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 Post subject: So, I'm Thinking of Building a Deck for Duels...
AgePosted: 2009-Jun-29 5:55 pm 

Joined: 2007-Aug-31 10:48 am
Age: Drake
Location: Portland, OR
While I'm still a multiplayer man through and through, it has become clear to me that I should try to have a deck or two (or at least a list saved somewhere) so that I have something to break out if there's ever an EDH tournament or something. However, I have no real experience with duels, so I was wondering if you more experienced folks wanted to give me some pointers.

1) How important is it that I'm able to deal with creatures? Since I'm a control player to my bones, I was thinking that I should probably put Blue in my deck somewhere. Due to a lack of duals at the moment (don't worry, I'm working on it), I was thinking that mono-Blue would probably be the best way to go about it. I realize, though, that Blue might have some problems with creatures, so I was thinking that Black or White might team up with it to make my deck ultimately superior. So, how important is it? Is stuff like Man-O'-War decent in EDH duels, or is it as bad as it is in multiplayer EDH? Here's some of the stuff which may be a little weak in multiplayer that I though might be good for EDH (for the record, I was thinking Teferi might be the best general for the deck I want to build):

Man-O'-War
Aether Spellbomb (to tutor for with Trinket Mage)
Repulse
Repeal
Sower of Temptation

Are these all decent or good? Also, is it just suboptimal to play mono-Blue control instead of something like Wydwen or GAAIV?

Also, I was wondering if stuff like Nevinyrral's Disk and Oblivion Stone were still good in duels. I assume that Disk is still reasonably playable, at least, but I'm not sure. If they aren't, are there other, better ways to control/clear the board in Blue?

2) General Selection- As I mentioned, I'm still not entirely certain on this. Teferi seems like one of the best to me, so I was thinking I'd run him, but I was curious if anyone had any input on the matter. Does Teferi struggle to get the job done? Would I be better served with another color? If I want to just do control (I strongly dislike combo, and don't want to run any infinite combos if it can be avoided), would something like GAAIV just be a better general? I'm just not sure, and am open to advice.

3) Win Conditions- Assuming that I go with Teferi, I was also a bit curious about when a card becomes unviable as a win condition. I was thinking Palinchron seems pretty decent, and I want to run some steal effects to get the job done, but is more needed? What's good-bad? For instance, is Memnarch still playable in duels, or is it too slow?

4) Card Draw- As always, card draw still seems to be excellent in control decks, regardless of format. However, I was wondering how many of my favorites from multiplayer EDH are still useful. I imagine that Thirst for Knowledge is still good, but what about more expensive spells? I feel like Opportunity will still be pretty useful in a draw-go style deck (though I could be wrong), but what about Tidings and Fathom Trawl? I was also thinking about Flow of Ideas, but I wasn't sure if six mana, sorcery speed draw was just too bad, even if it did create massive card advantage. Also, are there spells that get a lot better in 1 vs. 1? I can imagine Brainstorm's pretty awesome, but is stuff like Ponder good?

5) Countermagic- I was curious what spells were generally good in 1 vs. 1. I can imagine Mana Drain is good, but I don't quite have the money to just drop on that, so I'll have to try to make due without. Basically, I'm curious if card advantage is still important on counters. Is stuff like Desertion and Spelljack still good? Does the extra draw still make Dismiss good enough to play? Is Draining Whelk too slow? Also, is stuff like Memory Lapse or Remand good enough to play? What about more speciallized counters, like Negate and Remove Soul?

