50% Turn 1 Kill?

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Hi all,

I saw a deck over on starcity with the potential to lay claim to the title of 'fastest deck in legacy', which quite frequently kills on turn 1. I saw the deck and began brainstorming ways to make it even faster and more consistent.



 The idea is to win on turn 1. If you cast or reanimate either of the new gatecrash cards, you target yourself and mill your deck since you have no lands. You dread return (saccing narcomoeba) reanimating angel of glory's rise, bringing back azami and maniac. You then tap maniac for the win. If they have removal, tap azami for the win. If you aren't about to die and are worried about 2 removal spells you can also simply pass the turn.

 The fast mana should be obvious, although summoner's pact is there to get more elvish spirit guide or the 1x wild cantor in case you have plenty of mana but no black sources (colored mana is a big issue for this deck).

 The cabal therapy allows you to discard combo pieces you have drawn by targeting yourself. It also can be used to target yourself to get a win with reanimate, or you can target your opponent naming FoW, etc. 

If it isn't clear from the list, when playing this deck you should mulligan aggressively. You have a ton of ways to have a combo piece in your opener, but minimal card draw. The list I drew from had full playsets of street wraith and gitaxian probe, both great cards in this deck but they do make mulligan decisions much harder.

Perhaps the main draw of the non-reanimator version with playsets of free cantrips found here (www.starcitygames.com/article/25582_Unve...) is the ability to sideboard into a mediocre belcher deck for game 2 when your opponent loads up on now worthless graveyard hate.

I strongly suggest you read the article for a more in-depth look at the deck.

EDIT: Sideboarding with this type of very 'all-in' combo deck is challenging. You can transform to belcher to dodge hate if you use the cantrip list. You can fit 2-3 pact of negation into the maindeck of this deck and try to somehow transform into a weird hive mind/mill kill concoction. You can load up on anti-hate cards.  Note that if you aren't transforming and your opponent is removal light you can add fiend hunter taking out maniac and azami for a more efficient kill (miling them with angel of glory's rise/wild cantor/fiend hunter/undercity informer).

We've already done this deck (or at least a similar version).  Going for the turn two win is more consistent and less fragile.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

EDIT:  @Azure:  No, you haven't done it before.  That deck is completely different.  It's a lot slower and while the finish is the same, the actual combo isn't even similar.  This is very much a Belcher or Storm style combo deck (fast, multi-card combo), while that one is much more like a Reanimator or Show and Tell deck (a two card combo).

Did you even try goldfishing the deck as is before?  I'm guessing not, because what the deck didn't need was more "rituals" which are what the Entomb/Reanimate really are.  They save you one or two mana on the combo.

The problem with the Entomb/Reanimate idea is that you have to have both of them before it matters.  You can't keep a hand with just one or the other because it doesn't do anything.  If you leave the "cantrips" in the deck, they're very likely to be a mill engine or mana the vast majority of the time.  When I was goldfishing it, I found that in most cases if you're missing one mana, there were around 25-30 live draws left in the deck (counting cantrips).  However, with this deck, if you're short a mana, you've eliminated 8 live draws (you cut a mana source in Grim Monolith).

Also, the point of the cantrips wasn't that you could sideboard into Belcher.  It was that you often just need to rip through the deck to find the last couple of combo pieces.

Some of my observations in goldfishing it:

I think I want exatly one Bridge from Below.  I often found that my hand developed into a state where it was impossible to win.  Usually, this happened when I had 1x Narcomoeba in hand, one combo piece (Angel, Return, Maniac, Azami) and my mill engine in hand was an Undercity Informer.  If that happened, I would not have enough creatures on board to Cabal Therapy myself to get rid of the combo piece and flashback Dread Return.  If you have a Bridge, you can sac a dude to Therapy and still flashback Return.

I often had no way to generate the first black mana.  Without a Petal, a Pact (or the Cantor) or a black card you can imprint on a Mox, it can be hard to start ritualing.  I had numerous situations where I had access to something like 8 mana total, but no way to actually get past the first mana because I couldn't make black mana.  I don't think there's an easy way to fix this, and it's likely just a weakness of the deck.

