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How to Side in Goat Format

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Jazz    4764
53 minutes ago, Ynusgridorh said:

The "all Spy does is stall" argument doesn't hold up. Why would you not want to stall against a deck that wants to finish you in just a few turns and has the resources to do so?

 

Let's clarify: All spy does is stall, and it does not do so very effectively against Zoo. I'd rather not depend on a card that can be banished Turn 1 by Nobleman. I'd rather not keep tribute monsters in my deck just to have synergy with Spy. I'd rather not depend on a card that the Zoo deck is equipped to out, because it runs Abyss Soldier, Mystic LV2, Exiled, Mobius, and 2 copies of Reinforcement of the Army.

 

In short, a line-up of DDA/DDA/DDWL is both more versatile and more effective than a line-up of Spy/Spy/Guard against Zoo. It works more reliably. It let's me play both ways. It works well against other major threats in the format like Dimension Fusion decks.

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Ynusgridorh    129
25 minutes ago, mark said:

Dust tornado is to get rid of their stall cards so you can atk until their LP hits 0 before they can burn you out. Royal decree might be good but it doesn't solve their stall spells, so you would still need a way to out those before they can out your decree with their mst etc. 
 

That's certainly the best way to use Dust against Burn but even if you get rid of their stall spells, it's still not that easy to win via beatdown. Good Burn decks run 3 Ojama Trio and 3 Nightmare Wheel along with a bunch of monsters with good defensive stats (Stealth Bird, Koala, Gardna) so they can still survive long enough to Burn you out. I'd rather not take any chances and shut down half of the deck with Decree right away so I can focus all my attention on cards like Wave-Motion Cannon.

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Anteaus44    13

@JazzI personally feel that DDA and DDWL are go-to monsters when building a deck and careful thought must be applied before excluding them, especially in pre-Exarion goats. Versatility is important against any and every deck and the DD monsters are certainly versatile if nothing else. However I think that burn is going to be a problem against your side more than anything without Decree. I agree with @Ynusgridorh in that Decree is a almost sidedeck staple unless you know the meta you're going to be playing against isn't going to have burn in it. 

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+ACP+    34070

There are a lot of different kinds of burn decks. Since historically speaking burn has never really done well, there's not a consensus list. I find this to be true in general: The lower on the tier list that you go, the most variation there is among decks that are the same archetype.

 

I think Dust Tornado is a good card against every burn list. Imo, the best cards against burn are:

- Dust Tornado

- Chiron the Mage

- Mobius the Frost Monarch

- Royal Decree

- Wave-Motion Cannon

 

Obviously different ones are better against the different variations of burn. Some burn decks max out on Ojama Trio/Secret Barrel/Just Desserts. Others only have Des Koala/Wave-Motion Cannon/Cylinder/Ring/Ceasefire to inflict damage. Some play only a handful of traps. Some play Skill Drain. So I think it's hard to talk about siding against burn in general, since a lot of it is dependent on which variant we're talking about.

 

My personal favorite though is Wave-Motion Cannon, as I find it to be highly effective against all of the burn variants. Regardless of deck compositions postboard, it will always be easier for you to kill their Wave-Motion Cannons than for them to kill yours, and thus you can actually beat them at their own game by just keeping your head above water. If you want to try a "reverse Wave-Motion Cannon" strategy so to speak, you could really try to next level your opponent and side in something like Dancing Fairy. It even combos with their Level Limit - Area B!

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+ACP+    34070
44 minutes ago, Jazz said:

 

Let's clarify: All spy does is stall, and it does not do so very effectively against Zoo. I'd rather not depend on a card that can be banished Turn 1 by Nobleman. I'd rather not keep tribute monsters in my deck just to have synergy with Spy. I'd rather not depend on a card that the Zoo deck is equipped to out, because it runs Abyss Soldier, Mystic LV2, Exiled, Mobius, and 2 copies of Reinforcement of the Army.

 

In short, a line-up of DDA/DDA/DDWL is both more versatile and more effective than a line-up of Spy/Spy/Guard against Zoo. It works more reliably. It let's me play both ways. It works well against other major threats in the format like Dimension Fusion decks.

