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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:49 pm 
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(Wavebreak archives)
(Advisors in Ossia)

I had to take a break from this for a bit due to plans and also computer troubles but now I'm back let's go.

Advisors are the slow, grindy deck in the format, 'cause skies didn't fit them well. They're a mill deck, but they're really a control deck with a mill win condition. they want to lock up the board, then mill your opponent out. this has led to a bleed of milling to white for the set. to help combat the weirdness of that, I've let them exile instead of putting into the graveyard, which feels more white. still a little weird, but an intentional bleed that I've come to terms with so yeah. also this thread doesn't even have any white cards doing that, but the format does. (the set does too, check out Grinding Stones, but not here as it turns out.)

so far advisors have 2, 3, 4, and 5, so I can do whatever I want. I think they need some early defense so I'll give them a 2, then a 4 to help shore things up later.

CYCLE 1: COMMON ENABLER, W/RACE KEYWORD

Venerable Witness-
Creature-Wolf Advisor (C)
Defender
When Venerable Witness enters the battlefield, you may tap it. If you do, Convene 3. (Reveal the top 3 cards of your library. Put a creature card from among them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.)
"Jestopher lays buried. It falls to us to protect his dream."
0/3

so this was kinda tricky because I knew I wanted the white one to be the 2-drop because the other two cheap advisors are both blue, but there's not a lot to be done with Convene at 2 while staying fair. Wandering Pup got the obvious one, and is actually pretty strong, so anything else had to be weaker than a 1/1. I though of wall of omens, but Wall is uncommon and also really good, and Convene is probably generally stronger than card draw so I was worried about it at common. I dropped it to 0/3 and Rush and I agreed that that was plausible, but probably still really strong. Rush suggested playing with Kicker variants, and this seemed the most effective one. it's good early when there's not a huge amount of pressure, but especially on the draw even tapping it turn 2 can be a costly play, and drawing it late you really have to consider which mode is better. all while being a body that doesn't really do anything complex when it's on the board. I like it, and the flavor feels good too.

CYCLE 2: COMMON LORD

Grotesque Oculist-
Creature-Gargoyle Advisor (C)
When Grotesque Oculist enters the battlefield, target player exiles the top X cards of their library, where X is the number of Advisors you control.
They see all, so that Teth need never fear surprise.
2/4

alternate flavor text: They see all, but can they see why kids love cinnamon toast crunch? anyway, again I'm having fun with Gargoyle art that I don't have to make but this dude would have a ring of eyes around their whole head 'cause why limit your Gargoyle designs to two eyes. it opens up the question of why they don't all have that, but I'm going to argue that processing that amount of visual stimulus probably takes a serious mental toll so they wind up not as strong or as fast as the others because they're focusing so hard on just seeing stuff. powerwise, this probably compares unfavorably to returned centaur most of the time, but a Pillarfield Ox felt right here, and it serves a very different role than Centaur anyway so it's ok. I don't mind this not being great because it'll probably be good enough.

CYCLE 3: UNCOMMON LORD

Gentle Headwind-
Creature-Elemental Advisor (U)
Flying
As long as an opponent owns ten or more cards in exile, Advisors you control have ": Scry 1."
The winds blow the sailors toward home, but the sailors refuse to take the hint.
1/3

heehee. anyway, I really liked the idea of using a threshold here, since Advisors are doing something you can count pretty easily. this ticks up as a seacoast drake holding things down, but if they push you and you have to start milling (hint: you will, things don't go the way the Windkin would like.) then it gets a little more aggressive in its strategies. it also is fairly easy to table for Advisors since they're the only ones who can meet the condition realistically. it also adds some value to the one-shot mill cards like Drown in Waves since you now have a closer target than "ending the game" that you want to reach quickly. don't know if it makes them good enough but it makes them better. as for scry, it's evergreen now. I didn't want to use it 'cause it feels a bit redundant with Convene, but Rush suggested it here and it fit really well. I debated going destructive scry and saying "look at the top card of your library. you may exile it." but like why bother?

I don't know if 10 is the right number but it feels alright.

CYCLE 4: UNCOMMON MANA ROCK OR MULTICOLORED ENCHANTMENT

Greatpack Keystone-
Artifact (U)
: Add or to your mana pool.
, , Sacrifice Greatpack Keystone: Target player exiles the top 7 cards of their library.
Silver and blue, the colors of the Wisefang's coat.

we miss you Jestopher. the art would show that the "blue" is something very light, like a sky blue, but I didn't want to mess with the meter by adding that to the flavor text. anyway this was really the only logical thing to put there. it serves its role as a mana rock, then when you're ready to close it just shotguns the rest of their deck. like above, I don't know that 7 is the right number, but considering that if you want it right away it costs 6 mana it seemed fine.

anyway that's advisors we're more than halfway through the classes next time assassins yeah buddy

:duel:

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:58 pm 
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If like 10 if for no other reason than Drown in Waves.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:16 pm 
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Meh. Not feeling the advisors.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:28 pm 
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Azhorium wrote:
Meh. Not feeling the advisors.

yeah they're not supposed to be for everyone.

