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 Post subject: Re: [1:N, Mayael] Dear Mayael...
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-25 10:07 am 
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Joined: 2007-Mar-28 12:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Omaha
I use both Crater Hellion and Bloodfire Colossus (and Gruul Ragebeast!) as far as Vigor's best friends go.. I came to the same conclusion as pi as far as Scourge of Kher Ridges, though...I'd rather spend that 6 mana using Mayael again next turn.

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 Post subject: Re: [1:N, Mayael] Dear Mayael...
AgePosted: 2016-May-23 1:27 am 

Joined: 2010-Apr-16 6:59 am
Age: Drake
Location: Freemont, NE (Omaha area) USA
After reading the last few pages of (GREAT!) suggestions, I dug out my old Mayael deck and took it from beast to dragon tribal. FUN! One card I just had to add, that I don't see a mention of here is Elvish Piper. Really helps when my hand starts to fill with big creatures. If it is listed earlier in this thread, my apologies. I didn't go back and read the whole thing!

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 Post subject: Re: [1:N, Mayael] Dear Mayael...
AgePosted: 2016-May-23 9:06 am 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-19 12:15 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Sacramento, CA
I took out Scourge of Kher Ridges for Bogardan Hellkite which I later took out for Dragonlord Atarka.

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 Post subject: Re: [1:N, Mayael] Dear Mayael...
AgePosted: 2016-May-24 1:27 am 
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Joined: 2008-Dec-26 7:50 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Amsterdam, Holland
Elvish Piper's weakness is that it falls over in a light breeze while making you wait a turn before you can even use it. Myojin of Life's Web doesn't have those problems, though it's less castable. I tend to survive to the late game based on whatever is cheap enough to cast and mass removal, mostly the latter. The Piper just won't survive for all that long and what it puts into play wouldn't either and that's just based on what I do myself. I reckon at most I'll get 2 activations out of it in a game and those activations will bring me something good, but, come at card parity rather than card advantage when it comes to comparing the Piper to Mayael. I much rather be activating Mayael or the Myojin even if they may be a bit harder to get going, I should have enough time anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: [1:N, Mayael] Dear Mayael...
AgePosted: 2016-May-29 8:14 am 

Joined: 2010-Apr-16 6:59 am
Age: Drake
Location: Freemont, NE (Omaha area) USA
I'm also getting great action out of the Avacyn, Angel of Hope - Novablast Wurm combo.

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 Post subject: Re: [1:N, Mayael] Dear Mayael...
AgePosted: 2016-May-29 5:47 pm 
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Location: Costa La Haya, capital del ducado Holanda
As a backup for Mayael I'd sooner run a noncreature solution like Summoning Trap. When your Mayael doesn't work because you can't keep her on the board, you can't keep Elvish Piper on the board either. Now that tuck isn't a thing, I'm less inclined to go for backups for your general.

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 Post subject: Re: [1:N, Mayael] Dear Mayael...
AgePosted: 2016-May-29 7:39 pm 
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Location: Amsterdam, Holland
Yeah, Wurm and Avacyn have pretty good synergy. Wurm tends to be a little unreliable as far as Wraths go though, so it's right on the edge of making it in or dropping out of the deck, but you accomplish the same with traditional Wraths.

I've chosen Defense of the Heart, Myojin of Life's Web and Tooth and Nail as my backup plans, Summoning Trap would be far from bad, but I don't usually have an issue between Mayael and these, some search and just naturally casting fatties. I tend to play more mass removal than anybody else at the table, so my Mayael tends not to stick around for too long anyway (but a few turns is more than enough). I guess that in my regular group people felt there was enough mass removal so they didn't play as much in their decks, meaning I would more often be in control of when the next mass removal would hit than they would be.

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 Post subject: Re: [1:N, Mayael] Dear Mayael...
AgePosted: 2016-May-29 7:39 pm 
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Location: Amsterdam, Holland
Yeah, Wurm and Avacyn have pretty good synergy. Wurm tends to be a little unreliable as far as Wraths go though, so it's right on the edge of making it in or dropping out of the deck, but you accomplish the same with traditional Wraths.

I've chosen Defense of the Heart, Myojin of Life's Web and Tooth and Nail as my backup plans, Summoning Trap would be far from bad, but I don't usually have an issue between Mayael and these, some search and just naturally casting fatties. I tend to play more mass removal than anybody else at the table, so my Mayael tends not to stick around for too long anyway (but a few turns is more than enough). I guess that in my regular group people felt there was enough mass removal so they didn't play as much in their decks, meaning I would more often be in control of when the next mass removal would hit than they would be.

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 Post subject: Re: [1:N, Mayael] Dear Mayael...
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-17 7:27 am 
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Joined: 2007-Mar-28 12:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Omaha
Novablast Wurm found its way out of my deck, and I was having about as much synergy with it as I could (Avacyn, Spearbreaker, Sneak Attack, Twilight Shepard (a stretch)).

