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  • posted a message on Riftsweeper / Oblivion Ring
    When a card changes zones, it becomes a new object and forgets any properties it had in any prior zones, so when Oblivion Ring leaves the battlefield, no card has the property of having been exiled by it, so the ability does as much as possible, which is nothing.

    Oblivion Ring's second ability doesn't target, and it doesn't fizzle if there's nothing exiled.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on [[Competitive]] Five Color Omni

    When you think of combo in EDH, you probably think of either Druid or some deck whose end game is a two card combination that it assembles after fighting with attrition. Druid is the more interesting case, for me, because of its raw consistency and power, but heavy susceptibility to hate, if opponents are prepared. It is the quintessential glass cannon and bogeyman of EDH, but against prepared opponents it can be difficult to win with it. It has a tough time interacting with hate like Grafdigger’s Cage and Leyline of the Void, both commonly played, and as soon as people realize what you’re doing, they will dedicate their turns towards stopping you. Since the deck is extremely linear, this results in it not being the best deck in the format, similar to how no-land combo in Legacy is extremely fast, but too vulnerable. The biggest problem with Druid is that in most cases it must play Druid then pass, which affords opponents time to prepare a proper solution, be it Cursed Totem, Grafdigger’s Cage, Torpor Orb, Terminus, or even Blind Obedience can seriously through a wrench in the deck’s plans.

    However, Druid teaches us some very valuable lessons. Between the generous mulliganing rules and the sheer quantity and quality of tutors in the format, it is very easy to find specific cards that you want in a deck. This means that combo, even if it requires two specific cards, works much better than one might intuit in a 99 card highlander format.

    The main problem with Druid is that the nature of the combo requires an all-in approach. You have to run a necessary number of cards to facilitate Druid being a game win that you seriously decrease the expected quality of a given drawn card. This means that as a game goes on, it becomes essentially impossible for you to win. Beyond that, it requires dedication to the Druid rout, which, as I mentioned, is easy for four people, who are aware of your intention, and have properly constructed decks, to deal with.

    Evolution from jank to a well-oiled machine.
    I have always liked Rector, but until M13, there wasn't anything in EDH that was seriously worth finding with it. Clearly Rector is a massive tempo boost, being essentially free mana and a tutor all in one, but with Yawgmoth's Bargain out of the format, the best you could do was Necropotence, which wasn’t very exciting. And then, M13 gave us Omniscience.

    My initial versions of this deck used Omniscience to play expensive threats, since that seemed intuitive. I included Rector with several sac outlets, including Flash. Accidentally, by my inclusion of Tooth and Nail, Eternal Witness, and Clones (I was new to the format and still thought that clone effects were good), I was able to go infinite. Lack of pressure to improve the strategy had me leave it as is for several months until Enter the Infinite was spoiled early. Immediately I realized that this severely trumped my Tooth and Nail plays. It would be much easier to run more cheap draw spells to find Enter, draw spells that also operated to help me find Rector and kill it.

    I had also found that it was far easier to find Flash and Rector than I had assumed, and was able to cut the weaker sac outlets from the deck, since just flashing it was so much more reliable and easy. This lead me to restructure the deck entirely, to give me something close to the version we have right now.

    While I was testing the deck, my friend suggested that I could use Conflux, a card that hadn’t occurred to me for some reason, in place of Enter the Infinite. Conflux is actually better than Enter, though, for a few (relatively minor) reasons. It isn't vulnerable to hate like Chains of Mephistopheles or Notion Thief, its easier to cast if it ever actually comes to that (I’ve never had it come to that), and it makes for a better Chrome Mox imprint. So, while Enter the Infinite is very truthfully the inspiration for this deck, it’s not actually in the list anymore.

    While working on streamlining the deck, several other discoveries have greatly improved its quality. Laboratory Maniac provides the most efficient kill, and it works with both Demonic Consultation and Tainted Pact as an “Oh, I win”. Maniac truly is the Time Vault of EDH. Once that was in place, it occurred to me that I actually had most of what makes Doomsday good, and included that, which has vastly improved the decks consistency and versatility. I consider Doomsday to be a massively underplayed card in the format.

    And now, without further adieu, let me present to you the deck itself.
    Five Color Omni
    Child of AlaraMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Omni Package
    1 Omniscience
    1 Academy Rector
    1 Flash
    1 Dark Triumph
    1 Necromancy
    1 Show and Tell
    1 Conflux

    Win Conditions
    1 Laboratory Maniac
    1 Demonic Consultation
    1 Tainted Pact
    1 Doomsday

    1 Vampiric Tutor
    1 Imperial Seal
    1 Mystical Tutor
    1 Personal Tutor
    1 Enlightened Tutor
    1 Worldly Tutor
    1 Demonic Tutor
    1 Merchant Scroll
    1 Lim-Dûl's Vault
    1 Eladamri's Call
    1 Grim Tutor
    1 Intuition

    1 Gitaxian Probe
    1 Gush
    1 Brainstorm
    1 Ponder
    1 Preordain
    1 Sensei’s Divining Top
    1 Thought Scour
    1 Night's Whisper
    1 Frantic Search
    1 Thirst for Knowledge
    1 Timetwister
    1 Wheel of Fortune
    1 Ad Nauseam

    Incremental Draw
    1 Dark Confidant
    1 Sylvan Library
    1 Necropotence
    1 Rhystic Study
    1 Consecrated Sphinx

