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AgePosted: 2008-Dec-30 9:19 am 

Joined: 2008-Dec-29 8:30 am
Age: Wyvern
I probably made myself unclear ^^;
As my goal isn't to put only one or two fatties that would be overwhelmed, even on 1vs1
It's (and probably it's the same for you) to play loads of them, as soon as possible.

I see that our builds are different but I'm not sure that depend only on the fact that I'm trying to survive on 1vs1

More focusing on your deck: Is multiplayer (more than 4 that is the max I played) that slow -if I may say so- that you can afford to play only 11 creatures that cost less than 4 without mana fixers and accelerators?
It makes less than one per starting hand.
If I can turn the question differently: What do you do before turn 4?


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AgePosted: 2008-Dec-30 11:03 am 
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You can always drop Mayael on turn three as a cheap blocker, then replay her on turn five (assuming no acceleration).

I think if you're worried about early creature rushes you can tailor your acceleration package to fit that. Wall of Roots, Vine Trellis, Sakura-Tribe Elder.

You only need to get to six mana, then your fatties will begin to outclass their creatures for the next few turns, at least.

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AgePosted: 2008-Dec-30 11:47 am 
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Indeed, dropping mayael is one thing to do and it's often a good move, even if she costs 5 later because of it.

What I most often find myself doing is fixing my mana. A bit of fetching, a bit of landcycling, dropping a rack, guile, library or top. In addition if I have them I might drop a smaller creature. I might also use the evoke guys if needed. Though in general there is no hurry. The speed of the decks my opponents play is at such a level that I might expect to have received at most 6 damage by turn 3 on very rare occasions. Given the amount of land I have I will often be able to drop something on turn 3/4 to stop that (or wrath).

What helps me is that my opponents know me and I know them. They know my deck is pretty slow, they also know that if they go for the throat early I will try to get my revenge on them, even if it costs me the game (or even future games if I have to). I on the other hand know how to convince them other people are more threatening (which they are, at that time). There's also something else, The Ferret a few months ago wrote an article about that there are basically 2 kinds of multiplayer people / groups, the gentlemen and the people who go for the throat whenever they see an opening. My group most definitely consists of gentlemen, meaning they will leave an opponent alone as long as his decks hasn't actually started doing its thing. (With the possible exception of myself as far as being a gentleman, but I am not going to attack me and I play slow decks anyway).

Basically the first few turns in my group consist of some guys attacking people round robbin style for a few damage, skipping anyone that has a decent enough defense. After that some of the guys tend to go for those with the highest life total (it's even good at this point to have been hit before). Around turn 5-6 we are starting to approach the midgame, a general might have made it in, life totals are still between 12 and 22 (remember, we start at 20). At this point all the decks have started doing what they should and now the power strugle starts. Few people dare to attack out of fear for the other 4 that might see an opening because of it. People mostly just drop critters and wait. I tend to hold back a bit (using just what I have in play, lands, artifacts, enchantments, maybe a few critters) then use some global removal when people start looking my way. Most people in my group don't hold back enough, so this normally hurts them quite badly and gives me more than enough time to get out 1 or 2 fatties. At this point people are looking my way, but also border wars have normally started between some of the players so in general I then need to hold of 1 or 2 people who are severely disadvantaged by the global removal I played. This is generally very doable. Some damage might be done. At some point one of them is getting the upper hand again, maybe after a turn or 4-5, but that's ok, if it is not one of the people aiming for me I am save and will let him do his thing. If it is one of those that are after me I have normally drawn something that is going to stop him, or at least my defenses are good enough to withstand most of his forces and make it a risky proposition to come after me as the other people most likely will use the chance to bring him down if he goes all in towards me. At some point the board will be reset again and this happens all over. Now I won't claim to always be able to come out a winner after this, because if 2-3 people decide you are going out, you're going. Also there might be enough small hits to me that I can't keep up. Or, even more common, the game has taken close to 4 hours, some people need to go home (including me) and the game ends in a draw or with the remaining players struggling for another hour or so.

On bad draws the difference is that all this happens a few turns later, because my opponents are such gentlemen. I might have enough of a set back to not recover at all, but this is not common.

