11/11/2010 TD: "Back-to-Back Awesome Sauce"

16 posts / 0 new
Last post
This thread is for discussion of this week's Top Decks Article, which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com.
This, I liked.  Thank you Flores.
"Conspicuous by its absence: No Mind Sludge."

Also conspicuous: No Cruel Ultimatum.
"Conspicuous by its absence: No Mind Sludge."

Also conspicuous: No Cruel Ultimatum.



Cruel Ultimatum isn't in standard and the deck doesn't have the correct mana for it anyway.  Mind Sludge. however, works in a heavy swamp deck.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
I liked the article and the game-reports but can someone explain those "overall" numbers to me??
I assume the numbers are his constructed rating changes through the matches.
Final life totals?
Mike, you've got to stop with the "he or she", it reads like a train wreck.  We remember that you totally used to listen to Sleater-Kinney and aren't sexist.
"Conspicuous by its absence: No Mind Sludge."

Also conspicuous: No Cruel Ultimatum.



Cruel Ultimatum isn't in standard and the deck doesn't have the correct mana for it anyway.  Mind Sludge. however, works in a heavy swamp deck.



Maybe I was being obtuse. My point was that the deck is an aggressive sligh deck (8 Isamarus) that has a curve that stops at three, 22 lands, and a strong desire to end the game by turn four. Adding Mind Sludge to the deck is the equivalent of adding Emrakul, the Aeon's Torn.

It's about as "obvious" an inclusion as adding Squee, Goblin Nabob to Vengevine Survival, which Flores also recommended. I think it's important for his newer readers to learn why these ideas aren't any good, as they deny the theory of tempo and constitute win-more strategies.

I don't know much about this deck, but I don't really get the second keep in round 4 either.  For reference:

Explore
Explore
Lotus Cobra
Lotus Cobra
Goblin Ruinblaster
Island
Misty Rainforest

I mean other than the Goblin Ruinblaster, it's a bunch of conditional mana sources where the conditions aren't met.  Is the idea to cast Explores without any lands to drop, or just to drop Lotus Cobras and hope we topdeck some business or multiple lands in a row?  The Explores look so useless here that I'm tempted to consider this hand pre-mulliganed anyway...
I don't know much about this deck, but I don't really get the second keep in round 4 either.  For reference:

Explore
Explore
Lotus Cobra
Lotus Cobra
Goblin Ruinblaster
Island
Misty Rainforest

I mean other than the Goblin Ruinblaster, it's a bunch of conditional mana sources where the conditions aren't met.  Is the idea to cast Explores without any lands to drop, or just to drop Lotus Cobras and hope we topdeck some business or multiple lands in a row?  The Explores look so useless here that I'm tempted to consider this hand pre-mulliganed anyway...


He's on the draw, so it's pretty likely that he WILL draw a 3rd land by turn 2 or 3.  If he gets a 3rd land turn 2, he can drop it, drop the cobra, then next turn, if he draws another land (or preordain), he can drop a cobra, play the fetch (5 mana), explore (6 mana).  If the explore drew him another land or a preordain, he can drop the other explore (7 mana) at which point, if he STILL hasn't drew a business spell, he can drop a ruinblaster and ask his opponent what he plans on doing against such an insane mana advantage turn 3.  Note that if he didn't get any business spells, he most probably at least got a leak or bolt, which is nice considering that dropping the ruinblaster leaves him with open mana!  I know this isn't quite the likeliest scenario (though it's far from impossible), but dropping a ruinblaster turn 3 with counterspell mana open is pretty amazing.
If he draws his land turn 2 but not one turn three, turn three he can still play the 2nd cobra, into rainforest into ruinblaster, which is far from terrible.
If he doesn't draw a land by turn 2, he can still drop the cobra turn 2, then hope to topdeck a land turn 3.  If the topdecked land is a fetch, see above, if it isn't, it's still a turn 3 ruinblaster.  If he doesn't topdeck a land turn 3, then he can always try an explore and hope for a 3rd land into a second cobra.
Not having a business spell to go with all that acceleration isn't that troublesome because his deck is built around getting those business spells easily.  Having his whole hand hinge on getting a 3rd land is a little bothersome, but not to the point of mulliganing, especially considering how insane it can get if he does get the 3rd land.  Remember that he's on the draw, has two cantrips in his hands, 4 preordains in the deck and 27 lands in the deck.  I don't want to go into the statistics, but I'd be pretty confident in my chances to get my 3rd land at least by turn 3.

