[Archetype] twInsanity - Mono blue Milling

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twInsanity


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ORIGINS

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As soon as the Eventide spoilers rolled round to show us the card that was Sanity Grinding, my mind leapt at the prospect of it’s new best friend Twincast. A match made in ‘rogue-deck builder’s’ heaven. As soon as the full spoiler came out, I threw together the deck, and tested in on MWS. After a few tweaks, I ended up surprising myself with the ability that the deck had to actually win games. Before long, I had built up a lot of good results via testing, then it was time for FNM. At FNM, the deck was amazing, and made me everybody’s hero for a day, and since then, the deck has grown in stature and popularity, claiming FNM’s across the globe, waiting for it’s chance at the big time!


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What is twInsanity?
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twInSanity is one of the most powerful milling decks that T2 has seen for some time. Utilising the powerful Sanity Grinding and copying it with Twincast, the result is milling your opponent for upto forty cards in one go, enabling you to play cheap spells from your Shelldock Isle, and finish the match.


Why Play this deck?
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This deck is the most fun deck I‘ve played in T2 ever. Due to only needing two cards to win, you can successfully control your opponent then pull a win out of nowhere, regardless of life totals. Imense entertainment.


Can this deck really work?
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Most of you probably look at this deck, and think it’s a fun idea, but can’t possibly win too much. However, you would be wrong. The thing is, you only have to dedicate two cards to winning the game, leaving you a WHOLE deck full of ways to answer your opponents etc. Being able to win just out of nowhere is amazingly strong, as there’s not much any deck can do when played right, also control always has a good match up against combo decks.
You’ve probably seen a lot of decks around here using Sanity Grinding and throwing it together with a bunch of blue intensive hybrid creatures and calling it a deck. Sure, use some of these cards, but don’t play cards that are no good, just for the sake of the mana costs, there’s enough strong cards to make this deck work, and my god does it work.
At it's first FNM, it managed to wow the other players to the extent of one person filming my opponents as they lost, to the judge and MTG.com’s Tim Willoughby testing the deck out in between rounds and working out all the averages, which promted Tim’s little honorary mention in his ‘going rogue’ article a few days later: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/feature/470.
Because this deck has only eight out of sixty slots needed to win, it has favourable match ups against so many decks, it’s amazing, depending on your meta, you can alter the number of three drop creatures instead of spells etc. Really, this is a versatile, and surprisingly powerful deck. Oh, and did I mention it’s possibly the most fun deck you’ll ever play? (Excluding a casual deck that copies Erratic explosion or Undying Flames several times in one turn)

Also the deck has been top 8'ing at major events.


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WHAT’S IN THE DECK?

Structure:
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Excluding combo:

0-4 One drops
6-12 Two drops
7-12 Three drops
4 Four drops
5-8 Five drops
0-2 Six drops



Creatures
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Plumeveil Effectively a kill spell, flashing it in as a blocker big enough to kill most early game creatures, then sits back as a brilliant defender.
Overbeing of Myth Essential card drawing, alternative win condition and blocker.
Godhead of Awe Great stall card, as well as giving you a damage based win condition.
Ghastlord of Fugue Can help steal answers from your opponent whilst also giving you some damage on the board if you need it.
Dominus of Fealty Stops your opponent from causing you too much damage, letting you utilise their own threats whilst being a 4/4 flyer at the same time.
Vendilion Clique A good way to disrupt your opponent’s hand, as well as being a good attacker if needed, can block large fliers, and is .
Oona, Queen of the fae Solid alterative win condition, and can mill the last few cards also.



Spells
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Sanity Grinding Your best win condition.
Twincast Makes your win condition very potent.
Howling Mine This card enables you to draw land and control spells early on, and control and combo cards later on.
Cryptic Command Best control card in the format, also is triple blue.
Dream Fracture Control that helps your opponent draw more cards, bringing you closer to milling them.
Cancel Solid counter spell, not as good as the fracture though.
Evacutation Amazing, instant speed mass removal, sure they are only bounced, but ruins alpha strikes and slows them down no end.
Boomerang Bounces things to slow your opponent down, as well as removing a Runed Halo or Imperial mask at EOT that is stopping you from targeting them.
Ponder A good start to a game, sets up your draws nicely.
Jace Beleren A very important card, it helps you draw two cards a turn, and distracts your opponent, as the game goes on, he gets easier to protect, and can win the game with his ultimate, or stop them from winning in their upkeep with a burn spell, by making them draw in your turn.
Broken Ambitions Good counter spell, that also mills your opponent.
Agony Warp Possibly worth splashing for, as the removal can save you.
Time stop This spell stops lots of decks in their tracks.



