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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:53 am 
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Monk1410 wrote:
I understand that but keeping a hand without a white source with your list is asking for trouble as your early spells that stabilize are white. I would cut at least one swamp for a plains. Also I would cut cruel sadist and ordeal they are both too slow and inefficient for this deck. Running those cards can make your late game draws bad. I would max out on banisher priest and raise the alarm. It is not always a mistake on the game, it can be an error in deck building


I see your point but I also feel it's not unreasonable to keep a decent hand with swamps and spells that I could cast and assume that you'll draw into a Guildgate or Plains over a period of 3-4 turns in order to play a spell with a single white mana requirement. In my case I didn't, should I have mulligand? I don't think so, apart from no white sources it was a decent hand, I just drew more of my white spells and no white sources so I couldn't cast them.

I agree with adding an extra white source (maybe 2) and adding the 3rd Banisher Priest and a 4th Raise the Alarm, I'm probably gonna straight swap the Alarm for an Ordeal, I'll probably cut the other Ordeal for Banisher too, although I don't like having too many WW or BB costs in my cards unless they are at the top of my mana curve (like BSA or Tormentor) or a late game play (like Reckoning) when I should have enough sources to reliably cast their costs. The reason I'm currently run an extra swamp to my Plains ratio is that I run more black spells, that's the right choice, imo.

Sadist can be slow, but she doubles as an alternative win condition and acts as spot removal when needed too, she also helps to keep the mana curve on track so I really want to keep her in the deck for her versatility more than anything - unless you can point me to a 1-2 mana creature that pulls a similar role as both removal and win condition. I like Ordeal for the I make creatures into threats and help you stabilize later on but it does open the deck up to 2 for 1s and agree that it's probably one of the weak spots of the deck.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:18 am 
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That's a great post because you're re-evaluating your deck based on its losses and not its wins. If you think you made a good keep that's okay, but it's important to ask yourself the question.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:30 pm 
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I'm currently running 7 decks, so thought I'd post them here for anyone interested.

Undying Will

9 x Plains
11 x Swamp
4 x Orzhov Guildgate

4 x Cloudshift
4 x Gods Willing
3 x Wall of Omens
3 x Lone Missionary
1 x Baneslayer Angel
1 x Resolute Archangel
3 x Pharika's Chosen
4 x Undying Evil
2 x Agent of the Fates
4 x Liliana's Specter
1 x Shadowborn Demon
3 x Rescue from the Underworld
1 x Rune-Scarred Demon


Lots of ETB trickery, and ways to trigger it repeatedly along with a few finishers and lots of early stall via lifegain and deathtouch.

Shadowborn is recurrable kill with the Cloudshift/Undying package, especially convenient as he self-sacrifices for the latter. He can also force another creature of your choice to die with the sac demands, which you can give Undying to in order to re-trigger ETBs, and is obviously a great target for Rescue too.

Agent of the Fates has 12 trigger spells on top of his deathtouch, and the Specters are great value for ETB abuse too - especially for taking the last few cards from a player's hand.


I was just working on a deck like this that I call "Clouds of Evil" and thought I had a somewhat original and unique deck going until I skimmed this thread and found this. My decklist has been about 25% different, but hasn't been running all that well. I have been running a few Gravediggers, which makes for some hilarity.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:42 pm 
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I was just working on a deck like this that I call "Clouds of Evil" and thought I had a somewhat original and unique deck going until I skimmed this thread and found this. My decklist has been about 25% different, but hasn't been running all that well. I have been running a few Gravediggers, which makes for some hilarity.


I did consider the Gravediggers, but found them a little slow compared to recovering creatures via Undying and re-triggering the ETBs that way, as I like surprises. Not to say Gravediggers don't work - a slower build is just as valid and has strengths in other areas, but just isn't my cup of tea.

I'm sure there's probably a few people running similar builds, and I don't think I've originated much here. The Cloudshift/Undying Evil/Gods Willing package is a strong core for any deck, and then throwing in the Agents and Specters to exploit them fully is an obvious move. I think the real variety and strength probably comes from whre you go from there, and I don't think mine is the end point to that jounrey by any means.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:02 pm 
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I was just working on a deck like this that I call "Clouds of Evil" and thought I had a somewhat original and unique deck going until I skimmed this thread and found this. My decklist has been about 25% different, but hasn't been running all that well. I have been running a few Gravediggers, which makes for some hilarity.