Anyway, I follow standard on and off right now since I've been focussing on limited more, so I don't know if that's been pretty common for uw control in standard since SoM, but I really love the clasp in Kurt Spiess's deck.  I know it was an obvious card for decks with a bunch of planeswalker and the combo with the chalice was also pretty easy to figure out, but I was always unsure wether or not it would actually get played, or if it would just be considered too cute.  I especially like the fact that it really combines well with another card that is often considered "too cute": luminarch ascenssion.  Again, this may all be common knowledge for those who are really into the standard scene, but it's new to me and I like it.
Darksun: That was really helpful, thanks
Pretty sure Mike made an error.  Jordan faced Swasey in the finals, not one of the Kuldotha Red players.
2:25 PM sneakattackkid: my basics are worth more... 5:21 PM Nighthavk_: I was splitting more 8-4s than a hooker splits her legs. 11:42 PM Nighthavk_: because honestly, your opponent may be caw, but he'll probably be a drooling idiot who just found out porn exists.
I just wanted to raise a point that I know he mentioned in passing at the end but was interested in other people's ideas.

One of the best pieces of advice when it came to preparing decks for tournament that I ever received was this:

"If you build your deck and test it, and you find yourself sideboarding in/out a card/s more than 50% of the time, then that card should most probably be included/excluded in the main deck"

I build and test and prepare all my decks with this moto. Its basic common sense, if you find a card you need more often than you wont need it sitting in our sideboard, or find you side it out more often than you keep it, you need to make some permanant changes to your main deck.

This case was a perfect one because there wasn't only a card you were siding OUT the deck almost every game, but there was also a card you were siding INTO the deck with the same frequency.  In almost every single matchup (bar 1), you were more happy to keep pyroclasm than runeblaster. I  know pyroclasm is a specific sort of card, very conditional, but when you look at it objectively, runeblasters were probably even MORE conditional (you probably need to go first which happens about 50% of the time, need runeblaster in first 10 cards, opponent  needs a nonbasic land target, it needs to resolve, AND your opponent needs to struggle to recover which only happens if he isn't playing his own landfetch and mana acceleration).

All I am saying is so many people look at cards like pyroclasm and think: "Sideboard" immediately, and it definitely doesn't occur to them that perhaps in this environment main board is warranted. 

Its pretty funny that this article caught my eye because I had a similar situation when the original Mirrodin was standard, with the same card no less. I was playing a Tooth and Nail deck at the time and I looked at the decks that were at the top and beating me with any regularity. They were Affinity, Goblins, White wheeny and Land destruction. Turns out the second turn Pyroclasm sorted out 3 of the 4 decks because it bought me enough time to get off an oblivion stone/mindslaver into Tooth and Nail..... *scoop*. So I did something pretty unusual and splashed red in a traditionally monogreen deck and no less than 4 pyroclasms. This allowed me much more freedom to focus my sideboard on specific problem cards. I went around cleaning up most of the tournaments in my area.
I just wanted to raise a point that I know he mentioned in passing at the end but was interested in other people's ideas.

One of the best pieces of advice when it came to preparing decks for tournament that I ever received was this:

"If you build your deck and test it, and you find yourself sideboarding in/out a card/s more than 50% of the time, then that card should most probably be included/excluded in the main deck"

I build and test and prepare all my decks with this moto. Its basic common sense, if you find a card you need more often than you wont need it sitting in our sideboard, or find you side it out more often than you keep it, you need to make some permanant changes to your main deck.

