Demonic Tutor

Magic: the Gathering in the UK

First a decklist

// Lands
    5 [ROE] Plains (1)
    1 [ROE] Swamp (1)
    6 [ROE] Island (1)
    3 [ZEN] Marsh Flats

// Spells
    4 [M10] Howling Mine
    4 [ARB] Fieldmist Borderpost
    3 [ARB] Mistvein Borderpost
    3 [ARB] Time Sieve
    4 [CFX] Kaleidostone
    4 [M10] Open the Vaults
    4 [ROE] Prophetic Prism
    2 [ALA] Tezzeret the Seeker
    4 [M10] Time Warp
    2 [LRW] Jace Beleren
    2 [LRW] Oblivion Ring
    2 [WWK] Jace, the Mind Sculptor
    3 [LRW] Ponder
    3 [WWK] Everflowing Chalice
    1 [ZEN] Day of Judgment

// Sideboard
SB: 2 [ZEN] Day of Judgment
SB: 4 [M10] Negate
SB: 2 [ALA] Executioner's Capsule
SB: 3 [DDC] Angelsong
SB: 4 [M10] Baneslayer Angel

Assuming that Open the Vaults IS in M11 (doubtful given the scars of mirrodin ott synegy), I am consider beginning to think about something like this for nats (not PTQs, China etc.)

It's an open the vaults deck (i.e. deck that will never lose to any form of wu control EVER). Vs aggro strategies the plan is to transform into a planeswalker wu type control deck when they sideboard out removal. I think open has a good matchup vs most decks in the format g1 (wu and wur v. good, jund and bant good, naya bad, mono red v. bad) post sb you can change your plan of attack by sideboarding out howling mine, up to 3 kaleidostone, up to 2 time warp, and 1 time sieve (jace beleren possibly on the draw). Angelsong allows you to keep in the mines g3 if you wish vs naya.

This sort of deck has been covered in depth already last season, so I am sure you all know how to play it. I will however say that everflowing challice is an ABSOLUTE BOMB in this sort of a deck, costing 1 mana (you never cast it turn 2 unless you are intending to follow with a borderpost). On turn 4 it allows you to play it and a draw artifact on the same turn. Prophetic prism is possibly one of the very best cards this deck could hope to get too, it fixes your mana, negates spreading seas, turns challice mana into relevant mana and is a good sac outlet to time sieve. My argument is that this deck was very playable last summer, but has gained a lot from recent sets, and is now well positioned to be played in t2 (especially given that wall of omens and gideon has made the decks that it beats even better). Testing so far seems to back this up.

But why am I posting this here? I want you to rip this deck to pieces, tell me why it's a terrible choice and question anything and everything about the deck. This should give me ideas for improvement. Thanks for you time

Peter

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pre-emptively: the 1 md day of judgement is a pre-sideboard card so I can play 15 card sb, consider it as a 3rd jace tms, or 4th ponder/challice
Note that M10 doesn't rotate out til Scars comes in, so this deck will certainly be legal come Nats.
Nick Lovett and Ben Titmarsh have been playing this deck in the Nats qualifiers/PTQs so far to decent but not quite there records so maybe they can give some real tournament experience feedback on the issues it might have.
It just doesn't seem much like a real deck. Whenever i see it at a tournament, i'm thinking "Oh LOL look at that douchebag with OtV, he's not gonna win". And then as expected, they don't win.

It doesn't seem unfair enough, it's a good deck surrounded by VERY good decks. Why wouldn't you want to play Jund, Mythic, Naya or U/W/x instead of this?
needs more Emrakul :D
I agree with Dan, im always surprised when I see decent/half decent players bring this deck to a PTQ. I always think 'wow, if you played a real deck you may have a chance of winning'.

Dan Barrett said:
It just doesn't seem much like a real deck. Whenever i see it at a tournament, i'm thinking "Oh LOL look at that douchebag with OtV, he's not gonna win". And then as expected, they don't win.