I did consider the Gravediggers, but found them a little slow compared to recovering creatures via Undying and re-triggering the ETBs that way, as I like surprises. Not to say Gravediggers don't work - a slower build is just as valid and has strengths in other areas, but just isn't my cup of tea.

I'm sure there's probably a few people running similar builds, and I don't think I've originated much here. The Cloudshift/Undying Evil/Gods Willing package is a strong core for any deck, and then throwing in the Agents and Specters to exploit them fully is an obvious move. I think the real variety and strength probably comes from whre you go from there, and I don't think mine is the end point to that jounrey by any means.


Actually, my deck has worked better with the Gravediggers, as they allow me to get back a dead Rune Scarred Demon or Agent of the Fates. And if Gravedigger is involved in a Rescue from the Underworld, you get 3 creatures back instead of just 2. Btw, skimming your decklist again, you seem to only have 58 cards.

I did put Pharika's Chosen in my build, and it's been running slightly better. Do you run Seance in those last 2 spots?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:11 pm 
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Ahh, I missed off the 2 x Indulgent Tormentors! Doh!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:37 am 
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Ahh, I missed off the 2 x Indulgent Tormentors! Doh!


How could you do such a thing, lol.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:28 am 
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"In the prescriptive sense, luck is a supernatural and deterministic concept that there are forces (e.g. gods or spirits) which prescribe that certain events occur very much the way laws of physics will prescribe that certain events occur. It is the prescriptive sense that people mean when they say they "do not believe in luck"."

With that being said, I am one who does not believe in luck. I used to when I first started playing Mtg but now I do not. Now, the only things I attribute to seemingly "bad luck" events would be improper deck building on my part, misguided lines of play I should of considered, or just not enough sleep to focus on what I am doing.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:44 am 
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"In the prescriptive sense, luck is a supernatural and deterministic concept that there are forces (e.g. gods or spirits) which prescribe that certain events occur very much the way laws of physics will prescribe that certain events occur. It is the prescriptive sense that people mean when they say they "do not believe in luck"."

With that being said, I am one who does not believe in luck. I used to when I first started playing Mtg but now I do not. Now, the only things I attribute to seemingly "bad luck" events would be improper deck building on my part, misguided lines of play I should of considered, or just not enough sleep to focus on what I am doing.


That's just semantics. Nobody's thinking some supernatural entity shafted them, but just that sometimes, even with the best deck in the world and perfect play, you will get nothing but land after your opening hand and/or your opponent will draw every answer they need and therefore still win despite misplays. It's as I mentioned before - no amatuer is stepping in the ring and taking the belt off the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Someone playing for a week however could beat the current Magic Player of the Year.

That's not due to improper deck building on Reid Duke's behalf, or misguided lines of play by Jeremy Dezani. Kai Budde didn't stay up all night watching the whole of the final season of Breaking Bad. The nature of the game (and more specifically, the land system) defeated them, nothing more. Even the game's designer Richard Garfield believes it's a game that has an element of luck in. He should know - he put it in there.

There's also an argument as to why it makes Magic the success it is. As I mentioned, you can't enter a gym and immediately beat a pro boxer. You can't dive in a pool and start winning swim meets within the week. You can however pick up a MTG deck and beat a seasoned player despite having not much experience because random chance smiled upon you. That flatters the egos of a lot of people, who then seek to minimise the nature of chance because it doesn't fit the narrative that they were simply the player with the most skill. I notice a lot of people on the luck vs skill debate change their minds very quickly based on if they're winning or losing for a stretch...

It's a game with a random element. It has a very strong element of luck. None of these things are in any serious dispute by anyone involved in the game at a professional level (usual estimates are 70% skill - 30% luck, depending on the deck and the players having the same knowledge of the game) The game is about trying your best to minimise the role of chance, sure, but it still exists whatever you do, and it will always be responsible for a number of unfair losses or undeserved wins wether you believe in it or not.

