Pillow forts and alternate win conditions

Discussion in 'General CPA Stuff' started by Oversoul, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Hey, yet another thread inspired by "The Nayan Trial" mentioned by Psarketos in the Tendrils of Agony thread. But this doesn't fit the theme of exploring options for Storm combo decks or analyzing the Modern format, so yeah, I started another thread.

    I was reminded of this deck: http://www.casualplayers.org/article/get.php?action=getarticle&articleid=1578

    I designed that deck in 2005 as a response to one of DarthFerret's contests, seen here: http://www.casualplayers.org/forums/threads/single-card-deckbuilding-contest-mark-v.13052/

    I didn't play the deck back then, but I did later run with it for a while, I think in 2008 and 2009. The deck isn't especially good and there are some opponents that it just loses to outright. Certain setups of cards are highly resistant to losing against this kind of defensive deck. But I did pick up some wins against reasonably good decks, and some of those games remind me a bit of how Psarketos described his "The Nayan Trial" deck.

    If the old article doesn't make it clear enough, the gameplan for this deck is to survive early on, then build up to the following conditions, in whatever order makes the most sense at the time...
    • Have Nature's Revolt. All lands are creatures.
    • Have Overburden. Whenever a creature enters the battlefield, its controller is forced to bounce a land.
    • Have mana-producing artifacts, so that you don't need your own lands for mana.
    • Use Evacuation to bounce all creatures, including the lands.
    • Use Hurkyl's Recall on your opponent to get rid of any mana-producing artifacts the opponent might be using.
    • Use Soldevi Digger to replenish your own library as needed.
    • If your opponent drops a land, taps it for mana, lets it bounce, then immediately casts a 1-drop creature to present an attacker, use Innocent Blood to get rid of it.
    • Wait for the opponent to die.
    There are a lot of ways to break out of this, but unless a deck is lucky enough to be good at it or is specifically designed to do so, this is a prison sufficient to defeat most opponents once the trap is fully set.

    By today's standards, this is probably not the best use of Overburden. But in my experience, it was a halfway decent casual prison deck. And notably, its primary win condition was just about the most bland thing possible: "wait for the opponent to die."

    I'm curious. Does this beat The Nayan Trial, lose to it, or draw? If a simlarly-behaving deck, perhaps one designed for Modern (obviously it would need to run different cards, with Overburden and such being pre-Modern) were run in place of The Nayan Trial, what would the reaction be? It seems like the idea is that The Nayan Trial leaves room open for a win with an alternate win condition card, leaving the opponent alone, but making itself nigh-untouchable behind a wall of infinite life. This one, in contrast, just buries both players under an avalanche of "you can't play stuff" and then wins by trying to make sure that it has an endless supply of cards and the opponent does not.
  2. turgy22 Nothing Special

    I came here to read about pillow forts and came away highly disappointed.
    Shabbaman likes this.
  3. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    "Pillow fort" is the nickname for a deck that generally doesn't incorporate threats, surviving by making it difficult or impossible for opponents to attack the player. But it might be fairly new. I think I've only seen it within the past five years or so...
  4. turgy22 Nothing Special

    I find that interesting in that the term "pillow fort" is somewhat of a misnomer. The most reliable pillow forts, in my experience, utilize couch cushions as their base, since stacks of actual pillows tend to be flimsy and insecure. I've personally ventured into alternate builds using items such as a futon mattress and the odd chair or two. The trick to a successful pillow fort tends to lie in the ability to find the right cover. I tend to go with blankets, but it can be hard to find one large enough to cover a more elaborate design that doesn't sag in the middle or pull down the walls, especially when exposed to attacks during an aggro-leaning sleepover or a combo engine generated by your sister and her dog. Also, based on material on hand, my pillow forts tend to be blue and white. I've seen green used, but I find it tacky, since it clashes with the carpet.
    Spiderman, Oversoul and Psarketos like this.
  5. Psarketos Metacompositional Theoretician

    Best pillow fort commentary I have seen, would read again.

    Oversoul, my current Nayan Trial could draw with pitching Gaeas Blessing indefinitely after gaining unlimited life with Wild Cantor, a single land, and Enduring Renewal in play. I traded the deck to one of the high schoolers who is thinking to add Approach of the Second Sun as an actual win condition.
  6. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    The best option I found was to incorporate modular sofa components. I think they were mostly red.

    Very nice. Approach would be fine, realistically. I'd like Celestial Convergence for the role, as this would be one of the few places where the card is practical. Unfortunately, it was never reprinted in a Modern-legal set.

    It's been so long, I totally can't remember why that Overburden decklist didn't have any way to deal with enchantments. It meant that my deck would lose to a single resolved copy of Subversion, for instance. I know I thought about it, but for some reason I clearly didn't do anything about it.
    Psarketos likes this.
  7. Psarketos Metacompositional Theoretician

    We added a full playset of Approach of the Second Sun to the deck, and it is strong in a casual setting.

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