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Regionals: Dream Wizards, Rockville, MD - May 17

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#81
Danigral

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I did show you mine, it's only fair that you show me yours.

 

~That's what she said?

 

I did a ST/Agency rush deck for a Pacta Arcana a few episodes ago... I find it highly unlikely that it doesn't include Syndicate though. They have some mad rush skills right now. And besides, Negotium would probably shut down that ST/Agency deck.


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#82
Necronom

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This is the list I play:

 

3x Yithian Scout
3x Keeper of the Great Library
2x Professor Nathaniel Peaslee
2x Scholar of Yith
3x Lost Oracle
3x Faceless Abductor
2x Many-angled Thing
3x Constricting Elder Thing
3x Black Dog
 
3x Frozen Time
2x Displaced
3x Lost City of Pnakotus
3x Dark Passenger
 
3x Interstellar Migration
3x Studying the Void
3x Mists of Lethe
3x Speak to the Dead
3x Pushed into the Beyond
 

 

Can't say I am very experienced player (I started playing a few months ago), but I think that not only the Oracle needs fixing. I think that Interstellar Migration also needs some FAQ treatment. Maybe (Limit once per turn.) will do. IMO without some change, even without Lost Oracle Y-Mill will continue to be as annoying as it is now. It will be different deck, yes. It will be less synergistic for sure. But it will continue to be a thing. And a potent one too.


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#83
Reckoner

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Danigral, I wondered if someone was going to go there. Nice...


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#84
konx

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Konx, can you give us an idea of the rush deck that you are testing. Is it Silver Twilight/Agency? I've been hearing a lot about this combination, but haven't played against it in a competitive setting yet. I think seeing the deck that you are using will be very helpful for the rest of us who are struggling to beat the Y-train. After all, I did show you mine, it's only fair that you show me yours.

 

Yep, absolutely no problem and I think that the deck was posted somewhere here before by Darkman, but here is the list my girlfriend is using:

 

3 Zanni

3 Guardian of Dawn

 

3 Protector of secrets

 

2/3 B. Ramsdale Brown

 

2/3 The black stone

 

3 The terrible old man

3 Trial Judge

3 Government Exorcist

3 Repo Man

 

3 Shadow Team

 

3 Small price to pay

3 Shotgun Blast

 

3 San Marco Basilica

 

3 Prepared Alienist

 

3 Rays of dawn

 

This is the base (29 chars, 43 cards in total). To this list, according to your taste, you can add cards like (these are all cards we have been trying in this deck):

 

3 undercover security

3 Master of Myths or 3 Diseased Rats or 3 Initiate of Huang Hun (being the restricted of choice)

3 Disgruntled chief

 

3 Gentleman's club (not really convinced of this, and I would take out the alienist not to have too many neutrals in the deck. My girlfriend is trying it out because she feels that she needs more card drawing)

 

Other cards: the STL prophecy to destroy supports, the Agency prophecy if you want to draw, Behind Bars, Descendent of Eibon, Lord Jeffrey Farrington, Dreamland Fanatic, Paul LeMond.

 

I tend to prefer the inclusion of more chars. Then supports. Then events. So, for example, to the above list, the third Ramsdale + 3 MoM + 1/2 Undercover Security + 2/1 Disgruntled chief.

 

Or remove the alienist, put the 3 rats and proceed as before.

 

I strongly suggest to include a bit more STL, since you don't have a lot of it maindeck. And if you add neutral cards, remove other neutral first, for consistency reasons. More than 6 neutrals in this deck are detrimental, especially for your resources.

 

Plus, if you add 3 cost cards (except Myths) you should remove other 3 cost cards, since going to 3 resources on a domain is usually a last-resort kind of thing.

 

As you can see, I don't pack direct hate for Y. but you can easily add stuff like Snow Graves.

 

Ideally, a hand with less than 2 chars on turn 1 goes directly into mulligan, and if you don't see the possibility of having down 4 chars on turn 2 it is even more a mulligan. This is not a deck that can wait.

 

About Y. usually you just make sure that the chars don't stick down if they have arcane, which is quite easy. If you add the rats is even more easy. If you play Myths, I really don't see how Y. can win an arcane struggle.