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AgePosted: 2008-Dec-30 12:48 pm 

Joined: 2008-Dec-29 8:30 am
Age: Wyvern
I gues this is where our groups are different.
On mine, after turn 5, if you've not really started, you're walking dead...
We aren't gentle at all, especially if we're playing 1vs1 (of course) or on hunter/pray style (you're the pray of the guy on your left, and the guy on your right is yours, you won if you killed the most prays)

combo decks and so on aren't rare so if we let them start, they'll kill all the board on one shot so we got to start as fast as possible

this is probably the reason why we aren't playing the same way/build, not only the number of opponents


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AgePosted: 2008-Dec-30 3:19 pm 
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Yeah, probably. Seems like you group likes to play 1 on 1 even when playing multiplayer.

Still there can be things the other is doing that is helpfull.

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AgePosted: 2009-Jan-06 3:44 am 

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Hi,
I tested yesterday my version of the deck in a multiplayer game versus a Sygg U/B and a 5 colors control Reaper King.
Unfortunately, it seems that the background here is definately not the same than yours.
Apparently, the simple fact that I will be able to cast huge creatures if I'm alive in middle game makes me the target in early game.
So I still think that adding some mana accelerators to cast the big guys is a top priority, to be able to have asap a big guy ingame to not be overwhelmed.
Even so, as one dude isn't enough, you've got to keep the presure on, and as hardcast will not allow you to play your big guys during the turns of opponents, I also still think that having multiple alternates to Mayael on the deck is a priority.
Without those alternates, Mayael isn't enough and hardcasting the dudes will leave too much time to the opponents to react (without saying that for some you'll need 8 manas)

It seems, then, that for me, just having Mayael as a General put me in worth condition in multiplayer than in 1vs1, as I've got to manage more opponents at once.

I also tested the deck on 1vs1 of course and even if it's not a deck to beat, it's still really funny to have an army of 5/5 at least :D
The manas are for now stable and playing no lands that arrived taped appears to be a good thing.

You'll find below the current list I did and some infos about choices.
    General:
    Mayael, the Anima

    Alternates for Mayael:
    Æther Rift (done for 1vs1 and 30hp, because on multi, there's too much ppl who'll pay)
    Call of the Wild (good with the top but a bit random)
    Deathrender (really good to play guys that arrived in your hand and can protect your general)
    Defense of the Heart (just awesome)
    Elvish Piper (a bit fragil but still efficient)
    Eureka (not easy to play, especially on multiplayer, but really nice to play)
    Hunting Ground (the treshold isn't easy to have, but if so, your opponent will just stop to play, and with call of the wild, it's so fun)
    Pattern of rebirth (just like Deathrender for protection)
    Quicksilver Amulet (a classic way to play everything without being countered)
    Temporal Aperture (will not only make you play your guys but just everything!)

    Big guys:
    Akroma, Angel of Fury
    Akroma, Angel of Wrath
    Arashi, the Sky Asunder
    Bogardan Hellkite
    Borborygmos
    Eternal Dragon
    Flameblast Dragon
    Godsire
    Krosan Tusker
    Living Hive
    Oversoul of Dusk
    Patron of the Orochi
    Purity
    Razia, Boros Archangel
    Scourge of Kher Ridges
    Spearbreaker Behemoth
    Venomspout Brackus
    Vigor
    Windbrisk Raptor
    Woodfall Primus

    Planeswalkers:
    Garruk Wildspeaker
    Sarkhan Vol

    Creature for support
    Captain Sisay (a good add-on, with the 6 legendary lands, to have all the mana you wanted, and more)

    Creatures for mana:
    Birds of Paradise
    Bloom Tender
    Druid of the Anima
    Quirion Elves
    Sakura-Tribe Elder
    Skyshroud Elf
    Llanowar Elves
    Yavimaya Elder

    Artefacts for support:
    Lightning Greaves
    Rings of Brighthearth (really efficient with all the capacities on your deck)
    Scroll Rack (just good with Mayael of Call of the Wild!=
    Sensei's Divining Top (same than Scroll Rack)
    Umezawa's Jitte
    Whispersilk Cloak

    Artefacts for mana:
    Boros Signet
    Coalition Relic
    Coldsteel Heart
    Sol Ring
    Talisman of Impulse
    Talisman of Unity

    Enchantments
    Aura Shards (there's few ways to protect us on the deck, and this one is just so good)
    Oblivion Ring

    Instants
    Enlightened tutor
    Evolution Charm
    Naya Charm
    Swords to Plowshares

    Rituals:
    Firespout
    Harrow
    Land Grant
    Pyroclasm
    Regrowth
    Skyshroud Claim
    Wrath of God

