10/20/2010 BoaB: "Mimic Vat"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Building on a Budget, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
kinda funny that you wanted to play Doom Blade to help deal with the Titan, but then when you played a match against a deck sporting him, you sided it out.  i realize that Memoricide deals with him much more efficiently, but it kinda struck me as odd that you sided out the card you wanted in the deck specifically for that matchup.

i was similarly ....idk...dumbfounded?  that you initially chose to drop Ondu Cleric saying that it didn't seem right for the format, but then you add it back in to the sb at the end to help the matchup vs. red (to which you devoted a large amount of sb space).  seems like you had a significant change of heart between the beginning and end of the article.  X)  did you end up seeing a lot more red decks in your online testing than you had anticipated, or was that just a brain-fart?  ; )
kinda funny that you wanted to play Doom Blade to help deal with the Titan, but then when you played a match against a deck sporting him, you sided it out.  i realize that Memoricide deals with him much more efficiently, but it kinda struck me as odd that you sided out the card you wanted in the deck specifically for that matchup.

That one surprised me, too.  On the other hand, maybe Doom Blade is a maindeck card you can run against the Titan, while Memoricide can only be run as sideboard, but once you have it, you don't need Doom Blade anymore? 
i was similarly ....idk...dumbfounded?  that you initially chose to drop Ondu Cleric saying that it didn't seem right for the format, but then you add it back in to the sb at the end to help the matchup vs. red (to which you devoted a large amount of sb space).  seems like you had a significant change of heart between the beginning and end of the article.  X)  did you end up seeing a lot more red decks in your online testing than you had anticipated, or was that just a brain-fart?  ; )

That's deck evolution.  That's exactly the sort of thing people have been asking him to do since he started the column, don't complain about it!
Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
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These are the decks I have assembled at the moment:
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Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
Casual Multiplayer Decks (50)
Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...
Great deck, nice report. This is the first time I have ever considered Netdecking. Surprised

Not going to do it mind, but for a good few minutes I was mentally buying all the rares I needed to build the deck...

I think Mimic Vat is one of the most powerful cards in the new set. I have been on the receiving end of it (and killed with my own Inferno Titan) and I have dabbled with it (making copies of the Chieftain in my Goblin deck). I have 3/4 of my playset so far, and I will be doing a lot with this card. :D

~ Tim
I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
Sig
56287226 wrote:
190106923 wrote:
Not bad. But what happens flavor wise when one kamahl kills the other one?
Zis iz a sign uf deep psychological troma, buried in zer subconscious mind. By keelink himzelf, Kamahl iz physically expressink hiz feelinks uf self-disgust ova hiz desire for hiz muzzer. [/GermanPsychologistVoice]
56957928 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
That makes no sense to me. If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed? ~ Tim
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch. YAY COLOR IDENTITY
56287226 wrote:
56888618 wrote:
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
56883218 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
56287226 wrote:
56735468 wrote:
And no judge will ever give you a game loss for playing snow covered lands.
I now have a new goal in life. ;)
Did you ever consider running 2-3 Sun Titan for recursion?
Doom Blade is better than Lightning Bolt to deal with the Titans in general ... as well as dealing with any other threat if you aren't playing against a Titan deck.  Doom Blade solves all kinds of key creatures.

However, when you DO run up against a Titan deck, Memoricide is so much better.  But it is not better against non-Titan decks.  So, Doom Blade is more flexible for Game 1's where you don't know what your opponent is playing.  But in the right matchup, Memoricide can be back-breaking (as was demonstrated in the game-log).
Great deck, nice report. This is the first time I have ever considered Netdecking. Surprised

Not going to do it mind, but for a good few minutes I was mentally buying all the rares I needed to build the deck...


Go for it. Why not? It's not netdecking if you make some changes of your own, right? I mean, if using any ideas found online at all is netdecking, then there's no way to avoid it... so make some changes to make it your own and go for it. Experiment. Prototype Portal? Agadeem Occultist?

I'm seriously considering this deck or something like it. I already have most of the cards anyway. I have a white/red Allies deck. I haven't played it in a couple months now just because it wasn't doing so well. It wasn't faster than RDW and wasn't strong enough in the mid to late game for pretty much anything else. But discard and Doom Blade look like good ways to handle all those threats that Lightning Bolts couldn't...
Good article this week.  I would have liked to see more match reports but at least JVL acknowledged this lack in the article itself.

