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Zvi on Accelerated Blue
By Oscar Tan aka rakso
I had a very interesting talk with Zvi.

As you know, he played the Acc Blue in last year's Invitational, and we won't see a refinement this year.

He disclaims that he doesn't know what he's talking about, but you guys might want to read this and comment.

[Rakso] Mind if I ask you about Acc Blue in Type I, especially how it was going in Neutral Ground?

[Zvi] I didn't see it

[Rakso] It was getting really played in Beyond Dominia online tourneys

[Zvi] but you can't "AccBlue" with 1 monolith and 1 vault

[Zvi] it's something else

[Rakso] A bunch of players took your last Invitational deck and turned into a lethal anti-control

[Rakso] I don't have your e-mail though

[Zvi] just flood it in here

[Zvi] it's easier to work with anyway

[Rakso] 4 Mana Drain

[Rakso] 4 Force of Will

[Rakso] 4 Mana Leak

[Rakso] SB: 1 Misdirection

[Rakso] 2 Misdirection

[Rakso] 1 Ancestral Recall

[Rakso] 1 Time Walk

[Rakso] 4 Fact or Fiction

[Rakso] SB: 1 Powder Keg

[Rakso] 3 Powder Keg

[Rakso] 4 Morphling

[Rakso] 1 Mox Sapphire

[Rakso] 1 Mox Ruby

[Rakso] 1 Mox Pearl

[Rakso] 1 Mox Jet

[Rakso] 1 Sol Ring

[Rakso] 1 Black Lotus

[Rakso] 1 Strip Mine

[Rakso] 3 Wasteland

[Rakso] 1 Library of Alexandria

[Rakso] 1 Mox Emerald

[Rakso] 4 Impulse

[Rakso] 14 Island

[Rakso] 1 Tolarian Academy

[Rakso] SB: 2 Nevinyrral's Disk

[Rakso] SB: 3 Mana Short

[Rakso] 2 Back to Basics

[Rakso] SB: 2 Back to Basics

[Rakso] SB: 2 Control Magic

[Rakso] SB: 4 Hydroblast

[Rakso] Sorry it's not organized

[Rakso] Can kill Keeper with Back to Basics but it's inflexible as hell

[Rakso] Really overrated, though

[Rakso] Imagine how kids look at it

[Rakso] So you're not impressed?

[Zvi] well...

[Zvi] I'm not saying I'm not impressed

[Zvi] just that it only does what it does

[Rakso] Would you play this deck?

[Zvi] one thing I found was that trying to play a deck based around turbo-Morphling is quite risky when people maindeck 4 diabolic edicts

[Rakso] Who do that?

[Zvi] Darwin Kastle...

[Rakso] And the guys who play turbo-Morphling in 4s play 4 Mis-Ds with boards

[Rakso] Oh...

[Zvi] beat him but I got dawn lucky

[Zvi] other thing is this build has some gaping weaknesses

[Rakso] Wasn't that his Sligh deck that didn't have some power cards and even Lotus?

[Rakso] What kind of weaknesses?

[Zvi] well sorta, yeah

[Zvi] I didn't really know what was going on

[Zvi] but stuff like...

[Zvi] game 1 turn 1 Oath is basically game O

[Rakso] That's been the foil of choice on my website.

[Rakso] Took guys a while

[Rakso] But their control decks just stuffed Oath, Blessings and a Spike

[Rakso] Morphling with 20 +1/+1 counters

[Rakso] They board Disks or Capsize

[Rakso] But Rootwater Thief works wonders

[Zvi] same principle at work here

[Zvi] you're basing the entire deck on Morphling

[Zvi] and the creature is far from immune to attack

[Rakso] How would you play a more traditional 5-color Keeper deck

[Rakso] I side in 4 REBs and 4 Thiefs

[Rakso] Weissman's Dwarven Miners just don't work.

[Zvi] that's reasonable

[Zvi] but I'd definitely be testing

[Zvi] since I basically have no idea to be honest

[Rakso] Voice of experience?

[Zvi] well my experience doesn't really apply all that much here, my Keeper was pretty old and damn weird

[Zvi] had 4 tithe and such...

[Rakso] I saw it

[Rakso] But I figured you're really good with mono blue

[Rakso] Didn't really describe how your T1 mono blue last invitational did though

[Zvi] well if I was thinking about this matchup

[Zvi] last year I was out of it, I don't play too well when I'm losing

[Rakso] Can't blame you

[Rakso] You think you could've nailed the Keeper decks?

[Zvi] your goal is to deal with the threats

[Zvi] oh sure, np

[Zvi] but as a Keeper player aware of the issue

[Rakso] They weren't boarded for you, right?

[Zvi] you would want to deal with the threats

[Zvi] not really, no

[Zvi] except for the Edicts

[Rakso]

[Zvi] which are a b****

[Zvi] your problems are BtB and Morphling basically

[Rakso] And everything but Keg is a must-counter

[Zvi] and the threat of FoF into card advantage

[Zvi] red blasts deal with all 3

[Rakso] Fof radically transforms the T1 match

[Rakso] Forces you to counter in your turn

[Zvi] thief deals only with morphling

[Zvi] and if they drew one it doesn't do all that much

[Rakso] I side in both...

