8/17/2010 LI: "Get Low"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Limited Information, which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Funniest hand I ever kept:  RoE draft UB control with Keening Stone for a finisher.  I'm playing against a slow 3 color deck that I took about 35 minutes to grind out in game one.  My hand is Island, Island, Island, Swamp, Swamp, Swamp, See Beyond on the draw.  I know he can't kill me quickly, and my deck is REALLY mana hungry, so I keep it.  Turn one my opponent, “Inquisition of Kozilek you.” and got the See Beyond.  We didn't finish game two, but nothing I saw out of the other deck or player convinced me they were capable of beating me.
The end is always nigh.
So here's a situation from a draft I just came back from. Game 3 against a bombtastic U/B deck (so far I've seen both Conundrum Sphinx and Frost Titan).

I draw Mountain, Mountain, Mountain, Mountain, Mountain, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Bolt.

I mulliganed, and lost, thinking that I needed some pressure to win the game.  I'm very interested in hearing your advice.

Here's the complete decklist:

17xMountain

2xLightning Bolt
1xThunder Strike
1xFling
3xAct of Treason
1xShiv's Embrace
1xLava Axe

2xEmber Hauler
2xGoblin Piker
1xArc Runner
2xFiery Hellhound
1xChandra's Spitfire
1xCyclops Gladiator
1xChandra's Outrage
1xCanyon Minotaur
1xBeserkers of Blood Ridge
1xFire Servant
1xTriskelion

Thanks!

Edit: @Falcon_UK: I was on the draw in this game.
Help create custom set Aurora

Firstly, interesting article.  What I hate is when you have a 50:50 hand and you chose to Mulligan and the new hand is even worse.

In relation to CricketHunter's hand, I would always Mulligan this.  You have no threats on the board and can only respond to two threats an opponent plays.  Also you normally don't want to Lightning bolt early creatures as you want to save them for real threats.

Pretty nice trick there, Mr. Sadin: theme week is "hand", and you wrote "pretty" exactly seven times.
Not sure if I understood the advantage for 18 lands over 17 lands.  Article says when you use 18, you'll remember when you get mana flooded and lose, but then went on to say if you use 17, you'll remember when you got manascrewed and lost. I don't see a case for one over the other.  I myself prefer 17.
Having played tons of M11 drafts and 5 sealed deck tournaments in MODO I've concluded that even with 17 lands I tend to flood much easier than get screwed. Why? Cause I mulligan the sub-optimal hands with 2 lands, 5 cards almost always - but I can't avoid the floods any way. So almost always I try to play with 17 lands and instead of the extra land trying to get something that either fixes the draw, cycles/cantrips for low amount of mana or is otherwise an early trn 1/2 drop.

So no, I don't think there is an advantage to use 18 lands, atleast not in M11.
@cricketHunter

I would have actually kept the hand.  First off, because you have 5 lands in your hand the odds of you drawing a spell are larger.  While there is a chance of you drawing a land, it is not that great to start off with.  Also, you have a fair number of high cost spells and cards with a fire-breathing effect so having more mountains is good.  

Falcon_Uk is right that you don't have any creatures in your opening hand, and having to use the two Lightning Bolts early is not a desirable situation.  However, UB decks I have faced in the past have never put on too much early game pressure to even warrant using the bolts on the first two creatures that come out.  Nothing says that you HAVE to destroy the first two creatures that come out.  Taking some early damage is not going to kill you.  Hurt you, yes, but not kill you.  Yes, if you don't draw any creatures than you will eventually die or will need to use the bolts on the creatures that have been damaging you for the first few turns.  Also, you have additional burn in the deck.  Not as efficient as bolt but still there.

Personally I would keep the hand.  There might be a few times that I would mulligan but having the ability of answering some early pressure if you need to until you draw a creature makes the hand worth keeping.  You also have the necessary lands to play all but one of your spells.
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@cricketHunter

However, UB decks I have faced in the past have never put on too much early game pressure to even warrant using the bolts on the first two creatures that come out.



I find UB decks can be very aggro especially with the amount of evasion they play.  I have seen (and played) decks that go:

Turn 1 - Elite Vanguard
Turn 2 - Pegasus/Hawk/Owl
Turn 3 - Wild Griffin/Cloud Elemental
Turn 4 - Assualt Griffin/Azure Drake etc

You can be dead by turn 5 and there aren't many of those cards you want to spend a Lightning Bolt on.