It doesn't seem unfair enough, it's a good deck surrounded by VERY good decks. Why wouldn't you want to play Jund, Mythic, Naya or U/W/x instead of this?
Yeah I played this in 2 nats qualifiers and a ptq. I absolutely loved playing the deck but I found it a little lacking in some matchups. First off, this just can't lose to UW/Planeswalkers as you point out. They just don't pack enough counterspells and their gameplan is too long to effectively deal with what you are doing. Siding in 4 negates is enough to take down these matches with little difficulty. However, it doesn't come without it's weak matchups. I played polymorph three times, and their 8 md counters, combined with the fact that they generally combo-ed off a turn before me was a real issue. Jund post-board bringing in Duress and Thought Hemmorhage was painful. Turn 2 leech is particularly difficult to deal with as it is, and the new versions running Geopede's as well are just too fast and too disruptive for this deck

I also encountered a lot of Pithing Needles post board. Obviously they are great for a lot of decks vs Super Friends, and naming Time Sieve can cause us issues.

I didn't run maindeck Oblivion Ring, which seems like a decent answer to a lot of these problems. I was just going for all-out combo, but its definitely worth testing.

My maindeck was the same as yours with the following differences:

-2 Jace, Mind Sculptor
-2 Oblivion Ring
-1 DoJ
-3 Ponder

+4 Angel Song
+1 Mistvein Borderpost
+1 Time Sieve
+1 Marsh Flats
+1 Emrakul, The Aeons Torn

The Emrakul is a cheesy alternate wincon and occasional graveyard reset. I won about 60% of my games by hardcasting this guy, which isn't too tricky when you are chaining lots of turns, returning discarded borderposts from your graveyard with OtV and untapping chalice for 2 with Tezzeret. With so many lightning bolts around, it's nice to have an alternative to tezzeret who would often not quite get there.

In the last nats qualifier I also dropped an Angel Song for a Glassdust Husk.

My Sideboard looked like this:

4 Kor Firewalker
4 Negate
4 Spell Pierce
3 Day of Judgment

Firewalker is essential vs mono-red and I opted for 8 counters to improve the Polymorph matchup and spell pierce gives me more of a chance vs Duress.

On balance, the version I played suffers very much from typical combo deck syndrome of some 90% matchups, but also a lot of 30-40% matchups (Jund, Red-Black Aggro, Polymorph, Vengevine Naya were all tricky).

I am very interested to hear how the transformative sideboard plan goes in testing, and how the maindeck Oblivion Rings work out for you. Also, great to hear from you again peter, you seemed to drop off the world these last few months!
Also isnt running only 15 lands dangerous? I know you have borderposts but they dont count if you draw an opener with no basics. Also you really open yourself up to getting blown out by Maelstrol Pulse.
15 or 16 is standard in OtV. Malestrom Pulse will always be an issue for this deck, but what you don't want when you start time warping is to end up with a hand full of land.

Gary Lynch said:
Also isnt running only 15 lands dangerous? I know you have borderposts but they dont count if you draw an opener with no basics. Also you really open yourself up to getting blown out by Maelstrol Pulse.
thanks for the feedback all

in Shanghai at the moment for study, Demonic Tutor is banned (anything with demonic in it is banned) only recently found a reliable VPN to get around the Chinese Government firewall

@ben:
1) why not ulamog? wouldn't ulamog sort out random hate problems as well as shuffle back in?
2) why firewalker over vedalken outlander? playing firewalker normally won't happen until turn 4, by which time you are already in serious trouble. it also doesn't help you go off
3) how relevant is polymorph? if it is relevant I strongly recommend running both capsule and oblivion ring as answers to emrakul
4) one of the advantages of a transformational sideboard is that it gives you pre-emptive defence vs. pithing needle on sieve, angel is great at racing, especially as all you need is 4 turns to win (and timewalk/sieve give you those turns)
5) how good have angelsongs been for you? I tested them, and they only seem to do anything against naya and good draws fromjund
6) finally, what do you think about running journey to nowheres somewhere as an answer to leech that comes back with open the vaults if killed or blightninged

@Dan
wu is the best deck in the format, I want a very good wu matchup as the people I am most afraid of in any given tournament are most likely to be running wu. the fact that the deck is good vs jund too is just a bonus. mono red is an auto loss, but I would rather have 80-20 matchups that I can attack with my sb rather than the 60-40s jund has.