:duel:

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Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:44 pm 
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;_; RIP Jestopher.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:09 pm 
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It's my pet peeve with mill, for instance. It's an alternate wincon that's generally just so inefficient it feels like a noob trap. I think WotC believes it's 'unfun' for the other side (mill is essentially a combo deck, and we know WotC's stance on combo), so they just make it overly hard to pull off.

I get this general feeling that Advisors are unrewarding to play/commit to.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:16 pm 
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Azhorium wrote:
It's my pet peeve with mill, for instance. It's an alternate wincon that's generally just so inefficient it feels like a noob trap. I think WotC believes it's 'unfun' for the other side (mill is essentially a combo deck, and we know WotC's stance on combo), so they just make it overly hard to pull off.

I get this general feeling that Advisors are unrewarding to play/commit to.

it's not aggro-mill, it's control mill. it's creature-based control with a mill win condition. you don't have to combo anything, you just need to lock things down and let your mill cards close things out.

also, people like mill. not everyone, but enough people do that if the existence of mill is your problem then all I can say is that you're not the target audience.

:duel:

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Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:27 pm 
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That was throroughly not my point. My point is I dislike half-hearted support to alternative strategies and I consider them a noob trap. I might be misjudging the effectiveness of the advisor strategy, but I feel they fall in this category.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:30 pm 
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Mill is stupid

Not saying Advisors are stupid, but mill is.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:43 pm 
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Azhorium wrote:
That was throroughly not my point. My point is I dislike half-hearted support to alternative strategies and I consider them a noob trap. I might be misjudging the effectiveness of the advisor strategy, but I feel they fall in this category.

I'm confused. weren't you complaining in a previous thread that the stall options were too strong? how can the stall be too strong but the "stall the game while you grind out a win" strategy be too weak?

:duel:

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I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:54 pm 
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I believe my point was more that games were devolving into stalls regardless of the strategies themselves. Say, my deck wants to attack with dudes, and yours wants to attack with dudes too, but attacking into the opponent is always a losing strategy.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:02 pm 
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Azhorium wrote:
I believe my point was more that games were devolving into stalls regardless of the strategies themselves. Say, my deck wants to attack with dudes, and yours wants to attack with dudes too, but attacking into the opponent is always a losing strategy.

right, but in such a world, of all the strategies to claim have half-hearted support, why pick the one that can actually capitalize on that situation?

:duel:

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I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:10 pm 
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I'm not sure attacking into advisors would fall into this losing strategy since their bodies are all so terrible. But yes, if you put it like that -- if you embrace the stally nature of the format --, then advisors do seem compelling....which makes it all the worse if they do turn out to be crap.

Like before, all of this hinges on a good assessment of the format, which might entirely not be what I'm doing here.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:13 pm 
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Ossia originally was almost certainly too stally, unless you had a nuts deck like the Monk deck I opened. I think Wavebreak has done a lot of good work to help alleviate that, with more aggressive bodies, the +1/+1 counter cycle, and more overall evasion. (also some errata to Ossia cards helped.) I don't know exactly where it's at now, but it should have a better flow. I still think the Advisors have plenty of tools to gum up the board, though.

:duel:

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I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:55 pm 
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The tap clause feels super weird to me. I'm not even sure if Convene is much better than card draw, since it can and will whiff every once in a while, and getting lands is sometimes important. (It's also a lot weaker in constructed.)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:41 pm 
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razorborne wrote:
Venerable Witness-
Creature-Wolf Advisor (C)
Defender
When Venerable Witness enters the battlefield, you may tap it. If you do, Convene 3. (Reveal the top 3 cards of your library. Put a creature card from among them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.)
"Jestopher lays buried. It falls to us to protect his dream."
0/3

:thumbsup:

;_; RIP Jestopher.
:cry:

razorborne wrote:
Ossia originally was almost certainly too stally, unless you had a nuts deck like the Monk deck I opened.

:twitch:

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:08 pm 
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Mown wrote:
The tap clause feels super weird to me. I'm not even sure if Convene is much better than card draw, since it can and will whiff every once in a while, and getting lands is sometimes important. (It's also a lot weaker in constructed.)

if that's the case I'd rather make it an 0/4 than remove the tap clause. also as a common I have to consider its impact in limited heavily, and even if we say it's the same power as card draw, wall of omens was too good for common.

:duel:

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I tend to agree with Razor.

Pro Tour: YMTC: SECOND ONE IS OVER STAY TUNED FOR THIRD ONE
The BLOCK I'm currently pretending I'll finish: Fleets Of Ossia (complete!) | Wavebreak (complete!) | The Second Flood (in progress!)
Razorborne and friends teach music theory to chumps like you: 12tone


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:56 am 
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You'll almost never choose not to tap it, but that's ok.

The thing about control mill in Limited is that it needs very little support. You only need about 2 cards that can mill the opponent to call your regular control deck a control mill deck.

The key to not making mill cards a noob trap is to make them do something useful even when not milling, which is exactly what razor has done with Greatpack Keystone and Grotesque Occultist in this thread.


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