Lands
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Island Obviously.
Shelldock Isle Amazing in this deck. Playing cryptic command for 2 mana etc, helps you seal the game up.
Faeire Conclave Can be used aggressively if needed, as well as defensively.
Reliquary Tower For versions using howling mines and JAce, it keeps you with more than enough card advantage.
Terramorphic Expanse Thins your library nicely, putting the ratios in your favour for mass milling.
Sunken ruins If you are going to splash for Agony warp.
Underground river If you are going to splash for Agony warp.
Arcane Sanctum For black splash.
Crumbling Necropolis for black splash.


SIDEBOARD CARDS
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Memory Plunder This card is truly exceptional in this deck, a must play four of in the board, most of the time you put it in, you play EOT card draw, flame javelin, Ultimatum’s, wrath, or even more potent, is having an effective EIGHT cryptic commands in your deck, WOW!
Faerie Macabre Stops Reveillark or Demigod decks.
Flashfreeze If R/G is popular in your meta, this card tends to be pretty potent indeed.
Counterbore Great against combo as it ruins their game plan in one, also can be used against Demigod, and Reveillark, not bad against control decks with only a few win conditions.
Declaration of naught Great card against Swans decks and just combo decks in general.
Relic of Progenitus Stops GY based decks, and draws a card and is very cheap!
Pithing needle A good answer to Mutavaults and other hard to deal with threats.
Gather Specimens Can be a great control card later on in the game, swinging the match in your favour, very good against decks that don’t drop threats till late on.
Platinum Angel Since you can often find decks taking out their removal for game two and three, slipping one of these on the board can outright win you the game, since we have the card advantage to protect it.



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HOW TO PLAY THIS DECK
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Playing this deck can be a little more tricky than first thought, the main thing is to keep yourself alive and disrupt your opponents plans through counter and bounce etc. Laying sufficient speed bumps along the way.
The most important thing to remember is that you only need to make sure is that you can play your Sanity grinding WITH a Twincast without any fear of interruption. Obviously against most decks, this is not a problem, however against blue control decks you have to pilot more carefully. You have to force them to tap out at their EOT, whether that’s using a cryptic command to bounce their key board pieces, or even land, you need to make them use up their counter spell, out of the board, this is easier, as Memory plunder gives you that EOT boost, which usually utilised their Draw spells etc, or just gives you a MUST COUNTER spell. However, as soon as you are open, the game is set. If you can play three sanity grindings, whether that’s two sanity grindings and one twin cast, or one sanity grinding and two twin casts etc, you will normally win the game.
Things like Runed Halo aren’t that much of a problem, as you pack enough bounce, Cryptic Command and Boomerang, which you can Twincast if you need to bounce several permanents.
The problem with a lot of Sanity grinding decks, is they try to up their ratio far too much in terms of blue mana symbols, without making enough control, and then play other milling cards, which is not necessary, Twincast can give any spell a two mana edge of being copied, whether it’s a double cryptic at EOT, or your game winning Sanity grinding. There is no need to pack your deck with ways of milling, when you have a five mana way of doing it pretty much in one go!