This case was a perfect one because there wasn't only a card you were siding OUT the deck almost every game, but there was also a card you were siding INTO the deck with the same frequency.  In almost every single matchup (bar 1), you were more happy to keep pyroclasm than runeblaster. I  know pyroclasm is a specific sort of card, very conditional, but when you look at it objectively, runeblasters were probably even MORE conditional (you probably need to go first which happens about 50% of the time, need runeblaster in first 10 cards, opponent  needs a nonbasic land target, it needs to resolve, AND your opponent needs to struggle to recover which only happens if he isn't playing his own landfetch and mana acceleration).

All I am saying is so many people look at cards like pyroclasm and think: "Sideboard" immediately, and it definitely doesn't occur to them that perhaps in this environment main board is warranted. 

Its pretty funny that this article caught my eye because I had a similar situation when the original Mirrodin was standard, with the same card no less. I was playing a Tooth and Nail deck at the time and I looked at the decks that were at the top and beating me with any regularity. They were Affinity, Goblins, White wheeny and Land destruction. Turns out the second turn Pyroclasm sorted out 3 of the 4 decks because it bought me enough time to get off an oblivion stone/mindslaver into Tooth and Nail..... *scoop*. So I did something pretty unusual and splashed red in a traditionally monogreen deck and no less than 4 pyroclasms. This allowed me much more freedom to focus my sideboard on specific problem cards. I went around cleaning up most of the tournaments in my area.


I disagree with this.  I don't quite recall who it was, or even what deck he was playing, but I remember a pro player winning a pro tour who was constantly siding out a card after game 1.  He was later asked why he even maindecked that card and the answer was more or less: "It's decent against both control and aggro, so it's never bad game 1.  However, game 2, there's always a better card I can put in.  Unfortunatly, the better card in the control matchup is totally worthless in the aggro matchup and vice versa."  There is nothing wrong with having a generally good card in your MD that you end up siding out a lot for more matchup specific cards.  A good example is a generally good 2 drop in white weenie that you side out for firewalker against mono red, arbiter against ramp, etc.  If that generally good 2 drop is stronger than firewalker against ramp, and is stronger than arbiter against mono red, then switching it for either firewalker or arbiter in your MD is not necessarely the correct decision.
In this case, you really don't want to MD pyroclasm unless you know for a fact that the large majority of your matchups are aggro.  Pyroclasm is completely dead against u/w control.
Also, it's not just "how often do I side it out or in", it's also "how strong does it make my worst matchup".  Now, I don't know the current matchups that well, so this is all hypothetical, but if your pre-board aggro matchup is already strong, while your pre-board control matchup is weak, then it makes sense to keep the ruinblaster MD even if you know you'll meet more aggro than control.

In your example for instance, aggro was your weak matchup, so MDing pyroclasm is a fine decision.  Is it the case here?  Maybe he was expecting a large amount of control decks and therefore prefered playing the ruinblaster over the pyroclasm?  Or maybe he was confident in his aggro matchup but less so with the control matchup?

Do note that the metagame Flores played the deck in is NOT the same metagame the original list was ment to play in.  Single game MTGO queues isn't the same as a Star City Open event.  The MD ruinblaster could very well be the correct choice for the Star City Open and the wrong choice in a different event. 
I hear what you are saying. Obviously if you are being more cautious then you don't want a dead card sitting in your main deck so you'd rather have something that can do something against everyone and then side it out for more specific answers in game 2 and 3. I get that, and I certainly am not saying that pyroclasm should definitely be in the main bored. I was saying t should be considered if it improves your bad matchups as you pointed out it did in my case.

Its all down to the numbers really. If it's dead against control but it improves the other 75% of the matchups then for me that's a risk worth taking.  It just means if I DO come up against control then I will probably be dropping the first game, BUT my sideboard will be more heavily loaded to make the changes against control decks.  On the plus side too, the control guys will wet themseves when they see 10 cards coming in from the sideboard for the second game and they will know that the deck they're facing in the second game is castly different to the one they just saw. As for the aggro games the pyroclasms would sure catch must of the aggro decks by surprise in game 1 too giving you a great advantage. 
Sign In to post comments