Blast from the Past: Revisiting 100%: Mana De-Naya-l

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  1. This is still a great article. Adding the deck list is key. ChrisKool adds some nice commentary.

    Speaking of ChrisKool’s syphilitic ranting, the question of Tarmogoyf vs Elf #34 in 100CS Elves is more nuanced than “goyf is just too powerful.” The “bad elf” that I’m currently running instead of Goyf (the last elf I added to the deck) is Quirion Elves. There are quite a few situations when I’d rather have a Mana Elf than a Goyf.

    Having said that… I’m looking at this from both sides, and I decided to take out Wrens Run Vanquisher for Tarmogoyf.

  2. Syphilitic might be a tad too strong of an adjective!

    With Summoners Pact, Survival of the Fittest, Primal Command, Chord of Calling, Eladamris Call, and Worldly Tutor, I find a “huge/huge+1″ Tarmogoyf in my deck to be a valuable asset. I understand the power of the mana Elf, however; maybe we should try playing ALL mana Elves in the deck (while maintaining the current level of power, if possible). Elves that just attack are sort of boring (and more mana Elves might might Wrens Run Packmaster look attractive).

    On another note, maybe I should try to make a Green + Geddon + Fatty/Equipment deck with all playable mana creatures… I like Travis’s approach of focusing on synergy for building a deck and then adding in raw power/utility after the synergistic core has been developed.

    Also, the article probably should have talked about mana cost some. As the format developed, both Travis and I started shunning 6, 5 and even 4 drops in favor of quicker action. Most of our most recent deck conversations had “there are too many four drops” as a theme.

  3. A couple of points:

    First, this is really cool. Travis’s original piece is a great work in 100CS Theory, and commentating on it with occasional disagreement is exactly what 100CS and MTG in general need.

    Second, might elves rather be playing Naya than Overgrown Estate colors? Flametongue is less exciting than Shriekmaw, but Squee might be better than Krov Horror. Furthermore, you’d have access to Punishing Fire and an “additional copy” of Armageddon in the form of Boom/Bust, and Bloodbraid, if it be determined worthwhile to cascade into 3-casts or lower.

    Third, I want to note something about this passage from the above article: “You will find that implementing these deck construction philosophies and techniques will give your deck an overall competitive focus and execution it may be lacking, rather than playing a random 100 card lottery more dependent on prayer than premise. (If you take anything away from this article, let it be this. Random synergies find themselves as liabilities more often than not. If a card has a stipulation that must be met before it is useful, it better be decent on its own and interact with its buddy or buddies to a sinister degree.)”

    I find this point quite interesting because of how contentious it is. I myself am unsure if I agree with it. In a format where a deck’s game plan varies to some extent with each game and match, it might be advantageous to run a bunch of random “one-” or two-card combos, as long as the pieces are tutor-able. Such an approach, represented in decks that run, e.g., Oath, Polymorph, Scapeshift, TF/Sword of the Meek, has shown a reasonable amount of success — though I’d best not overstate it — and interestingly enough, its design philosophy seems precisely opposite what Travis (as well as Chris) has articulated above. Of course, with such a deck, you want to streamline its crapshoot — that’s a given. But the streamlining is within the confines of a deck that aims to decide its game plan in the midst of a game, usually after drawing a single combo piece or something else.

  4. I was naked and drunk when I wrote this. Can’t believe you take it as gospel. I just copy and pasted stuff from Mark Rosewater’s blog and added in some Star Trek Deep Space 9 quotes. Weirdos!