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Sample Decklists
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Current Mono Version

Current 'black splash' version
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[deck=Black Splash]

LAND (22)
4*Shelldock Isle
1*Arcane Sanctum
1*Crumbling Necropolis
10*Island
4*Sunken Ruins
2*Underground River

SPELLS (27)
4*Sanity Grinding
3*Twincast
4*Cryptic Command
3*Broken Ambitions
3*Boomerang
2*Ponder
2*Evacuation
3*Agony Warp
3*Dream fracture

CREATURES (8)
4*Plumeveil
3*Overbeing of Myth
1*Oona, Queen of the fae

OTHER PERMANENTS (3)
3*Jace Beleren

[deck=SIDEBOARD]
4*Flashfreeze
1*Platinum Angel
2*Vendillion Clique
1*Agony warp
1*Boomerang
2*Memory Plunder
2*Evacuation
2*Pithing Needle
[/deck]
[/deck]


Ali Aintrazi's Deck (6th place Austin PTQ 10th/May/2009)
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[deck=Ali's Deck]
LAND (23)
19*Island
4*Shelldock Isle

CREATURES (7)
4*Plumeveil
3*Overbeing of Myth

OTHER PERMANENTS (4)
4*Jace Beleren

SPELLS (26)
4*Sanity Grinding
3*Twincast
1*Negate
4*Cryptic Command
4*Dream Fracture
3*Evacuation
4*Boomerang
3*Broken Ambitions

[deck=SIDEBOARD]
1*Oona, Queen of the fae
1*OVerbeing of Myth
1*Platinum Angel
3*Vendillion Clique
1*Evacuation
4*Flashfreeze
1*Negate
1*Remove Soul
2*Pithing Needle
[/deck]
[/deck]


Bill Starks List Top 8 at GPT Seattle
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[deck=Bill Starks List]
LAND (24)
4*Shelldock Isle
3*Reliquary Tower
17*Island

CREATURES (4)
4*Plumeveil

OTHER PERMANENTS (8)
4*Jace Beleren
4*Howling Mine

SPELLS (24)
4*Sanity Grinding
4*Twincast
4*Boomerang
4*Broken Ambitions
4*Cryptic Command
4*Evacuation

[deck=SIDEBOARD]
4*Bottle Gnomes
3*Flashfreeze
4*Cursecatcher
4*Negate
[/deck]
[/deck]



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MATCH UPS
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Demigod Red 40-60
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This match up relies on the draw quite a bit. If you can set up with your control early enough, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but a good hand and they can really trouble you. Filling their GY can be a bad idea if they pull out several Demigod of revenge. Post SB the match doesn’t get much easier, creature are good in this match up, as they stop the damage for a turn, or distract burn from your face.

Faeries 65-35 (75-25 post SB)
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This match up is in your favour slightly, as first of all they draw into more cards, making your job easier. Secondly, you have some must counter spells that can cause them to tap out, leaving you open to combo off. Post SB, the match up is about 65-35 in your favour, as Memory Plunder helps you make use of their own cards. Just watch out for thought seize and you’ll be fine, Boomerang can make them keep playing Bitterblossom without getting any threats on the board. Playing an Agony warp or two can wreck their plans.

Elves 65-35
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As long as you can get the control element riding along, you will be fine, set up for the combo with an EOT Evacuation in their turn, and then go for it at your leisure. However be careful, as they can come out the gates quick and their aggro may be too much with the right draw. Watch for Thoughtseize. Post SB the match up stays about the same, a good mix of bounce and counter should see you through.

Doran 65-35
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This deck can be quite fast, but with a counter spell applied at the right time, you should be able to ride it out until you can Evacuation then combo for the win. However, Thoughtseize can be an annoyance, and be warned they can come out quickly, bouncing a land can slow them down no end if you hit a CIPT one etc.

Q’n’T 70-30 (75-25 Post SB)
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This match up is pretty good, all of their control against creatures is virtually useless, as long as you can play to get the opening you need, then you will be fine. Post SB Memory Plunder is a star player, that will win you games with ease. Boomerang destroys their tempo beautifully!

R/B Tokens 70-30
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Another good match up, well applied counter spells and bounce keep them at bay. Evacuation is an amazing card in this match up, and lets you combo off with ease. SB is not really needed for this match up on the whole. [c]Agony warp acts as a permanent answer to anything they do resolve.

Blightning Beats 30-70
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Like the Demigod match up, only harder, they have more burn and their discard really hurts you, this deck is the worst match up, not unwinnable, but difficult.

