DotP Encounters Challenge Discussion Thread

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djAMPnz wrote:

I've almost finished my Eloren Bramble build. I've got about 8 cards to remove before I can sort out the base deck and unlocks.

This got me thinking though, what sort of process do each of you use to design your decks?

I have a process?

2 + 2 = fish

I'll be interested in seeing that. I've been slowly hammering at a deck for Eloren Bramble but it looks like it's not going to get finished - other than another Landfall deck I haven't got any other ideas (other than spawn a billion Saproling and throw Overrun or Beastmaster Ascension).

As for deck building the first thing I try to do is establish a couple of possible deck themes using the cards from or general feel of the encounter in question. Once I have a few ideas bouncing around its time to start scouring Gatherer and making lists of possible cards which fit the themes. This is usually where an idea dies or I determine exactly what it is I'm going to end up doing - an ideas fun but if I can't get the cards to support it then theres just nothing to be done. After that it's just a simple process of setting out the general power level of each card and breaking them into two piles; baseline cards which work well for a base decks and powerful or synergistic cards for the unlocks. Then just trim stuff away depending on the number of cards I have available (for example at one point Steel Wall was on the list of things for the Jailbreak deck but was cut simply because I had a ton of other options which worked better with the theme). After that just populate the unlock list (usually at random with a few nudges for power level) then post it here.

Welcome! I'm Garren and I'll be your designated villain for the evening.

I, Garren, will knock you all down!

I guess you don't then. I go and find all the cards I think will fit my theme, and some others that might just work well in the deck. Then I sort out how many of each I will need and remove card until I am down to 100 (60 card deck + 30 unlocks + 10 promos), keeping in mind how many mechanics I'm using, the overall curve, the overall power. Then I figure out what needs to be in the base deck and what is unlock material. For the base deck I make sure it is able to win, but as least powerful as I can get it, and I make sure that cards that are more specialised or are 2HG or FFA oriented are in the unlocks. I sort the unlock order (regular and promos at the same time). I make sure there are cards that will help with unlocking early in the unlocks and bigger the more powerful bombs towards the end. For the promos I include the cards that are a bit quirky, over the top or don't exactly fit with the main theme. And that's it. I build the deck in MTG Deck Builder and type the deck list up in Notepad as I go. So, yeah, that's my process.

"People are like sausages: it's what's under the skin that's important... so poke them with a fork periodically."

"Lif is too short."

A teaspoon of Madness + "Hey that Looks Cool" + "Does it fit with what I am going for" + Attempting to Balance cards by putting better ones later + Just throw the rest of the bucket of Madness in there + inspiration + running out of space + ???????????????????????? + ????????????? + ???????????? = something approaching jack's process

In other words, I have no idea what I am doing, but it turns out quite well.

2 + 2 = fish

I've added my Eloren Bramble build. It's a little different, I think.

"People are like sausages: it's what's under the skin that's important... so poke them with a fork periodically."

"Lif is too short."

Looks pretty solid. Nice variety of cards and I'm seeing a decent number of possible builds (though none beat just dropping Blanchwood Armor on Aura Gnarlid and going to town). Lots of Saproling creation and +1/+1 counter manipulation too which is always nice. Kinda annoying you went down that route because my Rumble in the Jungle deck is going to look a lot less unique now. Oh well somethings can't be helped.

Welcome! I'm Garren and I'll be your designated villain for the evening.

I, Garren, will knock you all down!

I'm ready to go on when you guys are.  I liked the saproling deck.  Little too tired to comment intelligibly on it though.

I thought a little more about my process.......... and I realized I have no idea how good or bad a deck is until I post it on the forum.  The stainless process is working for me though.

2 + 2 = fish

Hehe, the Stainless process.

If you need an idea for the saproling Alara encounter, look up Thallids. I'll message both of you about a good way to build your decks, so check your inbox.

"People are like sausages: it's what's under the skin that's important... so poke them with a fork periodically."