 

About negotium: the deck is indeed weak to it, most likely less weak with the inclusion of MoM (then you have 11/12 chars that cost 3). Of course, you are really slowed down by Negotium. To be clear: in a meta like the future one, I would not bring this deck like it is now.

 

This a "testing" deck, which means that if I build a new deck I try it against a pool of pre-built decks like this one or a Stl-Yog bounce. If the new deck doesn't consistenly beats the testing gauntlet I just forget about the idea (the point behind the test gauntlet is that it has in it the most common cards or strategies that you can find in a tournament. If you cannot beat them, there is no point in playing the deck).

 

I will report on the tests as soon as I have some data :)

 

Konx



#85
HomerJ

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My version is kind of a mix of the above two. I tweaked mine based on what I saw from Tom's and Mike's, but it's interesting that Kama's is also similar. I'm sure there are ST and Shub versions too.
 
3 Professor Nathaniel Peaslee
3 Yithian Scout
3 Keeper of the Great Library
2 Scholar from Yith
3 Lost City of Pnakotus
2 Dark Passenger
3 Studying the Void
3 Interstellar Migration
3 Lost Oracle
3 Faceless Abductor
3 Pawn Broker
2 Stalking Hound
2 Constricting Elder Thing
3 Pushed into the Beyond
3 Frozen Time
3 Speak to the Dead
1 Servant from Out of Time
1 Black Dog
3 Frozen Time
2 Mists of Lethe
1 Umr At-Tawil


6 copies of Frozen Time?

#86
Danigral

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6 copies of Frozen Time?

~I can do that right?

 

I was wondering why the count was off! lol I was trying to rebuild my deck from memory and kept ending up with >50.


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#87
konx

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So, a first report of a few matches played in the past days. I was playing the list of Danigral and my opponent was playing the Agency/Stl list I posted before in this thread (in particular, what I consider the sub-par list, with Gentleman's club and Disgruntled chief, with the Rats being the restricted. Hermetic seal was used instead of Rays of dawn to have a day card at cost 1).

 

Summary: Y. lost 6 games and won 2 games.

 

A bit more details.

Without one of the "big 3" (void, lost oracle, lost city, which are basically the fastest way to discard cards we have) I was usually taking a mulligan. I tried first to play aggressively: I am a combo deck and I want to combo as fast as possible. I have lost all these games without any chance of winning. The problem here is that if I want to pursue this approach some "protection" pieces are going to be resourced and I am missing tool to stop the board development on the other side.

 

Then, I changed the approach: I was trying to be a bit more "conservative" and I was trying to setup slowly while stalling the opponent to get to the "big turn" in which I can sneak in and win one or more arcane struggle. In this case I managed to win my 2 games, with a bit of luck (more details on the "luck" part later).

 

First of all, the games play very differently for the opponent if Y. goes first or second. If Y. goes first, the opponent is slowed down of 1-2 turns. As the agency/stl player you don't want to be behind in the board. So, if I manage to put down 1-2 chars (and knowing I am playing some tricks  like pushed), the opponent doesn't commit immediately to stories to be able to defend actively the arcane struggles (this is even more true if I manage to put into the discard pile a lost oracle or a void). These are the games I won.

 

When the opponent starts, Y. is just behind. A normal start from the opponent is 3 chars on turn 1, or 2 chars and a support. From this moment on, it is basically impossible to do everything. If you (= the Y. player) try to combo out, you just don't succeed: there is no way to win that stupid arcane struggle. If you try to stall the board, you are just doing it in a very not efficient way. If you try to put down some chars to compete with the board (because you have faceless and other chars) again you have subpar chars. With the following turns, it is just more and more chars coming down; at some point, they can just commit leaving behind enough blockers and you cannot do anything. Yes, in the meantime the other engines are being activated, like speak to the dead, but they are way too slow.

 

As I said, the two wins I managed to get were dictated by Y. going first and a bit of luck.

In one case I saw in the first 25 cards all the void and all the lost oracles. I won an arcane struggle by one icon (I had committed 5 icons...) and I managed to pull off the win.