    Lands:
    Battlefield Forge
    Bloodstained Mire
    Brushland
    Eiganjo Castle
    Fire-Lit Thicket
    Flagstones of Trokair
    Flooded Strand
    Hammerheim
    Jungle Shrine
    Karplusan Forest
    Mossfire Valley
    Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers
    Pendelhaven
    Plateau
    Rith's Grove
    Rugged Prairie
    Sacred Fondry
    Savannah
    Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep
    Stomping Ground
    Sungrass Prairie
    Taiga
    Temple Garden
    Windswept Heath
    Wooded Bastion
    Wooded Foothills
    Forest x3
    Mountain x2
    Plains x2


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AgePosted: 2009-Jan-06 12:19 pm 
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Age: Elder Dragon
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Are you sure the problem is not that your deck sports very few actual business spells when you go for all that acceleration? It seems a lot like you are pretty much open until you reach something big. And most big stuff won't keep away a horde of small critters.

Also most of your big stuff is on the expensive side, as speed is a real issue, what are you doing with anything 7+ or even 6+? Where are your calciderm / blastoderm / emperor crocodile / rumbling slum / etc? If your environement is really that differnt I would expect many more cards of that type and also probably much more removal that takes out smaller stuff en masse, so besides firesprout and pyroclasm als rough // tumble, breath of darigaaz, some eartquake variants, etc. I would forget about any accelaration that dies to it then to make sure those cards give you as much of an advantage as possible. At the higher end pyrohemia might also be a nice choice and for multiplayer perhaps even task mage assembly, though that's really pushing it I'll admit.

In general, many of your cards give you a simple, straightforward effect, while what I think you would want to do is gain as much cardadvantage as you can. In that vein, I just can't fathom why you wouldn't play some man lands like forbidding watchtower over weak stuff like the druid of the anima, you hardly have anything at 1 mana anyway.

Considering my deck, I have been goldfishing it and the big guys feel just a tad too costy. What I am thinking is that verdant force might not have what it takes (blasphemy, I know, but the godsire just cranks out a higher total p/t unless we're with 8+, which our tables just couldn't hold, it has vigilance and it's ability is copiable with rings). Also I am doubting bogarden hellkite (though I would be looking for something that deals a large amount of damage when it comes into play, though not necessary at multiple targets, because crater helion would do then, perhaps volcano hellion, but that seems too risky), last thing I am pondering is kirtair's wrath, 6 mana just seems too much, at that price I want to be playing fat guys (perhaps planar colapse can do).

Another thing I am pondering is the boa's. They are being great very often, but there's something pretty boring about having a 2/1 regenerator and it just feels like there should be something a little better. What I so far thought up are mother of runes (will survive less, is white, but can also help the big guys) and 8.5 tails (will survive less given mana shortage, is again white, can help a lot). What I am mainly looking for in those slots is something that will stop something huge and or annoying heading my way pretty often, like a konda, lord of eiganjo, that is difficult to get rid of and that does not cost a lot of mana. I would think 3 mana in green or 2 mana in white or red would be the most I'd be willing to pay (preferably no WW or RR like in the 8.5, which is my main deterrant for that at the moment).

Perhaps any comments or suggestions for these points?

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AgePosted: 2009-Jan-06 2:41 pm 

Joined: 2008-Jan-18 10:55 am
Age: Wyvern
Maybe I missed it somewhere ...

but wouldn't Greater Good be the sickest card in the entire deck?

... also ... Kavu Lair deserves some thought.


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AgePosted: 2009-Jan-06 2:41 pm 
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It does seem a little absurd that you have 11 ways to cheat creatures into paly, but only really 20 creatures you'd want to be cheating in?

I run much more mass removal than you do...Wrath/Rout/Savage Twister/Crater Helion (and possibly Bogardan Hellkite or Tornado Elemental off of a Mayeal Activation.)

I sort of agree with Pi's statements. The only accelration I run in any EDH deck has to accelerate me at least two mana...Sol Ring, Bloom Tender, Explosive Vegetation, Skyshroud Claim, Thran Dynamo. And there needs to be something I'm accelrating to...