"Lif is too short."

I have the next plane all built already.  I have good ideas for 2, and one is goblin swarm.

Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't think I could use that.

2 + 2 = fish

Yeah the deck I was working on was basically revolving around Thallids with things like Beastmaster Ascension and Doubling Season to put the whole process into overdrive. My issue was finding some 100 cards to go with that core theme. Also thanks for the message. If nothing else the mana curve and colour distribution will save me a few minutes mental arithmetic.

Welcome! I'm Garren and I'll be your designated villain for the evening.

I, Garren, will knock you all down!

I've started the next plane of the challenge. Hope you guys like :R:.

"People are like sausages: it's what's under the skin that's important... so poke them with a fork periodically."

"Lif is too short."

'Insatiable Hunger' is up! For the record this will probably be the only deck I do for this plane. I kinda burned all my ideas for a Volcano themed deck with Rage of the Ancients and I have no interest in building a mono-red Goblin deck with a base deck containing three Goblin Chieftain. No matter what I do that will just become a big old pile of Goblin Ganglands all over again.

Welcome! I'm Garren and I'll be your designated villain for the evening.

I, Garren, will knock you all down!

All three are up.  What you think?

2 + 2 = fish

Goblins in the Pass

Yeah this is pretty much why I didn't even attempt to build a Goblin deck. Trying to find a way to balance something like this for the current meta is a joke - only Deadwalkers has even near the amount of bodies and Lords this thing can pump out and they are both more expensive and lack haste. Basically this things is all kinds of nasty but I have very little advice to give simply because you could replace half the deck with Raging Goblin and the other half would still prop it up well enough to beat down almost anything. The current meta simply can't support a deck this fast.

Rumble in the Jungle

Well straight of the bat your base deck is 3 Tukatongue Thallid short of the requirements. Other than that it looks good. I like the graveyard theme and you've made decent use of all three mana colours (an issue I was having with Black until I stole some removal from Grixis). I think this is my favourite of the three.

Survive the Volcano

It's pretty much what I expected. Lotta lava enemies like Phoenix and what not, some decent to the face burn. It's a decent enough deck but I feel it's the weakest of the three (though that may just be because I like the flavour of Rumble in the Jungle more and Goblins is Goblins).

Welcome! I'm Garren and I'll be your designated villain for the evening.

I, Garren, will knock you all down!

Fixed the tukatongues.  Man, I can't believe I actually put temporal extortion in something.

You need to look at the volcano deck again.  Anything with multiple volcano hellion is crazy.

2 + 2 = fish

Hey don't get me wrong. Of all the cards in your Volcano deck Volcano Hellion is easily my favourite. Though having a look at your unlocks again I do have to question a few inclusions;

Goblin Mountaineer: a 1/1 with mountainwalk is nothing special. I don't get why this wasn't in the base deck as unlock fodder.

Inferno Titan: you might want to push this down a few slots. Its a good unlock but it's the sort of thing you expect to be in the 25-30 range. Getting it that early kinda overshadows a lot of the other unlocks.

Flameborn Viron: 6 for a 6/4 vanilla is way under the curve. If it was in the base deck sure its a decent beat stick but as an unlock? As unlock 28 no less? At that point I feel the Flameborn Viron in the base deck would have been cut along time. Not all the unlocks have to be solid gold but this one just seems like a booby prize.

Thats about it for the moment at least.

Welcome! I'm Garren and I'll be your designated villain for the evening.

I, Garren, will knock you all down!

If they can put omniscience as number 30, then I can put a card as number 28 for the aestetics.  This is the stainless method we are talking about.

 

All joking aside, there aren't really that many creatures in the deck total, so they are there for the 4 toughness, where they can survive most of your wipe cards.

Edit: on the topic of field wipes, I just saw caldera hellion in your deck.  That is my kind of card.  All or nothing eat all the tokens.