 

In the other case, I saw 2 keeper of the great library in 11 cards. The first was shot immediately, the second managed to stick around, win arcane and since I had also 2 voids I managed to put enough good stuff into the discard.

 

From these games, I got the same impression I got with other lists of Y. I was trying: the variance on the draw quality is determining a lot the performances of the deck.

 

About single cards: the dogs and the hounds, which are clearly there as weapons to protect stories and gain some board advantage are easy to get around. In this case, the hounds were useless (no triggered chars in the opponent deck) and the black dogs, after seeing them the first time, you just need to commit two chars together.

 

The removals are obviously not enough to play the "control" game, but in general against slower decks they might do the job of clearing the path to win an arcane struggle. Frozen time looks very nice...but after trying it I have the idea that it is useful only against Snow Graves or unique characters that are annoying (read: the terrible old man). Not blanking the icons is a huge minus in the card.

 

Of course, the sample of games played is very small at the moment. If you have noticed errors in my style of playing the deck, please let me know. Hope these reports help.

 

Konx

 

PS, EDIT: there was a tournament with 12 people in Italy last week. 3 Y. at the tournament. They went fifth, sixth and eleventh. Just to keep track of tournament appearances of the deck.



#88
HomerJ

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Thanks Knox for the summary of your games. You definitely had some results that are different from others that have played with/against the list. That suggests there is still more to be learned (from everyone) about the list. For a counterpoint (and I do not have anything even remotely detailed as you've posted) I've played Y-Train no fewer than 6 games against all of my core lists, and I would be comfortable in saying that Y-Train was about a 75% win rate. I'm certain there are games in there (on both sides) where one of the decks either stalled or had a "God Hand". But I feel strongly that the list is better than your results suggest.

I'm curious, sounds like you only played against a single list? Was the list designed to beat Y-Train? Or is it a list that would characteristically give Y-Train issues? Does it have cards that are unusually good against discard pile effects? Your results are very interesting, and I for one would like to know more.

#89
konx

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I'm curious, sounds like you only played against a single list? Was the list designed to beat Y-Train? Or is it a list that would characteristically give Y-Train issues? Does it have cards that are unusually good against discard pile effects? Your results are very interesting, and I for one would like to know more.

 

Yes, if you read the last posts I made in this thread, this is exactly what I am doing with the Y. I am testing it against an Agency/STL list which I use as "testing parameter" (the list of this Agency/STL deck is in one of my previous posts in this thread).

 

It does not contain any particular card against Y. and I didn't tech against it.

 

I am doing this kind of testing with Y. because I simply cannot understand all this ban-rage going on against it. Let me be clear: Y. is a deck you have to take into account during the design of any other deck because it plays on a different angle of the game. BUT, it doesn't require particular techs to beat it. Especially if you play rush against Y.

 

I will try other decks against Y. and see how they perform, but at the moment I prefer to stick with Agency/STL (also because my girlfriend is playing it, and she started with Cthulhu 3 weeks ago with this deck, so she feels more comfortable in keep playing it while learning new cards I play against her :P).

 

Konx



#90
GrahamM

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So I played 6 games against myself using my Yithian deck and your STL/Agency deck, alternating who went first each game, and my wins and losses lined up perfectly with the player who went first, which is interesting. Every game was pretty decisive: ST/Agency never won a story when Y when first and Y barely discarded against STA when STA went first. I'm going to play them a few more times to see if I can figure out how to play either one of the decks more reliably. 

 

My Yithian deck is a bit light on the actual Yithians, which I think is probably the best way to play it: better to have control of the game and take a while to hit your combo, but I'm not perfectly pleased with the decklist yet, so I'll wait a bit to post it. The thing that bothered me about playing the STA deck was that while it theoretically had everything I needed to counter the Yithians (Alienist, Shotgun Blast, Trial Judge, Terrible Old Man, Master of Myths), it was very difficult to have them all out at the exact right moment, and the control ability of the Yithian deck meant that if STA didn't start in the lead, it never got in the lead.

 

I'm not exactly sure what to make of this result--obviously the game depending on who goes first is pretty frustrating, but I guess this is technically a point against Yithians? Unfortunately the STA deck just gets absolutely wrecked by my Negotium deck.