    1 Reanimate
    1 Snapcaster Mage
    1 Regrowth
    1 Eternal Witness
    1 Yawgmoth's Will

    1 Nihil Spellbomb
    1 Thoughtseize
    1 Silence
    1 Cyclonic Rift
    1 Pact of Negation
    1 Force of Will
    1 Misdirection
    1 Spell Pierce
    1 Flusterstorm
    1 Negate
    1 Izzet Charm
    1 Muddle the Mixture
    1 Mana Drain
    1 Cryptic Command

    1 Dark Ritual
    1 Lotus Petal
    1 Mox Diamond
    1 Chrome Mox
    1 Mana Crypt
    1 Sol Ring
    1 Mana Vault

    1 Gemstone Caverns
    1 Ancient Tomb
    1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
    1 Cavern of Souls
    1 Phyrexian Tower
    1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    1 Command Tower
    1 City of Brass
    1 Forbidden Orchard
    1 Gemstone Mine
    1 Tarnished Citadel
    1 Undiscovered Paradise
    1 Exotic Orchard
    1 Reflecting Pool
    1 Underground River
    1 Polluted Delta
    1 Flooded Strand
    1 Bloodstained Mire
    1 Scalding Tarn
    1 Misty Rainforest
    1 Verdant Catacombs
    1 Marsh Flats
    1 Underground Sea
    1 Tundra
    1 Badlands
    1 Volcanic Island
    1 Tropical Island
    1 Bayou
    1 Scrubland
    1 Watery Grave
    1 Island
    1 Swamp

    The cards are organized roughly by function, and then by the actual (rather than converted) mana cost of the card. For instance, I am counting Force of Will as costing zero mana.

    Child of Alara
    Really, in most cases, any five color general will do, since the most important ability Child has is being five colors. However, this deck includes several sac outlets, and so Child provides an important way to remove an unfavorable field on occasion. More subtly, people tend to play out threats less aggressively against Child since that can result in a blow out, which can buy you time as well.

    Omni package
    The namesake of the deck. This is a one card infinite mana generator, and finally the enchantment truly worthy of Flash-Rectoring. It costs 10 mana, so its essentially uncastable, but in a properly built deck, this card in play is game over. The primary goal of this deck is to get this card into play as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, unlike some other builds, this deck is also built to operate even without Omniscience, and operate well without it. By having this as a primary goal, but having it being dealt with as not being game over, the deck gains a lot of resilience over the more all in Druid, which, if it’s namesake is dealt with, is dead in the water.

    Academy Rector
    Rector’s trigger does all your work for you. It both finds Omni and then puts it into play for free, serving as a tutor and 10 free mana all in one.

    Oh my god... it's full of stars...

    And this card affords the cheapest, safest, and easiest way to get that trigger. For only two mana, at instant speed, and leaving Rector safe in your hand even if its countered.

    Dark Triumph
    This may seem like an odd choice, but all this card says is 0, instant, as an additional cost to play this, sacrifice a creature. You can play Rector, get priority back, and then cast this before your opponent can even cast a spell that could target Rector. They also can’t counter it, and the sacrifice can’t be responded to. Often you can cast Rector and players might assume you’re going to use it as a blocker, and they’ll let it resolve, intending to Terminus it or something instead. This card is the only truly free sacrifice effect in the game, and its important to have that effect in this deck to be tutored for if you need it.

    On its face, Necromancy is one of two pieces of reanimation in this deck, which is good both for intuition and to diversify the card types and thus searchability of reanimation (which can play a valuable role). Necromancy is so much more though. If Rector is in your graveyard, either because someone made you discard it or you discarded it intentionally, you can cast Necromancy at instant speed, and then Necromancy will not only bring back Rector, but sac it for you on the next end step. Waiting for your last opponent’s 2nd main, and then casting Frantic Search into Necromancy is a very good way to get omniscience. Not only that, though, Necromancy’s instant speed allows this deck to actually combo off at instant speed, which I will get into later, and lets you save Maniac if someone kills it, hoping to deck you. And if that wasn’t enough, Necromancy incidentally gives you an answer to Hermit Druid by responding to his Dread Return with Necromancy.

    Show and Tell
    Sometimes Omniscience is in your hand. While Brainstorm can put it back and then you can shuffle it away, why not just play it for three mana at that point? Slightly dangerous, since your opponent may put out a Sylvan Primordial or something similar, this deck can win in response to triggered abilities, so it isn’t as risky as you might assume.

    This card is the worst card in the deck, but it consolidates worst cards into a single card that isn’t very good. After you omniscience, Conflux in a single card wins you the game, meaning that every tutor in your deck can win you the game, and you can turn your digging towards the purpose of finding it. I mentioned in the preamble why this card is better than Enter the Infinite.

    Win Conditions
    Laboratory Maniac
    The best and easiest win condition in EDH, used in a variety of decks. It is here because it’s cheap, redundant, and powerful.

    Demonic Consultation
    Exiles your deck for Maniac. In a tight spot, you can use it as a particularly dangerous, if efficient, tutor. Use cautiously for that purpose.

    Tainted Pact
    Consult 2, and the much stronger of the two. Not only can this exile your deck, it’ll always get you a card while doing that, and it’s a pretty powerful half-cantrip half-tutor in its own right, letting you rifle through cards for only two mana. There are no cards with the same name in this deck.