@gary: 25 mana sources and 11 cantrips tends to be enough to get the job done, but sure, you do have to mulligan sometimes
1) Because by the time you are comboing off to the extent that you are at 11 mana, there's not many times when you won't be able to get to 15 mana just as easily, and Emrakul just wins the game on the spot when you hardcast him. Their random hate shouldn't be an issue for you at this point. His +1 turn is also synergystic with the rest of the deck (although this is largely irrelevant as he should just win you the game without needing to do anything else). He also counters polymorphing into emrakul if you can time it right.

2) Didn't find casting firewalker to be an issue with the extra marsh flats and prophetic prism. The life gain is very relevant if you have a mine out as you will be drawing them into a lot of burn.

3) Maybe i ran into a disproportionate amount of polymorph but with their 8 counters (and you drawing them into counters) i wouldn't count on oblivion ring as a solid answer. Definitely worth a test though.

4) Awesome, definitely testing this.

5) Angelsong is awesome vs jund and naya and thats the only reason it's there. For me this slot was largely a meta choice and it could just have easily gone to negate. One of the stronger plays that I managed to eek out more often than not was turn 3 borderpost, turn 4 tezzeret untapping 2 posts for angelsong. This puts you in a great position vs anything aggro.

6) Journey seems like a decent answer, but the only problem I have with these sort of cards is that they slow down your engine, you really want to be making prism turn 2, failing that howling mine. Definitely another idea worth testing.

Peter Dun said:
thanks for the feedback all

in Shanghai at the moment for study, Demonic Tutor is banned (anything with demonic in it is banned) only recently found a reliable VPN to get around the Chinese Government firewall

@ben:
1) why not ulamog? wouldn't ulamog sort out random hate problems as well as shuffle back in?
2) why firewalker over vedalken outlander? playing firewalker normally won't happen until turn 4, by which time you are already in serious trouble. it also doesn't help you go off
3) how relevant is polymorph? if it is relevant I strongly recommend running both capsule and oblivion ring as answers to emrakul
4) one of the advantages of a transformational sideboard is that it gives you pre-emptive defence vs. pithing needle on sieve, angel is great at racing, especially as all you need is 4 turns to win (and timewalk/sieve give you those turns)
5) how good have angelsongs been for you? I tested them, and they only seem to do anything against naya and good draws fromjund
6) finally, what do you think about running journey to nowheres somewhere as an answer to leech that comes back with open the vaults if killed or blightninged

@Dan
wu is the best deck in the format, I want a very good wu matchup as the people I am most afraid of in any given tournament are most likely to be running wu. the fact that the deck is good vs jund too is just a bonus. mono red is an auto loss, but I would rather have 80-20 matchups that I can attack with my sb rather than the 60-40s jund has.

@gary: 25 mana sources and 11 cantrips tends to be enough to get the job done, but sure, you do have to mulligan sometimes
WU may be the best deck in the format (i'm not sure, but i feel based on my own playing, plus results, there is a stronger case for Vengevine Naya or Mythic Conscription to be the "best deck"), but it isn't what the majority of the field will be playing, IMO.

However, i agree that knowing you, you'll probably vastly outplay all the scrubs like me playing our aggro decks, so you only need to really worry about the very top players. I think the best deck for you to play and the best deck for me to play will be different as a result, i guess.

When are you back? Would be good to get some testing in like last year, despite my suboptimal deck choice i found it very helpful

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