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#91
Reckoner

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I got in 4 test games of the Y-train against Konx's ST/Agency deck. The Y-train went 4-0 against it, alternating the first player. Two of the games were very close, with ST/Agency getting two stories and multiple tokens on two remaining stories. In general, rush decks are the most difficult matches for the Y-train so I was surprised to win all of the games. It looks like we have three testing groups with 3 pretty different results. I am going to continue testing this match-up this week and will post my findings. I am tempted to make a new thread, because we are no longer talking about the regional. Maybe even write-up a quick primer.

 

Notes:

Lost Oracle's ability to remove opponent success tokens cannot be overstated against rush decks.

 

This particular rush deck also plays out quite different with/without San Marco.

 

The problem that I was running into was that there just wasn't enough arcane in the STA deck, eventually the Y-train was able to get to the point where STA only had 1-2 characters ready. At this point one Pushed/Faceless was enough to make an opening.

 

Some keys to the playing the Y-train:

When I play the Y-train, I like to open with either Lost City or Pawn Broker. City is much better, but both of these cards help to give you velocity (the speed at which you move through your deck) which in turn reduces variance.

 

I tend to play conservatively. The deck only needs a few openings to win. The key is setting up these opportunities without losing. Rush decks limit the amount of time that you have and can force your hand.

 

Make you to never miss a trigger that will benefit you. This is easier to say than do, but many of the responses in the deck can be used in corner cases to give you a win. Examples:

  • Dark Passenger can be resourced and then used to blank icons when it is discarded due to transient.
  • Don't forget to draw with Keeper.
  • Scholar can blank text boxes.

 

I do not personally run Speak to the Dead, in my experience it has been too slow. I may be wrong in this assessment, because both Tom and Dan run this card, and they are both more experienced than I am.


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#92
Danigral

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I do not personally run Speak to the Dead, in my experience it has been too slow. I may be wrong in this assessment, because both Tom and Dan run this card, and they are both more experienced than I am.

 

I do not typically play yithian mill, but I would include Speak because if you mill your Frozen Times or Constricting ETs you need a somewhat reliable way to get them back to close it out.



#93
HomerJ

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Knox,

So you're basing your entire argument that Y-Train isn't good on testing against a single deck?



#94
GrahamM

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I don't think that's fair at all, Homer. If a deck without any specific anti-Yith tech can be played in a way that lets it at least somewhat reliably beat the Yithian Mill, it's pretty reasonable to assume that other decks can do it as well.

 

I also don't think he's saying it's not good, necessarily--he's merely saying that it's not as unbeatable as people have been suggesting


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#95
konx

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Knox,

So you're basing your entire argument that Y-Train isn't good on testing against a single deck?

 

I think I must have some serious problems with my English, since when I write here no one seems to understand what I am saying.

 

Bottom line, GrahamM got what I am saying.

 

Y. is a good, competitive, tier-1 deck in the tournament scene.

 

I think it is _healthy_ to have such decks (another one that got immediately the ban-axe was R&D).

 

I think that it is not impossible to consistently beat it, and in some cases it doesn't require even too much specific anti-tech against it.

 

In general, I don't like having restricted/banned cards, so what I am trying to do here is:

1) show some results (even though _clearly_ limited and partial) that prove that the deck can be beaten

2) discuss what strategies are being used by the player base to beat it

 

My first take on "how to beat it" is simply

a) be fast(er)

B) avoid Y. winning arcane struggle.

 

Of course, there are for sure out there other strategies which can beat Y. but I chose to focus on this one at the moment.

Let me be clear: Y. is a deck you have to take into account during the design of any other deck 
because it plays on a different angle of the game. BUT, it doesn't require particular techs to beat it. 
Especially if you play rush against Y.

This above sentence is from my previous post; I hope I clarified it.

 

About one strategic point of the Agency/STL deck:

The problem that I was running into was that there just wasn't enough arcane in the STA deck, 
eventually the Y-train was able to get to the point where STA only had 1-2 characters ready. 
At this point one Pushed/Faceless was enough to make an opening.

