Why I still play Impulse in my Keeper

Beyond Dominia: The Type One Magic Mill: Why I still play Impulse in my Keeper

By Freddie Williams II (Freddie) on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 11:04 am:

Over the weekend, I took 1st in a 20+ person tournament using a keeper build sporting 3 copies of a often criticized (in keeper) power house:


In every game impulse was INSTRAMENTAL to early development, and to mid-Late game succsess!

One particular instance against a sui black deck, I impulsed on the stack of his turn 2 Hymn (tapping my 1st turn tundra and ruby) and my impulse was:
1. Misdirection
2. City of Brass
3. Force of Will
4. Diabolic Edict

I kept misdirection and stuffed that Hymn back into his face.

Now lets look at what impulse accomplished in this situation:

In effect this spacific impulse was a way to search for an answer to ANY spell my opponent was casting, at instant speed. Even without the misdirection, I could have kept the force (if spells in my hand were that important, witch they were), if it had been a cresture, - enter the edict edict, a wasteland, enter the COB.

Even if the impulse had yeilded nothing but 4 mana sources, that is a pocket of 4 I did not have to drudge threw with my draw steps, getting hammered by shades and hymn's.


On another occasion (the entire game, really), impulse saved my bacon again; on the stack of an early wasteland (finding anothr mana), then on the stack of an ancestral (finding a mind twist), and on the stack of a serindib (finding an abyss).

In either of these cases, impulse served as a way to diversly fortify my hand, as a mini tutor, and digger.

Since my keeper is almost a .dec, besides the impulses replacing, regrowth, merchant scroll, and sylvan.

In instance #1, if impulse had been any of those original cards (regrowth, merchant scroll, and sylvan) i would have been more hard pressed to find my answeres as easily.

In example 2, Impulse served as a diverse avenue of searching for an answer to each of these diverse threats.


Here is what I played on Sunday:
Keeper, Type:1 (Documented 05-26-02)

Blue: (20)
Stroke of Genius: R
Brain Geyser: R
Fact Or Fiction: R
Ancestral Recal: R
Time Walk: R
Mystical Tutor: R
Impulse: 3

Mana Drain: 4
Force Of Will: 4
Misdirection: 1

Morphling: 2

Black: (5)
Mind Twist: R
Demonic Tutor: R
Abyss: 1
Diabolic Edict: 1
Yawgmoth’s Will: R

White: (4)
Dismanteling Blow: 1
Balance: R
Swords to Plowshares: 2

Red: (1)
Gorilla Shaman: 1

Artifact: (2)
Jayemdae Tome: 1
Zuran Orb: 1

Mana Sources: (28)
SoLoMoxen: R x 7
Library Of Alexandra: R
StipMine: R
Waste Land: 3
Volcanic Island: 4
City Of Brass: 4
Undiscovered Paradise: 1
Underground Sea: 4
Tundra: 3

SideBoard: (15)
Red Elemental Blast: 4
Blue Elemental Blast: 1
Swords to Plowshares: 1
Powder Keg: 1
Moat :1
Abyss: 1
Circle of Protection: Red: 1
Tormod’s Crypt: 1
Aura Fracture: 1
Dwarven Miner: 2
Compost: 1

this is really similar to what I posted on the "using Fireball in keeper again" thread, but I have moved the maindeck miner to the SB (to keep his buddy company) and added another STP maindeck, for more anti aggro main, and changed the Tolarian out for UP.

I still may just add a Fireball, as the 61st card... still unsure.


By Gizzard (Gizzard) on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 08:04 pm:

> In either of these cases, impulse served as
> a way to diversly fortify my hand, as a
> mini tutor, and digger.

Yep. Theres nothing funnier than a Keeper mirror where you have Impulse and he doesnt. "Why do I keep coming up one card short in these counter-wars?," he asks sadly. "Hmmm, I think you are just unlucky. Impulse EoT?"