No one said to keep tribute monsters in your deck because "lol Spy." Ok, it gets hit by Nobleman, so what? Getting that Nobleman'd isn't any worse than getting our Magician of Faith Nobleman'd. You can also mindgame your opponent into not Noblemaning t1 by setting Spy and passing without any backrow. 99% of the time they're just going to summon a monster and attack.

 

Idk what Zoo decks you're looking at, but the standard variation plays 1 RotA and no Mystic Swordsman LV2. If they're bringing in flip effect hate, a lot of the time I'd just expect it to be more Skill Drains, which is favorable for us. Why would your opponent ever side in Mobius against KrisP goats? How it getting our Spy hit by Exiled bad? We go even on cards and summons, so the card is no different than D.D. Assailant. Abyss Soldier is also fine unless they have exactly Abyss Soldier + Sinister, which doesn't happen as much as you'd fine. You're really reaching a lot with these arguments, and it seems like you're just determined to find every single miniscule reason when Spy is not exactly the card that we want, rather than looking at all of the blowout scenarios that are actually quite common. If the meta evolves to the point where every single person is siding Spy, then perhaps Zoo might start better preparing for it. But as of now, it's a pretty uncommon sideboard card, and yet it's the one that I'd say has won me the most matches in my entire sidedeck.

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Anteaus44    13

@ACP You're right, there are many and more different burn lists. However I think that the ones that do best are those that have a high amount of traps. Besides Decree also has uses against Tsuk Lock especially those that feature Time Seal. I think more testing will be required in determining which of the burn variants is most powerful. However, as a standalone option Decree still isn't a bad choice considering how many other rogue decks use high trap counts.

 

Also I love me some Wave-Motion Cannon. It was a popular side choice in 2005 for the reasons you give. And Dancing Fairy is hilarious. It's just a shame WMC is one of the more expensive cards in the format - needs a reprit along with Dimension Fusion lol.

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Ynusgridorh    129

@ACP I've found out that double MSLV2 and double RotA work wonders in Beastdown. Every time a monster is set, I want to summon MSLV2 and run over it. A lot of times, they won't see it coming and won't be able to stop the attack. And even if they stop the attack, now is the time to fire Nobleman. MSLV2 also allows you to save your Nobleman for Sinister and can put your opponent in a very uncomfortable situation when used in conjunction with a beater.

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Jazz    4764

@ACP that list of Zoo you posted is old. Check the hyperlink in the  OP for a more up to date example. Modern builds that groups like Nostalgic Duelist use include 1 or 2 Mystic LV2, usually 2 Rota, and sometimes a teched Mobius.

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+ACP+    34070

I think your involvement in these groups like nostalgia duelist, where everyone is really bad and their choices are somewhat strange has been a substantial contributor to some of our disagreements in this forum over the last few days. I think that groups like that are very non-representative of the format and meta as a whole, and I don't find that meta particularly meaningful as a discussion point because 99% of the people there are really bad. There's nothing wrong with being a part of that community, and while you're there, do what wins; I just find that some of your recommendations aren't necessarily helpful in tackling the format as a whole.

 

What we really need to do is bring back goat format warring.

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I'm not sure that "Spy gets NoC'd" is a real reason for spy to be bad in a matchup where Zoo's Noblemen are already overloaded by Exarions, Faiths, Merchants, Jars, etc, you can set. Spy is the single most difficult card in the format to deal with once it gets flipped. Aside from Tribe, the most efficient answer in the 55 is Bazoo. Typically the card is equivalent to a Delinquent Duo with a Time Walk or two attached, it's so brutal.

 

Also, are we seriously citing Nostalgic Duelist for decklists? I regularly receive messages from a friend of mine where we laugh about how awful that group is. Literally Goat Format Pojo. My list has changed a few slots since then, but a lot of what I'm reading in this thread is in a totally different direction.

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Jazz    4764

I've played against both Zoo lists and their's is definitely better.

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Hello, DGz!

So I was one of the guys who tested with Jazz this summer, and I'm glad this article was finally published. We put hours and hours into actually testing as well as theory-crafting, and I'm really satisfied with the results.

