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 Post subject: Forcing things to the top of the library underutilized?
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-18 10:51 am 

Joined: 2011-Jan-03 4:23 pm
Age: Drake
While playing around with my Rashmi, Eternities Crafter chart, I got interested in seeing where some of the tempo disruption cards I had recently put in--Temporal Spring, Plow Under, Set Adrift, Primal Command--also popped up on EDHRec, in hopes of finding overlooked cards.

I was not expecting three out of the four to have such low numbers.

Temporal Spring: 70. Plow Under: 153. Set Adrift: 73. Primal Command: 3975, but I have a bad feeling most of it is about the creature tutoring (and sure enough, Eladamri's Call is reported in 5360 decks--much more populous, despite having a narrower color identity). On a hunch, I decided to look up Memory Lapse--somehow, it's in 2663 decks. But compare to Remand, which is in 4529 decks. (Time Ebb, by the way, is in only 78 decks, and Fallow Earth in a scant 19.)

I'm starting to wonder if Simic decks are expected to use different ways to wreck opposition tempo in this format. There is the problem that the cards I mentioned are all one-off; I don't think there are any permanents that can repeatedly send another permanent to the top of someone else's library. Either that, or the mechanism is simply overlooked (although in favor of what, I don't know).

EDIT: Forgot about including Submerge in the chart, although that one's still only in 151 decks...


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 Post subject: Re: Forcing things to the top of the library underutilized?
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-18 3:13 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-02 5:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Costa La Haya, capital del ducado Holanda
Primal Command is awesome, but I found that I'd rather not play spot removal at sorcery speed. Temporal Spring seems pretty good though.

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 Post subject: Re: Forcing things to the top of the library underutilized?
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-19 2:06 am 
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Joined: 2010-Jan-25 4:50 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I think unexpectedly absent is one of the best spot removal cards in the game and am continually surprised not more people run it. This over swords to plowshares any day of the week.

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 Post subject: Re: Forcing things to the top of the library underutilized?
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-19 3:00 am 

Joined: 2011-Jan-03 4:23 pm
Age: Drake
I'm wondering if the situation with at least Temporal Spring and (maybe) Plow Under might simply be players' unfamiliarity with older sets (Set Adrift's lack of presence might be attributable to its high cost if you don't have a sufficiently hefty graveyard). I decided to look up Ether Well (which I might try to fit into the chart), Repel, and Griptide. Respective results: 22, 32, and 136.

Now consider that Ether Well is strictly superior to the other two. Yet it's the least represented, especially in comparison with Griptide. It's also far and away the oldest, only printed in Mirage. Repel was printed in Odyssey. Griptide, on the other hand, was printed in Dark Ascension and Theros, very much in recent memory.


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 Post subject: Re: Forcing things to the top of the library underutilized?
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-19 5:29 am 

Joined: 2012-Jun-07 5:38 pm
Age: Drake
Skyknight wrote:
While playing around with my Rashmi, Eternities Crafter chart, I got interested in seeing where some of the tempo disruption cards I had recently put in--Temporal Spring, Plow Under, Set Adrift, Primal Command--also popped up on EDHRec, in hopes of finding overlooked cards.

I was not expecting three out of the four to have such low numbers.

Temporal Spring: 70. Plow Under: 153. Set Adrift: 73. Primal Command: 3975, but I have a bad feeling most of it is about the creature tutoring (and sure enough, Eladamri's Call is reported in 5360 decks--much more populous, despite having a narrower color identity). On a hunch, I decided to look up Memory Lapse--somehow, it's in 2663 decks. But compare to Remand, which is in 4529 decks. (Time Ebb, by the way, is in only 78 decks, and Fallow Earth in a scant 19.)

I'm starting to wonder if Simic decks are expected to use different ways to wreck opposition tempo in this format. There is the problem that the cards I mentioned are all one-off; I don't think there are any permanents that can repeatedly send another permanent to the top of someone else's library. Either that, or the mechanism is simply overlooked (although in favor of what, I don't know).

EDIT: Forgot about including Submerge in the chart, although that one's still only in 151 decks...


Because they're mostly faux-removal. It's effectively an overcosted Unsummon, with "non-land permanent" often being at sorcery speed. They'll have it in hand the next turn, pending a forced shuffle effect, and you often 2 for one yourself if you plan on countering it again when they recast it. Things like Unexpectedly Absent are exceptions because they're more versatile and can force them deeper than the top card. Hard removal via destroy or exile is typically preferred.

Basically, if you pay between 3-5 mana to get rid of something, if it's not damn near permanent (exile), hitting multiple things, giving you an additional bonus, or at least putting it into the graveyard (destroy), you're overpaying.