According to popular opinion FoF is the best card in the universe because you see 5 cards and pick 1 or 2 (maybe more if your opponent makes a mistake.) Impulse lets you see 4 and pick 1 with *half* the investment in mana, and somehow it's a card that "oNly A ScuRB wOOd use". Umm, hello? Or "ImPUlsE is NoT CarD aDvantaGE! It 5uXOR5!!!" Yeah, and it doesnt kill creatures either. So your point is what?

It digs for answers, it fixes up your horrible 5C mana base. Its not sexy like a Mind Twist, but you wont ever draw Impulse and say, "Dang, I wish I didnt have this piece of crap in my hand." Its a workmanlike tool, a hammer putting nails in your opponent coffin from the beginning of the game to the end.

By Azhrei, Paragon of Vintage (Azhrei) on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 08:29 pm:

The reason why I refuse to consider Impulse in Keeper and why it lasted about a week in OSE is one simple reason: the 3-4 cards you don't play so you can fit Impulse. Merchant Scroll, Fire/Ice, and Teferi's Response are just FAR too powerful for me to even imagine not using them. Fire/Ice means that you can just OWN Sligh, Merchant Scroll's tutoring ability is in my experience much better than a dig since it can get you Ancestral, Stroke, or Response (mainly for me anyway), and Teferi's Response is really more my toy card than anything else, but it's a VERY powerful toy. Kinda like a gas powered vibrator with an old outboard motor rigged to it.

In OSE, EVERY time I drew Impulse I said "I wish I didn't have this piece of crap in my hand because now I have to spend 2 mana to get to fewer powerful cards instead of having one in my hand right now."

By CF (Cf) on Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 09:45 pm:

In Keeper: Using Impulse adds consistency. Not using them adds more brokenness. This is type 1.


By 3rd Wheel in Legend's Love Triangle (Yamo) on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 04:23 am:

Precisely. I'd rather be consistantly more broken than just more consistant.

By Freddie Williams II (Freddie) on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 08:20 am:

Good points all.

to each their own, but having a kick-arse broken game 1 out of 3 times is sweet, but having a conistantly powerful and swift game is more my style...

And more of what I strive to accomplish.

Impulse does ass that consistancy, and that is what I be liking.

Tafferi's Responce worked 1 time in tournaey for me, and that was dangerous.

Since it was the first day that I had added the responce, I thought, "wow, this card is the best" and was really resistant to yank it out, even after in the next month I proceeded to never use it 1 time, other then FOW/ MIS fotter.

I'll let AZ keep that toy, as it works really well when it works, but most of the time (IME) is to finicky.


By Tracer Bullet, Better than Spiff (Tracer) on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 11:42 am:

I don't want to know what kind of toys Az has let you borrow.......

By Superman on dope (Dope) on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 01:00 pm:

If you want consistency over all-out brokenness, you should be playing mono-U, where Impulse belongs. You said it yourself, the cards you cut for Impulse were Sylvan, Regrowth and Merchant Scroll, two very powerful cards and a key utility card, for a "digger" card. If it suits your play style, then I won't argue any more, but I just wonder why you'd play Keeper over mono-U if you're more worried about consistency over brokenness, since that seems to be your major arguement.

By Gizzard (Gizzard) on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 02:24 pm:

Hey, I'm not going to argue with you guys -- because I like winning the Mirror. ;-) As a matter of fact, I think I'll jump on the bandwagon. "Mana Crypt is more broken than Impulse! Its on the restricted list! Lets all put Mana Crypt in Keeper!"

By Freddie Williams II (Freddie) on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 02:39 pm:


Mono blue is not that great against aggro.

Aggro is heavy in my area.

Thus I do not play Mono Blue.

I play keeper:

-Yawg Will
-Dis Blow

That is why I play Keeper.

(and because nearly all my duals for keeper are BB, they are styling!)