    Another card that can win the game on the spot, if notoriously difficult to use properly. See below for some piles and explanation of strategy with this card.

    Vampiric Tutor
    Anything you want, one mana, ‘nuf said.

    Imperial Seal
    Slow vampiric is still fantastic.

    Mystical Tutor
    Finds a large number of cards in the deck, at the expense of revealing what you get.

    Personal Tutor
    Slow, usually tutors for Demonic or Doomsday, but has a variety of other uses.

    Enlightened Tutor
    Sets up a turn two Library, gets acceleration or fixing, finds necromancy when you want it, necropotence when you want it, and Omni when you’re sitting on Show and Tell.

    Worldly Tutor
    Finds Rector. It can also search for Eternal Witness for combo purposes and Consecrated Sphinx for a variety of purposes.

    Demonic Tutor
    Best tutor in the game.

    Merchant Scroll
    Usually just gets Flash, but it can also get several other important spells.

    Lim-Dûl's Vault
    Oddly underrated in EDH, since I don’t see it much. This is an extremely powerful topdeck tutor that sets up a full top five for you.

    Eladamri's Call
    Usually just finds Rector, but having an instant speed in-hand tutor for creatures is very good when you need to win at instant speed.

    Grim Tutor
    Three mana is getting pretty expensive for this deck, but it’s worth it for another unrestricted tutor.

    Essentially this can get anything you want, if you play it correctly. Instant speed is very important, and this card is quite powerful here.

    Gitaxian Probe
    Free card, free information, and invaluable for Doomsday purposes.

    Two cards for free in any case, this card can, similar to probe, turn a topdeck tutor into a real tutor. Gush is also absurdly powerful with Doomsday, and on its own can even generate mana while drawing at times.

    Cantrips, filters, puts unwanted cards back to be shuffled. Usually this isn’t good enough in EDH, but this deck is so hypertempo focused that this kind of card is invaluable.


    Thought Scour ftw.
    Solid dig, see above.

    Solid dig, see above.

    Sensei’s Divining Top
    Usually not great in EDH, this card functions here very similarly to how it does in Legacy Doomsday decks, as a one mana down cantrip that you activate later, and with minor filtering purposes if you have the mana spare.

    Thought Scour
    Mostly here for Doomsday purposes, this card is quite strong beyond that. You can counter opponent’s topdeck tutors with it, you can use it to throw away brainstormed cards, and lets you bin creatures even with Necrotpotence out. It’s also an element in a secondary combo. Early on, it’s a cantrip, which is fine, as well.

    Night's Whisper
    Probably one of the weakest cards in this deck, this could be Impulse or something like that instead. Having draw twos is important for Doomsday though, and does its job fine.

    Frantic Search
    A draw two for Doomsday, filters, untaps mana, sometimes even generating mana. This is very flexible and a very good card in this deck.

    Thirst for Knowledge
    Digs three deep, making it pretty cost effective at the high end of our curve.

    A draw 7, which allows for restocking and recouping discarded cards. Draw 7s are also very good to have in hand post Omni. Beyond that, this is an element in a secondary combo.

    Wheel of Fortune
    Another draw 7. Being red is good for Conflux purposes as well.

    Ad Nauseam
    Draw 20. At least. At instant speed, this lets you essentially just win the game by casting it end of last opponent’s turn, post omni, or even on your own turn with sufficient resources.

    Incremental Draw

    You have 40 life, you might as well use it.
    Dark Confidant
    A strong turn 1/2 play that helps you dig into what you need over the next few turns. It also helps you recover if an initial flash is countered or something similar. Cheaper and easier to cast than Arena, which is too slow, and deals very little damage in this deck.

    Sylvan Library
    Best green card in EDH. This has the same purpose as Confidant, except drawing two extra cards, usually drawing 2 to 6 cards a game and giving you recovery options after that.

    Either play it and draw 30 cards or so, either winning on your end step or setting up a next turn win, or you play it post omni, draw 30, and win on your end step. The raw card drawing of this is absurd, and well known.

    Rhystic Study
    This may seem odd here, but the power of this card in a multiplayer format is relevant here as well. As an early play, it’ll draw you a good amount of cards, but more important it serves as a kind of Defense Grid, making it harder for opponents to interfere with your turn without drawing you into answers, and lets you play control with your counters more liberally prior to comboing. This also lets you disrupt other combo players, since if they don’t treat this as a one-sided sphere, you’ll probably draw into counters to stop them.

    Consecrated Sphinx
    The inclusion of Sphinx may also seem out of place, but it has several purposes. It gives you a creature that you can realistically accelerate into, but one that is of such a power level that it is easily worth it to reanimate it. The deck includes several reanimation elements, so this is a decent secondary strategy. Once you have Sphinx up, you have enough control spells that you can manage a table pretty well with the sphinx alone, while drawing a ton of cards. Sphinx’s final purpose is to smooth over the looping combo by turning your timetwisters and wheel of fortunes into draw 49s. Beyond that, if this is the only card you can play off Omni, its a pretty fine play, since it’ll draw you into answers or into a combo on opponent’s turns, usually.

    The second reanimation effect, which is important for intuition to have two, this card is also crucially important for several Doomsday piles, and affords you enough reanimation to realistically have that as a side plan.