I know that these are a lot of questions, but I'd really appreciate any help. I really want to understand all elements of EDH, and I'm sure that the best way to find out is to just play the format, but it's nice to have something to start on. So thanks in advance to all who help![/i]

_________________
Current Decks:
Kagemaro, First to Suffer (MBC)
Nemata, Grove Guardian-Math Major
The Wrath of Konda
Project Group Hug (Phelddagrif)
Sakashima the Imposter, My Own Worst Enemy
Ixidor's Metamorphosis
Adamaro, First to Desire (Land destruction)
Turbowall (Gwafa Hazid)
Snakes on a Plane (Seshiro the Annointed)
Balthor's Army of Darkness
Heartless Hidetsugu and His Army of Pingers


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 Post subject: Re: So, I'm Thinking of Building a Deck for Duels...
AgePosted: 2009-Jun-30 9:39 am 
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Joined: 2008-Mar-24 12:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Oakland, CA
Yodafan wrote:
1) How important is it that I'm able to deal with creatures? Is stuff like Man-O'-War decent in EDH duels, or is it as bad as it is in multiplayer EDH?

It's very important to be able to deal with creatures. If you can't slow Rofellos down, you can't hope to win a 1 vs 1 tournament. Repulse and Man-O'-War are good; Sower is amazing. Repeal is probably good but I haven't played with it. Spellbomb seems fine, but I would expect always to have better choices for my Trinket Mage.
Yodafan wrote:
Also, I was wondering if stuff like Nevinyrral's Disk and Oblivion Stone were still good in duels. If they aren't, are there other, better ways to control/clear the board in Blue?

They are a little bit slow, but they're better than anything else blue has to offer. Evacuation is another acceptable option.
Yodafan wrote:
2) General Selection- Does Teferi struggle to get the job done? Would I be better served with another color?

The General is far more useful in duels than in multiplayer, so I would say don't worry about giving yourself access to more colors as much as what your General does for your gameplan. How does Teferi help you win against the more commonly played Generals (Zur, Rofellos, Vendillion Clique, Gaddock Teeg, Azami, Niv-Mizzet, Isamaru, Rhys, Rafiq, Dragons)? This is very closely related to the question you asked next, "how do I win?"
Yodafan wrote:
3) Win Conditions- I was thinking Palinchron seems pretty decent, and I want to run some steal effects to get the job done, but is more needed?

Flashing in an end-of-turn Sower with Teferi in play will probably seal the game against most opponents, but I'm just speculating here.
Yodafan wrote:
4) I can imagine Brainstorm's pretty awesome, but is stuff like Ponder good?

I don't have any experience with or against Flow of Ideas, but my gut instinct is to avoid paying more than 4 mana for a sorcery. Ponder and Serum Visions are absolutely excellent. Brainstorm is actually pretty poor due to the 100 card Highlander nature of the format. Unless you have several ways to shuffle your library, I would suggest ignoring Brainstorm.
Yodafan wrote:
5) Countermagic- Basically, I'm curious if card advantage is still important on counters. Is Draining Whelk too slow? Also, is stuff like Memory Lapse or Remand good enough to play? What about more speciallized counters, like Negate and Remove Soul?

Card advantage is very important, but mana management is even more important. Force of Will and Mana Drain are the two best permission spells in duels. Force Spike and Daze are perfectly playable. Memory Lapse and Remand are fine. Remove Soul is probably more important to Teferi than Negate, but Negate is a great inclusion. Dismiss and Dismal Failure and Cryptic Command are all very good, but don't overload your deck with high-cost counters. Draining Whelk is probably unplayable.
Yodafan wrote:
I'm sure that the best way to find out is to just play the format, but it's nice to have something to start on.

Definitely. Don't take my word for anything; test it out a little and see what works best.


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 Post subject: Re: So, I'm Thinking of Building a Deck for Duels...
AgePosted: 2009-Nov-29 7:33 pm 

Joined: 2007-Aug-31 10:48 am
Age: Drake
Location: Portland, OR
First of all, I do want to thank you for your help, Intrepid. While I'm only replying to a small part of your response, all of it was very helpful and informative.

intreped wrote:
The General is far more useful in duels than in multiplayer, so I would say don't worry about giving yourself access to more colors as much as what your General does for your gameplan. How does Teferi help you win against the more commonly played Generals (Zur, Rofellos, Vendillion Clique, Gaddock Teeg, Azami, Niv-Mizzet, Isamaru, Rhys, Rafiq, Dragons)? This is very closely related to the question you asked next, "how do I win?"