As a member of both ND and DGz (although I mostly do a lot of lurking here) I will admit that a majority of ND's goat players are baddies; however, the better players on the page weren't as laughable, and they tried to evolve the goat meta constantly, frequently challenging the format. In fact, one of the reasons why I liked Nostalgic Duelist was that they constantly held tournaments, which IMO kept goat format strong and lively. So I find it weird that a deck list can be criticized so harshly by a player base that hasn't really, well, been playing.

The reason why we built the side deck was because the conventional "specific" cards were starting to be acknowledged, and eventually countered. Zoo was catching on to cards like Spy and Messenger of Peace, so they started playing cards like Mystic Swordsman Lv2 and Mobius the Frost Monarch (note that it can beat over Spy, pop backrow, AND it's a water). Chaos started to grow in popularity since Chaos Sorcerer actually made cards like Exarion Universe fairly dead. In fact, some Chaos players even sided Exarion considering that Sakuretsu was a popular side-out card. Considering that most games will be post-side, ND's goat players gathered up to collaborate on a side deck that can counter these new options, which is why we included DGz's Jazz.

 

I hope this clarifies some things, and gives you a better understanding of why we chose these cards for our side.

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+ACP+    34070

So basically you next leveled yourself into filling your sidedeck with bad choices like D.D. Assailant, Dekoichi, and Seven Tools of the Bandit because people were overly prepared for the good options. And none of the zoo players adapted by adding D.D. Survivor to their postboard toolbox options to capitalize on your approach to the matchup. Can't argue with that I suppose.

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21 minutes ago, ACP said:

So basically you next leveled yourself into filling your sidedeck with bad choices like D.D. Assailant, Dekoichi, and Seven Tools of the Bandit because people were overly prepared for the good options. And none of the zoo players adapted by adding D.D. Survivor to their postboard toolbox options to capitalize on your approach to the matchup. Can't argue with that I suppose.

I think that your issue with arguing is just assuming that a card is "bad" without any actual context. I honestly am not convinced that you either do enough testing or have an open-minded view of the format.

TBH I was skeptical of D.D. Assailant at first since yes, it's a one-for-one, which means you're simplifying the gamestate, which in theory, would be in Zoo's favor. But in testing, one thing we realized is that Zoo really doesn't want to trade their monsters in. Their backrow is only good when they have a monster, and they tend to waste valuable cards like Exiled Force just to get it out of the way. Assailant also ended up being one of the best top decks in the top deck war, since Zoo plays so many Trap cards. In addition, without Airknights, it ended being a solid card to pull out with Premature/Call. Simply put, it's a proactive card that gets rid of Zoo's problem monsters (Exarion, Abyss Soldier, and Tribe), which lets goat do what goat is supposed to do.

At least for me, Dekoichi goes in whenever Exarion isn't good. Exarion gives the deck a lot of flexibility in the goat mirror, but in other matchups, it's not nearly as flexible, and I'd rather have consistency of flip-flop, which is where Dekoichi comes in. I actually don't agree with Jazz that Dekoichi should be in the main, but it's his article, so I didn't argue against it when I read it. Nonetheless, I fail to see how Dekoichi is a "bad" card.

Seven Tools ended up being so much better in testing than I had thought. Negating a Solemn Judgment or a Sakuretsu/Mirror Force when an attack really needed to resolve to gain back momentum ended up being huge. It should also be noted that burn decks have a tendency to play Solemn Judgment as well.


As for D.D. Survivor, I'm not sure if they have thought of it yet. It's honestly a gimmicky card that'll die to Tsuk and like everything else in Zoo other than the aforementioned problem monsters, gets walled by Scapegoat, but I suppose it does interrupt our current strategy. 

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Jazz    4764

I think to a degree the "good options" you are referring to actually play really poorly in conjunction with the rest of the cards in the Goat build that you would want to leave in. Cards like Swords, Messenger, and Chiron are suboptimal in the format, period. Cards like DDA, Dekoichi, and Seven Tools are really powerful in the context of how the deck around them functions and gains it's edges (MoF, TER, Tsuk, etc).

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+ACP+    34070

 

59 minutes ago, TheAntiAntimetaAzn said:

I think that your issue with arguing is just assuming that a card is "bad" without any actual context. I honestly am not convinced that you either do enough testing or have an open-minded view of the format.