    Snapcaster Mage
    Not amazing post omni, but usually you can still make mana to use it in that event, I find. More importantly, this lets you double your tutors, recast Flash, etc, and all at instant speed. Almost the entire deck costs one and two mana, so Snapcaster is easy to use.

    Gets anything you used back. Usually this lets you double up on tutors, using a vampiric to find both Rector and then Flash. Being a green card is important for Conflux.

    Eternal Witness
    A second regrowth makes Intuition into a true tutor, with enough mana. Beyond that, Eternal Witness is essential for this deck’s ability to win at instant speed, while adding redundancy.

    Yawgmoth's Will
    Gives this deck a good endgame, and just very flexible and powerful, if expensive to make it work for you.

    Nihil Spellbomb
    Gives you some yard hate against Druid and similar decks, it cantrips, although not terribly efficiently, and is essential for a secondary kill condition. Any one of these on their own wouldn’t be good enough, but together its justified.

    Targeted discard isn’t great in general, but it’s useful here for several reasons. It lets you clear one player before casting Show and Tell, it gives you the potential to blow people out by Thoughtseizing an expensive creature and then reanimating it, and it gives you information about game state. All in all I think it’s justified, if not fantastic.

    The best ‘counter’ in the deck, casting this before going off is a guaranteed win.

    Cyclonic Rift
    Originally this was Repeal, and then Into the Roil, Rift is one of the worst cards in the deck, but you really want access to cheap bounce in the deck. Unlike most decks, you usually just play it for 1U on relevant targets to clear the way, but overloading it isn’t impossible and is a good way to set yourself up for a win. Still, this is definitely a card that might be cut.

    You say "No", I say "Yes".
    You say "Stop" and I say "Go, go, go".
    Pact of Negation
    Free counter.

    Force of Will
    Free counter.

    Free ‘counter’.

    Spell Pierce
    One mana counter.

    One mana counter.

    Two mana is rough, but 1U is manageable. This can counter anything that’s relevant, which is good if someone tries to Strangelhold you. Weakest counter in the deck, but it does its job.

    Izzet Charm
    Counter, removal, and filtering all in one. You can even use it to kill Rector, in a pinch. Or it can kill Hermit Druid. Or it can kill Aven Mindcensor. Or it can be a draw two and win with Doomsday. Oh, and it’s red, so Conflux finds it. Just a surprisingly fantastic card in this deck.

    Muddle the Mixture
    Primarily another tutor, usually for Flash or Demonic, this doubles as a protective counter, at a reasonable cost.

    Mana Drain
    Primarily a tempo play, Draining something mid-sized or big early and then finding Consecrated Sphinx or just plaing a ton of spells off the mana is a very good play.

    Cryptic Command
    This card does a lot, but given how expensive it is, its inclusion may come as a surprise. While this card is a totally reasonable counter, bounce, and dig spell on its own right, which is good for clearing a troublesome enchantment or countering something before going off, its primary purpose is facilitating the instant speed win. The fact that it doesn't do the above jobs poorly (in fact it does them pretty well) means its inclusion is strong.

    Dark Ritual
    Turn one Necromancy, turn one Doomsday, powerful plays later, this is strong acceleration.

    Lotus Petal
    One mana of any color for free

    Mox Diamond
    Acceleration of any color

    Chrome Mox
    Usually blue or black mana, which is all you care about.

    Mana Crypt
    Best acceleration in EDH.

    Sol Ring
    Second best acceleration in EDH.

    Mana Vault
    Essentially another ritual, where you slow-play the mana. This is the top end of what you want, since everything in the deck basically costs between one and three, you don’t have any need for acceleration that costs more than 1 mana.

    Gemstone Caverns

    This land is so good in a format where you rarely go first.
    Gemstone Caverns is the best underplayed land in EDH. It’s basically a Mox if in your opening hand 75 percent of the time, which can pitch anything. Being able to Vampiric tutor before you’ve even taken a turn is insane.

    Ancient Tomb
    Acceleration in a land.

    Boseiju, Who Shelters All
    Shelters Flash, and potentially other important spells.

    Cavern of Souls
    Aside Sphinx, your creatures are all Humans. Being able to cast an uncounterable Rector into Dark Triumph past opponents representing counters is fantastic.

    Phyrexian Tower
    I wanted a sacrifice land, although I wanted to minimize colorless lands. Tower over High Market because the BB is produces isn’t irrelevant, while the 1 life of Market usually is.

    Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    Mana fixing in land form.

    One of the advantages of being five colors
    is you have access to one of the strongest
    mana bases in commander, outside of
    monocolored decks. Here we have all
    of the best five colored lands.
    This deck gets to make good use of
    otherwise poor five color lands
    Gemstone Mine and Undiscovered Paradise
    because it only needs a few turns worth
    of mana. Underground River isn't a five
    color land, but it reliably produces your
    two primary colors, so I've included it

    The deck
    is essentially a UB deck,
    with the other colors as the most
    minor of splashes. As a result,
    every land should produce blue
    or black, with Watery Grave
    doubling Underground Sea.
    By using only the blue and
    black fetches in conjunction,
    your fetches can always get
    either blue or black mana,
    or they can always get one of
    any other color that you need,
    making this very flexible.
    A basic island and swamp are
    included so that you can fetch
    your way out of a Blood Moon
    or Back to Basics.