Mimic Vat has got so much potential I wonder whether it will see continued constructed play at the top levels or whether it will be just a real fun casual card?
This was one of the better installments of the column by JVL in my mind. The only flaw was the lack of more match reports, but that's very forgiveable considering he presented his thought process in such an interesting way and made the deck evolve. That's the kind of evolution I expect from him when it fits, not the evolution of weak precons and casual theme decks that previous BoaB authors were doing and some readers still unrealisticly hope for. Those were very enjoyable, but they're not JVL's style at all. Here, while staying completely in his competitive mindset, he managed to deliver. Kudos!

And of course, the resulting deck is very interesting, feels rogue (or at least way under the radar for the current meta), and seems very powerful. Naysayers will complain again about the lack of budget and the number of rares, but consider that there isn't a single Mythic in there, and that none of the rares are chase. Non-chase rares are the new uncommons of the present times; most of them can be purchased for 2 bucks in paper and less than a tix online.

Mimic Vat has got so much potential I wonder whether it will see continued constructed play at the top levels or whether it will be just a real fun casual card?

It'll most likely stand somewhere between these two extremes, but I'm pretty sure it will see more tournament play in the next few months than it does now. It might just be a niche card, but it may also happen that a few decks partly built around it will emerge. To start, I wouldn't be surprised if this WB Ally deck made some major top 8's in the future; it really looks that good to me. Grab your allies and Vats while they're cheap!

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
The deck looks interesting. One match doesn't make for that exciting of an article although it was nice to get some idea of your build process. The article overall felt very light though.
I only read this segment once in awhile, but it seems when I do some interesting deck is being discussed. I think at worst this deck shows that Mimic Vat may be stronger than we all thought. The fact that with a thief you can instant discard is nasty. If there was any more room in the deck I think a proliferate card might be interesting.
True post count: 9,900 Thanks Wotc for not counting archived posts. If I post without capital letters than means I'm posting from my phone. For some reason it hates typing capital letters. Go_Texans on MTGO. Texans 12-4 Wildcard: W Texans 19 Bengals 13 Divisional: L Texans 28 Patriots 41 Another awesome season!
Mimic vat is a very strong card.  While the benefit of recurring a generic Ally seems beneficial, and the strong benefit of locking their hand away (no draw for you!), the VAT really just likes destruction. 

After playing, I found that 8 Ally cards were always UNWANTED in my hand.  the double white ally and the "i can't block so now you're dead" ally.  for me, removing these cards opened a lot of possibilities for the Ally Vat.  With only 16 allys I wanted more card draw.  In come the Wall of Awesome!  One white and one, a 0/4 blocker and if it dies, it turns into "3, 0/4 wall, draw a card" to stall my opponent.  I also found mana count too high (25 lands).  I took out 3 lands, and added 4 thopters (the ones that find basic lands from your deck).  the thopters added a 2nd element for the deck: mana fixing and accleration.  By dropping a Thopter, then a vat, your opponent will now see you dropping a 1/1 flyer (blocks EVERYTHING in type 2) while seeking a basic land for you. 

Now the creature compliment are: gain lifelink (ally), hand destruction (ally), protection (ally), draw (wall), land search (thopter).  That's 24 creatures, 22 lands, 4 vats.  Add in the 8 creature destruction spells and you stil have room for 2 more big-impact cards to tweak your design. 

I'd strongly recommend playtesting the 16 ally version I just mentioned.  I used the memorcide as my two floater cards.

But as I played hte deck, I mroe and more wanted to just blast the board position and clock their hand.  I am going to build a Vess Vat deck that goes Hand destruction, board control with the vat as a win condition.  I am also going to try board control and recursion of infect trample hasters for the wins. 

In the past, one of the troubles with hand-destruction (which is the lock from the Vat) is that anything that hits play gets through.  There was also the issue of what in the heck are you going to win with.   Mimic Vat seems to solve several problems for hand-destruction decks. 
+1 for confusion on the removal of Doom Blade against the deck running the Titan you wanted to kill with it.. was there an explanation for this or just a simple change of mind?

Memoricide is win BTW.

And now it seems Mimic Vat is too.
I ran this deck at FNM last night and added a Sun Titan in. I have to agree that Mimic Vat is a very Broken card!