Still, the deck did feel pretty strong.  It felt a bit faster than Belcher, but when the deck didn't immediately win turn 1 or 2, it's because you have no chance of winning period.
I mean, sure, it has the same kill, but the decks are very different. How fragile this list is, is a problem. I would like to fit pact of negation main. I would consider this deck somewhat of a meta choice. If 'fair' decks like elves are a reasonable part of your meta, then you have great game 1 and 3 odds, and you might even get lucky game 2. In terms of what cards should be run, this deck has very different considerations, such that I believe it deserves its own thread. Also, that deck you posted has been developing over time, while this one is still in its infancy. I believe that if a deck is faster than any other in a format, even if its a massive glass cannon, it deserves testing. It may end up being a terrible deck (i.e. kuldotha red in past standard) but I still think how to make it the best possible should be discussed.

EDIT: @MadAdmiral, I goldfished the first list maybe 50 times and played a couple actual matches. I agree with you in many cases however, in my testing I often wasnt drawing spy/informer even as an 8 of. Also, the useless reanimate cards will often go on mox, and as you mentioned thats a big deal. Also while I cut a ritual (monolith) you agree that the cards I add act somewhat as rituals by reducing the cost of the combo to 2 or 3

I agree that the reanimate version draws into outs worse, but it also will have more keepable 6 or 7 card hands. Its likely the original is better, but my reanimator list is also much less tested so the numbers may be off. 
I don't think you can fit Pact of Negation anywhere.  Using the original list (because it's the closest to being "there"), you can't cut any of the 18 combo cards (the 8 millers, Therapy, Nacros, the kill).  The deck would struggle if you cut more than one or two mana sources (34 pieces).  The cantrips could be flexible, but then you're really sacrificing a ton of speed for protection.  I think this deck is best when you just don't care about counters.  If you push it in terms of speed, you can ignore any hand disruption, graveyard disruption and only have to worry about one particular counterspell (Force of Will).  Plus, many decks are shaving FoWs because the format is pretty grindy and midrangey at the moment.

I don't think this deck is "terrible".  It's as good as Belcher is/every was.  Sure, this deck also loses to graveyard hate (really just Surgical Extraction and Leyline of the Void), but at the cost of having a more consistent turn 1 kill.
@MadAdmiral: I did some testing of the reanimator version and it appears inferior as you predicted.

Traditional (starcity) Version: (6,1,3,1,6,1,1,1,3,2,1,1,1,2,4)
Reanimator Version: (3,4,3,2,2,1,2,1,5,2,8,2,1,2,3)    (The numbers are turn I goldfish won)

The basic mulligan strategy was basically mull all hands without a kill-con (mulligan unless you have spy, informer, or for reanimator entomb+reanimate/dread return). I'd keep lotus bloom+dark ritual+5x cantrip and similar hands, but those would tend to be quite rare. 

A hand like manamorphose, ESG, lotus bloom, cabal ritual, gitaxian probe, street wraith, dread return is a mulligan as you have 3 draw steps to get an 8 of, and need a mana source. My calculations, taking into account the cantrips in the starcity version, put the probability of drawing spy/informer at 46%. Given that you have spy informer, the odds one of the other two cards is a mana source is 84% (I take the simplifying approx of qualifying chrome mox as a mana source, so the real number is lower). Thus, if you try to 'go for it' turn 1 with this hand, you have approximately a 36% chance of winning the game even if they have no force, which seems like terrible odds unless you know that they are playing a deck that will drop your chances to less than 36%. I assuming game 1 match 1 in which case, having a 36% chance to win game 1 as combo is unacceptably low. 

If I have spy/informer, then I need to be only 1 mana short of the combo to keep, counting cantrips as 1/2 a mana. For example I would keep ESG, Lotus Bloom, 2x Probe, Spy, 1x Narcomoeba, 1x Azami, Lady of scrolls. Its not the best hand but it should be as good as the average keepable six and much better than the average 5.  

I got a little sidetracked with my explanation, but if anyone has input in helping design a 'mulligan algorithm' it would be interesting, as a person (possibly me) could code it and then simulate a million games, and be able to see how changing the deck effects the win %.
On the reanimation list:  It's true that the reanimate package acts as a ritual.  However, it only works that way if you have both in hand.  If you have both in hand, it would be approximately the same as having another mana anyways because the cantrips are very likely to hit mana.

Lotus Bloom is a different card than Lotus Petal...

