Saturday, February 26, 2011

MBS Release Sealed #3

Getting a bunch of these in since im going out of town for a few days. I take the lesson learned from the last sealed and get greedy... maybe too greedy.

note: it seems the audio is desynched in the deckbuilding, I'm trying to figure out how to fix it, but until then it's still an interesting build... even on mute :).

note2: now fixed! I cut out the first minute where the audio was missing, but not much but rare sorting there.

Looking back:

So was this too greedy? I'm not sure. I guess i would've been fine not splashing blue and leaving furnace celebration in the board. Hard to judge the celebration since i didn't draw it often, and the one time it hit play it was promptly removed. One thing I'm pretty sure about is that I was playing at least one too many fatties, but I'm not sure which one. Potentially the giant infector since that's the one I sideboarded out most often, but that was just the way the matchups worked out, so I'm not 100% sure. I certainly had too much "clunk" in my draws, and a hill giant would have eased that up a bit.

An interesting card is lead the stampede. It was clearly bonkers for me here, but is it always an autoplay? Here are some interesting numbers I crunched.

 The numbers at the top, ranging from 13-18, are the number of creatures in your deck, and the numbers on the left represent how many creatures you can possibly draw of LTS. The first table shows the probability of drawing X creatures off of LTS. The second table has cumulative probabilities of drawing X or more creatures. The important number for the third table is the sum at the bottom. It represents the expected (or average if you prefer) number of creatures to be drawn. (The numbers within the third table shows each X's contribution to the EV).

I only included 13-18, since I figure you arent normally going to run less than 13 creatures and also play green, since green doesn't have much else. Running more than 18 creatures seems pretty rare, but obviously LTS just gets better in that strange all creature + 2x LTS pool.

So what do all those numbers tell us? I think the best card to compare it with is counsel of the soratami. We see that at 16 creatures, LTS is on average a counsel, except it only draw creatures. That is pretty much always better than counsel unless you are digging for a land or a non-creature answer. I guess there's some risk involved, but we see it only completely whiffs less than 7% of the time. And it draws 2 or more 2/3s of the time. A quarter of the time its drawing only 1 creature, but thats somewhat similar to drawing a creature and a land off of a counsel, at least when you dont need the land. The bottom line is, I think that at 16 creatures or more, it should only very rarely be cut, and I honestly don't think I ever would. I never cut counsels in a blue deck, and I've even splashed them occasionally.

Now what about at less than 16, say 13-14 creatures? Or less? I think here there's two things to look at. At what point does the risk of whiffing get too high, and how willing are we to play a card that just draws a single creature. I think the answer to both questions lies in what bombs you have. If you have bombtastic creatures to dig into, like in this pool, I think its almost always going to be worth the risk. Much like I have no problem playing clone shell in a deck with something like carniflex demon and myr battlesphere but only 8 creatures total. Even if you whiff, its still at least digging towards your bombs. With the added bonus of sometimes just hitting the nuts, I think in this format, that's always going to be worth it.
I think the only time I cut it when I'm green is if I have less than 12 creatures and none of them great, but in that case, I'm not sure what the hell i'd be doing playing green....


  1. Great work on that LTS. Very well written

  2. Is Vivisection really that nuts that it's worth a SECOND splash color? Unless you have ways to abuse it it seems like it's really just +1 Card, but -1 Board state for 4 mana. I suppose you have a couple decent interactions with it with Glissa and Myr Sire, but not sure it really justifies the splash when you'd rather just be getting Glissa out earlier (with an extra forest instead of Island or whatever). I think I'd actually rather run Quicksilver Geyser if anything, though I'd probably just avoid blue in general.

    Also, you mention Glissa getting "eaten" by something on one of your attacks, which is only possible if they have an Engulfing Slagwurm (or indestructible guy), as she has both first strike and deathtouch, therefore killing just about anything she goes into combat with.

    That aside, thanks for the video again and great job overall!

  3. Too greedy. Vivisection *is* worth splashing for but your weakness was not winning the long game (R3 notwithstanding). It and geyser are two of my favorite cards to splash for, but not as a double splash. I would have just played the blade-tribe in its place.

    Also, I've mentioned this in several other videos of your but, once again, you were a little too reluctant to switch from defense to offense a couple of times and you paid for it in R3.

    Can't wait to see some drafts, I enjoy your take on card evaluation and in-game situation evaluation - even if I don't always agree!

  4. I think I agree that it was too greedy. But I think that vivisection is THAT good, and maybe splashing blue with the bounce spell over glissa was the better way to go. Even though my brain never seemed to absorb deathtouch, I think drawing 3 in a format lacking much in the way of card advantage is pretty nuts, and the deck had enough fodder that it would be pretty consistent.

  5. I dunno, maybe I'm just having trouble wrapping my head around Vivisection, but while there are some clever ways to abuse it in the format, its technically the same card advantage as Divination (-2 cards + 3 cards vs -1 card + 2 cards), except that it also (usually) negatively effects your board presence and costs 1 more mana. Perhaps you're right that since there's so little card draw in the format even sacrificing a creature is worth it (especially in a late-game board stall), but if you're behind it usually won't help you draw into answers as you'll either have no creatures or have to sacrifice something you might need for too much mana.

    I think Glissa was the proper splash. Your opponent basically can't block her at all and I think she's very abusable with your deck.

  6. m1g2, i think juggernut is infintaly better than maradur in this matchup, i mean u dont need to gain life and after 1 attack he is forced to start chumping his board away, idk