If we both had the same fundamental knowledge of the metagame and mechanics (therefore neither was making clearly stupid plays) yet you were a more skilled player than me, I would still be expected to win 2-3 out of every 10 games due to luck of the draw. That wouldn't happen in Chess. That wouldn't happen in the UFC. That's common in Magic, because luck is a factor. My win ratio (and I guess yours probably) is higher than 70% in Duels, but only because a large proportion of people are completely incompetent at the game.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:03 am 
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There are certain things you just cannot control no matter how you build a deck. I remember specifically a 2013 match where I was using my mill deck, a deck that has by default 25 islands. I started out with just 3 islands on my opening hand and through the match I put down 2 howling mines and can tripped a few times but I literally did not draw my 4th island until there only 35 cards left in my library. I remember it vividly and I was laughing in complete disbelief. I still won because the deck runs on cheap spells but you think that not drawing a 4th island until my 25th card is just a misplay on my part? 25 islands is not good enough to consistently draw lands? Good luck or bad luck is completely subjective but if it all falls back on the player's skill at deck building how do you reason that event? Bad construction with 25 islands?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:16 am 
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I had a 4-player FFA in 2009 where I had to mulligan to 6 to get any lands, and took a 2 mana hand with a white weenie deck. It took another 20 turns before I got my 3rd. In a 60 card deck, with 25 Plains.

One of the players was using Jace's Erasure, but no other mill, and it consistently took lands from the top of my deck. He was targeting me as I was weak on the board, and he didn't want to antagonise stronger players. Nobody killed me meanwhile as I wasn't a threat and had tons of 1 and 2 drops defending, making it dangerous to try to kill me as they'd need to attack with all to get anything through and leave themselves vulnerable.

These are extreme examples of course, but far more subtle, hardly detectable things determine games all the time. And people like to flatter themselves by claiming no luck was involved, despite drawing from a randomised deck. Why this is even a debate is beyond me.

My point in the argument about accepting certain losses as lucky or not, is that to blame yourself for unavoidable losses is a completely unhelpful way to think. Not only is it completely innacurate, but it leads to self-doubt, which makes you a worse player, and over-competitiveness, that makes you enjoy the game less and be a less ejoyable person to be around. Accepting you lost due to bad luck now and again is a much healthier and more rational way to look at the game and life in general.


Last edited by Stevolutionary on Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:24 am 
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This is my version of the lifegain deck. Try it out!

xxx
LEVITICUS

ARCHETYPE
3 x Ulcerate
3 x Tribute to Hunger

3 x Elixir of Immortality
4 x Lone Missionary


PRIMARY
3 x Ajani's Pridemate
2 x Rhox Faithmender
3 x Banisher Priest

3 x Vizkopa Guildmage
2 x Sanguine Bond
3 x Angelic Accord


SECONDARY
3 x Meditation Puzzle
2 x Suffer the Past
3 x Radiant Fountain

7 x Plains
4 x Plains
4 x Orzhov Guildgate
4 x Swamp
3 x Swamp


EDIT: Formatting.


Last edited by InFaMoUsGeMiNi on Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:42 am 
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You don't blame yourself for unavoidable losses, you learn to recognize them. New and inexperienced players tend to overestimate the amount of losses they incur that are out of their control and do not improve as a result.

If you lose a game while having played your best, then that is out of you control. Focus on what you can control, but more importantly learn to accept that you have more control than you think you do. That is the hard part for most people because it involves being accountable.

Am I playing the Semantics game here? Sure. You call it luck, I call it variance. It's just an inherent variable of the game that you must seek to minimize through optimal deck construction and optimal play.

I just think that calling it "lucky" is being emotionally driven, while calling it "variance" is rationally driven, so the Semantic distinction has merit in my opinion.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:58 am 
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Hakeem928 wrote:
I just think that calling it "lucky" is being emotionally driven, while calling it "variance" is rationally driven, so the Semantic distinction has merit in my opinion.


<3 <3 <3


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:05 am 
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By purposely choosing to substitute a common word that is universally understood is an emotionally driven thing to do. You stated multiple times that people should stop thinking luck exists, while still acknowledging it does exist, but camoflaging it with a different term.