Here's what I did when goldfishing last night:

Keep:
4+ mana, Spy/Inform, 0 or 1 combo (obviously)
4+ mana, 1+ cantrips, 0 or 1 combo
2-3 mana with Spy/Inform and 1+ cantrips, 0 or 1 combo
4+ mana, Spy, 1 Narco, 1 other combo (cause you can sac the Spy to Therapy yourself and still have 3 creatures in play)

Mulls:
0-3 mana, no Spy/Inform, no matter how many cantrips (unless you're feeling lucky)
1 Narco and 1 other combo piece without a Spy (if you hit another combo piece and no Spy, you immediately lose)
2 Narcos without 4+ mana and a Spy (Spy lets you still win, but Informer won't)
1 Narco and 1 other combo piece that would mill with Informer (can't Therapy the combo and Return)

Exceptions:
If the combo piece that will be stuck in hand is Azami, but you also have an extra cantrip (preferably Wraith), you can keep it because you can win with the free draw spell.

I think that about covers it.  Remember that Cantor isn't actually a mana source (it's net 0), and you also need to make sure you can make black mana.  I don't know if you have some way to code that in, but some of the mana sources should be labeled as "black" sources to get it started.  There should be 4 unconditional black sources (Petals) and 13 conditonal one (Mox, Cantor, Pacts, Manamorphose).

I think if I can squeeze a Bridge in the list, some of the mulligans become keeps since you can Therapy the combo pieces and still have 3 creatures to flashback Return.
I've been looking at this one. It's interesting, though I don't know if I can claim yet that it's better than Belcher.


4 Balustrade Spy
4 Undercity Informer
1 Ad Nauseam 

4 Gitaxian Probe
3 Manamorphose

4 Chrome Mox
4 Summoner's Pact
4 Elvish Spirit Guide
4 Lotus Petal
4 Lion's Eye Diamond 
4 Dark Ritual
4 Cabal Ritual

4 Pact of Negation
3 Cabal Therapy  

4 Narcomoeba
1 Bridge from Below 
1 Dread Return
1 Laboratory Maniac
1 Azami
1 Angel of Glory's Rise 

I haven't tested this at all, but it seems to me that any black deck that makes a crapton of mana on turn 1 and has an expected life loss of 1.6 could do pretty well with AN. 5 mana+AN seems just as keepable as 4 mana+Spy.

Etiamnunc sto, etiamsi caelum ruat.
I really don't like the AN and LED.  They simply don't do anything.  LED doesn't count as a mana source because literally the only way you'd ever use it is if you had an AN in hand and no Spy/Inform.  AN isn't going to be keepable that often because it's significantly harder to get to black mana, then you have to waste BB to cast it.  Then, you still have to hope you don't hit multiple 4-drops, as you'll typically need to hit at least 1 3 drop, 1 2 drop, 1 1 drop and either a 0 drop (Pact) or another 1-3 drop to even win the game.  It's going to be rare that you get to AN with mana floating.  And on top of that, you need to make sure you don't hit more than 1 Narco and 1 of the other combo pieces or 2 Narcos and an Informer.  That's a lot of conditions for it to even be playable, much less good.

I also don't like the complete lack of any card draw.  You can keep a lot of hands in the 8 cantrip version simply because you can draw into the last mana or into a Spy/Informer or whatever.  With this version, you pretty much have to have the combo already in hand.  Sure, you've got AN, but that's not really a replacement for the 8 cantrips.

I don't like cutting two black sources (one Manamorphose, one Cantor).  I had a hard enough time actually getting black mana to satrt ritualling that cutting two sources is pretty rough.

I hate the lack of SSG.  Like I said, it was already kind of difficult to get black mana, and with this version you're cutting off one route to getting the black mana (2x Spirit Guides into Manamorphose).

I'm also not a huge fan of Pact of Negation in these decks.  Like I said, if you're worried about counterspells, you shouldn't be playing this deck at all.

All-in-all, I think the LED/AN version is the worst of the three ideas so far.
LED is not something I'm ecstatic about. It is in all of the versions I have found, and is used to activate Informer just as it is used to activate Belcher in Belcher decks. It has the same narrow use, and I don't really like it all that much. I tried abusing it with Infernal Tutor, but that felt clunky. The unfortunate truth I don't know what to replace it with, especially in the AN version.

I don't think you understand how AN works. I don't care if I "waste" BB on it and then draw 4 black sources off it. Or just one and any of my 8 rituals. I don't care if I can cast it with mana floating, I will draw mana off it, almost guaranteed. With an expected life loss of 1.6 per card, you should typically draw 10-14 cards. I don't care if I hit multiple combo pieces, I run 3 Cabal Therapies and after an AN, I can probably cast at least one from hand. And, wait, hold on, you didn't even read my list past the AN!! I didn't replace the 8 cantrips with it. 4 Probes+3 Manamorphose="complete lack of any card draw", to use your exact words?

