8/6/2012 FtL: "Stand Hard"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's From the Lab, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Okay, I hardly ever read this article, but I bothered to today, and I've just got to comment on the explanation of that last deck: Really?

Let's assume a turn 5 win by having your opponent "be defensive".  Oh, I mean "be a goldfish".  Who's falling for this?  Decks have their own game plans, and any good deck can goldfish into either a win or else complete control of the board by turn 5.  Why are we assuming an opponent who's going to be "defensive" without actually defending himself?  That's just insulting people's intelligence.

More importantly, who's falling for this more than once?  No player, I don't care how casual, is going to build a deck that loses to a one trick pony like this and say "Oh, I think I'll keep playing this deck so I can keep getting killed in the exact same way game after game because I can't think of a way to get a 4-for-1 from my opponent overcommitting."  It might be fun to win like that once, but when your opponent starts playing a deck with some answers - which will inevitably happen - then this deck will be boring and weak and disappointing.  Suggesting decks that are only effective when they overcommit is bad faith.

Anyway, I realize this is a casual column and I'm not in the intended demographic.  But I do know some casual players, even some very new players, who take suggestions like this at face value.  Slumbering Dragon is a new player trap in so many ways already, why would you suggest a deck that exposes all its weaknesses to their maximum?  How is that good marketing?  All you're doing is setting people up to fail.
Okay, I hardly ever read this article, but I bothered to today, and I've just got to comment on the explanation of that last deck: Really?

Let's assume a turn 5 win by having your opponent "be defensive".  Oh, I mean "be a goldfish".  Who's falling for this?  Decks have their own game plans, and any good deck can goldfish into either a win or else complete control of the board by turn 5.  Why are we assuming an opponent who's going to be "defensive" without actually defending himself?  That's just insulting people's intelligence.

More importantly, who's falling for this more than once?  No player, I don't care how casual, is going to build a deck that loses to a one trick pony like this and say "Oh, I think I'll keep playing this deck so I can keep getting killed in the exact same way game after game because I can't think of a way to get a 4-for-1 from my opponent overcommitting."  It might be fun to win like that once, but when your opponent starts playing a deck with some answers - which will inevitably happen - then this deck will be boring and weak and disappointing.  Suggesting decks that are only effective when they overcommit is bad faith.

Anyway, I realize this is a casual column and I'm not in the intended demographic.  But I do know some casual players, even some very new players, who take suggestions like this at face value.  Slumbering Dragon is a new player trap in so many ways already, why would you suggest a deck that exposes all its weaknesses to their maximum?  How is that good marketing?  All you're doing is setting people up to fail.



To be honest the dragon is better off being used in a deck where it just sits there as a potential threat waiting to swing in off a blessings/increasing savagery but with actual other creatures that you can win with as well. That way when they kill the dragon you have other actual relevant creatures in play, not just a bunch of 1/1s and 0/1s.
Ring of Kalonia is for green creatures and the combo with the disciple is so-so: to draw each turn you have to cast creatures in between, but what's the point if you sacrifice them.

Meh...

Rules Advisor

The Basic rulebook, read it! A lot of basic questions are answered there!

How to autocard :
Type [c]Black Lotus[/c] to get Black Lotus.
Type [c=Black Lotus]The Overpowered One[/c] to get The Overpowered One.

My combo for Disciple of Bolas is Conjurer's closet and a creature stealing spell like Mark of Muntiny. It makes for a Slave of Bolas effect that also nets you life and cards. Pretty fun for the late game before dropping Nic himself! Now thats the standard deck I wanna see on Standard week! Nicol Bolas cruel control.
Yeah. Turn 2 Go for the throat (Murder/Victim of Night) or turn 3 Brimstone Volley and goodbye combo.
The second deck was the best but I don't see it going really far. 

Wow, I love the utterly-colourless artifact lifegain deck. That's pretty nifty. It almost feels like a pity that Sphere of the Suns and Gilded Lotus produce coloured mana...


I think Slumbering Dragon would be best when given a Mask of Avacyn or Swiftfoot Boots.

Nicol Bolas cruel control.



I too would love to see some sort of article in favour for a Nicol flavoured Grixis Control variant.

The Slumbering deck looks like ass, but that black green Disciple beatdown looks pretty awesome! Even if an enourmous trick was missed by not having the beautiful vorapede in it.
I want to be Cultured.
Ok, I just had to document a game I played with that Slumber Party deck on Magic Online a while back.

My opening hand was one spell and six lands, so I threw it back.  The second hand was 4 lands and 2 Blessings of Nature, so that was no good either. I ended up mulliganing 3 more times until I ended up with an opening hand consisting of a dragon, a Reverberate, and a Ring of Kalonia.  Not really liking that either, but also not wanting to go to 2, I kept it.

I went first, but as I had no land, I just passed the turn.  My opponent takes his first turn: Forest, Llanowar Elves.

On turn two, thankfully I drew a Mountain, so I played it and the dragon.  Opponent plays another Forest, then taps both lands plus the elves to play Predator Ooze.

Turn three. I draw another Mountain, play it, and pass the turn. He plays Forest number three, then taps his four green sources to play Increasing Savagery on his Ooze! I could not believe it. Naturally I tap two Mountains and Reverberate the Savagery onto my dragon, bringing it to 8/8 and putting me in business.

He attacks with the ooze, bringing it to 7/7 and my dragon to 9/9, which I block, I then counterattack, taking him to 11.  On his next turn, he attacks with both the ooze and the elves, bringing me to 11, but also taking my dragon to 11/11.

He scoops on the next turn as soon as I declare my attack.

And that's the story of how I won with a three card hand. 
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