Monday, 9 January 2012

Animal Blue Pants Out Of Control

Hey Dudes! had a good time blogging last night so I'm gonna ramble more!

So with points changes looming, I feel like I need to get out all my 'format improvement' thoughts while they can still be heard.

At the moment I do feel the format has settled and the consensus amongst most people I talk to is that zoo and U control are the 2 best decks, so much so that they oppress other strategies. The format is falsely diverse because people keep playing their brews because they're awesome and that's what highlander's about, but really zoo and U are the strongest decks.

I was thinking about it, and there are plenty of cards that wreck zoo but most of them are bad to maindeck because they're so bad vs U control. U control decks play practically no creatures and can spend 0 to 2 mana to counter a 4 cost sorcery/fatty, putting it's caster way behind.

Now are there many cards that wreck U? No. Their counterspells provide a soft blanket that covers most of the skin, keeping it nice and warm. The versions that splash B also have DITS (Duress, Inquisition, ThoughtSeize) to thicken the blanket. The only cards that consistently sneak under the blanket are zoo's 2 power 1 drops.

So what I'm trying to say is, by weakening U control, zoo will also be weakened because cards like Damnation, Flametongue Kavu, Reveilark and friends will become more playable.

Now, how to weaken U? U has a critical mass of good cards that no other single colour has. Most of the individual cards don't deserve a point by themselves but as a whole they do. So how do we go about this? Here are some possible methods:

Method #1- Add points to Tinker/Timevault.
An answer to U control decks in the past has been grindy and hard to deal with threats like Thrun, Bloodghast, Cursed Scroll, Masked Admirers and Manlands. BUT as it stands, U control has access to cards that trump these types of cards and those answers are: Tinker for Sphinx of the Steelwind or Timevault + Key kill you.  But! U isn't going to give up these critical answers if they get pointed higher, U players will just cut their other pointed cards. The pointed cards they'd cut however, are the cards that protect Tinker/Timevault, thus making Tinker/Timevault easier to answer. Force of Will directly protects by countering the answer spell whereas Manadrain provides enough mana the following turn to cast Tinker/Timevault and hold up another counterspell.

Method #2- Depoint cards that U doesn't play, raising the power of other decks to relatively weaken U. Pointed cards that Zoo and U can't use, that I feel could harmlessly drop a point are: Necropotence, Gorger, Crucible of Worlds. I'm not saying these cards aren't powerful, they ARE really powerful but the decks that they go in aren't.

Method #3- Point other cards that U uses. Are there unpointed U cards that are worth points? I think the closest card to this has gotta be Jace. If the board's at all stable, Jace becomes a 1 card combo and takes the game. A staple in every format ever. If you're a U player ask yourself what you'd cut from your deck first, Drain, Force or Jace. Food for Thought.

Anyway, Sean Walsh just pointed out to me that I always hate on U and never play it myself.....I think I don't play U because I want to be creative and build decks that other people haven't. However, I also want to win, so I do my best to make all my decks as best as they can be. I feel this eternal search has given me a good understanding of the format and I'm (Dark) confident that my analysis is correct.

If I didn't hate on U would you hate on U? Maybe a U ewe would hate on you. When the whole world is U, nothing will be U....or it'll be the ocean making the whole world U cause the polar caps have melted.

Cheers!, Luke

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