[Rakso] I noticed that Keeper vs mono blue turns into a slugging match

[Zvi] If I could design the mana so it worked

[Rakso] You deplete both sides of counters and threats

[Zvi] I would prefer to maximize the REB/Pyro count

[Rakso] Then the mono blue player, playing 3 more Morphlings, topdecks one while you have nothing

[Zvi] your plan is simple, keep the game winners off the table while setting up Yawgmoth's Will

[Rakso] Yeah...

[Zvi] and play a few Edicts to deal with that problem

[Rakso] But that isn't all that simple to execute?

[Zvi] didn't say it was

[Zvi] that's the PLAN

[Rakso] A first-turn Thief is game, though

[Zvi] but monoblue has about what, 14 counters?

[Zvi] NO

[Zvi] it isn't

[Rakso] How so?

[Zvi] they go turn 1 keg (example 1)

[Zvi] you take 2 cards out

[Zvi] they don't matter that much

[Zvi] and you have to tap out for 2 turns to do it

[Rakso] Well

[Rakso] I tried it and figure they'll side out Keg anyway

[Rakso] Since you can't side in Miner or Shaman

[Zvi] basically, if they have a Morphling in hand then taking cards out of their deck is not a big deal

[Rakso] I figured that if they do, barring a draw 3 in hand, you only have to win 1 counter war?

[Rakso] Let them cast it, waste a few counters, untap, force Edict or Balance?

[Rakso] Sit back and let them deck themselves?

[Zvi] but if the monoblue takes control while you're taking out Morphlings...

[Zvi] they WILL win that war

[Zvi] because they'll have like 8 counters with the Morphling

[Rakso] Devil's advocate.

[Rakso] Say you side in 8 REBs.

[Rakso] I figure, though, they're more capable of fighting over the FoFs.

[Zvi] can we assume you have the color setup to make that work?

[Rakso] Yes

[Rakso] 4 Cities, 4 Volcanics, 1 Mox Ruby, 1 Lotus?

[Zvi] you're fighting 4cc instants with 1cc instants

[Zvi] and mana leak starts looking iffy

[Zvi] well that's a little low for 8 but it's a good start

[Rakso] Do you agree Mana Leak here is better than Counterspell though?

[Rakso] In the blue deck?

[Zvi] the point is the same regardless

[Zvi] well yeah

[Zvi] but your plan is the important thing

[Rakso] For the first turn counter or so you can run Wastes?

[Zvi] as I said, sure, I agree with that

[Zvi] what I mean is against the monoblue

[Rakso] Which reason, though?

[Zvi] well a mix of all of them

[Zvi] but stay with me here for a second

[Rakso] Okay

[Rakso] I'm all ears

[Rakso] Eyes...

[Zvi] you go 2nd turn ancestral/pyro or something

[Rakso] Me as in Keeper?

[Zvi] their best response is to double counter

[Zvi] yeah

[Rakso] True

[Rakso] Or Misdirect

[Zvi] your pyros keep them from BtBing you

[Zvi] well you can play it safe if you fear that

[Zvi] but the point is play for a while

[Zvi] get a decent graveyard

[Zvi] then just win

[Zvi] sac the lotus for RRR

[Rakso] And cast Will

[Zvi] cast Yawgmoth's Will

[Zvi] right

[Zvi] they can't stop it

[Rakso] What if you get into a Morphling standoff?

[Zvi] you have edict to win those

[Rakso] How many would you use main and board?

[Zvi] well at least 1 main

[Zvi] to tutor

[Rakso] 1 do

[Zvi] more if you expect a lot of monoblue

[Rakso] In place of an StP

[Zvi] well basically yeah

[Zvi] you can SB up to 3 or so

[Zvi] that's all you'd want

[Rakso] Though they're dead before Morph hits

[Zvi] well yes and no

[Zvi] they can't be cast

[Zvi] they're not dead

[Zvi] explanation:

[Zvi] they let you tap out

[Rakso] And deal with his only threat...

[Zvi] later on

[Zvi] after you've Mind Twisted him for 5

[Rakso] So Keeper, in your opinion, would still be stronger than this deck

[Zvi] your goal is just to use the blasts to force through one of your bombs

[Rakso] If sideboarded properly

[Rakso] All 8, huh?

[Zvi] well if it has the proper plan

[Zvi] and the mana works out

[Rakso] What would you remove for 8 blasts, though?

[Zvi] well as I said, needs testing

[Zvi] I don't even know what my maindeck would look like!

[Zvi] but Keeper has the tools

[Rakso] True

[Zvi] the key is to utilize them properly, that's all

[Rakso] Sylvan Library alone kills mono blue

[Zvi] I mean, try this one;

[Rakso] Can't even be Hydroblasted

[Zvi] Defense Grid!

