Posts Tagged ‘Extended’

Roflthopters everywhere!

October 10, 2009

Buh!  It seems like everyone’s talking about the Roflthopter deck.  There goes my rogue “element of surprise”.  Oh well.  While I’m a bit disappointed that it’s everywhere, I am excited that I managed to come up with an extended worthy deck, even though it’s highly likely others came up with it on their own too.

As I’m starting to get more and more hits from people looking for decklists for the Roflthopter deck, I might has well share my experience with the deck, as I’ve been playing it for 3 months longer than almost anyone else.

Weaknesses:

Roflthopter is in a bit of a bad position, as it suffers from graveyard hate AND artifact hate.  Ancient Grudge is painful, Kataki doubly so.  A good counterspell or into the roil can keep kataki off your tail, but Ancient Grudge is bad news.  Remand will buy you a turn, mana leak won’t even do that.

Graveyard hate can also break up your combo.  Relic of Progenitas in the right time can take you from “going off” mode to “let’s find another one of those damn swords” mode.  You rarely have enough time to find it.

Extirpate targeting the sword checkmates the deck, unless you have another in play.  If your opponent has extirpates in their deck, you have two options: don’t start making thopters until you have a second sword, or risk being shut out of the game for one black mana.  Neither are good options, luckily, extirpate isn’t kicking around that often.

I’m still trying to find the perfect time sieve number.  Against some decks, like Tron, you want four in your deck.  Against Wizards, its rarely an issue.  I’m currently running 3 main and one in the board.

Sideboarding advice:

The Wizards deck is a pushover if you can get the thopter foundry to stick.  This can be hard, as their goal is to stop you from doing *anything*, and a savvy player will pick up on the keystone of your deck and focus on it.  A bad player will counter the sword.  Gigadrowse during an opponent’s end step is by far the best answer to this.

Zoo can be a bit terrifying.  It’s clock is about half a turn faster than mine, typically.  I’m testing lethargy trap in the board, to see how this does.  Generally, if your opponent doesn’t meet the trap conditions, you don’t need to cast it yet.

I really don’t see any need to sideboard against affinity specifically.  Every so often they’ll nuke you before you’re ready, but it’s a really positive matchup.

While I haven’t played against hedron crap dredge yet, it’s theoretical clock is about the same pace as mine.  Not sure I want to devote any sideboard slots to this or not, may just want to duke it out.

Most builds of hypergenesis are a joke if you have counterspells in your deck.  I just happen to have some.  There’s a blue-centric one I’m worried about though.  Every once in a while, hypergenesis lets you go off faster than planned.

Dragonstorm needs to start running gigadrowse or the like.  Until it does, a well-placed counter can really mess them up, even if it’s just a remand.

I haven’t seen a scapeshift build that adequately answers counterspells yet.  But the potential *is* there.

Ultimately, this may not be the year for Roflthopter, with all the artifact hate running around.  But time will tell.

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Building Combo, Part 2: Putting the deck together

October 3, 2009

So, from our previous investigation, we’ve discovered that Thopter Foundry plus Sword of the Meek equals power, and Time Sieve on this equation equals a very unhappy opponent.

There are basically 2 types of combo decks.  There are the decks that can win through some other way, and just happen to have combo cards in them, and there are decks entirely devoted to getting a combo to go off.  The first is typically preferable, being that if your combo is disrupted or doesn’t show up, you can still win otherwise.

The strength of the second type is that you can devote more cards in your deck to getting your combo to show up, and protect it from being derailed.

I decided to take the second route for two reason.  First is that my three combo pieces are underwhelming on their own, especially time sieve, and will only hinder a decks other win condition.  Second, is that this in an exceptionally easy combo to assemble.  All three pieces of the combo are artifacts, meaning they can all be tutored for with fabricate and similar effects.  Also, they can be played in blue/black, a color pairing with good tutoring effects, counterspells, and plenty of good dual lands.  Finally, all three pieces cost 2 mana, so they can all be tutored with the same transmute spells, extremely playable as we’re already in blue/black.

After a seach of good deck filtering options, I decided that I’d want ponder, serum visions, dimir infiltrator, and muddle the mixture to go find my combo pieces.  Muddle the mixture was chosen over other tutor effects due to its ability to double as a counterspell.  Dimir infiltrator can be a creature in a pinch (but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that).

I now have a deck that can get its combo pieces incredibly reliably, and hopefully do so fast enough.  However, we need to then leave magical christmas land and enter the world of real magic, where people are going to be doing their hardest to keep me from going off.  Luckily, I’m in blue.  4 mana leaks, solid counters in extended.  4 remands.  When you’ve got such a powerful effect when the clock strikes, stalling a spell for a turn is more than worth two mana.

Next up comes the mana base.  First things first are the blue and black mirrodin artifact lands.  They can be thopterized in a pinch, which is really handy if the sword of the meek gets stuck in the graveyard, making the deck more resiliant against discard.  Next is at least 1 Academy Ruins, to fish other artifacts out.  I’m going to want some basic islands so I can use repeal like effects post board in case of blood moon.  Now come the dual lands.  I have plenty to chose from, and the choice isn’t easy.  Normally, the default for such a deck would be 4 watery graves and some fetches, but I’m nervous about giving away that much life in extended.  Aggro and lightning bolt decks have very fast clocks, and paying too much life for my mana can push their clock ahead a crucial turn.  Furthermore, I’m not made of money, and don’t want to buy those lands if I don’t need to.  River of Tears is one card I have my eye on.  I only need black on rare occasions, and never on my opponents turn.  I can see this card occasionally being a nuisance, but worth a shot. Finally, Sunken Ruins fix my mana with no cost of life.  Don’t want to run too many, for risk of no colored mana in my opening hand, but 2 should be fine.

I’m going to leave my sideboard for until after I’ve tested a bit.  I’ve got my eye on lethargy trap, to buy me a turn against zoo, and spell snare.  Cranial Extraction would be wonderful to rescue me from some of the brutal cards running around people’s boards, even if I expect it to be too slow.  Into the Roil or Remand can give me the turn I need to play without blood moon or night of soul’s betrayal, and Hyrkul’s Recall is a potential against affinity, if the need arises.

Here’s my trial deck:

ROFLTHOPTER:

4 Sword of the Meek

4 Thopter Foundry

4 Time Sieve

4 Ponder

4 Serum Visions

4 Muddle the Mixture

4 Dimir Infiltrator

4 Remand

4 Mana Leak

4 Seat of the Synod

4 Vault of Whispers

2 Academy Ruins

2 Sunken Ruins

4 River of Tears

8 Island

Please feel free to comment with critiques, suggestions, ect.  I’m curious to see what you think.