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AgePosted: 2009-Jan-07 1:09 am 

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Having more removals and more fatties will help you against fast aggro decks but not at all against control or combo decks.
Most of the time those kind of decks will be more than happy to play removals too and to have more turns to spend to developp their own board.
That's where I think having more mana is a good thing.
Instead of doing nothing on turn 1 to 4, I prefere having more manas to be able to cast Mayael on turn 3 without color death to use her on turn 4

Having "only" 20 big guys seems for me enough (or maybe just a bit short, but less than 5 are missing for sure) as we aren't playing them one by one but are digging for them (mayael is the best example)
Having 11 ways to play them is more important
it's mandatory to have one of them asap
I'll probably cut one or two (aether rift, call of the wild), but to replace them for others of a different kind (gamekeeper, tooth & nails or natural order probably)


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AgePosted: 2009-Jan-07 4:02 am 
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But you don't have many mana sources in there anyway??? You can't count on all those creatures being quite as stable as normal lands and when you go fetching you will also limit future draws mana wise. To me it seems you'd be much better of making sure you don't need as much mana (so lowering the fatty casting costs) and playing lands that do other stuff as well, such as the suggested forbidding watchtower.

Btw, if playing removal and spending time to develop their boards works for those combo / control decks, why not learn from them and do the same? I think you're trying to get Mayael to do something she really cannot, which is kill an opponent fast. Just think about it, Mayael does not come down before turn 3 and probably later, then you need to get to 6 mana to do something with her, and then you only get a single critter, which has summoning sickness for some time. Despite her colors, Mayael's ability is more one that gives you an advantage over a longer time, which is more of a control deck thing.

I agree with Jeyal that 11 ways to cheat creatures in while having only 20 creature to cheat in is way too much. I'd even say 10 too many, but I'll concede that might be needed for your group.

@rushmore111

After I jumped through a bunch of hoops to actually get that fatty in play I won't be all that willing to sac it to draw a bunch of cards. The only use I see for greater good is when the fatty's dying anyway, where I'll admit the card is good, but I'm not sure that really is worth a slot. I am pretty close to the 7 cards in hand limit normally so any additional cards drawn are going to force me to discard more stuff. My reasoning for not including the lair goes likewise, I really don't need that many extra cards and in addition I especially don't want to be giving them to opponents (while I play more fatties all have at least some at my table).

Possibly you could make suggestions for what to remove for these?

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AgePosted: 2009-Jan-07 10:54 am 
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Well, I played a couple of games with Mayael again yesterday. Changes I made include cutting Fires of Yavimaya and In the Web of War for Regal Force and Woodfall Primus.


As for Greater Good, if I draw it anytime Mayael is already out and I have six or more mana, I will never stop to play it (maybe if I get to ten mana.). Mayael is a card advantage engine in herself. It will probably be the next card I cut. Scroll Rack would be better in that spot.

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AgePosted: 2009-Jan-07 11:05 am 
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please let me now if that force is really worth it, it seems to me you won't have that many green creatures and extra cards aren't that important in my experience anyway.

Did you try kiki-jiki btw?

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AgePosted: 2009-Jan-08 1:11 am 
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I've not yet tried Kiki-Jiki. That'll have to be next.

And I'm not sure about the Force. It came in off a Mayael activation, drew me three cards, and then was just a random 5/5. Had a wrath effect hit the table, I would have been set with enough cards in hand to re-establish position, but the Wrath never came and I won the game on the back of Knollspine Dragon and Vigor combat damage.

On one hand, it's almost always going to draw you two cards. One for itself and one for Mayael, at the least. It's nice to draw the extra cards, but I suppose the deck tends to get to a point where all of it's action is on the board and the hand is just a contingency plan.

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AgePosted: 2009-Jan-10 10:16 am 
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My feeling exactly, extra cards only seem to add to your recovery plan. It seems that plan is already pretty good, as you normally have a few fatties in hand that you didn't get to casting yet. There are worst plans than dropping a bunch of 5/*'s or better. I also don't think I am seeing as much mass removal as some people do, there don't seem to be very many of those cards going round in my group. (Most people in my group don't buy all that many cards, and all of them consider anything over $5+ pretty expensive for a card)

Instead of card drawing I prefer to filter the top cards of my library and fetch cards, allowing me to see even more, without them getting stuck in my hand.

So far in goldfishing Kiki-Jiki always seemed pretty nice. In one particularly exciting goldfishing game I got out kiki, godsire and rings of brightheart, after end of turn triggers have gone on the stack, build another godsire, copy that, tap all sire's for tokens, copy them, untap, tap the token sire's again for tokens, copy them :D. I think that comes to building 10 8/8's a round if you have enough mana, jummie :).

Even copying less exciting critters always seems nice.

I am less convinced about the seeker of skybreak, though it was interesting to have with kamahl and a rings of brightheart. I think I need to see this in play in a few actual games to judge its merrit. Fortunately I should be able to play 1 or 2 of those tomorrow :).

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