TBH I was skeptical of D.D. Assailant at first since yes, it's a one-for-one, which means you're simplifying the gamestate, which in theory, would be in Zoo's favor. But in testing, one thing we realized is that Zoo really doesn't want to trade their monsters in. Their backrow is only good when they have a monster, and they tend to waste valuable cards like Exiled Force just to get it out of the way. Assailant also ended up being one of the best top decks in the top deck war, since Zoo plays so many Trap cards. In addition, without Airknights, it ended being a solid card to pull out with Premature/Call. Simply put, it's a proactive card that gets rid of Zoo's problem monsters (Exarion, Abyss Soldier, and Tribe), which lets goat do what goat is supposed to do.

At least for me, Dekoichi goes in whenever Exarion isn't good. Exarion gives the deck a lot of flexibility in the goat mirror, but in other matchups, it's not nearly as flexible, and I'd rather have consistency of flip-flop, which is where Dekoichi comes in. I actually don't agree with Jazz that Dekoichi should be in the main, but it's his article, so I didn't argue against it when I read it. Nonetheless, I fail to see how Dekoichi is a "bad" card.

Seven Tools ended up being so much better in testing than I had thought. Negating a Solemn Judgment or a Sakuretsu/Mirror Force when an attack really needed to resolve to gain back momentum ended up being huge. It should also be noted that burn decks have a tendency to play Solemn Judgment as well.


As for D.D. Survivor, I'm not sure if they have thought of it yet. It's honestly a gimmicky card that'll die to Tsuk and like everything else in Zoo other than the aforementioned problem monsters, gets walled by Scapegoat, but I suppose it does work here. 

And I'm frankly not convinced that you do enough testing against real players or have an open mind of the format. Just for the record, I:

- Historically speaking, have had one of the highest win rates in goats on DGZ.

- Have frequently played high stakes goat matches against top level players at various events, and locally

- Played in one of the only areas in the country with a regular goat-format locals

 

So I'm frankly not sure why you and Jazz (in other threads) seem to think that I haven't played goats. At a minimum, I've played something like a match of goats a week, every week for the past 5 years or so. So please let's not go there.

 

Is D.D. Assailant terrible against Zoo? No, but it won't win you too many games that you would've otherwise lost. If we're going the the 1-for-1 route, I'd much rather it be a card that doesn't cost our summon, like Smashing or Bottomless, so that we can try to maintain a tempo edge.

 

I will say that Dekoichi is good specifically against a Chaos deck that also plays 3 Dekoichi due to the Crossout interaction, but that's about it. This idea of "potentially siding it in against almost anything when I feel like it" is a wasted sideboard slot. I don't sidedeck to make my monster lineup 1% better.

 

Siding Seven Tools specifically against Solemn Judgment is also not worth doing. Solemn Judgment is a terrible card in goat format, and frankly we don't need to counter it. None of our cards are important enough to have to absolutely make sure that they resolve. In the actual matchups where Seven Tools is claimed to be good, the -1000 LP is quite important.

 

Obviously feel free to keep doing whatever, because frankly everyone on Nostalgia Duelist is so bad that you'd crush them even without a sidedeck at all, but I'm not going to sit here and pretend that this is awesome sidedecking advice just because you guys all got together and decided that you liked a fundamentally poor sidedecking plan. There is tons of misinformation in the OP, this is in regards to what we should be preparing for, the merits of flexibility, what is good in each matchup, and how to approach the Zoo matchup in particular.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, TheAntiAntimetaAzn said:

Hello, DGz!

So I was one of the guys who tested with Jazz this summer, and I'm glad this article was finally published. We put hours and hours into actually testing as well as theory-crafting, and I'm really satisfied with the results.

As a member of both ND and DGz (although I mostly do a lot of lurking here) I will admit that a majority of ND's goat players are baddies; however, the better players on the page weren't as laughable, and they tried to evolve the goat meta constantly, frequently challenging the format. In fact, one of the reasons why I liked Nostalgic Duelist was that they constantly held tournaments, which IMO kept goat format strong and lively. So I find it weird that a deck list can be criticized so harshly by a player base that hasn't really, well, been playing.