2 + 2 = fish

Good news everyone! Having enjoyed a relaxing day with the Selesnya Conclave I have overcome that creative block I had and finished my Eloren Bramble deck!

The bad news is we are in Alara now. Oh well I'll post it once we have finished the challenge or something.

Welcome! I'm Garren and I'll be your designated villain for the evening.

I, Garren, will knock you all down!

Post it now.  We don't care.

2 + 2 = fish

Yeah, post it now, it's fine.

@mjack: Holy Macaroni! Your goblin deck is all kinds of broken. Did you play DotP 2013? Goblin Gangland destroyed the 1 vs 1 meta there and it only had 2 Goblin Guide, one in the late unlocks and one as a promo. This one has 2 in the base deck! There's no way that is on a DotP power level. Your other two are looking good though.

"People are like sausages: it's what's under the skin that's important... so poke them with a fork periodically."

"Lif is too short."

Nature's Abundance is up! I know we haven't seen Convoke as a mechanic in duels thus far but I figure it would be replicable within the engine sorta like how they did Devour; when you cast it it lets you select creatures to tap then when your done taps your land to pay for the spell (obviously minus the cost you paid in tapping dudes). In a multi-colour deck I could see some issues arising but in mono-green I think I'm save.

And yeah Goblin decks. I've been looking through Gatherer and I've got nothing. No matter how much I try to wheel it away from lightning-fast beatdown those three Goblin Chieftain just keep pulling it back. Urg.

Welcome! I'm Garren and I'll be your designated villain for the evening.

I, Garren, will knock you all down!

I really like it. I thought about convoke but decided against it, same with the thallids. You've done an excellent job incorporating both, I don't think I could have done anywhere near as good. I'm staying away from the goblin one too. I'm about to post my Jund deck list.

"People are like sausages: it's what's under the skin that's important... so poke them with a fork periodically."

"Lif is too short."

Reign of Tyrants I like a lot. I like how the Devour mechanic is honestly kinda incidental; eating things is good but it is the creatures death which really gets this deck rolling. Something die? Creatures get bigger! Something die? Have some tokens! Something die? Opponent takes damage! Something die? Draw some cards! I just love it. Also I really like Thromok the Insatiable (enough to steal him for my own list - he's got Jund devour written all over him, hope ya don't mind.)

Legion of Fire looks fun too. Don't worry about the balance too much - it looks fine to me at any rate. You've got a lot of sweeper but they hurt you too and while your creature are very tough with some good abilities they are also very expensive so thats to be expected. I don't know if its just the volcanic theme but both yourself and mjack ended up with pretty high mana curves despite using very different cards. Makes me wonder if I could build a low CMC version of this deck. But yeah looks good.

Welcome! I'm Garren and I'll be your designated villain for the evening.

I, Garren, will knock you all down!

djAMPnz wrote:

Yeah, post it now, it's fine.

@mjack: Holy Macaroni! Your goblin deck is all kinds of broken. Did you play DotP 2013? Goblin Gangland destroyed the 1 vs 1 meta there and it only had 2 Goblin Guide, one in the late unlocks and one as a promo. This one has 2 in the base deck! There's no way that is on a DotP power level. Your other two are looking good though.

A)There was no way to make a goblin deck on dotp powerlevel and still have a point to it.  Also, dodge and burn can handle it.  Probably.

B) I am going to need until Friday night to do plane 5, so take your time with these if you want me to post something there.

2 + 2 = fish

@Mastergear_Owen: Thanks.

@mjack: A) Challenge accepted! Hehe. 2) I'll have a go at that goblin deck then I'll move it on to the next plane. I'll wait till there's been enough decks posted for that plane before moving on, being week days it might take a while.

"People are like sausages: it's what's under the skin that's important... so poke them with a fork periodically."

"Lif is too short."

@ampuz, I can't post decks for plane five until friday evening; please wait until saturday to go to plane 6

2 + 2 = fish

So I'm looking at rats for a potential rat deck once we hit Ravnica. I can't help but notice Infect comes up on a couple of them. Whats the word on 'Infect' and to a lesser extent 'Wither'? I'm not looking to base the deck around it but it does cost me two rats.