[Rakso] Defense Grid?

[Rakso] In Keeper?

[Zvi] think about it.

[Zvi] after SBing.

[Zvi] I mean...

[Rakso] He loses more counter abiity than you do

[Zvi] put one out.

[Zvi] they can't play their game

[Rakso] City of Solitude perhaps

[Zvi] you win a counter war on your turn over Ancestral

[Rakso] Can't keg that?

[Zvi] then one over Twist

[Zvi] sure

[Zvi] that works too if you have the mana

[Zvi] the point is you can DESTROY them with your spells

[Rakso] Some use Sylvan and side Compost and Oath, so a number do

[Zvi] they can only play Morphling

[Zvi] that's easy to recover from

[Rakso] You've certainly livened up my spirits

[Rakso] I only played online recently

[Rakso] And all the people were hyping mono blue

[Rakso] I picked up Keeper and could beat it

[Rakso] This deck's main selling point is that a 12-year old can win with it consistently

[Rakso] BTW

[Rakso] Would you remove the Impulses?

[Zvi] I would not remove Impulse.

[Zvi] Impulse's problem is fitting the damn card in.

[Zvi] if you can do that, there's no problem.

[Rakso] Well

[Rakso] Some players like 16 or more counters

[Rakso] I fit in 14 and played Impulse

[Rakso] My thinking was that you want to dig for the FoFs or Morphlings faster when needed

[Rakso] It worked okay.

[Rakso] Playing this deck is like topdecking half the time, so I used Impulse, but the online T1 people are kinda split on that issue

[Rakso] Hey thanks for the advice... it's 11:30 PM here and I guess I gtg... last question, though... would you change anything big in the list above?

[Zvi] the deck runs Impulse.

[Rakso] "The Deck"?

[Rakso] Weissman hates Impulse.

[Zvi] the list is reasonable.

[Zvi] And why are you listening to weissman?

[Rakso] Lots of non-pro players felt that Impulse dilutes the deck

[Rakso] You remove too many tools?

[Rakso] Okay... mind if I get your version?

[Zvi] i don't have a listing, i haven't played t1 since that invitational

[Rakso] Brian W also figures the control mirror revolves around mana denial via Shaman, Miner and Wasteland

[Rakso] I mean your version of Impulse in The Deck

[Zvi] brian is wrong, the mirror revolves around Mind twist and yawgmoth's will

[Zvi] well I don't have a version of the deck

[Rakso] He said that too of course

[Rakso] I can send you one if you give me a sec

[Zvi] no, that's fine

[Rakso] But he didn't like Finkel's build at the Invitational

[Zvi] hmm, Brain vs. Jon, who to trust...

[Rakso] In Type I?

[Rakso] Well... didn't Brian make that deck popular?

[Rakso] He's a really nice guy, I suppose

[Zvi] why doesn't that matter?

[Zvi] that works on both objections btw

[Rakso] What do you figure Impulse contributes

[Rakso] To a deck with 4 Fact or Fiction and a lot of search already?

[Rakso] Tutors with no card disadvantage?

[Zvi] the deck is not what it was when he was playing it, neither is magic and neither is t1

[Zvi] impulse smooths the mana and gives you a better shot at the power cards

[Rakso] I think he knew that, to give him credit

[Zvi] well sure

[Zvi] but Brian's no pro anymroe

[Rakso] As you said, though, it's fitting the thing in!

[Zvi] Yeah.

[Zvi] if you can't, don't worry too much about it.

[Rakso] Which aspect of the deck would you dilute?

[Rakso] Unless you know the metagame inside out

[Rakso] It's tough

[Rakso] You only have 3-4 creaturekill spells, 1 or 2 of which cost 4 mana?

[Rakso] And it's tough to remove tutors and drawing

[Rakso] Would you be scared of Sylvan Library in the deck?

* Zvi not scared of Sylvan Library, at least not as such

[Zvi] but the point is the same

[Zvi] I DON'T KNOW!

[Zvi]

[Rakso] I figured your guesses are good

[Zvi] these things take weeks of intense testing

[Zvi] weeks I don't have

[Rakso] Years of playing blue?

[Zvi] I can't even hazard a guess at this point, ask someone who actually plays the format

[Rakso] You have a high rating...

[Rakso] Besides I play the format and I need a third opinion

[Rakso] And you already discounted Brian's

[Rakso] Maybe I should hit up EDT for a game

[Zvi] My opinion is that you shouldn't play Impulse until you know what you can cut.

[Zvi] better to cut nothing than cut the wrong card.

[Rakso] Good one, I suppose

[Rakso] Oh...

[Rakso] Would you play more than 1 Morph in The Deck?

[Zvi] I'd definitely CONSIDER 2

[Zvi] dunno if I'd actually use 2

[Rakso] Well, thanks.

[Rakso] Very insightful, for a guy who claims not to know the format

Read More Articles by Oscar Tan aka rakso!

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