Merfolk 65-35
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This match up is hard if they get a very strong hand, as they come quickly and fast, but bouncing their cards to slow them down, and keep them off of balance is easy enough. Islandwalk is a killer here though, but bouncing their Merrow Reejery after they declare attacks allows you to block their creatures and often trade. Playing against their counter suite can be tricky, but you only need the one opening, and their card drawing helps you get through their library also. Memory plunder from the board is powerful.

Big Mana 75-25
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This is a very easy match up, they will control your creatures, which is fine, you can combo off in your leisure as they can’t really touch your combo whatsoever. Memory plunder from the SB is nice, letting you use their Primal command or whatever else comes to hand. Because their threats are high up the curve, you have Cryptic command by the time they play them, so a very easy match up.

Zoo 60-40
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Zoo is fast, very fast. This can be a problem, however, playing carefully with what you counter and bounce can keep them off guard, any board sweepers they play don’t effect you, Evacuation is a star player in this match up. If you survive past turn 5, you should be fine.

Kithkin 50-50
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If you’re playing the deck with a black splash, this match is 50-50, otherwise it's worse, as you have a permanent answer to their threats, which they can otherwise relay very easily. Agony warp is often the difference between success and failure!



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Honorable Mentions

Website for my radio series: http://www.cyrusbalesfilms.co.uk/id2.html For the facebook group of my radio series, search for "Who will save us now?" Please join! Follow my regular articles on: http://www.manaleak.com/mtguk/
This is an idea i just thought of when i went to a sealed tourney in my town. i saw grinding and thought it was amazing!

we should really keep this going and contribute to it, because it's MEGA FUN!!!
wow i want to give you a cookie..... and slap you for being able to afford CS3 :D
I wish I knew what CS3 was..... lol.
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How much does an average grinding+twincast usually mill for?
^You usually get about forty cards or so.
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I'll be watching. When this thread hits the second page, I'll be sure to include it.

Also That, stop using my avatar. I keep thinking I posted something without me remembering it. :P
To top the points at my FNM, I had to beat a U/W reviellark deck that qualified two of our group members to the GB nationals.

This deck is not just fun, it's very competitive, and when TS rotates out, it just gets stronger, because the only cards that can really stop it well are gone.
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I'm too focused on your sweet, sweet separators to comment on your deck...
Umm, so I don't really frequent these forums any more, but I do blog for my website Greatplay.net.
BTW, I also spent some time on Sanity Grinding, which Atma can tell you. For some reason, I never thought of using twincast. I pretty much just threw up a rough list and just left it really.
Can Sanity Grinding be the only Mill card in your deck? shouldnt you have some more?
Can Sanity Grinding be the only Mill card in your deck? shouldnt you have some more?

No.

Just grind 3 times and you win. Twincast is grinds 5-8. Playing inferior decking options gives you less control. Less control means you lose games before you deck them with inferiority.


I'm too focused on your sweet, sweet separators to comment on your deck...

Do you know what picture they're taken from?

(My personal favourite dividers are in the 'basal's big idea' thread!)
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Can Sanity Grinding be the only Mill card in your deck? shouldnt you have some more?

Well Grimoire thief can get a few cards, but generally, you don't need any more, it's just an effective combo, anf the shelldock isles let you dig for more pieces, for example, if your shelldock finds another grinding or twincast, you're laughing, just let one sanity grinding resolve, then before the other one does, you can play your one hidden in the isle on the stack to copy it etc.
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A buddy of mine has a millfolk deck and we through Sanity Grinding into it for fun. The card seems really powerful but I think it was meant for more than just millfolk so I've been looking for ideas on how to make it great.

This is a good start but I've been considering using Traumatize in a deck like this. Sure you should have already hit them with Sanity Grinding by the time you can play it but honestly, HALF of your oppenents deck to the yard? It sounds too good to pass up especially if you spend your first few turns controlling the board.

Also I'd consider tossing in Mothdust Changeling, you dont seem to have any 1 drops from what I saw and he's an early speed bump. It may actually lower your average grinding count but his synergy with Grimoire Thief will get you off to an earlier start on milling and set up a quicker sac to counter. T1 Mothdust, T2 Thief, tap Thief for flying and 3 cards, swing for 1 and have Thief's possible counter ability already set up.