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 Post subject: Re: Forcing things to the top of the library underutilized?
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-19 7:47 am 

Joined: 2011-Jan-03 4:23 pm
Age: Drake
The foremost idea isn't everlasting removal, though, but tempo wreckage. It's to slow them down by forcing them to redraw the returned land or other permanent. That's actually the whole point of Fallow Earth and Plow Under--never mind that you've effectively nulled their next draw, you've also put them behind on mana acceleration, absent things like Oracle of Mul Daya.

Think in terms of how at times, Memory Lapse can be the superior option over Counterspell & Co.


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 Post subject: Re: Forcing things to the top of the library underutilized?
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-19 8:22 am 

Joined: 2012-Jun-07 5:38 pm
Age: Drake
Skyknight wrote:
The foremost idea isn't everlasting removal, though, but tempo wreckage. It's to slow them down by forcing them to redraw the returned land or other permanent. That's actually the whole point of Fallow Earth and Plow Under--never mind that you've effectively nulled their next draw, you've also put them behind on mana acceleration, absent things like Oracle of Mul Daya.

Think in terms of how at times, Memory Lapse can be the superior option over Counterspell & Co.


The amount of scenarios that Memory Lapse is better than straight up Counterspell can be counted on one hand if access to 2 hard blue isn't an issue. We're talking "silver bullet to stop whatever ails you" vs. giving a card what amounts to suspend.

If they have to play it again, it's probably not a big deal/loss. I guarantee your opponent would rather have the chance to cast the spell again if they wanted to cast it in the first place vs. losing it all together... At least 4 out of 5 times.

Tempo can be huge, but in a format of bigger spells that typically don't see play in constructed formats, stronger cards are typically used in their respective cmc slots as you have multiple people to deal with. When a player drops a Rites of Flourishing or Temple Bell or Howling Mine, your single "force to the top" spell is made largely irrelevant. There are so many ways to filter or draw additional cards. All you would do is hinder a single opponent for a turn, but then you have 1-3 other opponents that you need to address... and you just paid 4-5 mana to temporarily get rid of something you have a strong chance of having to deal with 1-2 turns from then. and guess who it'll be coming for if it has legs/discard/damage/lifeloss.


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 Post subject: Re: Forcing things to the top of the library underutilized?
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-20 9:50 am 

Joined: 2012-May-21 2:31 pm
Age: Drake
The biggest issue in my eyes for those cards you named is very simple: Instant vs. Sorcery. Being able to answer a threat nearly anytime versus only on your turn is huge. Having to answer things on your own turn with Sorceries is a big drawback to be able to answer them when they are actually a problem. Does the big scary creature have haste or some other ability that needs to be answered ASAP? If not, then I'd rather play the politics game and wait until it is specifically coming at me or is my problem. I mean, look at Unexpectedly Absent. It is practically the only Instant in the lot you mentioned and it gets played the most.

As far as the tempo argument, land destruction is more often than not the better way to do it (assuming LD isn't completely frowned upon in your area). Why pay 3 mana for being able to put a land back on top of the library when I can pay that same 3 mana and destroy that land? Sure there are going to be exceptions to that, but those would be the exception, not the rule.


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 Post subject: Re: Forcing things to the top of the library underutilized?
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-20 11:47 am 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Evil_Lamp_6 wrote:
Why pay 3 mana for being able to put a land back on top of the library when I can pay that same 3 mana and destroy that land?

Because destroying it doesn't force them to skip their draw? That's what's meant by tempo.
crimsonwings3689 wrote:
It's effectively an overcosted Unsummon

crimsonwings3689 wrote:
you often 2 for one yourself if you plan on countering it again when they recast it.

That's also why the above two statements are a bit unfair. "Return X to the top of the library" essentially equates to "Return X to the hand. That player skips his/her next draw", which in 1v1 Magic is essentially the inverse of a cantrip, meaning if you end up countering it it's a fair 2 for 2.

crimsonwings3689 wrote:
Quote:
Think in terms of how at times, Memory Lapse can be the superior option over Counterspell & Co.
The amount of scenarios that Memory Lapse is better than straight up Counterspell can be counted on one hand


This statement isn't quite true either for the same reason. From a pure CA standpoint, Memory Lapse is almost identical to Remand, which sees a ton of play even in formats where Counterspell is legal. Remand forces them to recast their spell and gives you an extra card. Memory Lapse forces them to recast their spell and denies them their next draw. There's also tons of cases (the most glaring example being removal) where the card being countered is a threat right now but won't be next turn.

Unfortunately for us EDH folks the multiplayer nature of the format messes up the math of spot removal CA, making cards like these significantly worse. In EDH, Remand is almost strictly better than Memory Lapse because you drawing a card is better than one of your multiple opponents losing a card. AFAIK no such card exists, but a top-of-the-library version of Tribute to the Wild or Terminus would almost certainly be pretty strong.


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