    The general construction of this deck is to maximize the first few turns of the game to find and assemble a game winning combo. Since most other decks spend this time setting up mana or searching for more general purpose spells, this affords you some time where people will be tapping out for mana rocks or tutors of their own. Because many of your tutors are instants or don't show players what you got, its often difficult for them to know which combo to prepare for and adequately prevent it. Further, they can't afford to not start setting up mana and wait to respond to you.

    The best ability any Commander can have:
    Being five colors.
    The average converted mana cost of the deck right now is 1.55. When you remove the spells we intend to play for free, Omniscience and Conflux (since you never intend to actually cast them), the average drops to a mere 1.15. This is a lower curve than many Legacy decks, and we have better, if more inconsistent, acceleration. This lets us get away with a mere 32 lands, we only need to draw two to be running on all cylinders. Beyond that, our cheap draw spells and the generous partial paris mulliganing rules let us correct for inconsistency in early mana very easily. Just make sure you have at least one land in your hand, and you're essentially set for the whole game.

    This also lets us maximize the percentage of our hands that are gas, since you don't need the normal 2 to 4 lands in your opener to have a 'good start'. Ideally, however, you have a land and an accelerant.

    Beyond the mana, the general purpose of this deck is to locate our combo. To that end, we run a full 12 tutors, and 13 draw spells. That's a quarter of the deck dedicated to cheaply digging through itself, and not even counting the incremental draw spells which, when cast early, greatly increase the gas you'll draw into, returning immediately on their investment usually.

    The actual combo food accounts for 12 slots in the deck, which gives you pretty good odds of seeing one in your opening hand, if you don't get a double tutor draw or tutor and dig. This makes most possible starting hands a winning combination. If one of your cards is a combo element, you know what to tutor for with any tutor you find. The worst of these is Conflux, and you can always mull Conflux away if you draw it right away. With only one card to worry about, you have exceedingly low odds of actually starting with it, which is much better than Druid, which has to take mulls merely to get rid of things from its hand, and can die to drawing the wrong cards early on.

    15 percent of the deck is disruption, or more aptly, counter-disruption. You can expect to see at least one or two in your opening hands to protect your combo, which is what we want. Beyond that, you draw them at a reasonable rate, and there's only a few spells you actually care about coming from opponents, so you can control the game past turn 4 if you have a particularly slow hand, which implies a hand where you drew an unusual amount of disruption anyway, until you hit gas again.

    Recursion only occupies 5 slots, so you won't see it very frequently, but its role is more to be tutored for, or double tutors/combo elements, so when you do draw it, it tends to only add to consistency.

    7, and really 8 with Caverns accelerants with at least a 7 percent chance of any given one being in your opening hand means that you have solid odds of starting with fast mana, although you can't necessarily rely on this. Still, this is about what we want from the deck, and it's the best we can ask for. Usually the reason you want these so badly is that they let you cast two mana tutors right away, or do things like Ponder and tutor, or turn one Necropotence, which are the kinds of plays that opponents tend to really just have no way to deal with. Not to mention the occasional turn one land, lotus petal, Flash, Rector plays that do happen!
    This deck is not simple to play. Generally, you want to use tutors to find the fastest win you can get out of a given hand, but it may not always be obvious what that win should be. More often than not, if your opponents aren't interfering with it, getting Flash and Academy REctor into your hand is the fastest way to go about it, but remember that every hand is a different case and keep your mind open when playing this.

    Over in a Flash.
    The principle way you win is Rector-Flash into Omni into Conflux. Conflux then gets you any number of things, but the easiest kill is Silence, Regrowth, Izzet Charm, Laboratory Maniac, Tainted Pact. You can then Silence, counter back with Izzet charm, if that's countered, Regrowth Conflux, and find more counters and Eternal Witness and whatever else. Then you can Maniac, Tainted Pact your library away, and Izzet Charm to draw, or Regrowth Charm, or use some draw you got with Conflux, depending on if Silence got off. Eternal Witness and Cryptic Command also combine to draw your deck if you can get both of those into your hand.

    You also have Maniac and two spells that win the game with it, so if you have an opener with a fast Maniac, you can just run him out and Consult on your upkeep for the game.

    The instant speed win is, depending on what’s in your hand, and with Omni in play, find Eternal Witness and get it into your graveyard, Nercomancy it, Cryptic Command Necromancy, replay Necromancy on Witness returning Command, and repeat this, choosing draw as the 2nd mode until you've drawn your deck, or your deck minus a few cards, depending on what’s available. Then you have to get Laboratory Maniac into your yard, then you switch Necromancy to Maniac and cast a draw spell for the game. If this is off a Necropotence, you’ll need to either bounce Necropotence before using a looting card to get Witness into the grave, or you can use Flash, or you can topdeck tutor or Brainstorm it and Thought Scour yourself. Remember that Necropotence triggers at your end step, and you can cast spells before discarding, which is a principle way you can win the game post Omniscience.