Pact of Negation is fine here. In fact, it's better than fine. This is a combo deck with such a compact win that you can add 4 Pacts and 3 Therapies to protect it without interfering with the combo itself. If you can have the exact same combo either protected or unprotected, without diluting it, then duh. Putting in 4 Pact (or Force if your version runs enough Blue) is just common sense.

But then, I'm sure you didn't just auto-respond to my post. I'm sure you at least goldfished several hands, if not outright tested it. What was your mulligan rate? Your average goldfish turn? How much life did you usually lose from AN? How many hands did you have that had AN but couldn't hit 5 mana?

You're a very smart player, and a knowledgeable Legacy expert, but I think you have a tendency to instantly reject my ideas on principle. Sometimes I agree with you, sometimes I don't. But I don't tell you that your ideas are the worst I've ever seen. I don't use words like "hate" to describe your proposed changes. I don't reply negatively to literally everything you write. If you keep being this confrontational, you're not going to get any better as a player. The people who get better as players are the ones who reply to new ideas with "Why are you doing it that way? What numbers can you give me? What if you used this card instead?", i.e. questions instead of auto-denials. I came in here with the idea of using AN as an engine. I never said it was a great idea, in fact I specifically said it was untested. I brought it here for feedback, so that I could learn from others if it was a good idea. I did not bring it here for argument and condescension.
Etiamnunc sto, etiamsi caelum ruat.
I did miss the Gitaxian Probes.  My bad...

I'd rather play SSG over LEDs, even in the AN version.  Sure, they hurt you a bit more, but they're unconditional mana and don't just have to be used with only 5 cards in the deck.  LEDs are pretty dead if you don't have either an Informer or AN.

I know how AN works.  However, like I said, it becomes much more of a crap shoot.  If you AN without any mana floating (which is going to happen a lot), you will now have to continue until you hit a Spy/Informer, 4 mana (total) and a black source, while not hitting more than 1-2 combo peices.  While having more Therapies seems fine to combat drawing the combo problem, you're usually restricted on creatures on board, which is a major problem.  On top of all that, you lose extra "protection" by not having an extra source of instant speed draw (the Wraiths).

While AN might not actually kill you all that often (and I know it won't), I still don't like it because flipping certain cards makes it almost the same as killing yourself.  I found in my testing (with the original build, as I'm still working out the mulliganing) that most of the time you lose it's because you get too many combo pieces in hand.  Adding a 3rd Therapy and the Bridge fixes that, but adding a huge draw spell hurts that.

I stand by my Pact statements.  If you're worried about counterspells (or removal), you shouldn't be playing this deck.  Much like Belcher, if you need to pack protection, you should be playing a different deck.  This deck is only going to succeed when the field isn't prepared for it.  If you're concerned with people being able to mulligan into FoW, don't play the deck.

I didn't say this was the "worst idea I've ever seen".  I said I think it's the worst of the 3 builds presented within this thread.  If the plan was to switch into Belcher post board, I like your list better than the original one because 7 mana is way too much to get without LEDs.  I jus don't like AN in it because it creates situations with fewer nut draws and introduces more variance.  I don't like the lack of SSG because it's fewer sources of completely unconditional mana, going from 12 unconditional sources (Petal, ESG, SSG, S. Pact) to 8 makes it less likely to actually go off without drawing extra cards.  I don't like the Pacts because it's contrary to what the deck's purpose actually is.  I don't like cutting the Wraiths because they're "free" draw spells that create a lot of nut draws and provide an extra layer of protection against non-blue decks.

I like AN as an engine in decks where you can generate a ton of mana and actually need a ton of cards to win, such as ANT.  However, this deck struggles to produce much more than 4 mana and actively doesn't want to draw a ton of cards (so that the combo stays in the deck).  If you really, really want an engine in this deck, I think Spoils of the Vault would be much, much better than AN as an engine for this kind of deck, as you either hit the card you need and win, or you don't and lose.

I will say I really like the addition of the Bridge.  I'm probably going to switch a SSG for one just because I'm finding that most of the "losses" (i.e. non-turn 1 kills on play or draw) are because I can't get enough creatures on board to Therapy combo pieces out of my hand and still flashback Return rather than not having enough mana.