As far as Mayael backup plans go, I try to have things that wouldn't die to the same removal. Quicksilver Amulet is an idea I've toyed with, but currently I'm playing Call of the Wild, Sneak Attack, Lurking Predators, and Defense of the Heart. I want to try and fit in Killer Instinct, just because I've always loved that card, but it's bad, right?

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 Post subject: Re: [1:N, Mayael] Dear Mayael...
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-18 10:15 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
I suppose See the Unwritten is possibly another back-up plan for Mayael decks. I've seen the card in action, and it's pretty good.

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 Post subject: Re: [1:N, Mayael] Dear Mayael...
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-20 7:06 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Dec-26 7:50 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Amsterdam, Holland
The important question to ask though is whether your deck needs another back-up plan?

Sneak Attack was suggested on a different site, on QS as a card to pick up from EMA hence the trading reference, let me post my reasoning against it here:

Quote:
Let me first link to the topic I mentioned (the OP is not updated with my latest list, I prefer to show a deck's history and thus my latest list is always the latest one I have posted):
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1178

If you would check in the topic and in other Mayael topics you would find that most Mayael decks don't really aim to go aggro, instead choosing to drop a few fatties and see what happens (pretty much always including at least some control elements for the long game). It's certainly possible to go full-on aggro and that would be the kind of Mayael deck in which Sneak Attack makes a lot of sense, however, I am yet to see one like that.

Of course, why wouldn't Sneak Attack make sense in a non-aggro Mayael deck then? Mayael, due to her ability is a card advantage engine more than anything, but, due to the nature of the ability you would want to play about 30% fatties in your deck to have a decent chance at revealing fatties, which also means you have about a 30% chance of drawing a fatty to Sneak Attack into play. Not too bad odds actually. One problem though is that for Mayael you want those fatties on top, but for Sneak Attack you want those fatties in hand. You'll likely play some combination of Crop Rotation, Sensei's Divining Top and Sylvan Library like cards to support your main theme of keeping them on top for Mayael, meaning the ones you get in hand for Sneak Attacking purposes will likely be the weaker ones.

A tried and true tactic for Mayael is to drop just enough fatties to hold off the other players. This encourages them to drop more creatures into play and eventually someone will get scared and play some mass removal (quite possibly the Mayael player). The thing is, due to the average size of the creatures in a Mayael deck the Mayael player likely loses fewer cards than the other players to this and, if they came into play through Mayael, it didn't even cost him draws. Keep this up for a while and the opponents start running out of resources while Mayael is still well set to keep dropping more with a full hand to support. To be able to do this though you want your creatures in play so they actually are threatening enough to cause a response. Sneak Attack killing the creatures EOT makes it a non-bo with this strategy.

The argument usually brought up for Sneak Attack is that it gives haste and there certainly is something to say for haste in an environment where creatures tend to live only short lives in any case due to all the mass removal. There are better ways to accomplish it though. Mayael sort of gives haste herself by activating her at the end of the turn before yours. Myojin of Life's Web, Vedalken Orrery and Winding Canyons apply the same principle. Finally Kiki-Jiki sort of gives every non-legendary creature you put into play haste, triggering extra comes into play and leaves play abilities in the progress. Kiki-Jiki also does not clash as much with Mayael's plans as Sneak Attack does even though it appears fairly similar to Sneak Attack. All of these would (arguably) rank higher in a Mayael deck and would you really need even more cards like these?

Mostly Sneak Attack would be an ok card for which you have to find room in a deck filled to the brim with better cards. If I'd have to rank its position relative to other considerations for my Mayael deck it would sit somewhere around card 150: not bad at all, but far too many cards would be a better fit. I believe many of the more serious Mayael players would rank it somewhere in the 95-175 range, so yes, it does sometimes make it in, but it's rare. Of course that's an important stipulation right there: is the person you're trading with one of those serious Mayael players who's thinking through all these tactics, or is he somebody who just sees a cool card and decides to play it? I don't think the former would want the card, but would agree that the latter is more common and as such it's still a good card for your article. (I just happen to fall in the former category myself).

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 Post subject: Re: [1:N, Mayael] Dear Mayael...
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-24 7:13 am 
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Joined: 2007-Mar-28 12:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Omaha
RE: Sneak Attack

That's a pretty fair point- -Sneak Attack (alone) is certainly a card disadvantage engine, and at 30% chance, there's not a lot of room to spare. When you're looking at 40%, though, it becomes a bit more appealing. Put good sneak attack critters into your hand, good "on the battlefield for good" critters in your library.