I played against eldrazi green. Cast Kozilek. Doom Blade in Resoponsce w/ Mimic Vat on the field....Yeah...it was epic =)
Anyone thinking of trying out quest for the nihil stone in this deck?
Could be pretty sweet with instant discard capability. 
could be, unfortunatly, when i ran it at FNM i hardly was able to play Bal Geid Thief half the time.
I don't know, Nihil Stone requires too many things to work right to seal the game for you.  If your growing beaters are not getting the job done on a locked down board, there is something wrong.

I played around with the deck a bit, and Bojuka Brigand did lose me a few game by not being able to block.  Kazandu Blademaster though should definitely stay - both vigilance (race) and first strike (deathtouch, infect) are very relevant.

Pilgrim's Eye would be an excellent addition, offering both defense against flyers and deck thinning.  Would also suggest testing with Semblance Anvil and Nim Deathmantle - The Anvil makes it easier to play your higher costing allies (Bala Ged and Talus), or just to shred your opponent's hand before the vat goes online.  The Deathmantle provides more recursion, and is another way to get ETB triggers.

The deck currently has zero way of dealing with problem artifacts and enchantments, and Revoke Existence feels like it should be in the sideboard somewhere.  Does anyone have better suggestions for MD?
I ran a really similar B/W allies deck at FNM last night and placed 2nd of 15. Doom Blade proved to be worthless, and I'm not sold on Consuming Vapors. I've put x2 Sun Titan in, in place of a Talus Paladin and a Join the Ranks (I mainboarded Join the Ranks instead of Consuming Vapors).
I like the deck. I've always liked Bala Ged Thief, but Mimic Vat slipped under my radar at first.

Here's what I like about the list as presented:

White allies are solid.
Bala Ged Thief is cool.
Doom Blade destroys target nonblack creature. What more could you want?
Oh, and Mimic Vat makes endless copies of it. That's what.

Here's what I didn't like.

Bojuka Brigand. He wishes he were Oran-Rief Survivalist. After talking it over with a friend, I wished he were, too.
Consuming Vapors. It's pretty lackluster when your opponent drops a 5/5 that makes 6 plant tokens. Probably an OK sideboard card. Also, the fact that it costs 4 isn't as good in an agressive deck. (Mimic Vat and Doom Blade are NOT lackluster in that situation. In that situation, it's like Christmas crossed with the Super Bowl.)
Too much land, not enough mana fixin. It's a quantity over quality thing.
Also, no good card-advantage stuff.

Here's the list I put together:
Creatures:
4 Hada Freeblade
4 Kazandu Blademaster
4 Kabira Evangel
4 Oran-Rief Survivalist
4 Harabaz Druid
4 Bala Ged Thief
2 Ondu Cleric
2 Talus Paladin

Spells:
4 Doom Blade
4 Mimic Vat
2 Grim Discovery

Lands:
4 Marsh Flats
4 Verdant Catacombs
2 Swamp
4 Forest
5 Plains
3 Sunpetal Grove

Sideboard:
Some pretty random stuff.
I had the foresight to put in a few Nature's Claims, my only copy of Memoricide (I thought I had two! Oh well.) Duress was there (Only time it was in my hand, my opponent played Duress on me, and took it away. Ha!) and an extra Ondu Cleric. I had a couple other cards in the sideboard that never saw play.

About 10 minutes after putting it together, I took the deck to 3-1 at a recent tuesday-night constructed tournament. It was a lot of fun to play!

If I would change anything, it would be to swap the groves for Razorverge Thicket. I had at least one turn-two Freeblade because Sunpetal Grove was the only white sourcein my hand. So, it doesn't do mana fixing VERY well, but I was never totally hosed. Harabaz Druid made up for that deficiency in a number of cases despite her fragility. Oran-Rief Survivalist ate enough bolts and counterspells to make me start to question the accuracy of his name. But honestly, he was still my least-interesting Ally.

That said, this deck is actually pretty resilient to Pyroclasm, unlike Elves or WW Quest. Oh, and with all the fetches, the deck LOVES Grim Discovery. Every time I cast it, it grabbed a fetch land and a relevant creature from the 'yard. Even if you're running the White/Black list, with just Marsh Flats, and a couple of Terramorphic Expanse, the card is maindeckable. Sure, you may side it out for more specific answers, but there's no question about the card advantage it offers.

I'm super-pumped about this deck. Mimic Vat is awesome.
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