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] 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
[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
[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
[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] 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] 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] 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] I'm all ears
[Zvi] you go 2nd turn ancestral/pyro or something
[Rakso] Me as in Keeper?
[Zvi] their best response is to double counter
[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] 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] 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
[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] 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] 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] 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] 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!
[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] 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