As for Overbeing of Myth I really don't like him too much. I played against a version of this deck and by the time they got him out he was really tiny, maybe 1/1 or 2/2. He doesnt make for much of a beatstick but I guess he's worth keeping for the 5 . I personally would rather use Dominus of Fealty, stealing permanents is hot and he's a 4/4 no matter what.

Ok, that's all for now. I'll try to proxy this up soon and give it a go.
The overbeing of myth letting you draw cards is nice, Wistful selkie replaces itself, and post Evacuation, he is pretty tasty indeed.
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Good to see milling is still a viable deck choice in type 2. It's definitely my favorite way to win in magic.
Good to see milling is still a viable deck choice in Casual type 2. It's definitely my favorite way to win in magic.

Fixed.

Honestly, your mill spells do less toward winning the game than a dedicated burn deck's spells do. Straight up mill is not viable.

You're going to lose to a control deck because they can and will out-control you. They have less threats but each of those threats can win the game by itself and they will keep your select mill cards from resolving.

You'll lose to aggro because today's aggressive decks are lighting fast and pack more than enough removal for your "answers."

Ive attempted mill many many times in the recent past, as little as 6 months ago. It doesnt work unless it's something using Brain Freeze or is just another combo win condition. While this may be a fun deck to play, it wont be winning much compared to the rediculously powerful decks to beat in this format.
I applaud this deck. Any deck that seriously wants to play Memory Plunder and Twincast is a deck I approve.
agreed with nonbasics. You plan to mill for 40 and then just ride the game out? You really expect to live 10+ turns against the best decks in the format (that's assuming you get two different cards in your deck in the first 10 turns which is a 55% possibility) with boomerang and plumveil? I think milling is a very entertaining way to win the game, but without glimpse being reprinted I doubt it will be successful in this standard. I wish you the best of luck trying!

2c
Fixed.

Honestly, your mill spells do less toward winning the game than a dedicated burn deck's spells do. Straight up mill is not viable.

You're going to lose to a control deck because they can and will out-control you. They have less threats but each of those threats can win the game by itself and they will keep your select mill cards from resolving.

You'll lose to aggro because today's aggressive decks are lighting fast and pack more than enough removal for your "answers."

Ive attempted mill many many times in the recent past, as little as 6 months ago. It doesnt work unless it's something using Brain Freeze or is just another combo win condition. While this may be a fun deck to play, it wont be winning much compared to the rediculously powerful decks to beat in this format.

So far, the match ups against the 'top decks' are pretty good, reveillark is in this decks favour, Demigod red is actually in this decks favour, Q'N'T rolls over post SB to this deck.

You are underestimating this deck, honestly, i've found it very reliable and it has more power than a control deck, rather than have a few creatures who can deal damage as your win con, you have a sorcery and instant, which is very hard for most decks to do ANYTHING about.

I didn't think this deck would be that good, I thought it would be fun, however I underestimated the deck, and after some extensive testing, I figured it was competitive, and it is, I managed to beat 3 players who qualified for GB nationals on my way to top the FNM.

It's not just quirky, it's actually good!
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Awesome deck man. I do have one suggestion: Flashfreeze. Its a great sideboard card I use in my millfolk deck, and with green and red very popular colors it beats cancel.
agreed with nonbasics. You plan to mill for 40 and then just ride the game out? You really expect to live 10+ turns against the best decks in the format (that's assuming you get two different cards in your deck in the first 10 turns which is a 55% possibility) with boomerang and plumveil? I think milling is a very entertaining way to win the game, but without glimpse being reprinted I doubt it will be successful in this standard. I wish you the best of luck trying!

2c

What usually happens, is your shelldock isle(s), dig for another milling piece, or move cards out of the way so get closer, not too mention the fact that when you sanity grind, you put the cards how you want on the bottom of your library, which can make a big difference.

