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 Post subject: What's the play?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:29 am 
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I'm playing R/B midrange vs. an unknown opponent. We both mulligan to six. I'm on the play and he scries to the top. My hand is 2 Mountain, Cinder Barrens, Pia Nalaar, Goblin Chainwhirler, and Hazoret the Fervent. My scry sees Abrade. Do I keep it on top?

I'm not sure if this should be obvious or not. It sounds like it should be to all seasoned Magic players, but I confess I have no idea. I could keep it on top and probably have no turn 2 play in what's supposed to be an aggressive deck, or I could bottom it and risk drawing no turn 2 play anyway and getting run over. What's the play?


Last edited by Banedon on Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the play?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:32 am 
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I would keep the Abrade on top seeing as how you have three sources of red mana already. Taplands suck but you play what you got.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the play?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:33 am 
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You said the deck is midrange so it is not necessarily an agressive deck.

With the scenario described I would keep that abrade everytime

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 Post subject: Re: What's the play?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:47 am 
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Keep it

I don’t follow the no turn 2 play? You t1 cinder barrens and hold up your reminder Val in t2

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 Post subject: Re: What's the play?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:36 am 
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Abrade on top 100%. You have exactly one draw step to find a better 2-drop, the deck is not running THAT many and Abrade is a good turn 2 play in very many match-ups against very many starts.

If you can't fire it off, chances are the opponent didn't have a turn 2 play either, leaving you with an Abrade in hand to use later. However, your opponent scried to the top, so if he is an aggressive or even a midrange deck, chances are he's going to curve out and you'll want the removal spell turn 2 to use your mana.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the play?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:26 pm 
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I mean, I'd need to know your list to have a better idea, but generally speaking, with the information available, I'd lean towards top.

I think it's closer than most people are suggesting, though. Usually, if RB Aggro sits and does nothing until turn 3, you're going to get locked out very quickly.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the play?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:53 pm 
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divinevert wrote:
I mean, I'd need to know your list to have a better idea, but generally speaking, with the information available, I'd lean towards top.

I think it's closer than most people are suggesting, though. Usually, if RB Aggro sits and does nothing until turn 3, you're going to get locked out very quickly.

Good thing he's playing RB midrange then...

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 Post subject: Re: What's the play?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:57 pm 
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Kryder wrote:
divinevert wrote:
I mean, I'd need to know your list to have a better idea, but generally speaking, with the information available, I'd lean towards top.

I think it's closer than most people are suggesting, though. Usually, if RB Aggro sits and does nothing until turn 3, you're going to get locked out very quickly.

Good thing he's playing RB midrange then...


Different deck names mean different things to different people. I don't know his concentration of 2-drops or how wide he wants to go. Yes, he says he is midrange, and while we can guess that skews more towards 3/4/5 drops, I can't know that. If he's running Hazoret, his build is likely going to be fairly quick and need to dump cards.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the play?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:15 pm 
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Deck looks something like this:

4 Bomat Courier
4 Scrapheap Scrounger
4 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner
1 Kari Zev
2 Abrade
2 Lightning Strike
3 Heart of Kiran
3 Goblin Chainwhirler
3 Pia Nalaar
2 Unlicensed Disintegration
1 Aethersphere Harvester
3 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
3 Hazoret
2 Glorybringer

(And yes I just realized that there are only 23 lands. Wow, no wonder I was getting mana screwed so often. Didn't know I could click on the mana curve for more details!)

Problem with keeping Abrade on top is that it's dead vs. control decks, for example this sequence would outright lose the game:

T1: Land, go x2
T2: Land, go x2
T3: Me Pia Nalaar, him Syncopate you for 1
T4: Me Chainwhirler, him Disallow
T5: Me whatever, him Scarab God

Only way to beat this is to have some presence on the board so opponent can't just hold up counters all the time. But of course the opponent might not be playing a control deck. That's why I genuinely didn't know the answer. Seems pretty unanimous to keep Abrade on top though. Hmm...


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 Post subject: Re: What's the play?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:18 pm 
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A plus is M19 brought some more usable artifacts that Abrade can have some fun with.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the play?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:20 pm 
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Banedon wrote:
Deck looks something like this:

4 Bomat Courier
4 Scrapheap Scrounger
4 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner
1 Kari Zev
2 Abrade
2 Lightning Strike
3 Heart of Kiran
3 Goblin Chainwhirler
3 Pia Nalaar
2 Unlicensed Disintegration
1 Aethersphere Harvester
3 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
3 Hazoret
2 Glorybringer

(And yes I just realized that there are only 23 lands. Wow, no wonder I was getting mana screwed so often. Didn't know I could click on the mana curve for more details!)

Problem with keeping Abrade on top is that it's dead vs. control decks, for example this sequence would outright lose the game:

T1: Land, go x2
T2: Land, go x2
T3: Me Pia Nalaar, him Syncopate you for 1
T4: Me Chainwhirler, him Disallow
T5: Me whatever, him Scarab God

Only way to beat this is to have some presence on the board so opponent can't just hold up counters all the time. But of course the opponent might not be playing a control deck. That's why I genuinely didn't know the answer. Seems pretty unanimous to keep Abrade on top though. Hmm...


Given this list, I'd probably bottom it and just hope for the best.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the play?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:22 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: What's the play?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:22 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: What's the play?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:24 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: What's the play?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:45 am 
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I'd have been very tempted to mull to 5 with no 1 or 2 drops in a deck running 20 1 and 2 drops. If my r/b first play is turn 3 then I think I'm far more likely to lose than if I mull to 5 and play a 1 drop.


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 Post subject: Re: What's the play?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:47 am 
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Keep abrade on top (creature decks have been more
frequent lately), if op plays blue and white mana in T1 & 2, just concede, save yourself the pain and move on.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the play?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:37 am 
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Keep or mull? 3 Mountains, Cinder Barrens, Chandra, Torch of Defiance, Rekindling Phoenix, Glorybringer on the play against unknown opponent.

I changed my list to be more mid-rangey taking out most of the two drops for cheap removal, but going four turns before playing first card is still quite scary. On the other hand, it is three of the most powerful cards in my deck and I have the mana to cast them.

These decisions would be so much easier if I knew roughly what my opponent was playing ala in Gwent ...


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 Post subject: Re: What's the play?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:34 am 
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I'd mulligan. You don't put up enough pressure against Control, you don't have the tools to stop opposing aggressive decks - this hand is bad against pretty much every matchup.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the play?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:56 am 
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I'd keep. You'd like a better opener, and it's an easy mulligan in a game like Duels with a free mulligan.

But you're dropping a card, so what you gain in some early interaction, you're losing alot of overall power level.

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 Post subject: Re: What's the play?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:48 am 
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I'd mull. If you keep then your first two draws have to be castable non-lands or you lose vs aggro - it's possible to draw out of it sure but the cards in hand, while strong, don't actually do anything. First play chandra is horrible against a creature deck too. And a control deck that can just do whatever they want for the first four turns, and not have to use counters/removal inefficiently, is going to be very happy.

But that's just an opinion ofc, I do sometimes mull quite aggressively - I wouldn't keep a mono green hand that started with a 3 drop since I think that's a lower chance to win than going to six cards.


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