    Sometimes you have to get a little creative...
    If Maniac is not an option, such as having been exiled by some effect, or if you have to Tainted Pact past it, or pitch it to Force or Misdirection, you still can win the game using the secondary Omniscience kill. You may have already guessed how it works. With Omniscience out, our goal is to essentially find Sphinx and cast it, with a draw seven in hand, and playing as many permanents as you can while doing this. Conflux does this directly, or you may use cantrips to use your deck as an engine. This also works without Sphinx, but Sphinx makes it more reliable. Using Consultation and Pact, you want to exile useless sections of your deck, draw as many cards as possible, and Silence as soon as possible. Then you Timetwister, which will draw you 49 cards if you have sphinx, or only 7 without. In either case, you then use your deck to find Regrowth, again playing as much as you can, which lets you Regrowth Twister. Once you get your deck down to 50 cards and sphinx in play, you can then just directly loop Twister and Regrowth, playing anything else you want in the process. What you want to do then is Cryptic Command every permanent they have. Next, each loop you cast Nihil Spellbomb, Thought Scour an opponent, then exile those cards. You then continue to repeat this process until you’ve exiled each opponent’s deck, and then Timetwister will kill them.

    Doomsday can be tricky to work with if you’re not used to it. Here are some piles that come up more frequently to give you an idea of how to use it.

    It may not be the end of the world,
    but it's definitely the end of the game.
    Doomsday with any Draw 2.

    Doomsday, cast your draw two (gush is the best, since it’s free), drawing probe and scour, scour yourself, cast reanimate on Maniac, Gitaxian Probe to win.

    Doomsday with Sensei’s Divining Top

    Doomsday, tap Top to draw Gush, cast Gush for free, draw top and scour, scour yourself, reanimate Maniac, cast top, activate top to win.

    You can try to make your own piles with Doomsday and Thought Scour or Doomsday and Brainstorm, as they are similar.

    You can also use Doomsday to set up Omniscience, by getting Rector/Flash with Omniscience and Maniac and some draw spell in the deck, in some circumstances. Doomsday can also be lethal with Necropotence and the right cards in hand, allowing you to win on your end step. Really, the possibilities with Doomsday are so numerous and varied its hard if not impossible to explain them all here, but this should give you a rough working idea of how Doomsday allows you to win.

    This little birdie can seriously ruin your day.
    This deck doesn't have to be vulnerable to grave hate, since you have Show and Tell as an option, and the grave hate that hurts this deck is much less in quantity when compared to what gets Druid (Grafdigger’s Cage doesn't do anything, Blind Obedience doesn't do anything, Torpor Orb doesn't do anything, etc). However, grave hate can still be a problem, since Rector can be exiled from the yard in response to its ability, and that's probably one of the biggest weak points. We have a lot of countermagic, and there’s not really enough played that its a huge problem, but it hurts the deck.

    The biggest problem this deck has is with any effect that prevents searching (Mindlock Orb, Stranglehold, Aven Mindcensor), and effects like Sphere of Resistance and Arcane Laboratory.

    This deck is composed almost entirely of tutors, so stopping that is a huge problem. One of the main reasons I want to include cheap maindeck bounce is so that if someone casts Stranglehold, I can tutor in response to find it, potentially, and to give me an out.

    Tax effects can sometimes be played around, since you have some acceleration that will let you cast essential spells through an [CARD-Omniscience]Omni[/CARD], and Omniscience even when slowed down by tax effects still nets you so much mana that you should be okay. Nether Void is another story, and that card can be game over for you unless you can get up to 8 mana for Child (which is hard for a deck running as little mana as this).

    Arcane Laboratory is kind of a two way street for you. It hurts you a lot, since you want to chain spells, but it also means that all of your counters are the final word, and you run a fair number of them. In the face of Lab, I recommend switching strategies to finding Consecrated Sphinx, as that will let you control the board until you can either slow roll a win or deal with Lab.
    The major advantages this deck has to Druid is two fold. The kind of hate that hurts it is more expensive and less common, and in the face of hate, you can switch strategies. Since there are several ways to win, you can be much more reactionary than Druid can be.

    For example, I played a game where I had tutored for rector and Flash by turn 2, waiting for my turn 3 to go off. Another player used a bunch of targeted discard and made me discard both Flash and Rector. Now, if I was playing Druid, this might be game over, since a discarded Druid is hard for that deck to come back from, but I found another tutor, found Necromancy, and went off out of my graveyard, in response to a Bojuka Bog.

    Beyond all that, this deck is just a lot of fun to play. It is very tight, and highly tempo oriented, so you have to win fast, but your average card quality is much higher than Druid’s, and you can shift play styles and goals much more freely than most dedicated combo decks.

    And you still have an expected turn 3/4 win. Reliably. And by reliably, I mean 80 percent of the time, you can win by turn four or earlier. This deck also has several turn one wins, and turn two wins, which are much more common in occurrence than most decks that sport combos.

    If you enjoy playing a deck where every game is a puzzle, and a puzzle that you have to solve under the gun, try this deck out. It's very rewarding and high powered, but mistakes can kill you, so every game is pretty intense.

    Try it out, let me know what you think.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on I dub thee... Smack-n-Sack
    Restricted means, as the world would imply, you are restricted to only one copy of a card being permissible. Banned is when a card is not permitted at all.
    Posted in: Budget (Vintage)
  • posted a message on Powerful Token-Producers in Vintage?
    In order, here are the most relevent token produces:

    Bridge from Below: Ichorid would be a full turn slower and without the consistency and power it has without this.

    Forbidden Orchard: Enables Oath. I put it below bridge because I think that ichorid has a greater impact on the format at the moment. Oath could not function without this card.

    Empty the Warrens: A strong kill mechanism as it doesn't require the critical mass storm of tendrils, has an easier casting cost, and produces permanents which are a benefit against decks like stax, etc.

