and get burned to death... you know what i mean? but then again, all decks are like that in a way... the thing i dont like about decks that rely so heavily on kegs is that if you play someone who uses a F'in mana curve, then you should only be able to smack 1 or 2 creatures with a keg... thats why i am a big fan of moat and abyss... they are tough as rocks to protect, but as long as you do, who cares how many critters are sitting on the property line? they cant swim... i am thinking about buying real cards again to play around with... i dont want to just drop a few grand to play keeper right out of the booth, so i am thinking ld hd juggernaut junk... someone wanna drop a decklist of that sort? i guess after 4 years, i am relapsing back to cardboard crack :-(

By Yamo (Yamo) on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 09:27 pm:

I just believe that all types of skill should be recognized and recognized as equal. I'll *never* say that Sligh is "dumber" than Keeper or that Keeper is "smarter" than Stompy, or any variation thereof, because I realize that they are completely different decks. The skills and experience required to build and play a good Sligh deck and completely different, and no more of less intricate or worthwhile, than the ones required for a Keeper.

By Sylvester (Sylvester) on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 10:24 pm:

"i think the difficulty level of playing keeper is dependant on the skill of your opponent... if they are playing stompy with nothing but creatures and pumpers, then you can just be dumb and cast abyss and wait..."

What does that imply about the stompy players?

Thank you very much. Please that is such a....

i just won't say anything.

Do try to deal the msot damage possible while oprtimizing your sue of tyour creaturesand racing a moat.

By mepersonthing on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 10:38 pm:

I don't think anyone is comparing the difficulty of playing perfectly any deck. Perfection is incredibly rare, and even the best make subtle errors. If you give me a Sligh deck and you give Finkel a sligh deck, even if we get identical draws, matchups etc. he will win a lot more than me because he will play it better. Therefore, since playing skill obviously affects results on all levels the deck is clearly not brainless.

However, different decks also have a different threshold needed to win against a given field. It takes much less skill to win a tournament with sligh than with Survival, for example, because the inferior player's errors will cost them less with Sligh than with Survival and they will be more likely to win games despite the errors.

While there are seperate issues contained within Keeper and Monoblue that make their playing very different and perhaps equally skillful, a trained monkey will do a lot better with Monoblue than with Keeper because the mistakes they make will make it virtually impossible to win with Keeper while the monoblue player will just randomly win games because of the redundancy of the deck.

By Azhrei (Azhrei) on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 10:58 pm:

No decks that don't involve a puzzle-like combo (Reap/Lace sometimes, Doomsday) or bizarre timing rules (Full English Breakfast) are hard to play. Several are hard to build. See above.

Let's be honest: to make an optimal build of any deck is pretty hard to do. To do well with a deck that has already been tuned is just not that hard, assuming that you have experience with the genre of deck (control, combo, etc.) and know how it works to some extent. Sure, if you hand a newbie a Keeper deck they will probably lose, but by that same token if you hand a newbie a T1 deck they won't know the cards no matter what you hand them. Hell, I'd lose with a T2 deck or an IBC one.

The biggest secret to winning with Keeper: shuffling adequately. The biggest secret to winning with BBS: hand of counters versus control or combo, Keg versus aggro.

Ooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhh, tough.

By Raven (Raven) on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 04:49 am:

Personally I think Rec/Sur is the most difficult deck to play. Every thing you do with the deck has to combo well with something else, and choseing what to combo into, or what to combo for can be a real hair puller.

Your getting beat down, would it be wise to just survival into an achademy, then get a nightmare via achademy, then get a weaver and start a weaver/nightmare lock? Or should a hermit hold the ground, or should you just pull some more mana accel for BoP's to be able to really abuse a bone shredder from a nightmare? Or should you try to pull of the combo kill with Altar, Nightmare, and Hermit?

Rec/Sur is extreamly difficult to play. You never really lose a game with Rec/Sur because your opponent just had a better draw, or because they just out powered you with P9 and the like. 90% of the time you lose is from your own mistakes, or it was a situation that you could have won had you tried something different.

Now that I think about it, Rec/Sur really is extreamly difficult. I think it comes down to my rule that decks that rely heavily on tutoring power are the most difficult to play. And Rec/Sur is powered entirely on its tutoring power, and is almost like a creature keeper deck.

I think I got a headache from playing the deck and tore it up. Also my lack of mana accell really sucks, can't run it successfully without P9.

I disagree that every deck requires the same ammount of skill. That couldnt be farther from the truth. How can a sligh deck be more difficult to play than a Rec/Sur or Keeper varient? Wow, play a mountain then keep the EOT burn spells comming. This is far easier than a Rec/Sur varient. Whenever you play a deck that you have to stop and think for about 5 minutes in a match to decide what to do, thats a difficult deck to run. Not deck's that end there turns in 2 seconds, and do little to no thinking, and after playing 1 game, you have the deck down and can run it with your eyes closed.

I'm sure that there are even still some keeper players who don't fully understand there deck's and there potentialls.