Even without the opponent having a 'great' hand.  I think the 2 Lightning Bolt hand is too risky especially as you have a number of 'dead' cards in hand (Fling, Thunder Strike, Shiv's Embrace, 12 mountains) = 15 out of 33 cards (almost 50%).  You then have a further 8 cards that either can't block or can't be played until you turn 5 (3 Act of Treason, Lava Axe, Triskelion, Berserkers, Fire Servant, Arc Runner).  Accordingly, there are only 10 out of the 33 cards you want to draw early on meaning you have less than 1/3 of a chance of drawing them each turn.  Depending on whether you are on the play or the draw (you don't mention), this means you might not draw anything of 'use' until turn 4 by which point you may have lost too much momentum.

@cricketHunter

However, UB decks I have faced in the past have never put on too much early game pressure to even warrant using the bolts on the first two creatures that come out.



I find UB decks can be very aggro especially with the amount of evasion they play.  I have seen (and played) decks that go:

Turn 1 - Elite Vanguard
Turn 2 - Pegasus/Hawk/Owl
Turn 3 - Wild Griffin/Cloud Elemental
Turn 4 - Assualt Griffin/Azure Drake etc

Uh, dude, UB means Blue and Black. Not Blue and White. That's UW.

Black is somewhat less agressive than White in M11, although it can be in some games with Child of Night and Barony Vampire. That said, you other points are good.

Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A
D'oh (can I raise the defence that I am sitting in an office bored senseless)?
Not sure if I understood the advantage for 18 lands over 17 lands.  Article says when you use 18, you'll remember when you get mana flooded and lose, but then went on to say if you use 17, you'll remember when you got manascrewed and lost. I don't see a case for one over the other.  I myself prefer 17.


He was trying to say that people irrationally overestimate the risk of mana flood. If you lose because of mana flood then it'll drag on for 15 turns of drawing land and stalling and you'll remember how much it sucked for days, but if you lose because of mana screw it'll be over in five minutes and you'll be on to the next game. Mana flood feels and seems worse, so players are more likely to go out of their way to avoid mana flood. However, either way a loss is a loss. He's arguing that a certain, strong start is worth the risk of maybe drawing a little too much land late in the game.

Even without the opponent having a 'great' hand.  I think the 2 Lightning Bolt hand is too risky especially as you have a number of 'dead' cards in hand (Fling, Thunder Strike, Shiv's Embrace, 12 mountains) = 15 out of 33 cards (almost 50%).  You then have a further 8 cards that either can't block or can't be played until you turn 5 (3 Act of Treason, Lava Axe, Triskelion, Berserkers, Fire Servant, Arc Runner).  Accordingly, there are only 10 out of the 33 cards you want to draw early on meaning you have less than 1/3 of a chance of drawing them each turn.  Depending on whether you are on the play or the draw (you don't mention), this means you might not draw anything of 'use' until turn 4 by which point you may have lost too much momentum.




I understand where you are coming from, but seeing as there is enough mana in the hand to play the turn 5 cards on turn 5 and the bolts can help you survive turns 1 and 2 I don't really see anything wrong with keeping the hand.  If you mulligan you may get a better hand, then again you may get an even worse hand and mulligan to 5, putting you in a bad position.  In  my opinion the hand is within to borderline of keeper.  Not by much, but still.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
M11 Draft, playing U/W Skies w/no Counter magic, I won Game 1 off my opponent assuming I had Mana Leaks for the Hoarding Dragon I had Excommunicated and continued to keep 1U up until he lost.

Game 2: Plains, Plains, Plains, Island, Island, Island, Scroll Thief

Keep.

I rip a second Thief off the top, play my first Thief, he continues to draw nothing, I have both Thieves on the board and he plays a decent blocker which I Mind Control and swing again with my Thieves.

T5 concession.

I could tell my opponent's deck was slow and that if I drew even once with the Thief the CA would net me the game as I was running a 16 land deck with some a good curve but powerful 5 drops (Mind Control!).

I like the article though I feel a lot of that stuff is basic.  Game 1 I would not have kept such a hand but with the information from Game 1 I may have gambled but feel really good about keeping it.
I think people may be overvaluing the effect of 18 lands. If you do the math, it there ends up being a less then 2% difference of getting a hand you would auto mulligan based on land count (0,1,6 or 7 land), and there isn't much of a difference in most of the situations where you keep a 2 land hand (there's around a 1.5% difference between seeing 2 more lands in your next 4 given 2 lands in a 17 or 18 land deck).

