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 Post subject: How do you y'all deal with Cyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-May-13 12:21 pm 
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Age: Wyvern
I know the standard answers to Cyclonic Rift are:

* Counter it with Counterspell, or Pyroblast, Mana Tithe if you're not plying blue, etc
* Don't let the blue player get to 7 mana by killing them or their lands
* Stax effects that prevent it from being cast

But are there any other creative ways of dealing with this obnoxious card (and it's ilk, to some degree)?


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 Post subject: Re: How do you y'all deal with Cyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-May-13 5:26 pm 
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-Attacking the player continually leaving untapped blue to force him/her to Rift defensively instead of offensively.
-Playing mass removal. You can't have as backbreaking of a Cyclonic Rift if all of the things are gone.
-Social Contract
-Wild Ricochet or Aethersnatch
-Banefire for 40

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 Post subject: Re: How do you y'all deal with Cyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-May-13 6:12 pm 

Joined: 2012-Oct-24 8:05 pm
Age: Drake
Jeyal beat me to some good answers, but to add a bit more detail:

You can also accept that these kinds of swingy effects will happen and try not to be in a position where you'll lose if they do. Assuming you're dealing with opponents who mostly win via combat, some options are:

* Play Fog effects to keep yourself alive while you rebuild.

* Put enough pressure on the most threatening opponent that they have to start using their defensive spells before they have much follow-up.

* Play enough Wraths (or tutor for them) so you generally have one. Use them whenever an opponent could kill you if you had no blockers, unless you need that player to deal with a bigger threat.

* Use politics to convince your other opponents to do these things for you.

These are generally good ideas anyway, because any color deck can suddenly render your blockers ineffective:
Blinding Light, Selfless Spirit + Wrath, Wash Out, Open into Wonder, Profane Command, Plague Wind, Insurrection, Bedlam, Craterhoof, Overwhelming Stampede, Akroma's Memorial, Eldrazi Monument...

If you're dealing with decks that are just stalling their opponents until they can win via combo, you need to have counterspells, use spot removal on their combo pieces, or just outrace them.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you y'all deal with Cyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-May-13 7:01 pm 

Joined: 2017-May-09 1:04 pm
Age: Wyvern
It's not as significant, but I've always really liked having a Ghostway or Eerie Interlude effect when Cyclonic Rift is used. Or even better is obviously a counterspell, but holding ghostway or eerie interlude until the absolutely crucial moment to use it (instead of saving one guy from a kill spell) has really saved me a few times from a cyclonic rift.

Normally though, it's a defensive rift. That's the biggest thing here, stopping them from using it as a prelude to an alpha strike.

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This is my dream response, have yet to hit it.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you y'all deal with Cyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-May-13 7:55 pm 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Must emphasise the "attack the blue/control player" response. The best way of disrupting them is to force them to use their "board wipes" (as Rift doesn't actually kill anything except tokens) to stay healthy. Other than that:

1) Lower your mana curve. It's far less damaging to be hit with Rift if you can redeploy your board within the next 1-2 turns.

2) Haste creatures or ways of granting haste to your biggest threats. Rift doesn't do much against Xenagos, God of Revels.

3) Don't overextend. This is a subset of 1), but applies even if you've got a lot of cards in hand. If you know or suspect a Rift is coming, probably because they tutored for something, play with the minimum necessary board presence until they're forced to use it.

4) Discard. No, really. Watching somebody "waste" a Rift in response to Duress is a deeply satisfying feeling. If not in black, try Mindclaw Shaman, Teferi's Puzzle Box, et al.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you y'all deal with Cyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-May-14 6:58 am 
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Joined: 2017-Mar-11 6:43 am
Age: Dragon
Plan ahead- Make it bad. Overloaded Rift is one of those "Nuclear Option" ways to disrupt the table (similar to Time Stop) if a player fires it off too early, they aren't going to win with it.

-I find that newer players use rift at poor times, so it's easy to feint them into making a bad rift. If you are overloading a rift and not eliminating a player or preventing your own elimination, it's usually a huge waste.

-I try not to build decks that are too Staxy or filled with beatsticks that can't be re-purposed; as these are the strategies that get hit hardest by mass bounce and other broad board wipes. Being sure to smooth out the number of slow plays to fast plays you have is a critical part of deck construction- and doing this makes most overloaded Rifts rather underwhelming in practice.

-I thank the stars of Nyx that it isn't Wash Out or a Capsize chain.

-Make them try to do it during the turn of the person before them (even if it is me), so that they get greedy and try to put up a counter-shield. This makes it stupid easy to exhaust their resources, predict their plays, and punish accordingly.

-Use it as political leverage to turn the table on them. The more unnecessary the overloaded Rift, the easier this is to do.

Things I try not to do

-Answer the Rift with a counterspell. While I've chucked many Swan Songs at a OLRift, it's solely ever because not doing so will mean my immediate elimination. A non-lethal threatening Rift is just annoying, a bump in the road- and politically, a poor decision.

-Over commit to building up a board state without a flush hand to back it up. This is pretty basic Magic stuff.

-Respond to an overloaded Rift with another overloaded Rift- With exceptions for Twincast/Wild Ricochet style spells to nail the Rifter's biggest PIA permanent (using the Disperse mode effectively)- the slow down of the rest of the board works to my advantage, and if I'm not dead on board, this means that the Rift I fire off will probably matter waaaay more.