By Nevyn, the Village Idiot (Nevyn) on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 10:51 am:

Keeper does have more versatile answers than mono-blue, yes. But that makes it harder, not easier, to play.

For mono-blue, you have an answer, or you don't. For keeper, you have tutors and such and need to find the RIGHT answer for the given situation. Also, any deck which needs 5 colours reliably takes a higher degree of play skill in terms of analysing and planning mana. Mono blue has a simple plan and sticks to it, and a mono-blue player can always tell at first glimpse how good his hand is ( do I have blue mana? ... yes, Do I have counters? ... yes)

But the keeper player needs to analyze and prioritize his mana based on what he expects to need to be able to play, and needs to play around disruption (wasteland, strip mine) on top of that to make sure those important colours aren't denied.

By K-Run, the Pegasus Hero (K_Run) on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 11:54 am:

What do you all try to prove when you say : "This deck is harder to play than this one" ?

You want to earn respect ? The guy who wins with Sligh deserves even more respect than any Keeper player playing in the same tournament. It takes guts to play Sligh these days, as the deck is currently inferior to many other ones. Most will agree : a Sligh deck in the hands of a skilled player is scary as Hell.

Play with what you're the best with.

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

True. BTW, how are the skilled Sligh players allotting sideboard slots? I tried to slap together a Sligh but split games with a kid running Flunkies because I only had 2 Mastis to board in.

By Liam (Liam) on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 04:32 pm:

Yamo, I used to play discard. It was a very efficient Mono-B. It was generally recognoized as brutal. However,

It required no skill at all. It was the most boring, redundant, repeditive deck i've ever seen.

Right now i play a wierd powered down U/B Keeper redux. It's much more difficult. Not HARD, as i know my deck very well, but harder. It's far less redundant, never repeditive and i am faced with far more game-effecting desisions.

BBS is consistant, a pretty word for repeditive. To be repeditive it must be redundant. This is it's major strength. I regongnoze playing it as a skill, but Keeper being less consistant/repeditive/redundant, is a more difficult deck to play and requires greater skill.

And though truth is important, so is picking your battles. Your word carries weight equal to the respect you hold. Conserve your respect, and make sure people care what you think.

Okay i'm done preaching :)

By Elrond, the High Priest & Pokemon Slayer (Elrond) on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 11:42 pm:

Yamo, just relax.....

I'm not going to blow it out of proportion but, excepting FEB, I do think keeper is probably the most skill (or experience) intensive deck to play.

Say, you're playing the first game vs. a good sligh deck with the Franchise. The sligh has 2 pups and a cadet on the board and you have 13 life. You can either demonic tutor for the abyss or balance and play whatever you tutor for. If you balance you will lose 2 cards and 3 land (you'll have 3 cards and 4 land, he'll have no creatures). You have no counter ability aside from 1 force of will, you will have to pitch a fact or fiction to play it (you don't have enough mana to cast the FoF and do what you have to to stay alive). Which do you tutor for? Why?

This *should* be pretty clear cut, as long as you're used to the feeling of playing your deck. Personally, I think the trickiest thing to get used to is working to stay alive when it seems hopeless (the above situation when you're at 6 life, for example), because the deck is capable of pulling out games like that.

By Lord of the Squirrels on Saturday, September 01, 2001 - 12:02 am:

I want to make a little add-on to my posting earlier. I was in no way saying that Keeper is a brainless deck, or that ir requires little skill to play. On the contrary, I think that the multiple colors, the variety of different tutors and options, and in general the deck building process itself is incredibly skill intensive. I was talking about playing BBS against a good player, mostly against control. The skill level of the blue player in a control versus control match-up, ESPECIALLY keeper, has to be fairly high for the blue player to win. I'll bring up a personal example to help make my point: I played in the T1 at Worlds, and was playing against Bob Maher, who was playing Keeper. I had the perfect blue hand, heavy counter, card drawing, and a keg, and still managed to lose. Why? Because you can't just overpower a good player who has a good hand with monoblue. A lot of thought needs to go into when you play your threats, and how are protect yourself from various threats your opponent has.
Keeper is a deck built entirely on making choices, but I believe to a lesser extent, so is monoblue. The ability to read an opponent and correctly assume what he can or cannot do at any given time is a big part of playing any control deck, and I think BBS is no different. It just happens to have more counters than most control decks, but fewer answer to the threats that do hit. I didn't mean to knock any keeper player, just to express my thoughts on control in general.

By Matt The Great on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 07:57 pm:

I think ProsBloom is the hardest deck to play.

By Sylvester (Sylvester) on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 08:21 pm:

i think pros bloom isn't a playable deck anymore.

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 08:43 am:

And I played ProsBloom since Weatherlight. Keeper is by far tougher. Hell, Academy is tougher.

By MetaMage on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 11:03 am:

Hey, did you ever try my Bloom deck way back when? ...it is by far harder to play than keeper...which is why I play keeper in tourneys. Seriously, my bloom deck may average a turn two kill, but it takes so much concentration to play the deck well that I still screw up all the time.

Oh yeah...English breakfast is quite a bit harder to play than Keeper IMHO.

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