The reason why we built the side deck was because the conventional "specific" cards were starting to be acknowledged, and eventually countered. Zoo was catching on to cards like Spy and Messenger of Peace, so they started playing cards like Mystic Swordsman Lv2 and Mobius the Frost Monarch (note that it can beat over Spy, pop backrow, AND it's a water). Chaos started to grow in popularity since Chaos Sorcerer actually made cards like Exarion Universe fairly dead. In fact, some Chaos players even sided Exarion considering that Sakuretsu was a popular side-out card. Considering that most games will be post-side, ND's goat players gathered up to collaborate on a side deck that can counter these new options, which is why we included DGz's Jazz.

 

I hope this clarifies some things, and gives you a better understanding of why we chose these cards for our side.

 

Don't get me wrong, a few things have definitely changed since the Toywiz tournament, partially due to metagame shifts, and partially due to suboptimal choices in the deck. Mobius, for example, is very good. I told Matt about it awhile back, he swept one of your tournaments with it shortly after and that's when it caught on.

 

I'm not going to argue the pros/cons of your goat control sideboard, I trust you guys are more experienced with goat control in the current environment than most people, and certainly more experienced with the deck than myself. I'll leave that to Allen or whoever else wants to pick at it. I wouldn't even be posting about it here if Jazz just said he preferred more flexible options in the sideboard than Spy and stopped there. My issue just stemmed from him understating the impact of the card in the matchup, and I wanted to offer my perspective. Upgrading garbage cards to DDA is fine, whatever. If you feel comfortable playing a more heads-up game with Zoo without blowout cards like Spy, that's totally fine. I personally wouldn't, but if you think the matchup is solid enough then I won't argue. I have way more issues with some of your suggested cuts than I do with the cards you're bringing in. Cutting Exarion / Tsuk sounds crazy to me, especially if the plan is to bring in more midrange cards like DDA.

 

However, at the same time I've played so many matches with Zoo variants against a variety of goat format decks, and put so much effort into refining my list that I have a lot of trust in my own experience with that deck. I am extremely confident in calling out other people who claim to know the deck well. I'm experienced enough to know very well what the deck loses to, and what cards are difficult. It's really frustrating to me to see so much bad theory about the deck thrown around, and how many steps backwards the deck has taken. Removing a Dustshoot and Sakuretsu, cards that answer the most difficult cards for the Zoo deck: Tsukuyomi and TER, while also being good in the mirror/Chaos matchups, to make room for awkward cards in the main like MSlv2, and Snatch. Cards which look incredible on paper, but end up being so high variance, and don't fix enough of the deck's problems to actually be worth deck slots. Solemns with 0 Skill Drain is the worst ratio considering one of the biggest attractions to playing Solemn in this deck is it's ability to protect the Drain, something that no other trap in the deck can do. If you're cutting Drain from the main to hedge for the mirror that's totally reasonable, except if you're hedging for the mirror you wouldn't be playing 3 copies of the worst trap for the mirror.

 

D.D. Survivor is one of the strongest sideboard cards for the Zoo mirror, and it was in the sideboard of the Zoo list I posted in the report that made the deck popular online, so people should definitely know about it.

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Jazz    4764

@Bazaar of Baghdad I didn't want to post this because I didn't want to 'give away the answers to the test'.  I puposely left the OP vague and open ended. But since this topic has generated so much heated debate, here's how I use this side against 'standard zoo':

 

-2 Airknight

-Tribe

-Jar

-2 Book

-2 Nobleman

 

+2 DDA

+DDWL

+Deko

+Goat

+Dust Tornado

+2 Seven Tools

 

Note with this strategy in mind, I don't really consider removing either copy of Tsuk or Exarion.

 

The most debatable switch here is Tribe for Deko. I'm not big on Tribe against a deck that runs 4 aquas (zoo), but I'd have to do even more testing. Would probably depend on how many 'dead cards' I draw into over a large number of games.

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@Bazaar of BaghdadI agree with most of what you're saying. I also wouldn't side out Exarion or Tsuk vs Zoo, it was just mentioned in the article to give possible things to side. In hindsight, I think it's better to point out what we specifically ended up siding out. I'm also convinced that the new version of Zoo could definitely be flawed. D.D. Survivor is definitely an out, but not necessarily a huge problem.