It's a form of emotional conditioning, and the opposite of rationality. It's holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously (luck exists, but I will functionally behave as if it didn't in order to improve as a player)

Luck is luck. Call a spade a spade and stop fearing terminology. Calling it variance obsfuscates the issue and is a pointless exercise in cognitive dissonance. As I've mentioned before, I know quite a few sucessful players at tournament level who have been playing the game for many years. They all call it luck. Nobody calls it variance but you.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:37 am 
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It's holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously (luck exists, but I will functionally behave as if it didn't in order to improve as a player)


I don't mean to jump in the middle of this, and I may be completely off base, but I think that this way of thinking makes a lot of sense. To blame a loss on luck is the easy way out, and so you pretend as if it didn't exist. You go back and analyze every possible solution, try to figure out some way you could have played differently and won, and if such a solution does not exist, then you come to the conclusion that it was simply out of your control.

As a fairly new player to magic (since duels 2013), and one who wants to improve, this is how I like to look at it.

Just my :two:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:00 pm 
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That is exactly the mindset I'm trying to promote. If I'm creating a new word for the same concept, it's because I want people to think about that concept in a different way that can possibly lead to different conclusions.

I beat a guy quite handily last night by curving out beautifully with my RW aura deck and stomping him on T5 while he durdled around with an unfocused deck. He sent me a message saying "Lucky bull$hit". There's a player who lost badly and was unwilling to hold himself accountable, so his emotions lashed out at the perceived cause of the loss instead of looking inward and asking "What could I have done better?" If the answer to that question is "Nothing" then you simply move on and congratulate your opponent.

But if you believe in "lucky bull$hit" then you won't even ask it.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:30 pm 
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Hakeem928 wrote:
He sent me a message saying "Lucky bull$hit". .

Wow.
I've played like 50 or 60 games by now and haven't had message one sent to me good or bad. I feel lonely out there on the internets. :(
I will be either FRAPing or Elgatoing a few matches this evening and posting them on my YT page. I'll showcase my builds I've posted in Naya and Mono Black so everyone can see how they work / don't work out.
I made a few more changes in the Naya deck last night and think I have it where I want it. I also built a nice Izzet deck and Orzhov is next.
Not completely knowing the whole pool by heart yet I must ask, are there any Exalted creatures this year. I love the mechanic and see a lot of people not fully understanding it. How do you think I made HOC work so well?
:evil:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:43 pm 
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I actually responded to the guy and offered to set up an unranked lobby so he could see how my tight deck construction leads to a lot of "lucky" draws, and his response was "I'll kill you". Nice fellow.

I think I'll try to brew up my WB Sanguine Bond deck tonight to get this thread back on topic. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:36 pm 
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I kind of agree and disagree with some of you. I certainly agree that with solid deck building and play that a lot of people mistake being "lucky" a lot for just that, good deck building and play. I've had a few people say "you always get lucky", etc.

But to say a game that still has random variables to it (such as my 20 land Goblin deck drawing 6 lands in a row after keeping a 3 land hand) doesn't have luck involved is a bit ridiculous as well. I agree luck is a smaller part of the game than a lot of people might go on about. And really, just saying "variance" instead of "luck" isn't changing that everyone is talking about the exact same thing. That's bordering on something along the lines of "spin" if you ask me.

There's certainly a lot of bad players out there with "bad luck" though, lol.

You can still have good luck too, even if you have the tightest deck out there. If you get a perfect hand followed by the draws that basically answers every single thing your opponent does exactly when you need it, even though the majority of that is knowing how to build a deck and knowing how and when to play, there is still some "good luck" involved there as well.

I agree that it is a better way of thinking to not think about luck being a factor, but no one can just simply deny it isn't part of the game, because it is.

Unless someone just keeps badgering me about "luck", being a good sport also means taking a little heat gracefully when the opponent gets mad after beating them 5 times in a row.

Edit: *cough* Yes, umm, on-topic stuff. How 'bout that heal/hurt stuff? Pretty nifty if you ask me!

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