While I'm not giving up on Teferi yet (I haven't had much duel testing), I'm curious about other options if he doesn't work out. It seems like if I want to build a Blue-based control deck, Vendillion Clique is the general of choice. While I get the appeal, I'm a little curious why it's so much more popular than Wydwen. The two generals seem to want very similar decks, and Black seems like it fills a huge hole in Blue's game plan, but Wydwen seems a bit unloved. Am I missing something?

Vendillion Clique pros:

-One mana cheaper. Is this such a huge deal?
-Easier mana base. Even if you just splash Black, MUC seems like it would probably have more reliable mana. Again, though, is it that big of a deal?
-The disruption ability. Is it really that relevant?

Wydwen Pros:

-Gives access to Black, which I have to imagine makes the matchup against creature-based decks better.
-Far more resilient. Burn actually seems mildly relevant in duels, and the two extra toughness seem like they'd help. Also, the bounce ability, while not exactly amazing, certainly isn't worthless.
-Access to tons of strong cards. Teachings is an obvious one, removal seems useful, and such, but it also seems like two color decks actually get way better mana acceleration than one-color decks (Signets, Talismans, etc.). Is this just wrong?

If you could fill me in on what I'm missing, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks again!

_________________
Current Decks:
Kagemaro, First to Suffer (MBC)
Nemata, Grove Guardian-Math Major
The Wrath of Konda
Project Group Hug (Phelddagrif)
Sakashima the Imposter, My Own Worst Enemy
Ixidor's Metamorphosis
Adamaro, First to Desire (Land destruction)
Turbowall (Gwafa Hazid)
Snakes on a Plane (Seshiro the Annointed)
Balthor's Army of Darkness
Heartless Hidetsugu and His Army of Pingers


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 Post subject: Re: So, I'm Thinking of Building a Deck for Duels...
AgePosted: 2009-Nov-30 3:21 am 

Joined: 2008-Aug-08 6:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Rouen, France
Yodafan wrote:
Vendillion Clique pros:

-One mana cheaper. Is this such a huge deal?
-Easier mana base. Even if you just splash Black, MUC seems like it would probably have more reliable mana. Again, though, is it that big of a deal?
-The disruption ability. Is it really that relevant?

Wydwen Pros:

-Gives access to Black, which I have to imagine makes the matchup against creature-based decks better.
-Far more resilient. Burn actually seems mildly relevant in duels, and the two extra toughness seem like they'd help. Also, the bounce ability, while not exactly amazing, certainly isn't worthless.
-Access to tons of strong cards. Teachings is an obvious one, removal seems useful, and such, but it also seems like two color decks actually get way better mana acceleration than one-color decks (Signets, Talismans, etc.). Is this just wrong?


Mono Blue is the most consistant & probably best deck in duels, followed by UW (GAAIV)

As regards the difference between Clique & Wydwen:
-Burn doesn't matter because Burn decks generally don't do well enough against the field as whole.
-Seeing your opponent's hand again and again and repeatedly taking the best card for a key turn is so stong in Duels. You know in Multiplayer where you have X more players to have a solution to a particular problem and a targetted effect like Clique's is not as strong because of those extra players? Well this is reversed in Duels. The ability is hugely relevant, you can take his accelleration or his answer and still have counters for the rest before he even plays a second land. You win duels by stopping your opponent from playing more often than from doing broken things. Duels are faster so you have to get your disruption in early. In France the top 1v1 decks generally have Blue, usually are mono blue or attack your mana base very aggressively.
-I'm all for a consistant mana base and in the most broken colour in Magic the only question of inconsistancy is simply how many colourless lands you include.

The biggest surprise at the last tournament was how an ultra-aggressive Rafiq managed to get into the last 4. (Though it has to be said, a 5 colour Scion deck did the same thing.)