Spy in testing did a good job of stalling, but I don't know if "blow-out" is the right word for it. It doesn't really get rid of anything, it's vulnerable to tribe and can get beaten down by Mobius, and ND's metagame was playing Lv2 at the time. We did acknowledge that letting the Zoo game go longer made things easier, but we didn't necessarily see that as a clear win condition. TER seemed like a much better win condition, since it doesn't let them play and constantly poses a threat. At least with Messenger the win condition was to abuse cards that can take advantage of it, like Tsuk lock or Tribe. With Spy, it clogged the board to where we couldn't flip goats, and it somewhat prevented us from committing to the board. The heads up game seemed to have a clearer win condition in mind, so that's what we went with.

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Jazz    4764

Dekoichi's interaction with opposing Noblemans is actually really nifty. It's a useful interaction against Chaos and Dimension Fusion Turbo builds (Like Joe's).

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Jazz    4764
2 hours ago, Jazz said:

I've played against both Zoo lists and their's is definitely better.

 

I should rephrase. Their's is definitely better against Chaos or Goat. Not sure whether Zoo decks should make main deck choices with the mirror in mind as Bazaar of Baghdad is suggesting. I'd err with no, as it's not a huge portion of the meta. If we want to talk math, I think maining Mystic LV2 is +EV for them.

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20 minutes ago, TheAntiAntimetaAzn said:

Spy in testing did a good job of stalling, but I don't know if "blow-out" is the right word for it. It doesn't really get rid of anything, it's vulnerable to tribe and can get beaten down by Mobius, and ND's metagame was playing Lv2 at the time. We did acknowledge that letting the Zoo game go longer made things easier, but we didn't necessarily see that as a clear win condition. TER seemed like a much better win condition, since it doesn't let them play and constantly poses a threat. At least with Messenger the win condition was to abuse cards that can take advantage of it, like Tsuk lock or Tribe. With Spy, it clogged the board to where we couldn't flip goats, and it somewhat prevented us from committing to the board. The heads up game seemed to have a clearer win condition in mind, so that's what we went with.

 

Yeah, Tribe is a clean answer, but you ideally want to hold your Tribe to answer a TER/BLS. Mobius is a slower answer (and given optimal play from the goat player who knows Mobius is a card, an incredibly awkward answer since once Spy resolves there's no reason to have unchainable backrow set.) As is Bazoo. 

 

You don't need threats against Zoo, you don't even need to urgently answer their monsters, you just need to make the game go late while not falling too far behind on resources. Combine Tsuk with your Scapegoat copies to buy time and slowly pick off threats when you can, eventually you'll resolve a Magician of Faith, or drop a BLS and turn the corner on the game. Spy is like a scapegoat that has potential to just totally stonewall the Zoo deck, and all the good answers to it are already severely overloaded in the matchup. Your win condition doesn't change, you're still winning with TER and BLS, but the way you sculpt the game to get to the point where that win condition is possible gets warped by the inclusion of Spy. 

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+mmf    23269

surprised no one's brought up the siding of burn cards that was actually a very standard use of the sidedeck during the actual goat format. people don't really do things like side ceasefire and wave motion anymore, especially not in retro goat format when we're very rarely playing under tournament time constraints, but can there ever be a merit to siding burn as a straight alt win con, regardless of time, in goat control or anything else?

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Ynusgridorh    129
3 hours ago, ACP said:

So basically you next leveled yourself into filling your sidedeck with bad choices like D.D. Assailant, Dekoichi, and Seven Tools of the Bandit because people were overly prepared for the good options. And none of the zoo players adapted by adding D.D. Survivor to their postboard toolbox options to capitalize on your approach to the matchup. Can't argue with that I suppose.

 

This post reminds me I always side 2 D.D. Survivor for the Beastdown mirror so yeah, DDWL and DDA don't seem like very good counters to the deck.

 

19 minutes ago, dennis frogman said:

surprised no one's brought up the siding of burn cards that was actually a very standard use of the sidedeck during the actual goat format. people don't really do things like side ceasefire and wave motion anymore, especially not in retro goat format when we're very rarely playing under tournament time constraints, but can there ever be a merit to siding burn as a straight alt win con, regardless of time, in goat control or anything else?

 

Pretty sure Allen mentioned the benefit of siding Wave-Motion Cannon against Burn.

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