It certainly can't hurt, and the odds of seeing 4 lands in your first 11 cards, for instance, is around 5% higher with 18 lands (although its probably less if you account for hands you would mulligan). But I'm not sure if general rules like "always play 18" or "always play 17" are the way to go.
@Falcon_UK: I was on the draw. I agreed with your points, and mulliganned, but its eaten at me.

I've been thinking about the 18 vs 17 land point. I'm pretty sure I ran 18 land in every Eldrazi draft I played (and compiled a healthy winning record along the way).  I remember getting that critical land I needed to win so many times it wasn't even funny. I'm tempted to just take the plunge, 18 land as a rule, 17 as an exception.

For instance, with the top end and firebreathers I had in the red deck I shared earlier, I should have played an 18th mountain instead of the Arc Runner. That was just me stretching to find playables in mono-red. (My sideboard had some U - Aether Adept, Cloud Elemental and Mind Control - but that was an uncomfortable amount of UU in my Ember Hauler, Cyclops fueled deck for my liking)

I wonder if this means I'll soon be playing 27 land in Standard, just to play with the same percentage...

Help create custom set Aurora
M11 Draft, playing U/W Skies w/no Counter magic, I won Game 1 off my opponent assuming I had Mana Leaks for the Hoarding Dragon I had Excommunicated and continued to keep 1U up until he lost.

Game 2: Plains, Plains, Plains, Island, Island, Island, Scroll Thief

Keep.

I rip a second Thief off the top, play my first Thief, he continues to draw nothing, I have both Thieves on the board and he plays a decent blocker which I Mind Control and swing again with my Thieves.

T5 concession.

I could tell my opponent's deck was slow and that if I drew even once with the Thief the CA would net me the game as I was running a 16 land deck with some a good curve but powerful 5 drops (Mind Control!).

I like the article though I feel a lot of that stuff is basic.  Game 1 I would not have kept such a hand but with the information from Game 1 I may have gambled but feel really good about keeping it.




Wow, I can not see keeping this. This draw gets blanked by so many even mediocore draws it's scary. On the draw, turn 4 canyon minotaur wrecks you. Canyon Minotaur! If his deck is so bad that it doesn't have any action before the first thief connects, then I don't think you keep either - just get a decent hand on the Mulligan and you'll win easily.
Help create custom set Aurora


I've been thinking about the 18 vs 17 land point. I'm pretty sure I ran 18 land in every Eldrazi draft I played (and compiled a healthy winning record along the way).  I remember getting that critical land I needed to win so many times it wasn't even funny. I'm tempted to just take the plunge, 18 land as a rule, 17 as an exception.




I think the position should be a bit more flexible than the article suggested.  I once drafted a White Weenie deck that topped out at 3 CMC and I only ran 15 lands.  The deck worked great and I never lost a game (let alone a round).

Generally, I run 17 lands but if I have an aggressive deck and/or a number of accelerators I will only run 16.  If my deck runs a number of cards with 4+ CMC or an uber powerful X spell or if I have a weak 23rd card, I will run 18 lands. 

I think it is a bit simplistic to always run X lands no matter what your deck looks like.

M11 Draft, playing U/W Skies w/no Counter magic, I won Game 1 off my opponent assuming I had Mana Leaks for the Hoarding Dragon I had Excommunicated and continued to keep 1U up until he lost.

Game 2: Plains, Plains, Plains, Island, Island, Island, Scroll Thief

Keep.




Never a keeper in my opinion.  Its great that you won but given that your opponent must have had removal (given that he was playing red), a dud draw and removal of the Scroll Thief (to Lightning Bolt etc) and you have real provlems.

I could tell my opponent's deck was slow and that if I drew even once with the Thief the CA would net me the game as I was running a 16 land deck with some a good curve but powerful 5 drops (Mind Control!).



I would certainly question running only 16 land if I was playing more than one 5 drop (which it sounds like you are) especially when I am not running green for acceleration.



Recently I've been drafting a very powerful blue build which does quite well with 1-land hands. It picks Preordain, Mana Leak, and Scroll Thief high. Usually you open with a Preordain. Even with just one land, Ponder digs through the top three, almost guaranteeing you a second turn land drop. Keep their first threat off the board with Mana Leak, then Scroll Thief turn 3 (you will have seen the top six cards of your library by now, if you drew first and scryed both to the bottom of the library;  five if you played).

It's worked for me so far!