_________________
Current decks:
Sydri's random pile of cards with "Artifact" on them
Scarab God Zombie Horde
Atraxa Superfriends
Yidris Eldrazi (4C Devoid)
Sissay Angel Oath
Wort's Goblin Conspiracy
Gonti's Mega-Bouncy Castle


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 Post subject: Re: So, I'm Thinking of Building a Deck for Duels...
AgePosted: 2009-Nov-30 9:19 am 

Joined: 2008-Aug-28 12:34 am
Age: Drake
Where do you get information about the french tournament reports? Is there a French EDH website or anything?


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 Post subject: Re: So, I'm Thinking of Building a Deck for Duels...
AgePosted: 2009-Nov-30 9:45 am 

Joined: 2008-Aug-08 6:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Rouen, France
Slobad wrote:
Where do you get information about the french tournament reports? Is there a French EDH website or anything?


No, one of my workmates went (he was the scion player)

_________________
Current decks:
Sydri's random pile of cards with "Artifact" on them
Scarab God Zombie Horde
Atraxa Superfriends
Yidris Eldrazi (4C Devoid)
Sissay Angel Oath
Wort's Goblin Conspiracy
Gonti's Mega-Bouncy Castle


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 Post subject: Re: So, I'm Thinking of Building a Deck for Duels...
AgePosted: 2009-Nov-30 9:48 am 

Joined: 2008-Aug-28 12:34 am
Age: Drake
Hmm, bummer. I wish the french wrote about their stuff more. I find the 1v1 edh thing to be very interesting.

At a guess, how 'developed' would you say there metagame is? e.g. did the 5c Scion list and the Rafiq lists need to beat a slew of mono-blue decks to get there?


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 Post subject: Re: So, I'm Thinking of Building a Deck for Duels...
AgePosted: 2009-Dec-01 11:09 pm 

Joined: 2007-Aug-31 10:48 am
Age: Drake
Location: Portland, OR
Hmm. OK. Follow up question, then: Is Vendillion Clique considered to be kind of the "go-to" Monoblue General (I was under the impression Teferi is also quite good- is this wrong)? If so, is Desert worthy of serious consideration in either the maindeck or sideboard?

_________________
Current Decks:
Kagemaro, First to Suffer (MBC)
Nemata, Grove Guardian-Math Major
The Wrath of Konda
Project Group Hug (Phelddagrif)
Sakashima the Imposter, My Own Worst Enemy
Ixidor's Metamorphosis
Adamaro, First to Desire (Land destruction)
Turbowall (Gwafa Hazid)
Snakes on a Plane (Seshiro the Annointed)
Balthor's Army of Darkness
Heartless Hidetsugu and His Army of Pingers


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 Post subject: Re: So, I'm Thinking of Building a Deck for Duels...
AgePosted: 2009-Dec-02 8:58 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Arcum Daggson can be pretty broken as a general. Unless he's banned. I don't know the 1v1 banned list. Ertai, Wizard Adept is another option. Mono-U with heavy artifact content + Tolarian Academy is powerful, I'm not sure if it's fast enough for dueling or not.

_________________
"The President's job - and if someone sufficiently vain and stupid is picked he won't realize this - is not to wield power, but to draw attention away from it." -- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide tot he Galaxy Radio Transcripts predicting the future.


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 Post subject: Re: So, I'm Thinking of Building a Deck for Duels...
AgePosted: 2009-Dec-03 8:31 pm 

Joined: 2008-Aug-28 12:34 am
Age: Drake
As far as my understanding goes, yes Vendillion Clique is the go-to general for mono U tempo, or general aggro. That being said, there is a ton of un-explored design space, and Teferi as a similar deck would have a huge advantage in the mirror vs Clique.

Arcum is very viable as mono-U combo, hes not banned. Although there are a few cards from his deck that are.

If i was entering a 1v1 tourny, I would Desert, good call.


