Sensei's Divining Crazp

Discussion in 'Single Card Strategies' started by MrPapersHead, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Why do you say Necro was the problem card? I think Donate was the problem card...
  2. MrPapersHead The Incomprehensible


    Donate is a fun card, but some random Ice Age card made it seem very stupid. Donating a Bottomeless Pit is not Broken, it is just funny, as well as confusing.

    What I was refering to was Clamp-Finnity and Goblin Bidding in the most recent T2 format that just passed us.
  3. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    No, Donate was definitely the problem card.

    Now if one of them had to be banned or restricted in some format, I would opt for Illusions of Grandeur every time. Donate can do some fun tricks but Illusions is useless outside of being Donated.

    But I still must say Donate was the problem card for one reason...

    Illusions of Grandeur and Necropotence were both printed in the same set. They had no synergy with one another. One had multiple decks built around it in multiple formats, the other was an obscure crap rare. Nothing changed this until the printing of Donate. Donate is the problem card in that sense only because it was printed later.

    Don't get me wrong, I like Donate. If I had a "problem" with one of the components it would be Illusions (I don't have a problem with the deck though, since I like it and even wrote an article on it).

    Ignoring previously printed cards can cause problems. My favorite (or least favorite) are the morph creatures. It was suddenly decided that a face down creature would be a 2/2 that had a "morph" ability. This would not have caused rules problems had there not already been cards which put creatures into play face down. The offending cards had to be errata'd. That actually made Illusionary Mask a stronger card than before, although it is (for now) not a problem.

    Anyway I'll stop now and spare everyone my anti-morph ranting...
  4. MrPapersHead The Incomprehensible

    Maybe I am stupid, How is Donate a problem when the combo relies on illusions of granduer (which you already admitted was a complete piece of crap)?
  5. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Because Illusions of Grandeur had already been in print for years without causing any problems. WotC ignored this (well, forgot, but that's not the point) when Donate was printed.

    If Donate had been printed first, then Illusions would have been the problem card.

    The combo may rely on Illusions of Grandeur, but it also relies on Donate, so what cards are relied upon isn't really important...

    The synergies are in a way obvious, but in another way rather balanced. The combo would be less than amazing if Donate costed more, or if Illusions didn't allow for massive lifegain to fuel Necropotence, or if Necropotence couldn't prevent a decking (I've had zero cards in my library several times with this deck, especially since it uses Demonic Consultation). These cards together have powerful synergy, but any one of them being removed causes the others to be much less amazing (although Necropotence is still broken).

    You could really then call any of the three "the problem card." I suppose there are three ways of looking at it...

    -Necropotence is the problem card because it is broken.
    -Illusions is the problem card because it is crap.
    -Donate is the problem card because it forged a synergy between two previously unsynergistic cards.

    I think the first perspective, although having some merit, is not the best one. Good cards are what makes the game fun to play. Printing cards that work very well with the good cards and then blaming the good cards is bad for the game (at least for any constructed formats).

    The second perspective is in this case at least my favorite for deciding which card should be banned if one of the cards needed to be. If Rector-Donate decks somehow became dominant, I would certainly be saying that Illusions should be restricted, rather than Academy Rector or Donate.

    But one must still keep in mind that Illusions of Grandeur existed peacefully since Ice Age, being consistently nothing more than a crap rare. Its biggest contribution to the game was inspiring Delusions of Grandeur in Urza's Legacy. This new version was actually usable being that it still gave a massive swing in life, but traded the sheer size of the lifegain for a lack of a cumulative upkeep. This was better--until the next set came out. Illusions of Grandeur didn't magically make itself good, it was made good by the printing of Donate.
  6. Nightstalkers Creature — Nightstalker

    It is certainly noteworthy, but unless you really want or need that three card shuffle, you don't need to go out of your way to dump it into a deck. Personally, I'd like to tinker around with the idea a bit more.
  7. Seeker of Truth New Member

    Sensei's Divining Top is best used in a situation where you are forced to top-deck something. You don't just throw it into any random deck; if your deck revolves around placing yourself in top-deck situations, then it's a good idea, since you can then top-deck what you need.

    Thus, the best decks to use it in are ones that revolve around cards like Death Cloud, which empties everyone's hand, and decks that burn through their hands quickly, like affinity. In each of these situations, top-decking becomes important (for Death Cloud, to top-deck your kill condition, for affinity, to continue to draw threats).