[edited for autocard and corrections]
Recently I've been drafting a very powerful blue build which does quite well with 1-land hands. It picks Ponder, Mana Leak, and Scroll Thief high. Usually you open with a Ponder. Even with just one land, Ponder digs through the top three, almost guaranteeing you a second turn land drop. Keep their first threat off the board with Mana Leak, then Scroll Thief turn 3 (you will have seen the top six cards of your library by now, if you drew first and Pondered T1;  five if you played).

It's worked for me so far!

Uh, dude, Ponder is not in M11. I'm pretty sure you mean Preordain, but then, your sentence in parenthesis isn't quite right. You haven't necessarly seen the top 5/6 cards of your deck by turn 3 depending on how many cards you put on the bottom with Scry.

But I'm just nitpicking, the point that Preordain is great for smoothing mana development in early turns stands.

Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A
Uh, dude, Ponder is not in M11. I'm pretty sure you mean Preordain, but then, your sentence in parenthesis isn't quite right. You haven't necessarly seen the top 5/6 cards of your deck by turn 3 depending on how many cards you put on the bottom with Scry.

But I'm just nitpicking, the point that Preordain is great for smoothing mana development in early turns stands.




Thanks for catching that! I've corrected my earlier post.
Maybe you will draw that Fireball right in the nick of time to finish your opponent off before you are dealt the killing blow, but when that doesn't happen—when you just draw blanks for thirteen minutes while your opponent slowly comes back from a terrible situation to beat you, you are going to remember that game for the rest of the night. Two days later when you are at work or in class you might think of that game and bite your lip a little bit in disgust. A week later when you are doing another booster draft at the shop and you see the person who beat you last time getting up to get lands for his or her deck, then you are going to remember that extremely frustrating loss.


Of course he's not bitter, why do you ask?
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That's what I love about posting on these forums. Everyone's an expert(except for me).
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really no need to be so bitchy.
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@Edacade: Awright kid you go on ahead and do your thing and don't let anyone tell you different y'hear
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City of Asymmetrical Beings Land :T:, sacrifice a creature: Destroy target creature with the same converted mana cost as the sacrificed creature.
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Might I just interject that making this a meme is the worst idea in magic in my opinion. It is too overpowered. It encourages cheating it in play. Essentially 99/100 times it is cheated in play instead of hardcast. Not only that, but you essentially win when it comes into play.
74943291 wrote:
82512575 wrote:
74943291 wrote:
Make five-color hybrid tribal instant with buyback, kicker, cycling, card draw, token production, a steal effect, alternate casting cost and landfall that embodies the love that your mom and I share.
I think you just killed all chances of my card being elegant. Ardency :1mana::symwu::symbr: Tribal Instant - Soldier You may have target opponent gain control of 3 permanents you control rather than pay ~'s mana cost. As an additional cost to cast ~, choose two creatures you control, and sacrifice the rest. If you control a soldier, you can't sacrifice permanents this turn. Landfall - If you had a land enter the battlefield under your control this turn, instead choose 4 creatures. Kicker You get an emblem with "As long as you control both chosen creatures, they have protection from everything." If ~ was kicked, creatures you control get +1/+1 for each creature card in your graveyard until end of turn. Cycling :2mana: When you cycle ~, put two 2/2 Soldier creatures onto the battlefield. Would this EVER fit on a card?~
Aside from a few wording mishaps (should say "each chosen creature" because it's not necessarily two) this is nice. Very simple and elegant. I like the alternate cost a lot, and the kicker goes nicely with the sacrifice. However, the cycling seems a bit powerful (4 power and a card for 3? Cycling is supposed be bad. 8/10 EDIT: Just looked up "ardency". Lol.
58347268 wrote:
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74943291 wrote:
I'm immortalized too as long as no one deletes this post!
But in the shadow of the great one lurked many who sought to partake of his eternal glory.
Since when am I "many"?
You're a whole damn city.
74943291 wrote:
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Ahem.
58021268 wrote:
Vivisect Sorcery As an additional cost to cast Vivisect, sacrifice a creature. Draw three cards. "For the sake of humanity," the surgeon whispered. The knife had never felt heavier in his hand.
I don't think a world that sacrifices so much would want to stop the making of children .
Vivisect =/= vasectomy
Now I just feel silly.
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I think that this is the first wizards-community thread that actually made me laugh out loud. Maraxas, I love you.
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batman is a jerk in all of my dreams
mafia is fun so play it