-Stress it. Big rifts happen- they're often followed by Wash Out and Devastation Tide. Knowing what to expect allows for cheeky plays and effective mitigation. These spells often result in mutual Time Walks, or can be forced to be mutual with careful play. Game 1.5 is easy to navigate if you aren't tilting.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you y'all deal with Cyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-May-14 11:14 am 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-10 12:16 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
iplaymtg wrote:
I know the standard answers to Cyclonic Rift are:
<snip>But are there any other creative ways of dealing with this obnoxious card (and it's ilk, to some degree)?


Reins of Power is my preferred choice (when able).

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 Post subject: Re: How do you y'all deal with Cyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-May-14 11:56 pm 

Joined: 2009-Jun-14 11:37 am
Age: Drake
Just replaying my board because I am playing Yeva anyway. Laugh because they put my creatures back in my hand playing Purphoros. Draw extra cards with Sram.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you y'all deal with Cyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-May-15 2:26 am 
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Joined: 2012-Dec-25 1:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
So, the conclusion of this entire thread is "there are no good answers, just kill all the blue players ASAP".

Which begs me the question: Wizards has been printing a lot of cards in the most recent years that nullify counterspells, presumably because players hate them and they want to give the players answers to those cards. They have even printed answers to discard spells. Why haven't they printed a single card yet that deals with bounce spells? Literally not one card. The best one I can probably think of the top of my head is Eerie Interlude, but that is just a global response to mass removal in general. Why, why hasn't this happened yet?

Edited: Reins of Power might just the currently best printed answer to Cyclonic Rift. Good suggestion, Treamayne!

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Last edited by Maluko on 2017-May-15 2:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you y'all deal with Cyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-May-15 2:33 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
Don't over extend. Make sure your mana base isnt just efficient rocks so you can replay significant threats. Apply pressure so that you're game plan isnt completely restarted.

these are good answers.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you y'all deal with Cyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-May-15 3:13 am 
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Joined: 2011-Aug-13 2:49 pm
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Maluko wrote:
Why haven't they printed a single card yet that deals with bounce spells? Literally not one card.

Apart from all those creatures with backbreaking EtB-effects.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you y'all deal with Cyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-May-15 4:24 am 
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Joined: 2012-Dec-25 1:37 am
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Malekoda wrote:
Maluko wrote:
Why haven't they printed a single card yet that deals with bounce spells? Literally not one card.

Apart from all those creatures with backbreaking EtB-effects.

I'm sure they will be very useful when your opponent gets rid of your entire board at instant speed and threatens to destroy you with the huge card advantage he just got...

niheloim wrote:
Don't over extend. Make sure your mana base isnt just efficient rocks so you can replay significant threats. Apply pressure so that you're game plan isnt completely restarted.

these are good answers.

These are not good answers to an incoming Cyclonic Rift, this is just good gameplay strategy. Don't overextend as to not lose too much resources in case of mass removal; don't overextended as to not paint a target in your head earlier than you should; don't play too many mana rocks because artifact removal is now everywhere; etc. I'm not saying they don't help, but if an opponent has a powerful board presence, and suddenly decides to cast a winning Rift, these won't save you the game.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you y'all deal with Cyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-May-15 7:39 am 
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Joined: 2017-Mar-11 6:43 am
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Maluko wrote:
So, the conclusion of this entire thread is "there are no good answers, just kill all the blue players ASAP".


lol, Well, I tried. Card answers are a super inefficient way to handle mass bounce- and trying to dogpile someone sitting on islands doesn't tend to go too well. So, goodluck with that :D

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 Post subject: Re: How do you y'all deal with Cyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-May-15 8:24 am 
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Joined: 2012-Sep-15 5:03 am
Age: Dragon
Maluko wrote:
Malekoda wrote:
Maluko wrote:
Why haven't they printed a single card yet that deals with bounce spells? Literally not one card.

Apart from all those creatures with backbreaking EtB-effects.

I'm sure they will be very useful when your opponent gets rid of your entire board at instant speed and threatens to destroy you with the huge card advantage he just got...

niheloim wrote:
Don't over extend. Make sure your mana base isnt just efficient rocks so you can replay significant threats. Apply pressure so that you're game plan isnt completely restarted.

these are good answers.

These are not good answers to an incoming Cyclonic Rift, this is just good gameplay strategy. Don't overextend as to not lose too much resources in case of mass removal; don't overextended as to not paint a target in your head earlier than you should; don't play too many mana rocks because artifact removal is now everywhere; etc. I'm not saying they don't help, but if an opponent has a powerful board presence, and suddenly decides to cast a winning Rift, these won't save you the game.


What everyone here is saying is don't let that happen in the first place.

Because the problem in that scenario isn't actually Rift, it's the really powerful board presence alongside it.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you y'all deal with Cyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-May-15 9:00 am 

Joined: 2016-Aug-15 1:21 pm
Age: Drake
The best answer to Cyclonic Rift, in my opinion, is actually Perplexing Chimera, to either sneak it in or find a way to give it flash. My Zedruu deck runs it along with a bunch of other cards that make it mechanically confusing and extremely unpredictable. I find predictability is more of a weakness in commander, and running stuff like Wild Evocation, Knowledge Pool, Gate to the Aether, Hive Mind, Curse of Echoes, and Confusion in the Ranks makes it hard for the rest of the table to have a plan.

If the rest of the table looks like they're building up to something, Warp World can shake things up, and it doesn't come with the same problems as Scrambleverse or Thieves' Auction.

But throwing all those plus more into one deck has made my play group think that my Zedruu deck is a mechanically broken mess. Other then the Chimera, the only other option I can think of to actually deal with Cyclonic Rift is to copy it with something like Reverberate.

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