PS: "Mana Crypt FOREVER!! "(Freddie thrusts his right arm into the air, al-la 80's era highschool film)

By Jacob Orlove, aspiring paragon (Orlove) on Wednesday, May 29, 2002 - 02:57 pm:

Well, if you want to win the mirror, you should play Weissman's or Milton's control decks (I'm not calling them keeper because they are both significantly different from Matt D's build-BD's "standard" keeper)

Both these decks should win the mirror pretty often, and guess what? they don't use impulse.
Hmmm...maybe it isn't that great a card after all?
Matt plays one impulse over vamp (which you both run?) but that's because of his metagame. 3 is going a little overboard. Sylvan alone is like an impulse every turn at least 75% of the time, and it can get card advantage too.
And in the mirror, card advantage>>>consistency

By Superman on dope (Dope) on Thursday, May 30, 2002 - 03:04 am:

You obviously don't know how broken Sylvan Library is in the "mirror", but as I said, I won't argue any more.

Happy stylin' with your duals, dude. :)

By Freddie Williams II (Freddie) on Thursday, May 30, 2002 - 09:02 am:

Sylvan is way awesome card, I will not argue it!

When I was playing 5c Oath, that sylvan was so cool, allowing me to recover from blance, mind twist ect...

I really love that card.

My sylvan is asian (not sure of the dialect) and all tattered, and the color balance on it is all dark, so it is styling as well, but...

As "wussified" as this seems, the 7 green mana sources (thats including lotus) in keeper, seems to low (for me) to cast it consistantly, before it gets duressed right up out of my hand, that is, without the impulses, to consistantly fetch the green sources.

then if I put in impulse, i start loosing room for the sylvan.

I have considered possibly loosing an impulse, or a tome for the sylvan, but just feel so cumfortible with the instant speed blue digger, and the tome in an old standby, that i've been drawing off of for years now.

Thanks all for your advise, and sarcasm :) .


By Steve O'Connell, King of Metaphors (Zherbus) on Thursday, May 30, 2002 - 09:11 am:

I cannot concieve of not running slyvan. Mine is LG, but loved to all hell.

By Matt D'Avanzo, Paragon of Vintage (Matt) on Sunday, June 02, 2002 - 03:11 am:

I cut that one Impulse from my Keeper deck after a week and a half. Really the card I want to go there doesn't exist yet.

And for the records, I've done a lot of testing with Impulse Keeper vs. Regular Keeper and the latter kicks Impulse Keeper around most of the time. Instead of digging you drop bombs that say "Deal with this or watch me gain a huge advantage". The only cool thing about Impulses in a Keeper mirror I liked were that you could dig for Wastelands.

In the early turns mana that could have been spent doing something (i.e. dropping Sylvan) was instead spent looking for something to do _next turn_ with Impulse. Since the counterwall comes up on turn two this is a pain.

Also, tis is really major, and I don't think a lot of you are considering this, if a Keeper deck casts Impulse against me a BIG siren goes off in my head "ATTENTION: OPPONENT PROBABLY DOES NOT HAVE A FORCE OF WILL! PROCEED TO INITIATE COUNTERBATTLE!" If a person has a pich counter things like Impulse wouldn't get cast, they'd be saved in his hand for fodder since the alternative is pitching draw/counters/brokeness. Sure, it's not 100% foolproof, but 90% of the time...

Impulse is really something that shines against decks that pressure you with threats. In the control mirror it raises the blue card count and don't suck like Vamp. It doesn't really help you win the mirror, just that they don't hurt you at all compared to Vamp or a dead card like StP.

I'm not saying digging 4 cards ahead will never win a game against Keeper--I'm talking in overall specifics. I've won games against Keeper due to Fire/Ice, but I'm not exactly going to start SBing extra copies of Fire/Ice in against Keeper.


By Azhrei, Paragon of Vintage (Azhrei) on Sunday, June 02, 2002 - 11:42 am:

One good thing about Impulse that I've overlooked is that it must make sideboarding REALLY easy. :)

By Eric Petracca (Eric) on Sunday, June 02, 2002 - 11:03 pm:

Matt, what card replaced the lone Impulse that you dropped after testing?

By Steve O'Connell, King of Metaphors (Zherbus) on Monday, June 03, 2002 - 05:50 am:

Noble panther...you kow for those mirror matches.

By Redman, Relentless Leader of Scrubs (Redman) on Monday, June 03, 2002 - 10:32 am:

Wait Steve, you know how Matt feels about straight metagame hate in his maindeck. He'd rather win through skill than by luckily topdecking Noble Panther.

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