One other potential direction this deck can take is switching out the Angel/Azami/Maniac kill suite for The Mimeoplasm, Triskelion and Lord of Extinction.  The Mimeo package is better against removal, but the Maniac kill turns off Leyline of Sanctity losses.  I could easily see sideboarding one or the other.
This deck actively wants to draw lots of cards. If you're scared of drawing combo pieces, run more Therapies and maybe some Careful Studies. It's a "one-card combo", like Belcher, but that doesn't mean you want just that one card and nothing else, you want that one card and as much mana as you can possibly hold.

Spoils, much as I love it and encourage it's use, is not as good as AN here. You keep talking about wasting precious Black sources? AN replaces them; Spoils does not. It also exiles any combo pieces it hits, meaning they're just gone. With AN, you can Therapy them away, probably all of them (3 Therapies, you expect to hit 4+ combo pieces?). 

I'm the Cheeri0s guy; you seriously think I don't know how to walk into a room with a "Screw Force" attitude? Cheeri0s can't afford the space of 4 Pacts. This deck can, and as long as it can, there's simply no reason not to run them. You only need one card and 4 mana, so it doesn't dilute the combo. You suddenly have free protection against the only card that hoses you. Have you ever seen the original Hermit Druid decks? All 4 Forces, all 4 Therapies. Hermit Druid wasn't just ban-worthy because it was a 2-mana one card combo. It was ban-worthy because it was a one card combo that could afford the space to defend itself. If you don't see it, I simply don't understand how to explain it. (50% Turn 1 Rate with free Protection)>(50% turn 1 combo without free protection).  Can you imagine how powerful Belcher would be if it could run 4 Pact of Negation without diluting itself? If one of the fastest combo decks in the format was suddenly resistant to Force and din't lose any speed at all?
Etiamnunc sto, etiamsi caelum ruat.
@SereneChaos Having tried testing multiple versions (mono-black, starcity, starcity+reanimator, reanimator-mono-black, etc) the starcity version has been the most consistent. While MadAdmiral is blunt, I believe his advice is rooted in experience and while I don't always agree with him, he right more often than not. Brewing is great but every acticle I've read by pros discussing the process says that you need to expect 90+% of your ideas to be terrible. I want pact of negation to work to but my testing thus far shows it belongs in the sideboard. If your meta is full of 4x maindeck FoW this might not be the best choice. Like most combo decks, its likely to be the type of deck that creeps at when people are unprepared rather than an unhateable menace.

My current testing agrees with what MadAdmiral is saying, except possibly this bridge business, I just am not finding it necessary. I am trying to test a "0-mana-guys" list. The main issue is definitely getting that first black mana. The mono-black reanimator version is definitely slower, but it can run 4x therapy which is very nice. Also its much more resilient to discard, and can simply discard a combo piece on the draw then reanimate. 

 

We've already done this deck (or at least a similar version).  Going for the turn two win is more consistent and less fragile.



You did it before balustrade spy and undercity informer came out.  This is a whole different ballgame.

I did see a comment on that article suggesting cutting lab maniac and azami for fiend hunter, because of the combo fiend hunter etbs, exile angel of glory's rise, sac wild cantor for 1 mana, spend that on informer and sac fiend hunter to mill them, get angel back from exile returning cantor and fiend hunter, repeat ad infinitum to mill them out.  This saves a deck slot, but it is counterably by hitting angel of glory's rise with a removal spell in response to the trigger, unlike the maniac azami combo where you're removal-proof. 

Why does everyone think I'm phantom lancer? QFT:

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139359831 wrote:
I hope all this helps you to see things in a greater light—and understand that Magic: the Gathering was really created by extraterrestials using Richard Garfield as a medium. The game itself reflects the socio-psycho realtivity between living beings, and the science that takes precedence over them—to define reality for them all (like telekinesis, weather, scientific reaction, phenomenon, ingenuity, how the brain works, etc.). I'd also bet there is an entity floating thousands of miles above us, looking down on the current state of game, shaking its fist like... "Wtf are you doing?! You're getting it all screwed up!". Awkward—to be evolved, and yet still subject to the ladder that is the concepts of the game. In this case, misconception, corruption, and deception. With the realities of each color becoming distorted (through oblivious designers), leading the game to reflect a false state of reality that warps the understanding that other people have about those things. For example, people thinking that white could be anything except pure good. This shouldn't be too far off though, I mean...Magic is designed based on reality after all, so that entity (those entities) should be subject to those things. Anyways, I guess when you're busy doing space stuff you can't always be around to ensure quality control. It's no wonder they choose Garfield, they're so much alike; that's exactly what happened to him and Magic.
166199665 wrote:
omg snortng so much febbdelicious /intocixated in rl
The Fiend Hunter loop also just loses to out favorite Spaghetti monster.
Why would you play Bridge over Phantasmagorian?