But the built-in synergy with what your creatures actually do in a deck like this is what makes it break-even or better. Using it with Twilight Shepherd it's a break-even. Using it with Woodfall Primus is a 3-for-none. (4-for-none if you use it when an opponent attacks you.) Using it with things like Crater Hellion or Tornado Elemental give you extra flexibility. At that point, it sort of becomes a rattlesnake. No one wants to attack into the unknown (in the same way opponents typically don't want to attack into an untapped Mayael, but can be a significantly bigger blowout). If you've got Where Ancients Tread (WAT!) or Warstorm Surge out, the blowout factor becomes a blowout factorial.

And, a super minor point, but one that was very relevant in my last game. It's less color-intensive than Mayael.

My manabase in the deck is about as good as it gets without shilling for filter-lands. Duals, Fetches, Shocklands, Rav Karoos, the works. But for reasons that lie in the realms of probability, on turn 7 of last game, I was staring down at Stomping Ground, Gruul Turf, Gavony Township, and three of the five basic forests in the deck. With a combination of WAT and Sneak Attack, I handily won a game that finished without me having white mana.

And I got to say "EOT: Sneak in a Worldspine Wurm. WAT Trigger." followed by EOT: Sac the Wurm, three tokens, 3 WAT Triggers." So there's that.


tl;dr While it's technically a card-disadvantage machine, in my opinion the cards in my deck and their natural synergy typically make the disadvantage worth it for flexibility reasons. The rest of the deck is a ridiculous card advantage machine (for nonblack, nonblue decks).

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 Post subject: Re: [1:N, Mayael] Dear Mayael...
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-27 7:22 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Dec-26 7:50 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Amsterdam, Holland
How would you define "good sneak attack critters"? You give a few examples later, but to me those are better on the Battlefield than in my Yard. True, I couldn't rush out a bunch of them all of a sudden, but only when an opponent has suddenly amassed an army of their own would that be a problem. Normally if their armies outclass my ability to keep them at bay I will play mass removal (of course I will not always have that, but I do play quite a bit of it and in that case other players will also be highly motivated to do the same), if they don't then a Mayael activation is usually enough of a rattlesnake to make them go elsewhere. To me the creature disappearing afterwards is far more of a problem than the things Sneak Attack would help me against as they just don't happen very frequently. The benefits it provides are nice, but, they also tend to be overkill. It's been rare for my opponents to be able to deal with my deck when it truly gets going. I will kill off those more likely to have mass removal first and in 2-3 turns it should be done anyway where Sneak Attack might make it 1-2 turns instead.

If your deck is more focused on quickly taking out opponents (AKA the aggro I mentioned) the card makes much more sense, mine is geared in a more controlish fashion and I'll want every little bit of card advantage I can get so that I can end up being the player with considerable resources when the other players have ran out of them. I'll be happy to grant you that the card makes sense in your deck, but that doesn't necessary mean it makes sense for other Mayael decks. It's certainly a valid card to consider depending on your strategy for winning a game.

I realize that my approach relies a lot on correctly identifying what my opponents will do, giving them the right impression of what my deck could do and building the deck in such a way that it supports my ability to make those things happen regularly. I find that I rely a lot on setting up an image in their minds and I play to support that image. My opponents probably give me and my decks more credit than would be wise. I find that sometimes I can even reap the rewards of that in other games (non-Magic). I'm also pretty decent at mind games, sometimes letting me get away with things I really shouldn't be getting away with. I guess in a sense I am a rattlesnake myself ;).

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 Post subject: Re: [1:N, Mayael] Dear Mayael...
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-27 11:59 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Jan-06 10:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Seattle
pi wrote:
To me the creature disappearing afterwards is far more of a problem than the things Sneak Attack would help me against


This is exactly what I found with Sneak Attack in Mayael. IF I had the answer in hand, I always wished I had it again next turn.

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 Post subject: Re: [1:N, Mayael] Dear Mayael...
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-30 5:33 am 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-02 5:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Costa La Haya, capital del ducado Holanda
Sneak Attack is awesome, but it requires a deck around it.

Either have a plan to recur the dead creatures, play creatures you want dead in the first place, blink, or bounce. Sneak Attack allows you to cheat on mana cost, but you already have that option in a Mayael deck. Redundancy is nice, but to break Sneak Attack you need other cards, and then you need redundancy for those cards, and then you figure out you don't have redundancy for Sneak Attack itself (because there is not a proper substitute).

In a different deck, you don't have Mayael, so you don't already have the ability to cheat stuff into play. So if your deck can blink (Eldrazi Displacer is all the rage now) or bounce, then look for Sneak Attack. Ulasht or Marath with Cloudstone Curio around, that's a nice setup where you can take full advantage of Sneak. If your deck is not that deck, a draw engine is probably getting you to places Sneak Attack isn't bringing you.

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