I didn't think this deck could compete with the top decks in the format either, you know what I did? I played against those top decks, and what do you know, it won a lot more than it lost against most of them. You mention 'glimpse', but sanity grinding does basically the same thing, but quite often does more, by the time it's safe to combo off etc, the deck usually mills in one go, or leaves them with two or three cards. Having your shelldock isle, and control spells in hand, is usually more than enough.
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Awesome deck man. I do have one suggestion: Flashfreeze. Its a great sideboard card I use in my millfolk deck, and with green and red very popular colors it beats cancel.

I'll add it, I don't play it due to my meta, where 'lark is pretty common, and aside from a demigod deck and a Doran deck, R/G don't feature too much.
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I just finished a deck build very similar to this, even down to having the Terramorphic Expanses to thin land. but I haven't been able to play it. It's great to see someone testing out a rogue deck like this, and to know it's potentially viable. And to the naysayers, maybe Shards will bring us something to push this beyond viable to top tier. Even if it doesn't, it still seems like a very fun deck to play. I play for the fun, camaraderie and the creativity exercise, not the competition and "willy-wagging" rights anyway.

Thanks.
I've been running this deck online for hours, and it's working quite well. I average 30-50 card mill with a sanity + twincast. The biggest issue has been that the Shelldock Isles tend to backfire by slowing me down when I desperately need that fifth mana against aggro to cast the win con or an evacuation, or they just end up removing that vital twincast/sanity when I should be casting it sooner instead of waiting for another to pop up. Overall it's working great though.
This is very cool. My list:

16 Island
4 Terramorphic Expanse
3 Shelldock Isle

3 Godhead of Awe
4 Grimoire Thief
4 Plumeveil
3 Venser, Shaper Savant
4 Wistful Selkie

4 Boomerang
4 Cryptic Command
3 Evacuation
4 Sanity Grinding
4 Twincast
They say that life's a carousel, spinning fast you've got to ride it well, the world is full of kings and queens, who blind your eyes and steal your dreams, it's heaven and hell, oh well!
-= CREATURE =-[8]-
4x Plumeveil
1x Oona, Queen of the Fae
3x Vendilion Clique

-= INSTANT =-[21]-
4x Boomerang
4x Broken Ambitions
3x Twincast
4x Dream Fracture
4x Cryptic Command
2x Evacuation

-= SORCERY =-[4]-
4x Sanity Grinding

-= PLANESWALKER =-[3]-
3x Jace Beleren

-= LAND =-[24]-
4x Shelldock Isle
16x Island
4x Terramorphic Expanse
I had a dream about making a deck with Sanity Grinding this weekend (yes, I dream about magic, don't you?). My deck would look very similar to the one posted above me, except I don't think I would use Vendilion Clique and would probably have two Oona's in there. I also think that I would make room for Ancestral Visions since the card advantage would help early in the game and late game it can also help deck your opponent.
The thing that confuses me is the lack of Teferi... Seems like he would be very solid: he's got a big butt for the aggro matchup, and he owns the control matchup straight up. I know he's rotating soon, but there's no sense excluding him from the list until he actualy does leave standard.

Personally I would probably also run drowner initiate as a way to get those last few cards milled, (2 cards per blue spell adds up rather quickly) and (depending on the wizard density) sigil tracer as a potentialy more accesible Twincast.
The thing that confuses me is the lack of Teferi... Seems like he would be very solid: he's got a big butt for the aggro matchup, and he owns the control matchup straight up. I know he's rotating soon, but there's no sense excluding him from the list until he actualy does leave standard.

Personally I would probably also run drowner initiate as a way to get those last few cards milled, (2 cards per blue spell adds up rather quickly) and (depending on the wizard density) sigil tracer as a potentialy more accesible Twincast.

Teferi is not a bad suggestion. The only problem I see with having only a few creatures in the deck is that they are going to eat all the removal that your opponent is holding in his hand. That's why I like the idea of swithing to creatureless from the sideboard. Against aggro you can have your creatures so they can stall out long enough for you to mill and counter/bounce anything that will stop you from doing that. Against control or combo, take out your creatures and bring in the control cards from the board. Prepair to have counter wars against control and just make sure you counter the right pieces against combo.
What has everyone's experience here been with the Shelldock Isles? The problems I have run into are: tempo loss and opponent's bouncing it to my hand. Secondly, how do you use it? I need advice on how to use it most effectively.
For some reason, I'm only averaging about 20-25 cards when i play twingrind.

my list:

16-island
4-shelldock isle

4-grind
4-twincast
4-cryptic command
4-dream fracture
4-cancel
4-ponder
4-plum
4-thief
4-mothdust changeling
4-overbeing of myth

On a good grind, i'll hit for 30-35 by turn 5-6.