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 Post subject: Re: So, I'm Thinking of Building a Deck for Duels...
AgePosted: 2009-Dec-06 3:48 am 

Joined: 2007-Aug-31 10:48 am
Age: Drake
Location: Portland, OR
So, I had a chance to get in some good testing yesterday. I liked how the deck functioned, but I noticed a few problems. In particular, I could have some trouble in the early game (although nothing too dire came of it, I stumbled sometimes in early turns, which could be lethal), and I had a tough time winning a lot of the time. Sometimes I could do it with little trouble, but I don't feel comfortable counting on my opponent's guys to win the game all the time. First, here's my current list:

General: Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir

Creatures:
Trinket Mage
Gilded Drake
Glen Elendra Archmage
Palinchron
Drift of Phantasms
Aeon Chronicler
Man-O'-War
Sower of Temptation
Venser, Shaper Savant
Willbender
Vesuvan Shapeshifter
Vendillion Clique
Sakashima the Imposter

Instants and Sorceries:
Forbid
Rewind
Repulse
Fact or Fiction
Trickbind
Capsize
Foil
Mystical Tutor
Gush
Misdirection
Negate
Meditate
Opportunity
Hinder
Exclude
Stroke of Genius
Force of Will
Cryptic Command
Dismiss
Thirst for Knowledge
Counterspell
Remove Soul
Dominate
Essence Scatter
Repeal
Dissipate
Merchant Scroll
Ancestral Vision

Enchantment:
Legacy's Allure
Control Magic
Treachery
Arcane Laboratory

Planeswalkers:
Tezzeret the Seeker
Jace Beleren

Artifact:
Wayfarer's Bauble
Sensei's Divining Top
Sapphire Medallion
Sky Diamond
Crucible of Worlds
Vedalken Shackles
Pithing Needle
Mind Stone
Nevinyrral's Disk
Scrabbling Claws
Oblivion Stone
Expedition Map
Scroll Rack
Sol Ring

Land:
Maze of Ith
Thawing Glaciers
Darksteel Citadel
Academy Ruins
Seat of the Synod
Minamo, School at Water's Edge
Strip Mine
Remote Isle
Lonely Sandbar
Reliquary Tower
Oboro, Palace in the Clouds
Riptide Laboratory
Gargoyle Castle
Urza's Factory
Wasteland
Misty Rainforest
Flooded Strand
Tolaria West
20x Island

Some considerations:
* Might it be worthwhile to improve the Arcane Laboratory lock some more? In particular, it would be cool if I could find more stuff that countered as an activated ability, allowing me more room to play spells and win once I get the lock going. Here's some options that stood out:
Isochron Scepter+ a few more two-mana counters
Ertai, Wizard Adept (Probably Vedalken Aethermage as well, which maybe should be in here anyway?)
* How important is it to be able to redirect spells? Willbender and Misdirection are the main two I'm worried about here- worth it, in your experience?
* Meditate is new and experimental. Has anyone played with it? Have you had any luck?
* I'm really unsure how useful the Clone effects are, largely because I haven't really drawn them yet. Would they be better served as other win conditions?
* How many colorless lands can I safely run? I think I want to sneak Desert into the main if I can, but I'm worried that its inclusion might make me stumble on mana in pivotal turns. Has anyone had experience with this? I've managed to avoid this problem in the past by not assigning so many jobs to my mana base, but that's tougher to do in duels (at least in my experience so far).
* As far as win conditions go, Sphinx of Lost Truths seems like it might be worth a shot. Your thoughts?

_________________
Current Decks:
Kagemaro, First to Suffer (MBC)
Nemata, Grove Guardian-Math Major
The Wrath of Konda
Project Group Hug (Phelddagrif)
Sakashima the Imposter, My Own Worst Enemy
Ixidor's Metamorphosis
Adamaro, First to Desire (Land destruction)
Turbowall (Gwafa Hazid)
Snakes on a Plane (Seshiro the Annointed)
Balthor's Army of Darkness
Heartless Hidetsugu and His Army of Pingers


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