I think here is a difference between how people is playing the deck. My opponent is usually very conservative, so she never commits characters leaving behind only 1-2 chars. The board I am facing consists usually of at least 4 characters (if there is the Basilica it is even worse, obviously).

 

To have a board of 5-6 characters (which then allows to commit 1-2 good chars at stories) it doesn't require more than 2 turns of dropping stuff, in general.

 

As GrahamM pointed out, a big difference is also who goes first, confirming at least something of what I wrote in the other post :)

 

bye

 

Konx

 

PS: yes, I am aware that Agency/STL is going to lose badly to Negotium. Not the point of this discussion/testing, anyway.



#96
HomerJ

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I don't think that's fair at all, Homer. If a deck without any specific anti-Yith tech can be played in a way that lets it at least somewhat reliably beat the Yithian Mill, it's pretty reasonable to assume that other decks can do it as well.

 

I also don't think he's saying it's not good, necessarily--he's merely saying that it's not as unbeatable as people have been suggesting

I will counter by stating that no one has said that Y-Train is "unbeatable".  If it were, everyone would play a version.  I will concede that I misinterpreted his statements and tone throughout the posts as that he felt the rest of the community was incorrect in it's assessment of the deck.  However, I will stand behind my belief that it is incorrect to use a single deck list, one that is most likely to beat Y-Train based on it's archetype, to support the argument.  I will also stand behind my own experience with the list, the success rate of the list in major events, the efforts made by FFG to correct for it, and the history of the top players in the game utilizing the list regularly at high-level events to be more reliable in the analysis of the list's effectiveness.



#97
konx

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I will counter by stating that no one has said that Y-Train is "unbeatable".  If it were, everyone would play a version.  I will concede that I misinterpreted his statements and tone throughout the posts as that he felt the rest of the community was incorrect in it's assessment of the deck. 

 

To be more clear: I don't agree on the call for banning that comes from the community, nothing more than that. As explained before, the Y. deck is a good deck, obviously.

However, I will stand behind my belief that it is incorrect to use a single deck list, 
one that is most likely to beat Y-Train based on it's archetype, to support the argument. 

Yeah, sure, one list is not all lists, we can clearly agree on that. On the other hand, one has to start somewhere and I decided to start there. When I will move to the next deck I will post some more reports on other decks. I don't have other means to determine how a deck plays, the strong points and the weak points other than to play it as much as possible against all sorts of decks.

 

BTW, your statement: "one that is most likely to beat Y-Train based on it's archetype"....raise one question: if people knows that Y. is good and popular and people knows that rush is most likely to beat it because of the archetype...why isn't people playing more rush decks at tournaments?

I will also stand behind my own experience with the list, the success rate of the list in major events, 

Well, about your experience I have nothing to say since I don't have any data.

About the major events I would like to point out that Y. hasn't win any tournament in Europe so far and in fact in the tournament where it showed up he performed poorly.

 

- Euro 2013 (30 players): the only Y. in the room was in the last five position, if I recall correctly. Plus, notice how a big metagame (I believe so far this was the largest Cthulhu event in the world) decided that it was not a good choice to bring it.

 

- Regionals in France: Y. were there, they didn't win

 

- Last week in Italy: 3 out of 12 had Y., they were 5th, 6th, 11th.

 

This discrepancy of results between Europe and US is there and it is a fact. This discrepancy, BTW, is one of the reasons that I am playtesting so much Y. since I don't understand where it comes from.

the efforts made by FFG to correct for it, 

Not a good point of discussion.

FFG recently restricted the Ravager and I haven't seen that card in top positions in tournament recently, so it is very disputable to say "if FFG is taking care of it then it must be good".

and the history of the top players in the game utilizing the list regularly at high-level events 
to be more reliable in the analysis of the list's effectiveness.

Again, the history of top players at events  in Europe shows that they don't play Y.

 

So, yeah, I will keep testing Y. against Agency/STL for a while and report on other results and then I will switch to another deck and report also on the other results. If you think that my results are flawed, skip them, no offense taken I can assure you :)

 

Konx



#98
Jhaelen

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I will counter by stating that no one has said that Y-Train is "unbeatable".  If it were, everyone would play a version.

I wouldn't.


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