My friend is building this deck and I've been putting lots of thought into it.

Sutured Ghoul and Dragon Breath is a two card kill that isn't soft to Eldrazi.

I've went real deep.  Did you know you could beat Surgical Extraction by boarding in a Memory's Journey, a Dread Return, 3 Ichorid, a Bridge from Below, and a Progenitus? XD

I really like Tomb of Urami out of the board.

Don't forget Chancellor of the Tangle is a thing.  We've even won G2s just casting the thing turn 1.
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Why not cut it down to using laboratory maniac and probe/wraith as the win?

Then you could cut out all the R/G parts and focus on a more pure black version instead, basing the manastyle (and drawspells) a bit on the ancient kobold-clamp decks ?

Or is there really the need of having more outs in such a deck. If it's cut down to an extreme small amount of combopieces, then there would be more space for stuff like unmask and pact of negation and streamlining the odds of making the combo go off on turn 1.

Or am I just being silly? 
Why would you play Bridge over Phantasmagorian?



Because without Bridge we can't always be sure we will have 3 creatures for DR. If we draw 2 Narcos (using Informer), or need to Therapy, we are stuck.

Sutured Ghoul and Dragon Breath is a two card kill that isn't soft to Eldrazi.



Sutured Ghoul is a 3-card combo because you have to also run Lord of Extinction. It's my preferred kill in Vintage Hermit Druid, where removal is rare, but in Legacy I'd say avoiding the combat phase is legit.

I've went real deep.  Did you know you could beat Surgical Extraction by boarding in a Memory's Journey, a Dread Return, 3 Ichorid, a Bridge from Below, and a Progenitus? XD

I really like Tomb of Urami out of the board.

Don't forget Chancellor of the Tangle is a thing.  We've even won G2s just casting the thing turn 1.



Memory's Journey is always legit sideboard in Hermit-style decks. I run in maindeck in Vintage because lolrecalltargettingyou.

Tomb is...funny. Seems like a pretty weak backup plan though, you dump all that mana and then StP becomes a 5-for-1.

Chancellor is a possibility, it's not like this deck is worried about "dead draws". If you don't open with him, he's basically the same as an ESG you didn't open with.   
Etiamnunc sto, etiamsi caelum ruat.
Why not cut it down to using laboratory maniac and probe/wraith as the win?



Because you can't always be sure that you have a Wraith in hand and do not need to use it draw into the mill engine.  Azami also provides you with extra removal protection on the draw because you can tap her to draw, they respond with removal, you tap the Maniac and win.  With only the Wraiths, you just lose in that situation.

Then you could cut out all the R/G parts and focus on a more pure black version instead, basing the manastyle (and drawspells) a bit on the ancient kobold-clamp decks ?



You can't cut the R/G parts because it would be extremely hard to generate the first mana to start ritualing.  Without lands, you'd have Chrome Mox and Petal and that's about it.

Or is there really the need of having more outs in such a deck. If it's cut down to an extreme small amount of combopieces, then there would be more space for stuff like unmask and pact of negation and streamlining the odds of making the combo go off on turn 1.



Look at the deck again.  It's mana (34 pieces), of which you need roughly 4 to win, the engine (8 pieces, can't be less), the kill (8 pieces, which also can't be less), cantrips (8) and two protection (2 Therapies).  What are you going to cut for Unmasks and Pact of Negations?  You literally can't cut any of the engine or combo, or else the deck won't ever be able to win.  You can't cut the protection, or the deck will lose to mulligans more often.  If you cut mana, it's very likely you just never get there.  Cantrips create more keepable hands as well.

The odds of going off on turn 1 are already about as high as they possibly could be.  By adding protection (Unmask, Pact), you're actually decreasing the odds of going off very early for the ability to go off through disruption.  That's the difference between something like ANT and Belcher.  ANT is a lot more resilient to hate, but a lot slower (turn 2-4 usually).  Belcher loses to one disruption spell (usually), but can go off on turn 1.  This deck wants to be more like Belcher and less like ANT.

