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Mono-Black mid-range


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Kytep



Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vedrfolner wrote:
I tried to say that Mind Sludge is not a waste (for you) even against red burn, since they keep burn and ball lightning in hand. So we agreed there. It is one of the best cards in the deck.


Ah - Sorry; I misunderstood you. After re-reading what you wrote, I see that we do agree. Smile But just to be clear: I believe that Sludge in general is not a good strategy vs. aggro, and comes out in those matchups. It's just that it's not "wasted" in those matchups; it can do SOME good. (I'm sure you agree with that as well; I'm just clarifying so others reading this don't interpret it as suggesting that I think that Sludge is a good card to keep in the deck vs. aggro.)

Vedrfolner wrote:
Topdecking a Haunting Echoes against Jund or other decks that plays many spells is practically lethal. The game always goes to topdeck mode, and if you land a Haunting Echoes while both players are hoping to draw threats or answers, the chances of winning are very high.


This is interesting, although the first thing that comes to my mind is, "How do I get into topdecking mode vs. Jund?" I've found Jund to generally be a very difficult matchup for mono-Black. Most of their creatures have 3+ toughness, making Disfigure and Infest of limited use, many are black (e.g., Leech, Thrinax, Broodmate), and so Doom Blade-proof, and of course GSS has protection and is a 7-turn clock (Thrinaxes and cascade effects help Jund keep chumps to sac to Gatekeeper so GSS can go the distance).

If you can find a way to consistently get Jund matchups into topdecking mode so that Haunting Echoes can do its thing, please let me know. At the moment, my strategy is to race them, rather than try to get to a long, top-decking game. And I'm finding ObNix to be HUGE in that race. As ObNix and Consumes whittle down their life (and the latter increase mine), and my creature control whittles down their creatures, before long, they're going to have to stop attacking with their Stag and hold him back to stop ObNix. And I'll keep dropping lands, and perhaps flying over with my witches...

Vedrfolner wrote:
I was trying to say that your 28 lands, after a couple of fetchlands, gives the same chance of playing another Swamp as my deck running 25 - leaving three slots open for more cards. The question is therefore if Ob Nixis is worth all those cards in a deck. I say no, you say yes Wink


Given the need of my deck to get to 5 lands ASAP (Bloodwitch, Sludge, ObNix, even Tendrils), I don't pop my fetches early; I leave them until I need to pop them. So I'm not using them for thinning. As you can see a few posts up, the probabilities of getting to 5 lands by Turn 5 are very different for a deck with 25 lands (52%) vs. 28 (66%). Because only 29% of my lands are fetches, on average I'll only pop one on my way to getting the 5th, meaning I'm effectively running about 27 lands (62% chance of 5 mana by T5).

Plus, like I said, the "extra" lands are not just for ObNix; they help bring out Turn 5 Bloodwitches, and, as you pointed out, many other cards in the deck want many Swamps in play (Tendrils, Consume, Sludge). If you want to think of it this way: I'm taking a deck that already needs a lot of lands, and saying, "Hmmm...lots of lands...what goes well with that...Hey! ObNix!"

Vedrfolner wrote:
Duress is better vs combo, counterspells, early game stuff that can't enter play and control in general. Mind Sludge + Consume Spirit in one turn is unimpressive. Duress + Consume Spirit is much more lethal.


But combo and counterspells are not a significant part of the meta right now. The threat today isn't so much my opponents countering my Consume; rather, it's my opponent casting Cruel Ultimatum; or, if I take that with a Duress, a Baneslayer. Or Sphinx of Jwar Isle. Or Esper Charm to get more threats/answers, etc.

You're right that Sludge/Consume on the same turn is sub-optimal (at least for the Consume side). But Sludge, follwed by Consume on the NEXT turn is MUCH better than Duress/Consume on the same turn, in a meta with few counterspells but lots of big, expensive spells.

Thanks again for the input; I hope we can make mono-Black work in T2 again!

Kytep
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Vedrfolner



Joined: 04 Apr 2006
Posts: 2325

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The key card against Jund is of course Mind Sludge. Even Jund goes into topdeck mode after a Mind Sludge. If I got a Haunting Echoes to play the next turn, chances are good for a game win.

If jund goes Leech > Thrinax > Elf - Blightning/Thrinax on the play they are close to a 100% chance of a win regardless of opponent deck. So don't worry about those starts. There is nothing that can be done to them.

If they go Leech... nothing... elf, however. You can Gatekeeper their Leech and block their elf if they attack. Also, if you have a Disfigure in hand, their Leech is a bear at best. Often they pump and you kill it for 1 mana. If they have only a Thrinax in play, Gatekeeper it and their tokens are next to worthless. Tendrils kills all their creatures and buys you time. But the key card is Mind Sludge. If they continue to drop powercard after powercard you will lose the game - such is the card advantage and pressure of that deck. If you discard 3-5 cards with Mind Sludge (usually Blast, Dragon, Pulse, Stag... the cards they wait with playing) you have good chances of dealing with the board afterwards if you survive that turn.