    It's a strong card. Its applications in Extended or Type I might be harder to estimate (where cards like Brainstorm and Accumulated Knowledge are available), but it certainly has its uses.
  8. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I hate to go off-topic again when Seeker made a valiant attempt to stay on, but the real problem with the Illusions/Donate is the (what I see) unintended results of stacking effects with Illusions.

    If there was errata or a check made to see that before you lose the life that you gained the life, it wouldn't be such a problem. Or other ways to make sure that you just didn't lose 20 life unnecessarily.

    Or maybe it WAS intended (you can do all funny things with similiar cards with CIP and leaves play effects). In which they decided to ban the element that allowed for speeding up the combo (and was already on the watch list).

    But I don't think Donate was the problem either.
  9. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Spidey, I don't think we're talking about the same thing there. What I understood to be the "problem" we were talking about was in relation to the deck being too good. There is a minority of players who never felt that way, but I would love to play play Necro-Donate in Vintage OR Raisin/Legacy/1.5/whatever if Necropotence were unrestricted/unbanned.

    I agree that the stack effect thing there is kind of odd (and it's important for the Necro-Donate player to be aware of how the rules work there, as I should have mentioned in my article).

    Still, I think we're referring to two different "problems" there...

    Anyway, I hadn't considered the Divining Top as a tool for improving topdecks. It is still not exactly potent without a shuffle effect, so I don't know that it would be all that great...
  10. MrPapersHead The Incomprehensible

    Yeah, Unless you have some other deck manipulation tool to compliment the top like commune with nature or impulse, it really is just a sub-par soothsaying.
  11. Mikeymike Captain Hiatus

    Do I get half a virtual-cookie? Seems only fair.

    Regarding Donate-Illusions, I hate that combo just about more than any in the history of the game. To me it just seems so dirty, like the card was NEVER intended to do anything even remotely close to what Donate allowed it to do. Personally I would have liked to have seen Illusions errata'ed, but I don't think the grounds of "I don't like it" would fly.

    I can't blame one card or the other, since they will forever be linked.
  12. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    If it's any consolation it appears that the only format where the combo is really viable is either in a casual format of some sort or possibly in the new 1.5, and that version lacks Necro...
  13. Force of Will Smith New Member

    OMG!!!! 4 pages and nothing of the top!!!

    Well here's a combo for ya..

    Helm of awakening+Vedalken Archmage+ 2 tops= Draw every card in your library..

    It would kind of fit into a KCI deck but kind of dillute the focus... how else could it be used..
  14. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Brain Freeze as a kill maybe...

    The combo suffers from a major problem of needing two copies of the same card as well as two other specific cards. That's pretty clunky, as combos go...
  15. Seeker of Truth New Member

    As far as a lack of a shuffling mechanic goes, if you're playing Type II and using the Top, you're most likely playing G/B control, which runs Sakura-Tribe Elder, Rampant Growth and/or Kodama's Reach, which all allow you to shuffle your deck. In affinity, obviously there is no shuffling mechanic, but since your deck is made up largely of threats, if you can't find one three cards deep into your deck, you're probably dead anyway.
  16. Force of Will Smith New Member

    yeah with 2 tops you'd probably have to animate it, mask of mimic it.. then youd have to return one and... ahh forget it:D
  17. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Yeah, that Sakura-Tribe Elder is pretty good, and I'm sure he'll help the poor Top see some play...
  18. NorrYtt Casual Green Mage

    Sensei's Divining Top is a better than average search tool. I've found it most effective in Monogreen Tooth and Nail. It helps me find my nonbasics, my Tooths and Eternal Witnesses, and also prevents me from drawing my uncastables (Kiki-Jiki).

    Top is also an infinite engine with Helm of Awakening.

    It has stupid good interaction with Future Sight and Yet Another Aether Vortex.

    It is a nice cog for a cog deck. My Door to Nothingness deck now plays just one Door because Top can reliably find it in the late game when I'm recurring Wayfarer's Baubles.

    It seems most comparable to Scroll Rack. Scroll Rack is slower but more robust since it digs deeper, hides spells from discard, prevents decking, and can setup powerful combos easier (top card for Oath of Druids, Timesifter, Mulch).
  19. Force of Will Smith New Member

    yeah maybe a bargain/necropotence deck with mana acceleration running tops..

    future sight works effectively to draw every card in your deck with a helm of awakening in play... but aether vortex? there are a dozen cards with similar names.. which one are you referring to?
  20. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    NorrYtt is referring to Yet Another Aether Vortex.

    It is from Unhinged. :rolleyes:

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