Or am I just being silly? 



Yes, but I think you knew that already...
Because without Bridge we can't always be sure we will have 3 creatures for DR. If we draw 2 Narcos (using Informer), or need to Therapy, we are stuck. 



You also have the option to hardcast Cantor.  You can't Dread Return if you have two Narcos in hand and sac an Informer anyway with Bridge.  When you Therapy, you have the exact same number of creatures...

Phantasmagorian will help you if multiple things clog your hand.  It's been avsoluely amazing in testing.

Sutured Ghoul is a 3-card combo because you have to also run Lord of Extinction. It's my preferred kill in Vintage Hermit Druid, where removal is rare, but in Legacy I'd say avoiding the combat phase is legit. 



Uh, no.  It's a two card combo.  Did I say Lord of Extinction?  No?  So it is two cards.  Why would I ever want Lord?

I'm not sure I'd want this one, but it is the only other two card combo aside from Fiend Hunter here that I'm aware of that doesn't scoop to sphagetti.

 Tomb is...funny. Seems like a pretty weak backup plan though, you dump all that mana and then StP becomes a 5-for-1.



Yes.  StP seems like a great card to leave in your MD against this deck (assuming the Azami version).  Actually, no.  It's awful and should be boarded out immeditately.  Creature removal is hot garbage here.  Tomb is uncounterable.  Tomb shrugs off T1 Thoughtseize or IoK.

Chancellor is a possibility, it's not like this deck is worried about "dead draws". If you don't open with him, he's basically the same as an ESG you didn't open with.    



I've also won games just hardcasting him T1 and beating faces open.  

Because you can't always be sure that you have a Wraith in hand and do not need to use it draw into the mill engine.  Azami also provides you with extra removal protection on the draw because you can tap her to draw, they respond with removal, you tap the Maniac and win.  With only the Wraiths, you just lose in that situation. 




Not that I'm advocating that, but it is just as good against removal there.  You are just misplaying.  You'd wait until your draw phase and if they have removal, you'd cycle Wraith in response. If they try to target Maniac before then, you cycle wraith in response.   It still requires two removal spells from them.  

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You could start with azamaniac sb into ghoul+breath.  They will probably side out their removal G2, and brink in the Emmy awards after seeing your wincon.  The question is, which is more likely to happen game 1:
1:  You go off after they have hard, instant speed removal up.  This won't happen if their removal is toughness based, sorcery speed, nonexistent, or just costing more than the mana you let them have, which, if you go off turn 1 on the play, is 0.
2:  They have emrakul MD.  This is sneak & show and some elves combo decks.  Progenitus gives them 1 extra turn if they're on natural order, but if you go off early enough they're still probably dead.

There is the additional factor that starting with azamaniac will make them leave in useless removal spells, and they might not leave up removal if they don't know what your deck does.  They might just try to race you, thinking you're belcher.  However, if they have countermagic, they're leaving up removal every turn anyways.

So, in conclusion, your decision as to which to run MD, and whether to SB the other one should be based on your ability to win super early and your expectations of the amount of cheap removal and elves and sneak & show decks in the meta

Why does everyone think I'm phantom lancer? QFT:

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139359831 wrote:
I hope all this helps you to see things in a greater light—and understand that Magic: the Gathering was really created by extraterrestials using Richard Garfield as a medium. The game itself reflects the socio-psycho realtivity between living beings, and the science that takes precedence over them—to define reality for them all (like telekinesis, weather, scientific reaction, phenomenon, ingenuity, how the brain works, etc.). I'd also bet there is an entity floating thousands of miles above us, looking down on the current state of game, shaking its fist like... "Wtf are you doing?! You're getting it all screwed up!". Awkward—to be evolved, and yet still subject to the ladder that is the concepts of the game. In this case, misconception, corruption, and deception. With the realities of each color becoming distorted (through oblivious designers), leading the game to reflect a false state of reality that warps the understanding that other people have about those things. For example, people thinking that white could be anything except pure good. This shouldn't be too far off though, I mean...Magic is designed based on reality after all, so that entity (those entities) should be subject to those things. Anyways, I guess when you're busy doing space stuff you can't always be around to ensure quality control. It's no wonder they choose Garfield, they're so much alike; that's exactly what happened to him and Magic.
166199665 wrote:
omg snortng so much febbdelicious /intocixated in rl