If you have Bloodghast in the deck, that is a card they cannot deal with if they are planning to win by card advantage (which they do). Usually they are at 13-14 life when I stabilize because of a turn 2 Bloodghast which they neither block nor kill. Once they start Pulsing, Blasting or Bolting the Bloodghasts, they are on the path of defeat. It is funny how underwhelming their cascade topdecks become when inevitability is on MBC's side. But there is one exception: Broodmate Dragon.
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Kytep



Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vedrfolner wrote:
The key card against Jund is of course Mind Sludge. Even Jund goes into topdeck mode after a Mind Sludge. If I got a Haunting Echoes to play the next turn, chances are good for a game win.


You bring up some good points; I hadn't really thought about making discard a primary strategy vs. Jund, but it makes sense. Jund tends to start off slowly, then picks up its steam. If I can swat its hand away early and control what few threats they may have dropped, Echoes might actually be able to seal it.

Hmmm...I wonder what would happen if we made a deck that really tried to get consistent Turn 5 Sludges, then Echoes to seal games, but also had enough tools to effectively control the board?

I'm thinking maxing out on Diabolic Tutors to either allow us to play fewer Sludges (because any beyond the first are often wasted or near-wasted draws), or allow us to really max out Turn 5 Sludges (although I really don't think I'd play 4x Tutor AND 4x Sludge, at least not Main).

With 4 Tutors and, say, 2 Sludges, we can effectively have 6 Sludges for the purpose of getting a Turn 5 Sludge, and with the "extra" Tutors, we can get Echoes, Tendrils, ObNix, or whatever else we might need.

What about something like:

4 Diabolic Tutor
2 Mind Sludge
1 Haunting Echoes
4 Sign in Blood

4 Tendrils
2 Consume
4 Disfigure
2 Doom Blade

2 ObNix
3 Bloodwitch
4 Gatekeeper

28 lands (maybe 4 of them fetches?)

Lots of sideboard options to shore up aggro or control (e.g., Doom Blade, Infest, Wretched Banquet, Deathmark, Sadistic Sacrament, Duress, Scepter of Fugue, Pithing Needle, etc.)

Basically, I've taken out 2 ObNix, 1 Bloodwitch, 1 Consume, and 2 Wretched Banquet for 4 Tutors, 1 Sludge and 1 Echoes. Fewer ObNix, Consume, and Witches needed when I can tutor for them. On paper, this deck looks like it has a great chance of getting a Turn 5 Sludge vs. Jund or control, yet it still has 14 - 16 creature control cards main (6 of which gain life), and more available in SB, to survive aggro rushes.

I think something like this could work - or is at least trying. Thanks!

Kytep
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Vedrfolner



Joined: 04 Apr 2006
Posts: 2325

PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't play 4 Tutors. Double DT clog up the hand just as much as double Mind Sludge. It is always better to draw the card you want, than the tutor for it, because a DT + MS costs 9 mana and 2 turns, a Mind Sludge costs 5 mana and 1 turn. So never play more tutors than the card you want to search up (Diabolic Tutors anyway).
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Kytep



Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vedrfolner wrote:
I wouldn't play 4 Tutors. Double DT clog up the hand just as much as double Mind Sludge. It is always better to draw the card you want, than the tutor for it, because a DT + MS costs 9 mana and 2 turns, a Mind Sludge costs 5 mana and 1 turn. So never play more tutors than the card you want to search up (Diabolic Tutors anyway).


That's my usual stance as well, and it may well prove to be the right one here. However, my thinking is that I have a few cards that are great to cast once (and at the right time), but are not so good in multiples, as the second (and third, etc.) have MUCH less value; often, they are "wasted" draws. Sludge and Echoes are prime examples - rather than running, say, 4 of each, I can run, say, 1 of each and 4 Tutors. That right there frees up 2 slots in my deck for things like creature control.

Plus, the flexibility of the Tutors lets me run fewer of some other cards as well (e.g., ObNix, Consume), so that I can get them when I really need them, rather than packing so many in order to draw them early that they end up choking up my hand. And the fact that the decks against which I want to cast Sludge tend to be slower, I can often have the time to cast Turn 4 Tutor, Turn 5 Sludge, with minimal negative impact.

Like I said, it may be the case that it makes more sense to play 4 Sludge and 2 Tutor, rather than 2 Sludge and 4 Tutor. But if I can play fewer Echoes, Sludge, and ObNix - and yet get them when I need them - I feel like I'm freeing up slots in the deck that I can then use for more creature control.

I don't know; testing will tell...

Thanks,
Kytep
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