    Triskelivus: Used as a mainstay in most slaver decks now, this card gives the deck both access to renewable artifact production for welding tricks and going infinite with slaver, but also functions as problem creature removal. It is strong for its versatility and functionality within the context of the deck.

    Siege-Gang Commander: The big goblin of choice for most goblin decks, if and when they do show up.

    Oona, Queen of the Fae: Used in dragon. Token making is irrelevent, used because removing the opponants library from th game is the cleanist way for Dragon to finsh the game. Dragon has barely no impact, so this is hardly worth mentioning.

    Bitterblossom: Its worth mentioning that, while not seeing a whole lot of play, bitterblossom is still decent in vintage, functioing as a buffer against fish, a difficult o deal with win condition agianst control, and a source of permanent advantage against stax. Its not as strong as it is in other formats, but it isn't aweful.

    Unless I missed something obvious, all other token producers are irrelevant. I saw kiki jiki and decree mentioned, they might show up lke once a month, if that, in any tournament result. As such, I don't think they're relevant enough to be worth mentioning. Both are too slow and cumbersome for the modern meta really. Pentavus is alright, but trisk is usually preferable. Rise of the hobgoblins is just plain aweful though.

    To answer your other question: There isn't a set criteria, because the use of tokens is highly variable, and usually incidental. Some of the more eminent factors are, how much does the producer cost in relation to what it produces, how relevent is the quantity and quality of tokns, in that if they're aritfact tokens, they're clearly preferable, or if you can make 10 goblins for 4, thas preferble. Furthermore, interaction with already esablished cards or combos, as in forbidden orchard's case. Really, whatever the card, it needs to fit stragetically within the confines of other decks and be preferable to already establishe elements, or create a desirable element in and of itself.
    Posted in: Vintage (Type 1)
  • posted a message on Jews, schools, and Santa
    Santa is a derivation of Saint Nicholas, who is of course religious. He is intristically associated with Christmas, which in its very etomology is clearly religious.

    To make the easy point, even a fat magical man is religoius because its mythical, its a belief, and definitly does not exist. Every story about him is a lie, and to teach it in school is forcing a lie.

    I'm not saying I don't like santa, this isn't an attack on santa. However, he is a lie that this field trip is forcing upon its participants. Excusion is as bad, proably worse, than the act itself. The fact is that the school board should not be putting parrents and students in this situation.

    This may seem minor, but you have to take a stand. If you permit this, where do you draw the line? I remember in my grade school they taught us about a very large amount of religions during this season, but they did it from a secular (although still fun) stance. They never took us to see santa or anything, because thats not what public educaion's purpose is. It should not be doing that, and that is ratmage's greater point.

    This isn't a fight on semantics, this is a fight on principal. Now, of course these are just my beliefs, and I suppose if you all want state sponsered christianity that I can't do much about it, but as a people I would hope we can move on, and this sort of practice in public education seems, to me, like a regression.

    (NS), it is against the very foundation of our country that we allow the majority to rule. This was the greatest fear of many of the founding fathers, such as Jefferson. They attempted to put in place institutions where we would not be trapped into this. Hell, the very existence of our country is a minority opinion, the majority of British citizens were against it (not a fact I have access to, but one I would suppose considering the span of the empire at the time, and the fact that many american british at the time were against it). Because the majority is not by definition right. We have to care for the minority. You don't lose your citizenship for being in the minority opinion. And no, public schools can't become christian institutions,as you seem to suggest. This is because there purpose is not to provide education for the majority,it is to provide education for the all. Everyone, in our country, has a right to education, that is the purpose of the institution. And as such, it must exist as an educational institution, not a religious one, in any sense of the word.
    Posted in: Real-Life Advice
  • posted a message on [Official Thread] Control Slaver
    You have like 2 more counters, and slaver has more draw, and post board you have no counter advantage. If they have angel and you have blast and they have no counter, even then they can just weld angel out in response to blast, and then weld it back in on their upkeep.

    They can blast a blast if you have painter out. If painter is not out, they can't bast blasts, but neither can you, nor can you blast their win condition without painter, which isn't the case from their posion. Hell, they can blast a painter if painter is out and two for one you if you are blasting something. And who the hell forces crypt? You only do that in extreemly specific situations, because honestly, a decent CS player is just going to play around crypt, it isn't difficult.

    Crypt doesn't negate welder, welder has both proactive and disruptive attributes you most consider, and crypt is simply a temporary solution, as cs has multiple functions for welder.

    Why is CS the aggressor? They have a more robust draw engine and have better late game capabilities due to the nature of the deck. Painer is definitely the aggro in this matchup, as if the game is allowed to progress too far, CS will be able to leverage an advantage through card advantage. Painter's advantage is in tempo and the capability to counter early and combo off early in certain circumstances. Due to this, perhaps your fundamental misconceptualization of the matchup dynamics has lead to your lack of success with slaver against painter? I would substantiate this probably is the case.

    Even taking anecdotal evidence; Jeremiah beat Rich Shay in two seperate matches last weekend at ELDs due to the above outlined reasoning, Jeremih plying CS (and going on to win the torament), and Shay playing painter; play skill descrepency is non-factor as few players are as good as Shay in vintage, period, and although the match is close, there's something to be said about winning the matchup twice.
    Posted in: Vintage Archives
  • posted a message on [Official Thread] Control Slaver
    Canadian Pride, you aren't substantiating your claims, nor do your claims make much sense.