Welcome! I'm Garren and I'll be your designated villain for the evening.

I, Garren, will knock you all down!

Infect is probably a big no no if transform is out, because infect would require a whole nother life system.

2 + 2 = fish

Yeah I figured as much. Ah well no big loss.

Welcome! I'm Garren and I'll be your designated villain for the evening.

I, Garren, will knock you all down!

I'm pretty sure infect is still programmed into the game it was in the last game for a challenge and Poisonous is in one of the challenges this year

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Infect is technically legal in this challenge, but I'm wondering if I should ban it on general principle. I'm sure it would be too well received in the DotP meta.

How about this mjack, I'll keep the challenge moving at a certain pace (probably slower than it has been over the weekend though) and at the end have a bonus round for people to post decks for encounters they hadn't already posted decks for. I won't end the challenge before you get a chance to post all of your deck lists.

"People are like sausages: it's what's under the skin that's important... so poke them with a fork periodically."

"Lif is too short."

I've moved the challenge on to the next plane... Ravnica.

"People are like sausages: it's what's under the skin that's important... so poke them with a fork periodically."

"Lif is too short."

Call of the Clans is now up! To make up for only doing one deck in Alara I'm going to do all three this time! I should have the Sewer encounter up tomorrow some time. The Simic Clones will take a little more time.

Welcome! I'm Garren and I'll be your designated villain for the evening.

I, Garren, will knock you all down!

It's looking really good. I like it. I might make the Simic Clones one first, seeing as you did Gruul.

"People are like sausages: it's what's under the skin that's important... so poke them with a fork periodically."

"Lif is too short."

djAMPnz wrote:

Infect is technically legal in this challenge, but I'm wondering if I should ban it on general principle. I'm sure it would be too well received in the DotP meta.

How about this mjack, I'll keep the challenge moving at a certain pace (probably slower than it has been over the weekend though) and at the end have a bonus round for people to post decks for encounters they hadn't already posted decks for. I won't end the challenge before you get a chance to post all of your deck lists.

At this speed, I guess I am going to be posting 9 at once then.

2 + 2 = fish

Visions of the Infinite is on the way shortly. :-)

How do I do the spoiler tags?

NVM... It's up now... I hope you all enjoy it, and I hope it's not way too powerful for DotP.  Somewhere hidden within that deck, BTW, is something pretty close to the build I wanted to use for Standard Tournaments last year.  I nerfed it a little bit, but not a whole lot.

Anyway, this was every bit as tough as I expected it to be.  I hope I didn't do it too badly.

 

I like the deck except for the copy of enter the infinite with nothign to enable it.

Although........4 brainstorm makes me leery.  However, they put 4 remand and 4 dimir guildmage in our current decks, and you didn't put the cards that make this one broken in, so I don't really have a problem with it unless I am really missing something.

2 + 2 = fish

Enter the Infinite is 100% for flavor (it's in the title of the deck).  Plus, I thought it would be fun considering the other half of that combo is in MM for no apparent reason.  Anyway, if you cast enter the infinite with this deck, you will win the next turn - although nobody should actually play it, lol!

BTW... brainstorm plus thought scour is pretty damn broken. lol

But, I'm curious, what cards would have made it broken in your opinion?

Visions of the Infinite looks pretty solid. Draw a hundred cards and and clone everything. Pretty much exactly how I was thinking of doing this encounter. Enter the Infinite is fun if entirely unplayable (if only there was some ridiculous combo with 2HG MM that could be done). My only real complaint is that your base deck needs a copy of Body Double to fulfill Rule 2. Easiest option would be swap out one of the unlockable ones with Quicksilver Gargantuan. But beyond that looks good.

Welcome! I'm Garren and I'll be your designated villain for the evening.

I, Garren, will knock you all down!