Do you guys suggest playing sanity grinding by itself if i don't have a twincast in hand or just wait it out?
Steve, you aren't running overbeing of myth AND godhead of awe, both of which are key to decking the opponent with one combo execution.
Steve, you aren't running overbeing of myth AND godhead of awe, both of which are key to decking the opponent with one combo execution.

we need both?
That depends. If you want to play the sort of game where you sacrifice control but mill for more (potentially decking the opponent), then you need both cards because both have the 5CC. They're both a 4-of in my deck, and I average 35-50 with sanity + twincast. Anyway, the thread starter should revisit this deck after more testing because it can be competitive. Anyone have advice for me on using Shelldock Isles?
9 times outta 10 i dont get a sanity grinding or twincast with the isle.

i'm not sure if i like it anymore, but it'll stay in because the second i pull it, i'll need it more than ever.
I don't understand the logic of shelldocking a twincast or sanity grinding if you haven't yet milled your opponent and he/she is no where near -20 cards in his library. By shelldocking the WC cards prematurely, aren't I just assuming I will draw into another sanity before I'm overrun, which is quite risky considering the current aggro-based meta? What I've ended up doing is shelldocking an island to thin my deck further, but rarely does a shelldock come along often enough after I've already milled an opponent below 20, which is when it really becomes useful. I've up'd my mana count to 24 to compensate, so I'll keep them in and see how it goes now. The other issue was that they CIPT, which screwed my tempo.
I don't think that is the right way to play 12 5-mana drop.
My version is more fast and mill with more cards (not only grinding) :

-= CREATURE =-[8]-
4x Plumeveil
1x Oona, Queen of the Fae
3x Vendilion Clique

-= INSTANT =-[21]-
4x Boomerang
4x Broken Ambitions
3x Twincast
4x Dream Fracture
4x Cryptic Command
2x Evacuation

-= SORCERY =-[4]-
4x Sanity Grinding

-= PLANESWALKER =-[3]-
3x Jace Beleren

-= LAND =-[24]-
4x Shelldock Isle
16x Island
4x Terramorphic Expanse

Jace is a beast for milling. Turn 2 boomerang / broken amibitions and Turn 3 Jace is a great play. He will gain cards and tempo.
24 lands is the right number (remember that you're playing the Expanse).
That depends. If you want to play the sort of game where you sacrifice control but mill for more (potentially decking the opponent), then you need both cards because both have the 5CC. They're both a 4-of in my deck, and I average 35-50 with sanity + twincast. Anyway, the thread starter should revisit this deck after more testing because it can be competitive. Anyone have advice for me on using Shelldock Isles?

I don't think having 4 of each avatar is a good idea if you are mainly just using them for the mana cost. They both sit in the 5 slot along with Evacutation. I would definately have one of the avatars, although I think I would rather use Ghastlord of the Fugue since he has built in disruption (which removes the card from the game) and is a little more difficult to remove. I also think I would use Oona, Queen of the Fae as the other creature in the deck, considering that her ability helps the cause (which also removes cards from the game) and she is also difficult to remove. Both of those creatures can be efficient beaters as well if you want to go the damage route.
I've been testing this deck quite alot and I play a list, very very similar to yours

The things that did kill me where faeries and more control versions of quick and toast Also the new swan control decks are quite hard (so all in all, just decks with alot of counters)

the cards I use who aren't in your list are:

Telling time
and my favorite allstar
wistful thinking
Your opponents gets milled for 2, not that big, but helps the cause. The better part is the discard 4 cards part. You effectivly cripple alot of decks if they can't find a counter for wistful thinking.

All in all a very fun deck to play
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