    Let's just consider this from a theoretical standpoint: Control Slaver and Painter are very similarly designed decks structurally. Taking common builds of both, painter has slightly more defensive cards and slaver has a slightly more robust draw engine (assuming thirst is augmented with whispers or capsule or something to that effect, as it usually is, and probably should be). However, the welder itself is a much more effective tool than the painter in this matchup, particularly game 2 where slaver will have access to blasts as well. The welder can even invalidate the combo if he has platinum angel. If you have colossus, welder can invalidate it similarly by recurring slaver. Furthermore, the welder can screw with the painter itself, in addition to colossus. Particularly post board, where the advantages of painter are neutralized to a much greater extent than the inverse, it just makes sense that slaver should have a slight advantage.

    In practice, I have seen similar results. For the most part, slaver has an advantage, and even in the mirror match for a while painter was boarding into a slaver variant for the very reason that it has an advntage in the matchup.

    Where are you deriving your information other than non-specific feelings you have about matchups which, due to the absoluteness you present them in, seem innately flawed?
    Posted in: Vintage Archives
  • posted a message on Drain Tendrils Archives
    If anyone talks about the rules change again on this thread, I will give them an infraction. This is ridiculous.

    The currecnt oracle text reads as follows:
    Time Vault comes into play tapped.
    Time Vault doesn't untap during your untap step.
    If you would begin your turn while Time Vault is tapped, you may skip that turn instead. If you do, untap Time Vault.
    : Take an extra turn after this one.
    Which is what valentine posted. This change was done on september 24th, and in fact there was a thread about it. The implications of this change mean that time vault can be untapped by means such as twiddle or voltaic key or tezzeret without skipping a turn.

    This being said, discussion on tezzeret should not even be in this thread. This thread is for the discussion of Drain Tendrils. Tezzeret has its own thread, which you may post in, or you may create another thread for a more specific tezzeret based list.

    Specificly at Shacklemagic and Valnetine1: You are really trying my nerves. Valentine1 in particular, you need to start using proper grammar or I will start giving you warnings. Both of you need to stop bickering like children and think logically.
    Posted in: Ritual-Based Combo Decks
  • posted a message on MTGS Vintage Tourament #1
    If valentine can get the promised people, we should have enough players if everyone is still on board with this. I'll set a tentative start date for next monday, contingent on responsiveness of players.
    Posted in: Vintage (Type 1)
  • posted a message on Elspeth, Knight Errant...Best Planeswalker in SoA for Standard
    Tezzeret is the best walker in alara, no questions asked, for my purposes. Essentially, we have a 5 mana card that litterally wins you the game after it comes into play. Furthermore, it functions as an alternate win condition with moxen, etc, which is nice, and it can fetch up solutions like crypt fairly painlessly. All of its abilities are relevant, but in and of itself its like some absurd combinatino of trinket mage and tinker, except it has a built in voltaic key so that it just needs the time vault to get things going.

    But to say that garruk is the only one that wins next turn is clearly wrong, as tezzeret not only wins next turn, but has a much more gaurenteed win than garruk.

    Tezzeret is the only eternal playable walker. Granted that's in context, but so are your walkers, but he is clearly insane.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on what is going to be played from shards???
    Yeah, while not legal in standard or extended, Hellkite Overlord has been and is legal in vintage because it is, in fact, a printed card.
    Posted in: Vintage (Type 1)
  • posted a message on what is going to be played from shards???
    You're behind the eight ball, Hellkite Overlord is not only already legal, but has already put up tournament results D3@D.

    Why salvage titan exactly? Doesn't seem too good to me.

    Etherium Master may also see play, being a one sided helm of awakening. Key word: might.
    Posted in: Vintage (Type 1)
  • posted a message on Ad Nauseum playable?
    That is incredibly unrealistic, revolt.

    The card itself seems plausible to me. If you take a typical long based deck with duress based disruption, even with 4 of these and a bargain, the average cc is less than 2, which means you can fairly often rely on this to draw about 10 cards, and it is both castable with rituals and end of turn, which should make the subsequent turn be an easy win. That being said, it does cost 5 mana, and requires some deck restructuring, and drawing 10 or so cards may not be worth the constraints it forces on game play.

    Powerful card regardless, I wouldn't ignore it.
    Posted in: Ritual-Based Combo Decks
  • posted a message on Looking for decent decks with Vintage Restrictions but no power 9...
    Note Bene: There is a thread dedicated to this topic about two posts above this labeled "viable unpowered decks". Please search the forum before starting a topic.
    Posted in: Vintage (Type 1)
  • posted a message on Painter Archives
    Well, we're already running black, I mean, demonic tutor and yawgmoth's will and all.

    Duress/Tz vs Red/Pyro is an interesting debate, and I've heard good points on both sides of the argument, although I'm a fan of blasts atm just because they take care of things like early null rods. That being said, they aren't exclusive, so what are your thoughts?

    Persecute, however, is aweful. Its a 4 mana drain target that does very little pre-painter and is difficult to cast with BB. And after all is said and done, why are you screwing around with persecute if you have a painter down and 4 mana when you can just drop grindstone and win?

    Rituals are out of place in a control shell of this sort, you don't need that sort of tempo gain at the cost of card advantage, not usually.
    Posted in: Blue-Based Control Decks
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